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Friday, February 12, 2010

Heartbeat by Belita Renn




Heartbeat by Belita Renn
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (143 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Advertising agent, Tammy Sinclair, is sent to a small mountain town to gain the advertising account for a fast growing company that makes a cure for erection dysfunction. A heavy rain washing out the road traps her at the local gas station with the sexy owner, Blake, and roommate, Ken, who live beneath the store.

A quickly developing relationship is knocked off course when a werewolf molests Tammy while asleep. When new lover, Blake, covers up for the werewolf, it makes her suspicious. When everyone else backs him on the cover-up, she fears she is in trouble.

Belita Renn has written a delightful tale of lust, love and surprises. Tammy starts off as the determined young businesswoman, trying to prove herself. When she is stuck on the mountain, she decides to make the best of the situation. When Blake comes on to her, she tries to be open minded and fair, hoping he isn’t involved with Ken as he is trying to bed her. I loved that Blake made sure Tammy knew he was interested, and the hot scene in the bath was marvelous. The part where Tammy was awakened by the attentions of a werewolf to her, shall we say, private parts, was actually quite funny.

Tammy is stunned to learn of the existence of werewolves, and moreso when she realizes Blake and Ken are both wolves as well. In fact, she eventually comes to realize the midnight intruder was Ken.

This is an interesting world that Ms Renn has created, and I hope she will bring us back to visit, to learn more about the rest of Blake’s extended family. Do Tammy and Blake settle their differences and get their happy ever after? Of course, and Tammy lands the account as well as the hero. I recommend this for shifter lovers who like hot and steamy sexy werewolves, but don’t read it while riding on mountain roads in the rain.

Twice Haunted by Honey Jans



Twice Haunted by Honey Jans
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary Paranormal
Length: Short Story (103 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Can a reincarnated bad girl find love the second time around?

Haley knows coming back to life will be tricky. She has to catch the Scarlet A killer and claim her soulmate Crispin, all without changing the future. No sooner does she agree when her guardian angel smacks her into the dying body of the killer’s latest victim and she tingles back to life.

Crispin T. St. Giles, a journalist working on the Scarlet A Killer story, is really a Dom deep inside. When he interviews Haley, the killer’s feisty latest victim, he's hit by a crazy itch to take her home and then turn her over his knee. When the sexy brunette begs him to do just that, only professional ethics keep him from touching her.

The killer strikes again and Crispin comes to Haley's rescue in the nick of time, whisking her away to his cabin to keep her safe. After a sultry night fulfilling all their kinky fantasies they're both in too deep to walk away. But with the killer after them, and Haley's guardian angel threatening to recall her for breaking the rules, their passion may be unfulfilled.

The naughty, matchmaking Fallen Angel from Once Haunted is back, and this time, it's kinky.

Looking for a sizzling hot erotica with fantastic characters that are both witty and sexy? Then Twice Haunted is just the story you’re looking for.

Haley has been given a second chance at life, as well as the opportunity to claim her soul mate. She just has to figure out a way to stay alive, nail her killer, and protect the man that doesn’t know she’s destined to rock his world. Crispin might not understand her attraction, or how she knows so much about him, but she’s determined to show him how fun time alone can be while contemplating her next move.

Crispin thinks Haley is beautiful and undeniable – even if she is a bit off in the head. He contributes her strange behavior to stress. After all, not everyone is lucky enough to survive the clutches of a killer on the loose. But when the things Haley predicts begin to occur, Crispin knows that she is aware of far more than she’s sharing. Now, he has to trust her, love her, and keep her alive.

Talk about a unique story that hooks you from the start and doesn’t let go! Twice Haunted is, without a doubt, something wholly unique. I’ve never read a story in which the heroine is placed into an unknown body, essentially placing her soul into the vessel, in order to have a second chance at life. It’s got to be shocking enough to wake in a body that is currently being attacked, but to look in the mirror and stare into the eyes of an absolute stranger…can you say awkward? Fortunately, Haley is equal parts snark and vixen, so the event is laced with just enough humor to keep it light and engaging.

The addition of the serial murderer keeps things tense, as do the twists and turns along the way, but it’s her relationship with Crispin that will ensure you keep reading. From the moment they meet in the hospital, you know it’s only a matter of time before they cave to their desires. Their chemistry is combustive, and kept me wriggling in my seat. He’s got a dominant streak, and she’s more than willing to submit to him however, and whenever, he desires.

