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Friday, January 22, 2010

Nashville Naughty by Bethany Michaels



Nashville Naughty by Bethany Michaels
Publisher: Ravenous Romances
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Full Length (183 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Bad girl Becca Shaw likes her men hot, hard and temporary. But when Dillon Phillips, lead guitarist of an up-and-coming Nashville band, moves in to help her make rent, what starts off as a simple financial arrangement soon gives a whole new meaning to "staying in" for the night.

Full of long autumn nights and plenty of Southern heat, the new arrangement is just another in a string of naughty adventures for Becca. But Dillon's desires run deeper and once commitment-phobic Becca realizes she might not be ready to give up her hot cowboy lover, she has to face not only demons from her past but one very unexpected development threatening their future.

Rebecca “Becca” Shaw is a love ‘em and leave ‘em kind of girl, except there is no love involved. Becca’s dysfunctional family background has made her decide love is for saps, and she is no sap.

When her roommate and best friend finds the love of her life, Becca is one roomie short. Nice guy Dillon Phillips is a guitar player in the band Road Kill, and the only male in Nashville that hasn’t seen Becca naked. When they decide to share Becca’s apartment, things seem to be working out terrific. At least Becca thinks so. But Dillon has started to feel things for Becca, things she will want no part of if she finds out. Can Dillon keep his growing feelings to himself to keep Becca’s friendship? Can Becca ever change, and return Dillon’s feelings? Will Dillon live down to Becca’s expectations and disappoint her, like everyone else has in her life?

Becca Shaw is definitely a character. Strong and independent, she takes no prisoners. But there are flashes of the vulnerability she tries so hard to hide, throughout the story.

Dillon is the classic Mr. Nice Guy; sweet, dependable and honest through and through. Bethany Michaels has created a wonderful twist on the love story. Instead of the “nice” girl changing the bad boy, she gives us the reverse. And it works. Becca is wonderful and fun, and Dillon is a surprise to her as well. The sparks between them are hot, and when Becca finally gives in to Dillon and her own urges, the action is volcanic.

There are some twists on the way to the happy ever after, but they do get there. I love Becca and her dysfunctional sister and mother, and the story is one I really enjoyed. I would recommend this to anyone who wants something just a little bit different. It is a terrific reading experience and hot, hot, hot.

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear by Michelle Cary



It Came Upon A Midnight Clear by Michelle Cary
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (78 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Spanking
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Emotionally battered and broken by a vicious divorce, newly single and nearly destitute Abby Dalton has little choice but to return to her childhood home and reassemble the shattered pieces of her life. She knows her presence in the tiny town will cause old rumors to resurface, but with only a few thousand dollars as recompense and no job, she has nowhere else to go.

As she arrives into town, old ghosts return, bringing with them long dormant desires and the shame those desires caused. Resolved to start fresh despite her past indiscretions, Abby slowly settles into her new life. Then a fire destroys her home and places her in the capable hands of twins Talon and Teagan Werner; gossip and speculation runs wild through the town. Anticipating rebuke from the men she’s adored for so long, she tells them the truth about everything. Instead, she finds acceptance in both their arms and beds. The last thing she expected going home is love, but Abby finds a love to last a lifetime, once upon a midnight clear.

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear is a sexy erotic novella ménage fans are sure to enjoy.

When the emotionally battered Abigail Dalton returns home after a ten-year absence, she’s eager for a fresh start. Newly divorced, her self-esteem is understandably low, and she needs to rebuild her confidence. Unfortunately, her sexual fantasy to share the bed of the delectable Werner twins was shared by a loud-mouthed friend in High School, forcing her to flee her religiously devout hometown in the first place. Since those that reside in Bethlehem have long memories, she’s certain they remember her shame. On her first night back in her childhood home, a fire starts, and the first person on scene is the one of the twins she desired long ago. Now it’s Talon’s turn to confess his feelings, and while he might share Abby with his brother Teagan to fulfill her fantasy, he wants the beautiful girl he never forgot to love him and him alone.

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear is a well written and fast paced story that will entertain you from beginning to end. Abby is a sympathetic character you’ll root for, while Talon and Teagan will make you sizzle like an egg on hot summer asphalt. I enjoyed the ménage scenes and interaction with the trio, but the best part of this story is the romance between Abby and Talon. They’ve wanted one another for a long time, and now that they are free to explore their innermost desires, a lot of sexual healing takes place.

If you want a ménage with a little something extra, It Came Upon A Midnight Clear doesn’t disappoint. Be sure to put this sinfully delicious story on your TBR list.

Jesse’s Brother by Wendy Ely



Jesse’s Brother by Wendy Ely
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (113 pgs)
Other: M/F/M, Ménage
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Cherokee Rose

One woman, two men: a single summer to choose between them.

Sacrificing a summer to fix her relationship with her mother and find out what’s troubling her father isn’t so bad...right? Wrong. Or so Samantha learns upon her return to Portland.

