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Friday, December 4, 2009

A Pair of Jacks by Blaze Ballantine

A Pair of Jacks by Blaze Ballantine
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (87 pgs)
Other: M/F/M, Menage a Trois
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Oleander

When Marie Maxwell's cover as an international smuggler is blown, the Parisian operative is called back to Washington D.C. to be placed in protective custody. Jack Benson and Jack Reno are a pair of renegade federal agents assigned the difficult task of keeping her alive.

Although agency rules forbid romantic involvement between covert personnel, Jack, Marie, and Reno can't reign in the passion they feel for one another. Isolated from the world at Ghost Moon Ranch in Wyoming, both men realize they are falling in love with the sophisticated Parisian.

Marie has her hands full dealing with the two headstrong agents and her attraction to both of them. Knowing their relationship is as dangerous as the assassin hunting her, will she choose her career, or will she lose herself to the all-consuming fire they ignite within her? Ultimately, Marie discovers love, and the pleasure in holding a pair of Jacks.

Marie Maxwell is an international smuggler, so confident of her cover and abilities that she is oblivious to the fact that her cover has been blown. Not only that, but there is a plot to kill her. With ties to the US President, the feisty Parisian operative is forced into protective custody.

Marie is a strong confident woman, able to hang with the big boys and hold her own. That is, until sexy and fearless, if not a bit unorthodox, agents Jack Benson and Jack Reno are assigned to hold Marie in protective custody. Right from their first meeting there is a magnetism that pulls the three together, and the reader with them, as the seduction of Marie begins. Benson is a playboy and oh-so-charming, but hard-edged at times as well. With his outright suggestiveness, this makes for an explosive compilation. This only compliments Reno’s gentle and sweet personality and even sweeter words, words that Marie can’t ignore. Before long the three find themselves tangled in more than just the sheets.

Marie is confused and torn between the two, not understanding her attraction to both and therefore feels a little guilty. Benson is outrageously sexy and makes no bones about what he desires. As Marie’s hesitancy wanes her attraction to both men grow, even for the brooding Reno, whose sensitivities I couldn’t help but find appealing but still masculine at the same time.

A Pair of Jacks steams up the pages with its erotic tale of the stubborn Jack Benson, the gentle giant Jack Reno, and feisty Marie who can’t help but submit. This is an intoxicating and captivating love story between three unlikely people.

Dragon Storm: Dragon Knights by Bianca D’Arc

Dragon Storm: Dragon Knights by Bianca D’Arc
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (179 pgs)
Other: M/F, Ménage, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Fern

Their love will span the ages…and two very different worlds.

Dragon Knights, Book 6

Caught in a magical storm and deposited on modern-day Earth, twin dragon princes Darius and Connor are looking for a way home. Instead they find something most unexpected—their mate. The one woman who holds both their hearts in the palm of her healing hand—along with secrets about her origins that link their shared destinies.

When Josie patches up the injured man on her doorstep, her snowcat instincts tell her he’s much more than a man. And so is his brother. She also knows her dragon lovers cannot fly free on Earth. The only way to return them to their rightful place is to face the failures of her past, and leave the safety of her Oregon cabin to seek her estranged grandfather’s counsel. There she learns the painful truth: returning Darius and Connor to where they belong could mean giving up everything. Even her only chance for true love.

But fate has other plans for the trio. Magic swirls all around them. Whether it is for good or ill, only time will tell…

Warning: This book contains red hot twin action ménage a trois, a wild cat woman and two hunky dragon studs in black leather.

When twin dragon princes Connor and Darius awake following a storm that has sent them to an unknown world, they are stunned at the reality that greets them. Nothing is as it should be, and everything feels entirely wrong–until they meet the delectable snowcat shifter, Josie.

Biance D’Arc has managed to wow fans with the sixth book in her Dragon Knights series, and if you were as anxious as I was to read it, I am happy to report that you won’t be disappointed. Dragon Storm–aptly titled as our heroes, the dragon twins, Connor and Darius crash land to earth following one–will take you on a wild and exciting ride. Ms. D’Arc has a vivid imagination and uses her talent for imagery to craft a dimension that is portrayed so beautifully you’ll gleam visual glimpses of Draconia, as well as the varying creatures, races, shifters, and magic casters that inhibit the lush and vibrant realm.