The paranormal elements are ones I’ve not seen before, and I couldn’t wait to learn more about Haley, her powers, and what would finally happen when she came face to face with the man responsible for her death in her previous life. She can’t reveal who she is, what she knows, or change the future, so it will take all of her resources, wit, and all the help she can get from the powers that be to aid her along the way.

Fans of unique paranormal stories will thoroughly enjoy Twice Haunted, and should be sure to put the title onto their TBR list. The material is well written, the pace is brisk, and you’ll be sure to enjoy it from start to finish.

Board Resolution by Joey W. Hill



Board Resolution by Joey W. Hill
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (96 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Ménage, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Savannah was groomed from birth to take the reins of her father’s manufacturing empire. Her emotional armor is as tough as the steel used in her factories, and nobody is allowed past it. Business partner Matt realizes that the key to entry is to command her submission. Calling on the unique sensual talents of his four-man management team, he engineers an aggressive and erotic takeover, determined to rescue the woman he loves from the steel cage she’s manufactured around her heart. Masked and lost to the sensations the team arouses in her, Savannah is theirs, at least for this one night.

From time to time, you come across an author who simply gets it. There is no secret ploy, no hidden twist or turn to sell the story. There is just the primal sexual need that is manipulated and fed, leading to a climax (no pun intended) that leaves you breathless. One such author with this talent is the ever memorable Joey W. Hill, and her latest, Board Resolution, is a staunch reminder of just how good she is at what she does.

The blurb summarizes what the reader can expect, but as any fan of Ms. Hill knows, the underlying tension and release that accompanies surrender goes so much deeper. In this, we are introduced to her favorite kind of heroine – tortured and unable to extend or accept love. Savannah lives by principals instilled by an overbearing and uncaring father, and the rules have trapped her in an unhappy existence. In a ploy to lower her inhibitions and allow someone inside to nurture, cherish, and care for her as she deserves, Matt enlists the aid of his four business associates, with gifts and desires of their own. The harder Savannah fights his claim, the more determined Matt is to have her complete surrender. Using every device at his disposal, he sets out to conquer and master the woman he cannot let go, and the result is a give and take, measured with anger, resentment, enlightenment, and finally, love.

Don’t forget to pencil this one onto your TBR list. Fans of an unforgettable erotic story that provides the emotional impact I’ve come to expect with Joey W. Hill will devour Board Resolution. She’s one of my must read authors for a reason, and this is only one of many works that have taken me on a wild and unforgettable journey I couldn’t shake if I wanted to.

Hero by Heidi Cullinan



Hero by Heidi Cullinan
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (204 pgs)
Other: M/M, Multiple Partners, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Cherry Blossom



Hal Porter is no man’s hero; he’s just another Los Angeles construction worker. So when he sees a building appear on what the day before was an empty plot of weeds—a site where people have been found dead—Hal knows a guy like him should steer clear of whatever is going on. But a vision at the building's window draws him inside, and there Hal finds Morgan, a magical shapeshifter held captive by a rival clan... and Hal’s the only one who can save him.

It doesn’t take Hal long to realize he’s in over his head, not only because the clan has powers beyond his imagination but also because he’s fallen in love with Morgan. There’s no escape for them now without a hero to break the curse, and Hal knows it can’t be him. But as Hal and Morgan work together, they discover gifts far more powerful than magic and that heroes aren’t always in shapes they expect.

A quick break to daydream at the end of a hot, dusty shift turns Hal Porter's life inside-out. All his doubts are suddenly brought to the fore, all his certainties are shaken, and he is pulled into a reality that coexists with the world of humans.

Supernatural beings in magical places, magical places that are themselves living, thinking entities-- suddenly this is Hal's new world. Frightening, powerful creatures call him a hero, some with desperate hope, others with scathing derision.

But Hal is just an ordinary construction worker, lost in the confusion of his own sexual responses, in the failed quest that brought him to Los Angeles. He doubts very much that he can make any kind of a difference, especially in the life of the one who craves his love -- and whose love Hal craves. After all, Hal's protector, his patron saint, is the Apostle Thomas, the ultimate doubter.

Hero is the perfect title for Heidi Cullinan's novel. It is a story about ordinary heroism, about the simple, everyday choices that change lives and lead to self-discovery. It is about the essential virtues of persistence, steadfastness, selflessness, and of course love.