As if family drama wasn’t bad enough, first comes Noah. Then comes Jesse. Samantha is torn between the way her heart skips a beat each time Noah looks at her, and the way Jesse’s touch make her yearn for more.

Jesse’s Brother can be summed up in two words: Love Triangle. Actually it can be summed up in three, because it is a very interesting love triangle. If you like ménages that don’t come together with ease, then you will love this book. The plot is attention grabbing and so are the characters.

Samantha, Noah and Jesse are all battling their own inner demons. When the three of them are in one room it can seem pretty crowded. Samantha has returned home under very unfavorable circumstances. She has enough on her mind even before she runs into Noah first, and then Jesse. She isn’t sure which of the two comes with more trouble, she just knows both of them do.

Jesse’s Brother is a great read and I highly recommend it. The characters are multi-dimensional and as a reader I could relate to them on several levels. I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out who the heroine should choose.

What I love about Ms. Ely’s plot is that it focused on the three characters. There were no irrelevant moments in the book for me. I simply could not put this book down and was sad when I read the last page. I wasn’t disappointed in the story, only the fact that the story ended. I am now a fan of Ms. Ely and can’t wait to read more of her work.

Love’s Alchemy by Ciar Cullen



Love’s Alchemy by Ciar Cullen
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (179 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by Fern

She holds the key to unlock his past—or unleash hell.

Sidra Patmos has the ability to see the real underbelly of lower Manhattan—a horrifying world where wraiths, demons and a few quirky mortals battle for supremacy. Desperate, she seeks out a paranormal researcher to tell her why her life is a waking nightmare.

Instead of answers, her meeting with the dark and irresistible Van Barlowe unleashes a chain of events far more dangerous than her blackest visions. And a desire she can barely manage to hold at arm’s length.

After three desperate centuries, Van has finally found the Alchemist—Sidra. Somewhere locked deep inside her lies the knowledge that will rescue his family from ruin. The only way to reawaken her abilities is to hold his enemies at bay long enough to convince her to step through the mists of time.

Redemption waits there, and a timeless bond ignited by the undeniable pull between them. The missing ingredient: Sidra’s willingness to risk that Van’s attraction runs deeper than sexual chemistry…

Love’s Alchemy is unlike any story I’ve ever read. Although impossible to summarize properly, I’ll attempt to do so nonetheless.

Consider this: Isaac Newton, renowned scientist, has managed to unlock the mystery of creation. Upon discovering the way to make life everlasting, he created twelve children. Now, a handful of those children search for the reincarnation of their creator to sever the curse he placed upon them on his death bed. Only, the odds of doing so are slim to none, their time is running out, and the woman they believe might have the power to ensure their salvation has no idea who she is, and better still, who she once was.

Thus is a base premise of a paranormal story that is so much more. I became thoroughly enraptured in the mysticism created by Ciar Cullen. This isn’t a simplistic tale with minimal plot. Rather, you have a fascinating concept that blooms into a romance that is so much more than you initially perceive. When Sidra meets Van, it’s apparent there is a history she remains unaware of – you just have no idea how far back that history goes. As the story progresses and you learn the truth, it’s both mind-boggling and completely unexpected. I stopped trying to figure out what was going to happen next and took the ride as intended. The result was an exhilarating journey that is both captivating and emotional. I adored the characters, the plot, the twists and turns, and the new slant on immortality. Although I would love to lavish more praise and provide more details, I won’t because the story is best enjoyed when you don’t know the specifics. Trust me.

Reader’s who enjoy fresh paranormal concepts will appreciate Love’s Alchemy for the sheer brilliance of the work. It’s been a long time since I’ve read something so novel, and for that reason alone I think everyone should give this unforgettable story a read. The writing is stellar, the dialogue is witty and tongue-in-cheek, and the love between Sidra and Van is enough to span lifetimes.

Be sure to put Love’s Alchemy on your TBR list. This is one story you don’t want to miss.

Make Mine Midnight by Annmarie McKenna



Make Mine Midnight by Annmarie McKenna
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (59 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F/M, Ménage
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

New Year’s resolutions have never looked so good.

New Year’s Eve. The party is rockin’, and Claire is in her usual spot holding up the wall. It’s all right. She’s much happier scribbling in her trusty little notebook than mingling. Especially since those notes turn into the sexy erotic romances she pens in secret. Those two gorgeous gods across the room are perfect hero material and…oh dear, are they headed her way?

Mason and Hunter know she won’t remember them as the scrawny geeks they were in high school. She also doesn’t know they’ve been lusting after her for ten long years, waiting for her to meet a man and have a normal relationship. They’re through waiting. The time has come to make their move—and show her exactly how much they’ve changed.