I sat down to enjoy this offering over a cup of coffee, but didn’t get up for seconds until I was finished. Aside from a few minor inconsistencies, the story is wonderfully written and presented. And though there are characters from previous installments, you’ll follow along easily with just enough back history to keep the pace. The humor that arises as Connor and Darius struggle to adapt to this technologically advanced reality will have you chuckling, while the super-duper hot scenes will have you turning up the AC. The twisting and turning plot will keep you on the edge of your seat and, in true D’Arc fashion, wishing for more by the stories conclusion. There is so much more here than a tumble between dimensions. Each world is so complex, and so thoroughly developed, you can’t help but be transported and immersed.

A must read for dragon and fantasy fans, be sure to put Dragon Storm: Dragon Knights on your TBR list.

Stargazers 3: Wild by Anne Kane

Stargazers 3: Wild by Anne Kane
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Futuristic
Length: Short Story (61 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Review by Tiger Lily

Unfairly indentured, Stargazer Anaya plans her escape carefully, stowing away in a ship belonging to the cynical bounty hunter, Ryland. She just needs to avoid detection until the ship docks at the next port of call.

When Ryland discovers the beauty, he assumes she's a runaway sex slave and offers her a choice: be returned to her master or stay and serve his every desire.

What happens when you cross one Stargazer in slavery with one bounty hunter? Stargazer 3: Wild.

Ms. Kane writes an intriguing world where women are subservient, except the Stargazers. While it’s a big murky what the ship looks like, you feel the tension between the characters and the nervousness from Anaya. Although the plot is tight, you almost want more. There is a lot of sex, but you want to see the relationship develop beyond the physical attraction.

Anaya is a Stargazer – she harnesses the energy of the universe. But in her lifetime, she’s witness heinous acts and been the victim of abuse. She can help others, if she can only escape. But what if she runs into a handsome man in the process?

Ryland wants to capture a murderer out of selfish, not financial, reasons. As the hero, he acts tough, but has a soft underbelly. He also wants justice. Ms. Kane’s descriptions leave you wanting to run your hands all over him. And the fact that he’s willing to keep his sex slave safe is very sexy.

The love scenes in this story sizzle because you see the unspoken passion between them. What’s sexy beyond the actual act of copulation is seeing them work together for the common good. You want them to succeed and voice their love for each other.

If you want a steamy story for a cool night, then you want Stargazer 3: Wild. I give this story 3.5 cherries.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Magnolia Magick by Jessica Coulter Smith

Magnolia Magick by Jessica Coulter Smith
Publisher: Wild Horse Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (176 pgs)
Other: M/F, Multiple Partners
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Review by Tiger Lily

Lissa has travelled to a small town in southern Georgia to complete her latest novel. Having rented an antebellum plantation for the next six months, she hopes to find the peace she needs in order to meet her deadline. However, she didn’t count on sharing her temporary home with the resident ghost.

Jesse has been dead for almost one hundred years. In all of his time on earth, both living and spectral, he has never met anyone like Lissa. If he had a heart, it would have stopped beating the moment he saw her. Why couldn’t this passionate, beautiful, talented woman have come along while he was still alive? Jesse would love nothing more than to take Lissa into his arms and kiss her senseless.

No matter how hot Jesse may be, Lissa realizes she can’t have a relationship with a ghost. During a trip to town, she meets local bank owner, Jared. The sinfully handsome banker sweeps Lissa off her feet. He claims to love her and wants her to move permanently to the small town of Maple Falls. Things heat up quickly between the two, leaving Lissa a little confused over whether its love or lust that is driving them to be together.

When Jared finds out that Lissa casts spells and frequents a magick shop will he still stand by her side? Or will the hint of scandal send him running the other way?

She’s a writer who isn’t thrilled with her size. He’s a ghost who loves her anyway. Then there’s the other he... what’s a girl to do? Use Magnolia Magick, of course.

Jessica Coulter Smith writes an intriguing novel. Her characters each have their faults yet are human (well, as human as a ghost can act). You really feel like you are there at the Pearson mansion with them. The journey they go through is one of forgiveness and the realization that you must love yourself before you can truly love another. It’s also the story of love gone overboard and sideways.

That being said, as a heroine, you can’t help but admire Lissa. She writes erotica, but isn’t a very erotic woman. She’s happy being a bit plain, but not chubby. I like that she has issues because it makes her more interesting to the reader. Then again, there is a point where her ‘woe is me’ attitude is almost a story breaker.

Jesse makes a great hero because, even though he’s a ghost, he loves her—and does nearly from the moment he meets her. He doesn’t make excuses for her size and doesn’t try to change her. I like that he kept to his 100 year old upbringing—he’s a gentleman, but even then, it gets to be a bit much because he seems almost more interested in food than her.