Heidi Cullinan weaves a magical tale that enchants the reader, wraps a perfect veil of story-telling illusion, and lets you walk away with a smile and a lighter heart, and only a touch of regret that there isn't any more. Strong writing craft, excellent storytelling, tight editing combine to create a perfect read that will certainly become a keeper on many shelves.

Demon of Desire by Chloe Waits



Demon of Desire by Chloe Waits
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (53 pgs)
Other: M/F, Multiple Partners, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

"You must be ready to face all the desires of your heart...and know which ones are real."

Sarah heard the costume store owner's warning, but didnÆt heed it. Tonight of all nights was Hallowe'en - a time of magic and make believe. She has an invite to the largest party in Chicago - in a beautiful Renaissance dress reputed to bring her heart's desire.

Why should she be cautious? After all, where had it gotten her except alone on a Friday night? It certainly hadn't gotten her a date with her adorable neighbor, Tim. So when she meets a dark, magnetic man in a mask claiming to know her every desire, she surrenders to his seductions...and for the first time engages in a steamy one night stand with a stranger.

Little does Sarah know that her new lover wants much more than one night with her. Much more...

Her every pleasure will be indulged...but at what price?

Who knew a demon would come in a dress? Sounds like a strange question unless you read Demon of Desire.

Ms. Waits’ story of a woman unhappy in life until she wears a special dress for a Halloween party is unique. She creates characters you can identify with and situations you could see yourself in.

Although I realize this is a short story and there are only so many details you can give, I wanted more of an idea what situation Sarah lived in. The sex is hot and leaves your fingers singed, but at the same time, you want to know more. Why is this demon so wonderful? I found myself with more questions than answers and at one point I was irritated with Sarah. She came across as more occupied with sex than love.

I did find myself squirming a couple of times hoping Sarah would make the right decision. She’s stuck in a strange spot—she’s been burned in love in the past and she’s scared to love again. Who hasn’t been through a similar situation? And when you meet the hero, Tim... wow. He’s exactly what a girl needs and he’s handsome. You find yourself invested in her struggle—good guy who has a heart of gold or demon who sizzles the sheets?

If you want a story with sizzling sex, and one red-hot hero, then you need to read Demon of Desire. I give this story 3 cherries.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Company Of Fools by AM Hartnett



The Company Of Fools by A.M. Hartnett
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (100 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by: Fern

Kate Doucette’s trying to get her life together. She’s working full time at Mike MacNab’s bar, going to school, and she just kicked out her Do-Nothing boyfriend. Things are looking up but with the construction going on in the bar, her money trouble's looming over her, and her personal life in the toilet, Kate’s on a ledge and Mike is there to talk her down. One night she wants more than a pep talk; Kate asks her charming and handsome boss to spend a weekend in bed with her.

What could be a bigger stress-reliever than two days of bedroom Olympics with a guy who’s as hot for her as she is for him? The only problem is that he wants more than a weekend and it seems like he wants to fix her life for her. She adores Mike, but the last thing she needs is another headache in the form of Mr. Fixit.

The Company Of Fools is a fantastic story with tons of heat, heart, and emotion. From the beginning, I was snared, and couldn’t put this delightful story down. It has all the elements you look for in a good, steamy erotica – great characters, essential tension, and relatable characters.

I loved Kate from the beginning. As a twenty-five year old who is putting herself through college, her life is never easy. Her sassy wit and spunky attitude are endearing and contagious, and you won’t be able to mask the grins that appear on numerous occasions when she is in her element. Of course, these scenes are bolstered by her relationship with her boss turned lover, Mike. Their chemistry is combustive, and when they give into the temptation that has been thriving for years, it’s hot enough to ignite the pages.

My only complaint is a very minor one, but was something I noticed after the second chapter. The story is told entirely from Kate’s point of view. I kept waiting to hear from Mike, so that I could understand his attraction to this fantastic spitfire of a woman who rebukes him…but it never occurred. Perhaps it just a personal preference, but it was something I noticed and I couldn’t help but wish that he’d been given the opportunity to speak.

With that said, the material is beautifully written and presented, and I enjoyed the story so much I read it from start to finish. This is one of those stories that doesn’t paint the heroine in a shiny color, but rather, allows you to see her for the flawed individual she is. In allowing the reader to see her as a real person, you can sympathize with her as she pushes Mike away. It’s some heady stuff, and I can guarantee you won’t stop reading once you get started.