One night in the middle of a Mason/Hunter manwich, and Claire has enough research material to fill a hundred notebooks. Good thing she’s got OfficeMax on speed dial to order more. Except suddenly her two hunks have this crazy idea that keeping her is selfish. Selfish? She may be mousy, but this mouse is about to roar…

Take two once-upon-a-time nerds who went from geek to chic, add in a mousey woman who learns to roar, and you have Make Mine Midnight; a fantastic novella that gets the blood pumping while tugging at those all important heart-strings.

Though I expected a sexy ménage, I didn’t foresee the stigma of plural relationships playing such a pivotal role in the story. Mason and Hunter, while in love with Claire for well over a decade, haven’t considered the ramifications of taking things to the next level. I was pleasantly surprised at the very effective scene in which Hunter realizes the negative impact of public displays of affection between the three and balks at the notion of hurting Claire. Of course, Mason is aware as well, and they mutually decide to let Claire go before her reputation and feelings are affected. When Claire informs the two that she’ll make her own decisions, and embraces the life they could share, the three face a loving, if uncertain, future. Considering the length of the material, the subject matter is presented beautifully, and I was most certainly impacted by the message. Claire, Mason, and Hunter are meant to be together, even if the world isn’t quite ready to accept the fact that love comes in all forms.

Aside from a few instances when awkward word choice and sentence structure slowed the story, the material was tightly written. Annmarie McKenna knows how to manipulate the heart and create fascinating and multifaceted characters, while kicking up the heat and making the reader sweat.

Make Mine Midnight is a wickedly naughty pleasure readers are sure to enjoy.

One Sweet Night by Marilyn Lee



One Sweet Night by Marilyn Lee
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (147 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

After struggling to accept the end of her ten-year marriage, Jule Grey's best friend convinces her to start dating again. Finding the dating prospects for forty-year-old women thin, Jule reluctantly agrees to a blind date. One look at the sexy, delivery boy, Daniel, and she's certain the coming night will be very sweet.

Daniel surprises Jule by his insistence on extending their one-night stand beyond the weekend. Despite their mutual attraction, Jule battles her fear of Daniel's reaction to the secret that ended her marriage. She doesn't know that Daniel is also guarding a secret he's reluctant to share with her.

Marilyn Lee writes with such heat in this story of a younger man with an older woman. But she makes it work without really playing the “cougar” card. I liked that she didn't feel the need to do so.

Jule is a beautiful, sensuous forty-year-old, but has put her needs on the back burner since her divorce two years ago. She is a bit “gun shy” in the romance department because she comes with some baggage. But Daniel has baggage of his own as well. When they discover that what they feel is more than a passing attraction, Jule is finally ready to move on and accept what Daniel has to offer, although at first she is worried about their differences.

Jule is a strong black woman, well defined and believable. A true joy to read and someone I'd like to know. Daniel is the very image of the young, white stud, but as they progress, many layers are revealed, making him older than his years. It made the story so much more enjoyable that he was so mature beyond his years. When Jule runs into her ex., Karl, who left her for a younger woman who could give him children, Jule realizes she is finally over him and is ready to move on. Who better to help her to do so than Daniel? I enjoyed the heat between Jule and Daniel. The passion in the sex between Jule and Daniel is so hot, I checked my fingers from time to time for blisters.

If you enjoy blazing hot sex, talking dirty and finding love later in life, this one is most definitely for you.

Out Of The Fire by Ariel Tachna



Out Of The Fire by Ariel Tachna
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (273 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M/M, M/M, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Evan Nichols likes his nice, quiet life in Boston. An established and respected Dom in the BDSM scene, he isn't looking for a sub, a slave, or a 24/7 relationship. Then a phone call from his best friend and fellow Dom, Rhys Calhoun, shakes up his comfortable routine. Rhys needs Evan’s help to rehabilitate an abused sub—a sub Rhys has fallen in love with. Evan has misgivings, but he could never say no to Rhys, any more than Rhys would ever refuse to help him.

Before he knows it, Evan finds himself at Rhys's home in Las Vegas with a sub who can barely stand to be in the same room with him and a Dom whose emotional involvement threatens his control. Add in the sexual attraction that's always simmered between Evan and Rhys, and it's a situation that has the potential to go very, very wrong. Determined to heal both Takoda and Rhys, Evan doesn't realize how many assumptions about his own life will be called into question as he tries to help them find their way forward together.

Out Of The Fire is a story that addresses the darker side of BDSM, delving into what happens when the sex isn’t safe, sane, or consensual.

When Evan Nichols is asked to help with an abused sub, he reluctantly agrees. Although he doesn’t know how he can possibly help, the person doing the asking is his childhood best friend Rhys, and the damaged sub is the man Rhys would have as both a lover and a partner. Upon Evan’s arrival in Nevada we meet Rhys, a fellow Dom who has a shaky grasp on his emotions. He explains Takoda’s situation, as well as the circumstances that left him broken and bloody in the basement of a sadistic Dom. As the tentative plan is hatched to aid in Takoda’s recovery, Evan and Rhys will have to gain Takoda’s trust and show him the true joys and pleasures of BDSM. Which isn’t easy since trust is essential and Takoda isn’t quite ready to place his into anyone’s hands.