As the antagonist, Jared is the man you want to love and then come to hate. Although I think it came a bit late, it kept me in the story. He’s perfect—which a good villain should be.

There are a few things that hamper this story. It’s fine to see what the hero and heroine are thinking, but to change point of view mid section made it hard to follow. Minor editing foibles, such as overuse of passive voice and a great bit of telling not showing also slowed the story down.

If you want a story that will warm your heart because it shows that true love does exist, then this is the story for you. I give Magnolia Magick 3.5 cherries.

Heat Seeker by Lora Leigh

Heat Seeker by Lora Leigh
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (352 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Review by Tiger Lily

John Vincent has always led a life of danger, and now he has every reason to want to remain as dead as the obituary in the Australian papers had proclaimed him to be. He’d left nothing behind in the life he had once led—except for one woman, and one night of unforgettable passion. Now, both will return to haunt him…

Bailey Serborne is still tormented by a past she can’t change and a man she hasn’t been able to forget. A man who was supposed to dead.. But now, a stroke of fate has revealed that sometimes, a woman is given a second chance to heal her heart—and exact the sweetest revenge…

Some men are born to lead. Other men are born to love. While others are born to die and come back again. Heat Seeker is one of those men who gets a second chance, not only with his life, but with his love.

First, I have to admit, I love Lora Leigh’s work. I find it easy to get lost in the pages of one of her stories and find myself three hours later needing a cold shower. Heat Seeker is not exception to this rule. Lora Leigh writes white hot passion that you can’t walk away from.

Once again, you are drawn into the world of the Elite Ops. This time we meet Bailey and John (formerly known as Trent). One night of passion five years earlier isn’t enough to curb their love for each other. When they reconnect, it’s blazing passion. Sound familiar? Perhaps, but this is their story.

I like that Bailey is strong willed. She knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go get it—be it the person who killed her folks or John. But what made me respect her wasn’t her tough façade, but her willingness to ask for help.

John comes across as a quandary. He was once Trent, the fun-loving SEAL. Now, he’s John, the emotionally wounded, ex-serviceman. I like that he’s the strong, silent type until he’s in bed—then the tiger is unleashed.

Although there are a few editing issues, one character changes names, and some minor typographical errors, I didn’t find them enough to deter me from reading and loving the characters. No, this isn’t up to Lora Leigh’s personal best, but it’s still a great story.

If you want a novel that will leave you hot, breathless, and wanting more, then you need to read Heat Seeker. I give this novel 4 cherries.

Egyptian Lust by Brenda Steele

Egyptian Lust by Brenda Steele
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy
Length: Short Story (76 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 cherries
Review by: Cherry Blossom

Aten, a shape-shifter, has just opened Imhotep's, a sex club for the citizens of Atlanta. Anyone can have their fantasies indulged, whether it's a little bondage play or group activities. Aten's tastes have always run to the dominant/submissive category. He dominates, she submits.

As a descendant of pharaohs, upon Aten's thirtieth birthday, the sun god will choose his mate for him. However, the sun god must have gotten it wrong, because Kym is nobody's submissive. Still, she's the hottest woman he's ever seen, and Aten decides to pull out every stop to make this dominatrix his. When Aten brings his half brother Brett to the mix, he's sure the three of them will have their every desire fulfilled.

Immortal gods don't stop meddling in mortals' affairs just because their people cease building temples to their glory. Aten Nasser discovers to his discomfort that the Egyptian god Ra has his future all arranged and that fate has more to do than free will with his choice of bed partner. For Aten Nasser is no ordinary man: he is a shifter, both man and panther, subject to rules beyond the earthly laws of men.

Secrets, danger, lust and violence stalk the three lovers in this exciting and hot novella. The sex is hot and satisfying, the emotions are true, and the resolution sufficiently heart-pounding. However, the writing lacks a little polish and the descriptions are a little sketchy. The emotional content could be more intense as well. Nevertheless, the sexual vibrations and the sensual atmosphere make it a pleasant read.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Livin' on a Prayer, Slippery When Wet by Jude Mason

Livin' on a Prayer, Slippery When Wet by Jude Mason
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (75 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Review by Plumeria

Logan White is released from prison after serving eight years in Corcoran for his part in a B & E where a man was killed. Enter Reverend Shane Grayson, a gay man of the cloth who helps find Logan a job, but that turns into a horror story. Can the two lovers find a way to be together or will the underbelly of society win this battle?