This is a must read for those who love a good steamy erotica with tons of heart. Be sure to pencil The Company of Fools on your TBR list.

Dragon Kin: Savannah’s Ménage by Lizzie Lynn Lee



Dragon Kin: Savannah’s Ménage by Lizzie Lynn Lee
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (52 pgs)
Other: Ménage, M/M/F/M
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Tired of the usual dating scene, Savannah Lisander, part-human, part-dragon, is skeptical that she'll ever find her souler. Then she meets a set of triplets who blow her mind and her heart.

She's dated a fireman like Eli Cattaneo before, fiery in bed with a gentle soul; no biggie, she can easily handle his type. Or a high-roller investment banker like Zach, who knows every sexy trick known to mankind to make a woman swoon in ecstasy. Or even a Dominant who doesn't take no for answer, like Diego, owner of a sex club in Soho. But to have the three at the same time? Savannah fears she's bitten off more than even she can chew.

The three panther shifters from New York are ready for a weekend trekking around shifter-friendly Utopia Bay, but when they meet Savannah, they're more interested in playing with her than in playing Tarzan.

Managing a foursome has never been this tricky. Or so wickedly fun.

This latest book in the Dragon Kin series is the absolute hottest yet. Savannah is a delightful character, a mix of strength and passion, with a bit of wariness about what she is feeling for these three men, who look alike but are so different. Zach is the investment banker, brains and brawn in one gorgeous package. Eli is a fireman, strong and noble, and Diego is the owner of a sex club, a Dominant and proud.

Savannah kids herself into thinking she can handle these three and not become involved: is she ever in for a surprise!

Lizzie Lynn Lee has created and jumped into this world of Utopia Bay with both feet, and I loved these well-rounded characters and how they interacted. When the ex finds out Savannah is a dragon shifter, he sends a pair of mercenaries to grab her because he is a collector of all things dragon. The Cattaneo brothers join forces to rescue Savannah, and she makes her choice to accept all three as her soulers. The mating ritual they perform is one of the hottest things I have ever read.

I would recommend this one to anyone who like lots of sexy action, but please be sure your doctor says your heart can take it.

Double Your Pleasure by Fran Lee



Double Your Pleasure by Fran Lee
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (62 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Ménage
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Helen is working a latte shop just outside an upscale high-rise apartment in Manhattan. Switching shifts with her boss, she finds herself face-to-face with the most delicious, maddeningly arrogant men she’s ever met. He’s hot and sexy as hell, but the fact that he can’t lift his eyes from her chest is a strike against him. Too bad he’s such a jerk…she would have loved to get to know him better. But as soon as he’s out of sight, she turns around to find another one, just like him, but this one looks her in the eye, and has a smile that takes her breath away. Dear Lord, there are two of them?

Jason and Jonathon Blackstone have the same taste in clothes, cars and women. Identical twins, they often trade clothes…and sometimes they even share their women. Jon may have seen her first, but Jace intends to be the man who gets her. Unfortunately, he may just end up having to share again, since the sexy coffee girl seems to want them both.

Fran Lee, how I adore thee, allow me to count the ways! You always manage to write the sexiest heroes and sauciest heroines, combining humor with mind-blowing chemistry and heat. Just when I think you can’t possibly hook me again, you come along and bring me to my knees.

Holy flamethrower, Batman! I’ve read some scorchers by Ms. Lee, but this one is off the charts. It’s a slow burn, teasing and taunting with promises of devious delight, which makes the actual moment of triple ecstasy all the more sweet. Double Your Pleasure is also double the fun, and the two sexy and gorgeous twins, Jason and Jon, should come with a burn notice. Of course, the super sexy coffee girl Helen isn’t too shabby herself, and is exactly the right woman to tame two men who yearn for the same thing. The interplay is sexy and luscious, drawing things out as Helen moves into the lion’s den to indulge in her most hedonistic fantasies.

As with all Fran Lee’s material, there is a thoroughly enjoyable amount of humor contained within the story. She’s the master of writing memorable characters who think things that will make you chuckle and wilt at the same time. Once you read one of her stories, you’ll enlist in the fan club. Trust me; it’s only a matter of time.