I love a story with strong emotional impact and wounded characters, and there is plenty of that offered in Out of the Fire. From the moment you meet Takoda, you know it’s going to be an uphill climb. He’s been tortured, humiliated, and finds it next to impossible to remain in the presence of anyone but Rhys. As Rhys can’t shake the image of Takoda in the dungeon after the police saved him, he too needs Evan’s help to get centered and trust in his abilities to care for and nurture the sub he’s fallen in love with. It’s a tricky progression, and requires some intense sessions in the playroom, followed by stark and upfront conversation directly after.

I feel it only fair to mention that Out Of The Fire, while erotic, isn’t truly a romance. While it can be debated that Rhys and Takoda offer the romantic foundation, the story is told through Evan’s POV, therefore it didn’t resonate as such. Rhys, Takoda, and a sub Evan becomes involved with at probably three-quarters of the way into the story, provide a minute amount of it, but if you’re looking for a tale with a strong romantic presence, you might be disappointed. What you will find is the journey of a couple on the long and difficult road to recovery and trust, and Evan’s realization that perhaps it’s time for him to find a permanent sub and partner of his own.

Out Of The Fire isn’t an easy BDSM read, but it’s one I’m sure fans will enjoy. If you like darker tales on the D/s spectrum, I’d recommend you give this one a try. The material is well written and the characters are carefully developed. You get to know Evan, Rhys, and Takoda, as well as take deep glimpses into their pasts. There were several instances when the plot lulled and lost my interest, but I continued on and settled back into the story comfortably. The themes are rather dark and can become discouraging, but make the outcome all the more worthwhile. This is the kind of story that takes a lot out of you, even as it provides hope for all the characters by the end of the final page.

Pirate Booty by John Simpson



Pirate Booty by John Simpson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (75 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Armed with a royal commission, former Royal Naval officer Captain Blain Stillwater undertakes a new adventure as a privateer in the Caribbean, charged with combating pirates and the Spanish. But while the commission includes a ship—it doesn't include a crew. A search of London's Newgate prison provides Stillwater his crew, but not his officers or a cook. Luckily he discovers Todd Myers, an experienced cook who spends his days in the galley... and his nights in the Captain's cabin. But danger stalks the ship in the form of the Spanish, and life at sea is never smooth sailing.

Pirate Booty takes a reader on a short sea jaunt, relatively speaking, which showcases the realities of a life lived aboard ship for months at a time and the choices one makes to get through it.

The main character is Captain Blain Stillwater. Back in the day, his love preference would have been a death sentence. Mr. Simpson paints an interesting picture of what it would be like if a man were given a chance to do a job he excels at which then enables him to love who and how he loves best.

The build up for the purpose of the story, the matter-of-fact delivery and clear descriptive details of the preparations for the ship’s departure were well done. The story had that strong flavor; it’s a man’s world, harsh and demanding. The writing made it evident and clear. The scene that delivers the promise of action that a reader knows is coming from the beginning of the book was condensed to deliver the goods without going off on a tangent. I enjoyed that section a lot. The hazy part for me as a reader came from not getting a sense of Blain the man. The story hit me as partly narrative in nature without getting a good glimpse at what passions truly drive a man like Blain, other than lust. That being said, Mr. Simpson did allude to the fact that perhaps Captain Stillwater isn’t comfortable or perhaps is not fluent in admitting to the softer emotions like love. Would he recognize it if he felt it?

It seems a small flame of true connection exists within the hale and swarthy Blain because I believe he makes a choice to arrange for an opportunity for its growth. If so, then perhaps there’ll be another installment between Blain and the man who reaches him as no other has before. I’d like to think that there would be a more romantic flavor or tone in the next one. And yes, I’d actually like to read another because of the carrot left dangling called the ‘fate of Billy’.

As it is, Pirate Booty holds the current promise of a hopefully ever after while exploring the joys of physical discovery and open acceptance in a world where it’s usually hidden, not discussed, and socially dangerous. The story moves at a steady pace and kept my interest due mostly to a well constructed tale. Sure, I wanted more from inside Blain’s head but the story told in Pirate Booty was definitely worth reading.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Holiday Bound by Beth Kery



Holiday Bound by Beth Kery
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (99 pgs)
Other: M/F, BDSM
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

The Oedipal Complex has never been so sexy…

Alex Carradine can’t believe his father wants to come and visit his ski resort. Could it be that after so many stormy years, “slick Mitch” Carradine wants to offer an olive branch? Maybe the old man is mellowing, settling down with the new lover he’s bringing along.

Then Alex realizes the acid truth. This is no warm family visit. His father’s new conquest is none other than the woman of Alex’s sexual fantasies, meant only to dangle tauntingly in front of his face. At least an unexpected blizzard has frozen his father out of the picture entirely.