From page one we are instantly drawn into Logan's world. Ex-con, desperate for a job, we immediately feel his desperation as he searches for a job and avoids the temptations that will lead him to the streets and failure. But it's not without some dark humor. In one job interview, he describes the interviewer this way: “The man who spoke was fat, his t-shirt and apron were splotched with unidentifiable stains and he had body odor that’d drive buzzards off a crap wagon.” Can't you just see and smell this man?

I was a bit disoriented in the beginning not to know where this story takes place. I get no sense of where we are at all until he mentions Corcoran, which I know is a California state prison and not everyone is going to know that. I suppose some people don't care about where a story takes place, but I always like to know where I am, even if it's a made up setting. But one thing we do get is a sense of this man's need and desperation. All he wants is a chance – he paid his dues, now he wants to stay on the straight and narrow, but if no one will offer him that chance, what's a boy to do... I sensed he was getting close to breaking and there are underlying hints of violence – an interrupted robbery, a harshly sensual masturbation scene that brings home in some way the life of deprivation this man has suffered for the last eight or so years. But through it all, he wants to go straight. We can feel this and it makes us like him and want him to make it.

Then he has a run in with Reverend Shane Grayson, an immensely handsome man with the bluest eyes Logan has ever seen. It's immediately apparent that there is a sexual attraction there, at least on Logan's part. I can't help it -- at this point, I need to read on to see if I'm right and these two end up together. Certainly Logan is having impure thoughts about the reverend right from the start. It's unclear whether Shane feels the same, though he is very happy to help Logan in his search for a job and seems eager to do so.

There's a rawness to the narrative I really enjoyed. This is a story of an ex-con and as such it's not 'pretty' in language or setting. There's certainly nothing pretty about Logan, though he is ruggedly handsome, but nonetheless he's an intriguing character and almost immediately I'm drawn into his world and find myself rooting for him.

It isn't long before it becomes clear there is a strong attraction between Logan and Shane. Shane admits he's gay and is very attracted to Logan. They become lovers soon after this. I had an issue with the sex part –- don't get me wrong, it was hot, but all through it I kept thinking, this guy just got out of prison, neither one of the two men know each other from Adam, yet they freely engage in unsafe oral sex. I know we're told earlier that Logan was tested after leaving prison, but that only means he was disease free then, most diseases have an incubation period, plus he hasn't got a clue whether Shane has ever been tested. Front and center, it's unsafe sex no matter how you look at it and no one seems to notice. It's like they live in another world where these things aren't a consideration. Later when we see them have anal sex at least they use condoms, but even unsafe oral sex is problematic for me. But it's not an issue big enough to spoil the story, it's just something I noticed. Other readers may not care. It is, after all, fiction.

As a villain, Santino is a little too cardboard evil for my taste. He would have been more effective if he had had a little more nuance and depth to him. I find complex bad guys more appealing than cartoon ones who chew the scenery with their evilness.

The end was somewhat predictable. The only doubt I harbored was whether Logan would try to run away or tell Shane what was going on. But everything is settled in the end and it was a very satisfying ending. Not brilliant, but this is a fun, hot read that I would recommend for a cold winter night curled up in bed, alone or not.

The Christmas She Rules by Jennifer Leeland

The Christmas She Rules by Jennifer Leeland
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (54 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/F, Ménage, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Fern

Control is her kink…and she’s losing it.

It’s another gloomy Christmas for Pamela Dane. Not only is it the anniversary of a dark period in her life, but all her friends had the nerve to hook up. It’s not easy for a female Domme to find a playmate. Maybe The Cage in San Francisco will be the perfect place to escape—and find a willing man to chase away the memories.

Christian Nolan is at the BDSM club for the hell of it. Yet the minute Mistress Dane takes control of him, she not only stuns him with her talent, he stuns himself with his willingness to surrender. Her offer to meet him there for another night is intriguing—and frightening.

Pamela’s session with Chris shakes her to the core, resurrecting memories she’s afraid to face. But Chris isn’t willing to let her past haunt her…even if it leaves his heart in tatters.

Warning: Hot, strong man on his knees, which will bring you to yours. Strap-on action, anal play, lots of leather and tons of tension. Alpha male who likes to do whatever the right woman tells him to do, including another woman.

The Christmas She Rules is an in your face BDSM novella that offers plenty of sizzling hot sex and delivers a sucker-punch of unforeseen emotion.