A definite must read for the ever naughty TBR list. Double Your Pleasure has the heat, the snark, and just enough emotion along the way to satisfy the palette while keeping you hungry for more. Ménage fans, be sure to get your hands on your own copy – and be sure you have plenty of ice-water handy.

Dime by Aubrey Leatherwood



Dime by Aubrey Leatherwood
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (41 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Never in a million years would Nicole Donaldson have imagined she'd become a rapper. But when the reserved middle-manager gets caught up in a lark with her Prince-obsessed brother, she's offered a music deal by hot music producer, Baron Odom. Nicole doesn't know what to make of her entrance into a world and lifestyle she's disdained from afar. She also can't quite wrap her mind around the quickly deepening attraction she has to Baron. Can she resist the call of the stage? The call of her heart?

Have you ever wanted something so bad, but thought it was totally out of reach? And then when it comes to you, are you afraid to take it? Sounds like you and Nicole have a lot in common. You need to read Dime to learn more.

Ms. Leatherwood writes an interesting contemporary story. Although it’s written in first person, the characters come alive. You may not understand the world of hip hop music, but you don’t have to in order to like this story. Some may find some of the language a bit rough in this work, but it does enhance the story.

The idea of Dime is one woman who sees what’s happening around her, takes it in, and tries to make it her own through song. Now, not all of us write songs or books, but we can identify with her need to put her world into a perspective she can handle and understand.

Nicole feels she isn’t a musician and can’t sing, but she can interpret. I liked her strength and her desire to be her own person, but at times she came across as a bit snippy and stand-offish. Even so, the reader may relate to her tendency to jump to conclusions and the way she overcomes some of her own biases.

Baron is an enigma. For a hero, he’s got the tall, dark, and silent thing going for him. He takes her guff without much argument, but can put her in her place when needed. When he offers her wildest dreams come true, I thought she treated him like dirt. At the same time, I realize that many times we see exactly what we want and push it aside because we don’t feel worthy.

If you want a story that will stick with you long after the last page, you need to read Dime. I give this story 3 cherries.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Holiday Howlz: Werewolf Woes by Dawn Montgomery



Holiday Howlz: Werewolf Woes by Dawn Montgomery
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (22 pgs)
Other: M/F, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Dakota Raynes has come home for one reason and one reason only... to lay claim on the woman meant to be his mate. Six years away has given him time to get the beast under control so he could be the man he thinks she needs. Now if she'd just stop being so damn stubborn!
Lily Deacon has had it with alpha men and their need to push her around. So Dakota thinks he can just waltz right in and take up where he left off? Oh, she'll let him play all right, but only by her rules. His little Lily is all grown up, and she has a few tricks of her own.

When these two wolves collide, the county will feel the clash all the way to their boots.

He’s not about to let the woman of his dreams get away. How can she retreat when her wolf desires his wolf more than anyone? You’ll have to read Holiday Howlz – Werewolf Woes to find out their fates.

This series is a fun little set of stories about, you guessed it, werewolves. Now you don’t have to be an aficionado of werewolves to like the stories. You just have to love love stories.

Ms. Montgomery writes a cute little tale of two lovers who knew what they wanted once long ago, but circumstances kept them apart.

Dakota knows where his heart lies – with Lily. I like that he’s back and not about to give up on what they had. He’s also got the whole tall, dark, and handsome look going for him. I like his determination and his steadfast attraction to Lily. Most guys walk away and stay away. You want to see him succeed.

Lily cracked me up. She wants Dakota, yes, but she’s not about to let him off easy. She’s the queen of snappy comebacks and she puts him in his place with ease – not that he’s complaining. I liked her wild, yet independent streak. I could empathize with her struggles to move on and loved seeing her get her heart’s desire.

If you want a story that will warm a cool winter’s evening, then you need to read Holiday Howlz – Werewolf Woes.

Survivor by Liddy Midnight



Survivor by Liddy Midnight
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (102 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

After a horrific training accident with his fighter squadron, pilot Doug is transported to a world he’s seen in powerful sexual dreams featuring a mahogany-skinned beauty with silver hair. It can’t be real—people there become dragons at will. To his shock, he discovers he can transform as well.

Harna, the woman of his dreams, makes him feel welcome. The sex is mind-blowing but too much about this world defies logic. This must be another dream. Doug only knows he’s falling in love and if he’s right, he’ll have to leave Harna behind when he wakes up.

Survivor is a fantastical tale with alternate realities, dragons, magic, and some of the hottest dream sex you’re likely to experience.