Angeline Kastakis was looking forward to taking the next step in her relationship with Mitch. Too late, she realizes she’s been led into a familial battle zone. Now it’s Christmas and she’s marooned in a blizzard with an insolent, gorgeous hunk of man whose blazing blue eyes tell her loud and clear he wants her in his bed. Preferably tied to it with a bow.

There’s no escape in sight. But as Alex stirs her secret longing to be mastered by a man, escape is the last thing on her mind…

Beth Kery has written a complex story of romance, and pleasure, and family dysfunction at its best. I found this to be an interesting and complex tale of love, desire, and confused loyalties.

Angeline wants to think the best of Mitch and his intentions, but she also realizes she wants Alex any way she can get him. But she doesn’t trust Alex when he says that he cares for her, and is not just using her to get back at Mitch. Can Alex convince her he wants her for herself and not as punishment for his father’s past treatment? As Angeline gets to know Mitch in the isolated cabin, she realizes Mitch misled her about Alex in many ways.

I enjoyed watching Angeline learn about Alex, and lose some of the preconceived notions she picked up from Mitch. Angeline is a smart, strong and independent woman, and the things Alex makes her feel are new to her. She shows courage, by not running away, even while she doubts the motives behind Alex’s actions. When the confrontation between Mitch and Alex comes, as we all knew it would, it is a revelation to all of them. Does Angeline find her happy ever after? Of course, but the journey there is so hot, I couldn’t understand how they could keep the snow from melting. This is definitely a different holiday story, but one well worth reading.

Indian Blood Moon by Jaxx Steele



Indian Blood Moon by Jaxx Steele
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Halloween
Length: Short Story (32 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Small town reporter Dante Tyler lives his mundane life wishing for something more. When he is sent to cover a Halloween party for his newspaper, he finds that the most horrible encounter of his life turns out to be the best thing that ever happened to him.

Indian Blood Moon combines a Halloween party gone horribly wrong with a love foretold by destiny.

Dante is a good reporter who is prevented from finding hints about the truth by the very perpetrator of the villainy. He’s a smart man but he’s lonely too. You wouldn’t think such a robust and handsome man could be a victim. But as we all know, if someone is focused on causing a person harm, they’re going to be planning and plotting for all eventualities; and for the victim, it’s going to seem sudden and unexpected. How do you guard against that? Sometimes for all of your brawn, your alertness and your intelligence, it’s just not enough and you can’t.

Magnus is Dante’s hero. Also lonely, he has an important role and duty to fulfill. Once a reader finds out about the patience and hope Magnus lived with, it’s quite romantic. For Magnus, living was like being in a long dark tunnel with the promise of the light at the end his only source of strength. It’s almost tragic the length of time he lived like that. Yet, he makes the most of the situation when he realizes that Dante is his light.

Although Indian Blood Moon is short, it condenses the most important aspects of two lovers meeting and a solid connection for their assured HEA, of which both men most surely deserve. The conflict is just enough to give meaning to the plot and the presentation of their getting together without diffusing what is essentially, a story of true love being realized. The man-love is sensual, hard and fast and a reader is left with the impression that Dante is going to be living a dream come true. For me, that makes a satisfying read.

Pure Sin by Rynne Raines



Pure Sin by Rynne Raines
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (150 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Whips. Blindfolds. Restraints. And a man rumored to be the most skilled Dom in the city... As the BDSM instructor at the hottest fetish club in Los Angeles, Bianca Alexander prides herself on being open, honest, and informative with her clientele when it comes to kink. The fact that she hasn’t knelt before a master of her own in four long years doesn’t affect her ability to teach, though a part of her longs to be back in her Dom's arms. But when her boss hires Cade Sinclair--her primary rival from a competing club--to assist teaching her classes, Bianca’s comfortable solo act becomes a sinful duet drenched in Pure Sin.

Lies and misunderstandings have kept Cade and Bianca apart for four long years. They work at rival clubs not knowing about each other until a fateful day when Cade sees her. Not realizing the effect she still has on him and hoping to get the closure he needs Cade makes a deal with Bianca’s boss Evan. As Bianca and Cade get reacquainted neither of them can resist the strong attraction to each other. Yet the lies and misunderstandings continue to dog the couple. Will they ever be able to find their happy ever after or will mistrust and their fear keep them apart?

Cade is the only man who can read Bianca and know just what she needs. Bianca is the only woman who has ever been able to make Cade lose control. The two seem to be made for each other and now if only they would let go of their pride and let their feelings show they could have everything. It seems that every time either one decides to let their guard down fate intervenes and the walls go right back up.

Rynne Raines writes a wonderful story with many ups and downs. Pure Sin is a fast-paced story that keeps the reader glued to the pages from the beginning. Cade and Bianca’s relationship is a very erotic read. With very strong elements of BDSM behavior in it this story is a hot read. This author does a good job of giving a glimpse into understanding the needs of Bianca and Cade and the depth of their emotions. I truly enjoyed this book and will be looking for more from Rynne Raines in the future.