The moment you meet Pamela, you’ll recognize that she’s damaged goods. She’s a Domme that fears her power and allows a past tragedy to mar any potential happiness she might experience in the arms of the perfect submissive. At times, you’ll resent and detest her, especially when she turns away from Christian and leaves him confused and devastated. When you learn the reason behind her actions, you’ll be both shocked and saddened. I honestly didn’t see it coming.

Christian is a man that has been on both top and bottom of the D/s power play. He’s searched for what it is he wants sexually but has yet to find. One intense encounter with Pamela reveals his true submissive nature. Unfortunately, she doesn’t offer him anything other than play in the strictest sense, and he’s forced to bend to her will on all things–including making love to another woman at her command.

It takes time, trust, and a willingness to move forward for Pamela to reveal herself and her past to Chris. She’s afraid he won’t tell her if she’s gone too far, and he’s afraid she won’t give him the opportunity to prove that he will always keep their play safe and consensual. Heartbreaking at times, it’s something I’ve rarely read about in BDSM work, and I found the concept novel and intriguing.

The only problem I had with the story is the declarations of love for one another at the stories conclusion. Some believe in the notion of love at first sight, but that isn’t the case here. It’s more of love at first D/s encounter. Aside from this, however, the material is well written and you’ll get just enough of a BDSM fix to keep you satisfied. Pamela is difficult to like at times, but redeems herself when she opens up. While Chris is oh-so yummy and loveable that you’ll want to take him home and keep him as your own special pet.

Fans of BDSM should put this one on their TBR list. The Christmas She Rules is a scorcher that engages the interest and keeps it from start to finish.

Lady M by Cheri Valmont

Lady M – Confessions of a Victorian Master 1 by Cheri Valmont
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand Publishing, Inc.
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (54 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 cherries
Review by Tiger Lily

In the straight-laced Victorian Era, Jason Featherington is the man fiancés, husbands, and fathers turn to when their unruly female relatives are too hard to handle. His specialty in the discipline of the fairer sex is renowned within the ton. He makes a fine living from his endeavors and certainly enjoys it.

Jason's current client, Lord M, is unable to get his wife with child because of her unusual sexual proclivities.

To help Lord M solve his dilemma, Jason must first learn the secrets of Lady M's initiation into the intimacies of the flesh. And with his observation of her with her initiator, and his own intervention, he is determined to assist Lord and Lady M deepen and enhance their relationship to a level neither dreamed possible.

What happens when a man wants love from his wife? He woos her. Does wooing her include time with a Master? In Lady M – Confessions of a Victorian Master, it sure does.

Cheri Valmont writes an interesting novella. Her characters love deeply, but don’t understand each other. Sounds odd? It’s not. The descriptions of the era, though a bit lean, still make the reader feel like he/she is part of the story. You want to see these characters work out the issues and still have a great time—in and out of bed.

Jason Featherington provides an interesting hero. He’s there to help those with sexual issues because he can reach them. I know, it sounds a bit off. He’s charismatic. You feel like he really cares. In the case of Lord and Lady M...he just might.

Though the plot is interesting, there are parts that are a bit hard to fathom—like the root of her sexual proclivity. I realize this story is set in a time period where sexual morays were restricting to women, but I still feel that if Lord and Lady M had the communication they claimed to, then the issues wouldn’t have been so dire. I also would’ve liked for Lady M to be a bit less hard on herself, but then again, that had to do with the times.

The love scenes scorch the screen. Jason’s voyeuristic tendencies and his ways of making people believe their prowess is indeed sexy.

If you want a steamy read for a cool night, then you need to grab a copy of Lady M – Confessions of a Victorian Master. I give this novella 4 cherries.

Dakota’s Cowboy by Leah Brooke

Dakota’s Cowboy – Dakota Heat Anthology 3 by Leah Brooke
Publisher: Siren Publishing Inc.
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (130 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 cherries
Review by Tiger Lily

While struggling to keep her ranch, Dakota Wells turns away the two sexy, hard-as-nails cowboys who come looking for work. But they won't take no for an answer and convince her to hire them. Little does she know how hard and fast she'll fall for them.

Joe Taylor and Colt Mason have their own reasons for wanting to work at her ranch. The man causing their new employer trouble is the same man who ruined their lives years ago. Thoughts of revenge have kept them going and they won't let anyone get in their way.

Protecting Dakota is easy. Protecting their hearts from the little spitfire is a lot more difficult.

When Dakota learns of their plan, she knows she must stop them, even though dreaming of payback has driven them for years. Can she convince them to give it up for a chance at a future with her?