Guard My Baby by Rebecca Savage



Guard My Baby by Rebecca Savage
Publisher: Carnal Desires Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (236 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

A whirlwind romance with Cade Sheridan, a virile, fascinating lover who has an intense affair with Lainie Blanford and then leaves her, results in Lainie’s becoming pregnant. Threatened by a devious, clever, dangerous madman who wishes to kill her baby because he thinks it is the spawn of Satan, Lainie hires a security expert, who sends a bodyguard to her home. The bodyguard turns out to be Cade: the father of her baby. Stunned by the revelation that he is a father, Cade develops a fierce resolve to protect both Lainie and his child.

Psychotic Drayton Clausen hears voices he believes to be those of God and of Satan. Convinced that he must track down and kill all the babies that resulted from his donation of sperm to a sperm bank, Drayton embarks on a killing spree. In his darkly twisted mind, he loves Lainie, while hating her baby. Unaware of Drayton’s mental instability, Lainie considers him a friend, but Cade senses that Drayton is a weird, unstable personality.

Sure that he can never love or trust any woman again, after his ex-wife aborted his child, Cade struggles with the potent emotions generated by his proximity to the lovely, desirable woman for whom he feels both lust and affection. Equally disturbed by her need to allow Cade to live in her home and guard Eli, her daughter, Lainie struggles with the conflict arising from her newly revived love for Cade and her belief that his past experiences have destroyed his ability to love a woman.

When the threats become outright attacks, Cade fights to keep all of them safe. The suspense builds, as Drayton’s dementia takes on an ominous new twist. Cade and Lainie struggle not only with their feelings for each other, but also with harrowing fear, until their story reaches an exciting climax.

Sometimes life hands you things you don’t think you can handle. Through humility and no other choice, you deal. But what do you do when the very person who helped cause your problems makes them worse in very sexy ways?

You need to read Guard My Baby to learn more.

Rebecca Savage writes an interesting story that draws the reader in from page one. You feel Lainie’s draw to Cade. He’s sexy and a foreboding alpha male, but that’s what makes him interesting. The fact that the one time they make love without a condom nature does as intended adds a good amount of tension and conflict to the story.

Although there were times I felt Lainie was a bit too forgiving and almost wishy-washy in her acceptance of Cade, I liked her determination to see the pregnancy through. At the same time, I wanted to thump Cade for being thickheaded, but that made him real – who doesn’t know someone who has the best thing in life and can’t see it? When Cade and Lainie are together, the sparks fly and it’s a great thing to witness.

I’ll admit there were times when I thought things came a bit easy for Lainie, but I could identify with her struggles.

As for the antagonist, he can be a bit hard to follow, but easy to hate. Ms. Savage writes the kind of bad guy you can’t help but hate even when you kind of want to help him be a better person.

If you want a story that will stick with you long after the last page, then you need to read Guard My Baby. I give this story 4 cherries.

Soft As Moonlight by JA Saare



Soft As Moonlight by JA Saare
Publisher: Amira Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (83 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily


Lycae Wolfe Trevlian returns to New Orleans to appease the vampyren harboring a grudge against his kin. The agreement is simple – destroy the creature killing off their brethren and the death of their Master is forgiven.

Dhampir Arden Moran has waited decades to avenge the murder of her friend. There is just one problem – the Lycae sent to intercept her.

One touch tells Wolfe that Arden is his mate. When vampyren hire assassins to finish the job he didn't complete, he is forced to become an Alpha strong enough to protect her - as well as the pack that needs him.

Sometimes the past is meant to stay in the past. Other times someone has to make up for the past. When it comes to the story of Arden and Wolfe, the past is very important, but might be better left forgotten when the future is so much sexier. Want to know more? Then read Soft As Moonlight.

JA Saare writes great paranormal stories. The way she intertwines characters and brings back ones from other stories keeps the reader enthralled right through to the last page. Her males are strong and captivating, while the heroines aren’t afraid to kick some serious butt. I love an independent heroine.

I like how Saare interweaves the types of vampires and paranormal creatures to make her characters. Instead of magically explaining away how her vamps walk in sunlight, she creates a new order. In my opinion, it’s unique and fun.

Now the love scenes in this story sizzle, even if they come a bit quick. I so wanted to see Wolfe take her, but I found his restraint sexier. I also love how Arden wants to want him, wants to hate him, and can’t ignore her baser instincts to take him. Whew! Where’s the cold shower?

If you want a story that’s guaranteed to make you squirm and sizzle, then you need to read Soft As Moonlight. I give this novella 5 cherries.