She’s got land to protect. She’s got a man who wants her dead. She’s also got two men willing to lay down their lives to keep her safe—and in their bed. Who? Dakota’s Cowboys, of course.

Leah Brooke’s story takes place on farmland, lots of farmland. Horses, pastures, and ranch hands abound. Sounds like the making of a great story? It is. You feel like you’re really on the farm, helping the chores and keeping the land free from the bad guys.

As a heroine, Dakota won’t take guff from anyone, even the two farm hands she drools over. Sure, she’s a red-blooded woman, but when it comes to attitude, no one outshines Dakota. Although I like a take-charge heroine with a heart of gold, sometimes her crusty edge takes away from the story. But I respect her determination to do things her way.

You want alpha heroes? Look no further than Joe and Colt. Whew! They might not want to act on their attraction to Dakota, but when they do, it’s hot. They have a secret agenda when they come to her ranch, but the appeal of Dakota has them coming back for more than maybe they can handle.

The love scenes in this story sizzle. Even when they aren’t sure of each other—and they do jump into the sack a bit quick—you feel the building passion. From page one, you want them to find the love they feel for each other.

If you want a steam, and I mean scorch the pages off the screen hot, then you need to read Dakota’s Cowboys. I give this one 4 cherries.

Station 13 by Viola Grace

Station 13 by Viola Grace
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (34 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Kaylee has been alone on Station 13 since the Alliance declared it haunted by her spirit. What they didn't know is that her experiments with dimensional transport had trapped her between worlds, physical and psychic. Dirven arrives and she heaves a sigh of relief. In nerd she trusts. He is everything she remembered from research symposiums, and quite a bit more. She should be guilty for peeping in on him in the shower, but it is all for research, isn't it? Confident that he will be able to bring her back, she finally is able to experiment with her intangible form in a manner that brings both of them pleasure.

The Alliance has declared Station 13 haunted. They truly believe that the spirit of Kaylee haunts the station, and no one will work there. The truth is, Kaylee was conducting experiments in dimensional transport, and the last one went a bit wrong. Will Dirven be able to bring Kaylee back into the real dimension again? Is Kaylee ready to be with Dirven and help turn Station 13 into a training center for the Sector Guard? And will Dirven be able to bring Kaylee back all the way?

Viola Grace has a wonderful sense of the absurd. I say that with great admiration for her imagination and creativity. There are only two characters in this book for the most part, and yet I didn’t mind that at all.

When Dirven first arrives, he is determined to do things right. When Kaylee “visits” him in the shower, there is a heat level that jumps up a notch. Kaylee has been interested in more than Dirven’s brain for some time, and she is finally able to act on that attraction. When they first get together, in Dirven’s sleeping mind, it raises the heat again. And it is how they are able to finally make the breakthrough that will help bring Kaylee back.

I love that all of Viola Grace’s women are extremely strong and determined characters, and also that she doesn’t make them all cookie cutter women. Each of her characters is unique, and that goes for her men as well. If you want to take a quick trip to outer space for some fun and plenty of heat, stop and visit Station 13. I promise you will enjoy it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Eyes of the Wolf by Amanda Steiger

Eyes of the Wolf by Amanda Steiger
Publisher: Changeling Press LLC
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (73 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 cherries
Review by Mistletoe

Kaila is a princess, bound to a life of duty. She would do anything to save her people, even give herself to the barbarian leader of the Wolf Clan -- the fearsome half-demon wolf-shifter, Garou -- in exchange for the promise that he will leave her kingdom in peace. What she doesn't expect is to find passion and tenderness in his embrace, and to discover that inside the beast is a very human man.

Garou, the leader of the barbarian Wolf Clan, sees princess Kaila during one of his raids on a castle. He is so taken by Kaila that he demands the king give her to him and in return Garou will take his men and leave. Garou must decide on Kaila’s fate, will he send her back to her father or keep his prize?

Garou is taken aback by her love and loyalty. No matter how many times he tries to do what he believes is the right thing Kaila always comes back to him. Can Garou finally let Kaila love him or has time run out for the two as her father and his soldiers come upon them?

I enjoyed watching Kaila grow from a naïve-sheltered child and blossom into a strong woman. She stood by those she loved and let her heart guide her. Who could not love Garou with his brooding ways and with such a noble heart? He was always trying to do what was right for Kaila even when it hurts him to do so.

Amanda Steiger weaves a wonderful story that keeps you entertained from the very start. With characters full of emotion and an enticing plot Eyes of The Wolf is a quick hot read that should not be missed.

Shift Change by Hannah Beckham

Shift Work 2: Shift Change by Hannah Beckham
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (55 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Menage
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Review by Magnolia

With a unique chameleon-like ability, Trinity Staten's problems are more than skin deep. She has daddy issues. Her biological father, Jessia, would like nothing more than to see her dead, and her two lovers -- the fathers of her unborn child -- are letting their insecurities put a rift in their Triune threesome. All Trinity wants is to forget she's not human, keep the three of them safe, and get some nookie every now and then. Is that too much to ask?

When her lover Newton Price, telepath and all around hunka-hunka, disappears, Trinity is certain he's walked out on her. To make matters worse, Merlin Davitch, her other lover and best friend -- a tantalizing combination of geek and good looks -- is acting secretive and withdrawn. The power of the Triune should bring them all together, but Trinity has never felt more alone.

Circumstances are not what they seem. And when Trinity is forced into a showdown with Jessia it could bring a permanent end to all her issues.

This story had me from the beginning. I love shape shifters and Ms. Beckham has created some very interesting ones! Of course the idea of a woman being able to have two males as lovers who know about each other, have no problem living together and sharing the bed along sharing her is my idea of a perfect relationship!

It goes without saying that the story would be short lived if that was the entire tale, so not everything is perfect in Trinity’s life; not with lovers Merl and Newt, nor with her father, Jessia, who thought she'd died as an infant along with her mother. Now Trinity is pregnant by Merl and Newt and Jessia is out to kill her…good thing this girl knows how to hold her own!

This is a short read, but every page will have you on the edge of your seat wanting more, especially of those smoking hot sex scenes! Don’t miss this one!

Hands on Research by Pam Champagne

Hands on Research by Pam Champagne
Publisher: Siren Publishing Inc.
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (92 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/M, Ménage, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 cherries
Review by Tiger Lily

Librarian and erotica author Olivia Spencer's life takes a turn the night best-selling author, Reid Emery, shows up at her work during a ferocious snowstorm. He agrees to help liven her newest manuscript by giving her firsthand lessons in its subject matter.

When her boss, Brent Dresden, discovers her and Reid conducting hands on research, he steps in to ratchet the heat, and Olivia finds out the two sexy man share a past. Together, Reid and Brent introduce her to a world of pleasure she'd only dreamt about, but can Olivia find happiness with both of them?

What happens when you mix a prudish librarian with two sexy men? How about you throw in a few ghosts, a snowstorm, and erotic stories for good measure? Then you’d have Hands on Research.

Pam Champagne’s story grabs the reader from page one. You feel like you’re really there in Maine with them, stuck in the same blasted snow storm. You can almost smell the books and the roaring fire in the library as well.

I like the characters in this story. Each has their complexities and their inadequacies; all of which make the reader want them to find love and succeed. A couple times I think Olivia came across as a bit needy and fell into bed too quickly. But that helps move the story along.

As for the heroes, Brett and Reid, they are a study in opposites. Reid is take-charge, while Brent has some heart. You see their fears and their hang-ups and you identify with them as people. I think they had their rough moments, but it didn’t detract from the story. And then there are the ghosts and Reid’s tunnel vision determination to meet them. Eben adds a hint of mischief and lost love that advances the story.

Do you want to read steamy love scenes? Better find a copy of this novella. You’ll need a cold shower after reading. You feel the passion building between the three characters and you almost want to shout to them to get together, but it adds a nice bit of tension.

If you want a hot read, then be sure to pick up a copy of Hands on Research. I give this novella 4 cherries.

Purr-fect Seduction by H.C. Brown

Purr-fect Seduction Pride Brothers Series by H. C. Brown
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (91 pgs)
Other: M/F, Ménage, M/F/M, M/M/M, BDSM,
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Jill Morfranna, a sassy redhead from New York, is enjoying a photo shoot in the Scottish Highlands when she stumbles into an alternate realm. Trapped in a frightening world of strange creatures, her life turns upside down when a sinfully handsome shape-shifter kidnaps her. Will she win Dare of Knight Watch’s heart or will he trade her for his sister at the next slave auction?

H. C. Brown has created an alternate reality, with cat shifters, fae, and demons of all kinds. It is a superb world, filled with passion and romance. It is a primitive world, yet there is a civility there as well.

Jill is a sassy and smart-alecky young woman, always ready with a quick comeback for Dare’s commentary. Once she realizes she is more or less stuck where she is, she decides to make the best of it. Jill goes into this an innocent, and she trusts Dare to teach her about love and passion.