Some Like It Rough by Kate Pearce, Susan Lyons, and Anne Rainey



Some Like It Rough by Kate Pearce, Susan Lyons, Anne Rainey
Publisher: Kensington Aphrodisia
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (183 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Take a walk on the wild side with these steamy stories of erotic ecstasy…

Some Like it Rough by Kate Pearce
Luke Warner wants to chill out when he cashes in his stocks and returns to his hometown. But things heat up when he reunites with his best friends, Julia and Paul, and invites them both to share in a sexual adventure like they’ve never had before…

Private Eyes by Susan Lyons
Assigned to work undercover as an exotic dancer, straight-laced Haley Croft discovers the thrill of strutting her stuff. And when she catches sexy Ry Montana checking out her moves, she can’t wait to give him his own private show…

Cherry On Top by Anne Rainey
When massage therapist Cherry DuBois rubs her oil-slicked hands all over Dante Ricci’s rock-hard body, red-hot desire courses through her. She longs to lose control and give herself to the pleasures of sexual submission…

Ever wondered what it would feel like to be loved by two men at once? And have them love each other as well? Ever thought about trying something new to find your inner vixen? Or tried a new game in bed only to find it’s your favorite of all? Then you need to read Some Like It Rough! Because, well, whew! It’s hot!

There are few stories that make me squirm in great ways, but this collection was one of them. These authors know how to push the envelope while keeping the tone of the stories sensual and inviting.

In Some Like It Rough, the title story, Kate Pearce spins a tale of three lovers who knew they wanted each other but not the depths that they needed each other. I love the sensuality in this story. You feel like you are a part of the threesome. Although there are a few un-answered questions, this story is filled with characters that will stay with you long after the last page.

In Private Eyes, by Susan Lyons, we meet Hayley and Ry. They both work for the investigative firm, Private Eyes and are in the midst of catching a suspected cheat. I like how she comes into her own while taking on the case, but Ry’s interest seems a bit quick. Still, the pacing of the story keeps the reader involved and titillated throughout.

The final story is my personal favorite – Cherry on Top, by Anne Rainey. I’ll admit Rainey is one of my can’t-miss authors. This story is one of her best. If you want slow seduction with a heavy dose of eroticism, then Cherry and Dante are the ones for you. I like that Cherry’s not a run-of-the-mill perfect heroine. She’s got a rough past. I also like that Dante, though he’s got a few rough edges, is just the man she needs. They worked together well in and out of bed.

If you want a collection of stories guaranteed to make you reach out and snag your snuggle partner for some red-hot loving, then this is the collection for you. I give Some Like It Rough 5 cherries.

Unrequited by Abigail Roux



Unrequited by Abigail Roux
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (127 pgs)
Other: M/M, Multiple Partners, Anal Sex
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Vic Bronsen has a problem. He's stuck in a rut, uninspired by his job, and in love with a man who has no clue. Thinking a change of scenery and company will do his aching heart some good, he goes off on a road trip with his best friend, only to find that the answers to his problems may have been right there in front of him all along.

Just when you think you have your life figured out, someone throws a curveball and knocks everything out of whack. The trick is figuring out how to get things back in order. Interested? Then you need to read Unrequited.

There are some stories that reach out and grab you from page one. There are others that start slow but are worth the wait. Unrequited is a little of both. I like how Ms. Roux wove the interplay between Vic and Owen into the story. If you want to understand the depths of Vic’s turmoil, you need to see his relationship with Owen and how Shane is more than a passing fancy. Ms. Roux builds the world and relationships as the story progresses and adds to the complexity that tugs the reader in.

Although the love scenes take place early and late in the story, you see the changes and how the characters grow. I like the dichotomy between Owen and Shane. You feel the passion between the men even when they aren’t ready to admit it themselves. Now I wish Shane’s thought processes were a little more positive, but it adds to the strife and makes you root for him all the more.

My only suggestion on this story is to make it a tad longer, to let the reader know what happens after the story. I didn’t want to let Shane and Vic go.

If you want a story that will stay with you far beyond the last page, that’s filled with passion and heartfelt decisions, then you need to read Unrequited. I give this story 4.5 cherries.

Black Leather Pants by Beth D. Carter



Black Leather Pants by Beth D. Carter
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Other: M/F, Anal Play
Length: Full Length (185 pgs)
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Jasmine

Small town girl Penny Varlet has moved to Los Angeles to pursue her love of art. Her boss, Kiley Laurent, is a sinfully sensual man who finds his way into her erotic dreams. One night, while working late, they act on their impulse and share a moment of raw passion.

Circumstances continue to throw them together, until one night, while working late, Penny is attacked by an intruder and hurt. Kiley whisks her away to Paris to heal, showing her a world of art and wonder. As she heals, can Penny put the anger over her attack to rest and find the courage to act on her love for Kiley?

What happens when a small town girl and a sexy, worldly, French artist who have nothing in common but their love for art realize they might be falling in love with one another? Will opposites attract, or will they discover it’s best to go their separate ways?