The scenes where Dare initiates Jill into the wonders of sex and desire are hot and well written. The secondary characters are given a real depth as well, making them more than place holders. Dare’s sister, her two mates Tallin and Aric, and the Fae King Nox are all wonderful creations. The world that H. C. Brown has built is one I want to visit again, and meet more new friends along the way.

Do Dare and Jill get their happy ever after? Pick up Purr-fect Seduction and find out.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Starting Over by Annmarie McKenna

Starting Over by Annmarie McKenna
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (85 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, M/M/M, Ménage
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Fern

Two years ago, Aaron lost his partner in a drowning accident. He's trying to move on, but letting go of the past, of the life they were building, is hard. One thing he knows he's not ready for is a new relationship, but Garrett and Dane are determined to change that.

Lifepartners Garrett and Dane, a cop and an ER doc, bring Aaron home after an accident. They're happy in their light Dom/sub relationship, fulfilled and in love, but they've been keeping their eyes open for a third. It doesn't take long for them to decide that wounded, pretty Aaron is exactly who they've been looking for.

The three get along great, but Garrett and Dane have their work cut out for them in convincing Aaron there's a time for starting over.

A man that is heartbroken over the loss of his lover meets two men that are looking for the third to complete them. Thus is the premise of Starting Over, a startlingly beautiful and emotional novella about second chances, letting go, and coming full circle.

From the moment I met the first character, Garrett, I was in love. Of course, his lover–the gorgeous Doc himself, Dane–and the young man that enters their life after a horrific motorcycle accident–the thoroughly yummy and lovable Aaron–aren’t too shabby either.

Each one of them will sweep past your defenses and lodge themselves firmly in your heart. I think that’s what’s so fantastic about this story. The sex is without a doubt hot-egg-on-asphalt hot, while the emotional scenes will have you reaching for the nearest box of Kleenex. It’s not about three men, a ménage, or even finding a third. It’s about sensing something special in someone and opening your heart and soul to them, believing that something good can and will come from something devastating.

A must read for ménage lovers, especially those in the market for a solid m/m/m romance. Be sure to put Starting Over on your TBR list if you haven’t already. Annmarie McKenna has written something that stands out in the genre, and I’m delighted I was the reviewer that was given the opportunity to read it. I can’t wait to read more of her work in the future.

Divine Deception by Nina Pierce

Divine Deception by Nina Pierce
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (70 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Review by Cholla

Nicholas is returning to the family vineyard after nearly a decade away. A quick trip to the lawyer to collect the trust fund that’s rightfully his and he can wash his hands of the alcoholic father who disowned him years ago. A romp or two with the cellarmaster’s assistant shouldn’t complicate things.

Francesca has given her heart and soul to Mill Tavern Vineyards, working tirelessly in its wine cellars. Now the greedy son of her stepfather is coming home to take it all from her. Manipulating her way into the playboy’s bed may be the only way to save her home.

But hot sex quickly becomes an affair of the heart as Francesca and Nick get tangled in lies and deceit trying to discover the truth behind the failing vineyard.

When Nick returns home after many years of being away, he knows things aren’t going to be good, but he has no idea just how bad they are. His life, his past, and his future are all about to disappear… Will his estranged family pull itself together in time to save the vineyard and themselves? Time will only tell.

Nicholas Gardin IV had it all at one time, until a disagreement with his father caused him to walk away from the family business – and the family fortune. Now, he’s suddenly called back home without reason and finds something really unsettling happening there. I was impressed how he handled himself and tried his hardest not to let his father get under his skin. He’s the kind of man you can depend on in a pinch. There were times his anger did get the better of him, but for the most part he held it together like a pro.

Francesca has everything to lose. While not a blood relation of the Gardin family, she has come to call them family and love her life at the vineyard. Majoring in agricultural studies, she helped turn an ordinary grape into something very special. However, she becomes overly defensive and a trifle over the top when she discovers that Nick is on his way home to meet with his father. While I couldn’t stand her attitude in the first third of the story, she did begin to warm up and become more real about halfway through. However, like the attitude or not, she had every right to feel the way she did.

Together, Nick and Frankie make a dynamic couple just waiting to explode… either with passion or into an argument. Banded together, along with Frankie’s mother, Carmine, I highly doubt that any obstacle could keep them from achieving their goal. In true Nina Pierce style, the story is chock full of emotion, family ties, and steamy, hot sex making for one heck of an enjoyable read.