Penny Varlet is a small town girl who moves to Los Angeles to embrace her love of art, which is how she ends up working for Kiley Laurent. Kiley is a successful French artist who set New York on fire with his work, but has decided to hang up his paint brushes to open an art gallery. Penny not only loves how the expression of art affects her soul, but also how the depths of the colors make her feel. Art has always been a part of her heart, but unfortunately her soul is lacking the same inspiration. That is, until she meets Kiley.

Penny is intelligent, sassy, sexy, and has a tendency to overanalyze everything, especially when she’s dumped by her current boyfriend, Stu. Angry and hurt over the way Stu made her feel inadequate, she unleashes her pent-up emotion on her boss, Kiley. But, when emotions overflow and stress from the job collide will one night of impulsive, raw, sensual passion threaten to destroy not only their friendship, but also their working relationship? Or, is Kiley the one artistic component that will connect her heart and soul forever?

Kiley Laurent is a sexy, successful artist who has given up his paint brushes to open an art gallery so that he can pursue his dream of discovering the next burgeoning talent in the art world. His stylish good looks, French accent, and lean and muscular body make him a perfect fit for GQ or Calvin Klein. The man is sexy-as-sin and when he’s wearing his black leather pants, he’s every woman’s walking wet dream. In essence, the man is sex personified and he has the confidence and intelligence to go with his sensual, metrosexual image. But don’t be misled by his appearance because Kiley is one-hundred percent all heterosexual and has fallen in love with Penny Varlet. In fact, Kiley’s been in love with Penny since the first day she landed on his doorstep, but that’s the least of their problems.

For starters, Penny has recently been rejected by another man and is a basket case. Second, Kiley doesn’t know how to tell Penny that he’s fallen in love with her. Third, a threat looms over Penny that neither of them is aware of, which places her life in danger. Finally, did I mention he’s her boss and as far as she’s concerned, one should never mix business with pleasure? Have I piqued your curiosity yet?

Black Leather Pants is a refreshing story about love and life and how if two people focus more on what they have in common instead of their differences, they might be surprised at what they find…true love. There were times in the book, I couldn’t help but laugh at the situation, especially when Penny seeks advice from her best friend Lark. The intensity between Kiley and Penny will send shivers down your spine. They may consider themselves opposites, but if one can learn how to communicate and the other can learn how to stop overanalyzing everything, they might just find a Happily Ever After.

There were times I wanted to laugh and cry as these two love birds struggled to find their way into each other’s hearts. Being a world traveler myself and having visited Paris on several occasions, the way Ms. Carter describes Paris is so vivid and magnificent that she must have had one hell of an adventure herself. Two thumbs up to Ms. Carter for providing us with a book that’s sexy, humorous, full of hot scorching sex, and literally brings joy to your heart as Penny struggles to find her Happily Ever After with the Boss. I would definitely recommend Black Leather Pants to my friends.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Holiday Howlz: Mad at the Moon by Belinda McBride



Holiday Howlz: Mad at the Moon by Belinda McBride
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Holiday
Length: Short Story (28 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Merry Miller is a mail carrier at the only post office in town. After the deliveries are finished on Christmas Eve, all she wants to do is go to bed and sleep late on Christmas morning. But it's the week of the full moon, and between the moonlight and the new neighbor's off-pitch singing, she just can't get any rest!

Noel Hollis has just moved to Arcada, and while the young teacher loves his new home, he's a bit lonely and would like to get to know his neighbor better. So on Christmas Eve, he invites the sexy letter-carrier to dinner. Can he convince her to stop being angry at his off-key serenades and dance under the moon with him?

Furry meets Fairy on the most magical night of the year.

Merry Miller just wants a good night's rest. It is Christmas Eve, after all, and as the only mail carrier in her small town of Arcada, she has been way beyond busy. She wants to go to bed and sleep late Christmas morning. But her sexy new neighbor, Noel Harris, has other ideas. Can Noel convince Merry to dance in the moonlight with him? Can two marvelous and magical beings learn to love in the magic of the season? And just what is Noel anyway?

Belinda McBride has created a magical town, where everyone is just a little different. There are witches, the fae folk, shifters, and vampires all living rather normal day-to-day lives. I loved it, and want to visit again.

Merry is a Christmas elf, with a birthday at the holiday. She is a wonderful character who I just adored. When her friend, the witch, sets her mind to matching Merry with someone, she chooses the new neighbor for her. Noel is also a holiday baby, a shifter controlled by the moon. But not your ordinary shifter: he becomes an arctic fox, a beautiful creature. When Noel bets Merry he can make her orgasm before the moonlight travels across the room to touch them, she sets the rules he has to follow. When she asks him what he is, he tells her “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours”. And show her he does, in a most unusual way.

Of course, this is Belinda McBride writing, so the sex is hot and quite frequent after the bet is over. Something that I just love about this author. If you are looking for a magical, sweet but hot holiday tale, this will satisfy quite nicely.