We are introduced to our protagonists via one of the many dreams they’ve shared. Doug is a hot-blooded pilot living on earth, while Harna is a seductive enchantress who exists on another plane where dragons rule the skies. Their encounters are hot and steamy, and though he knows it’s not real, Doug can’t help but yearn for his fantasy woman. What he doesn’t know is that Harna is very real, and waits for him to arrive in her realm. The prophecy states that he will be her Chosen, and will come when her people need him most.

Destiny comes to fruition when a failed flight sees Doug descending toward the unforgiving ground below, but just as he closes his eyes and braces for death, he wakes in the form of a dragon, in another place that is unfamiliar, green, and beautiful. Acclimating himself to the unfamiliar body, he comes upon a dragon being attacked. He rescues her, takes her to safety, and discovers its none other than his fantasy woman.

From the beginning, I wanted to know how it was possible. Was it all just a dream? Was Doug truly in Harna’s reality? Thrust into an odd world with customs and people he doesn’t know, he approaches it as being a dream, which was understandable. As he learns about the devastation caused by the harriers, lizard-like dragons that kill and destroy, he lays out a plan to eradicate them and save Harna’s enclave. It’s fascinating reading, and impossible to put down.

Although I wished for a deeper explanation as to how Doug transported to Harna, I loved the story, as well as the characters. The writing is tight, the pace is fast, and the world is both lush and enthralling. Fans of fantasy will love Survivor, especially if they have a yen for dragon stories. You get the action, you get the heat, and you get unbridled emotion when Doug accepts his role and loves Harna as she deserves. They are both strong characters who complete one another perfectly, and their chemistry is hot enough to melt steel.

Don’t forget to pencil Survivor onto your TBR list. Sci-fi/fantasy enthusiasts will devour this one and ask for seconds.

Reckoning by JC Wilder



Reckoning by J.C. Wilder
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (137 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

A world where good and evil dwell…

Seeking justice for her murdered twin sister, Maeve finds herself trapped in a world of magic and deception. She’s discovered the key that will guarantee her success—a magical spell to control a vampire. Now she needs to locate a witch of pure intent to teach the spell to her.

Quinn Montgomery wants nothing to do with his birth mother, Mortianna, the most powerful witch in the world. When he discovers Maeve is his mother’s prisoner, he rescues the prickly immortal from imminent death. Determined to set things right, he returns her to the Scottish Highlands only to find that Maeve isn’t the only victim of Mortianna’s treachery.

Together, Maeve and Quinn reluctantly join forces to battle the forces of darkness as they fight their growing attraction for each other. Will Quinn teach Maeve the spell she desperately needs, or will she fall under his spell instead?

J. C. Wilder knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat. She mixes the perfect amount of suspense, action and passion in her stories. Reckoning is no exception.

Maeve is a determined woman, strong and smart. She knows what she wants, and finds the way to get it. And though her main objective is destroying Mikhail, she finds time to appreciate Quinn for the hot wizard that he is. Quinn is the picture of the conflicted hero, attracted to Maeve, yet a bit confused by it at the same time. Add into that he finds out that deep inside, he has wanted some recognition of worth from his mother, and finally realizes that will never happen.

I found the irony of Mortianna's final downfall very intriguing and it added greatly to the storyline. The gathering together of Sinjin’s friends to try and prevent his destruction brings together familiar characters from other books in this series, and it was good to see them again, if only for a brief time.

This book has it all: action, romance, suspense and lots of raw passion. I recommend this one for everyone who wants a bit of magic mixed with passion and romance.

Bucked by Cat Johnson



Bucked by Cat Johnson
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (141 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Ménage, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

This cowboy is looking for more than just an eight-second ride.

Studs in Spurs, Book 2

Mustang Jackson does two things well—ride bulls and love women. So the injury that takes him out of the arena leaves him only one way to make a living. Unfortunately, getting paid to be a stud in front of the camera isn’t as fun as private conquests. When he catches sight of little Sage Beckett, minus the glasses, braces and pigtails he remembers, doing time in his hometown suddenly gets a lot more interesting.

Sage had a crush on Michael long before he started using that ridiculous nickname “Mustang”. Though from what she’s overheard about his string of buckle bunnies, the man more than lives up to it. In the past he always looked right through her. Now that he’s home again, she’s determined to capture and tame this wild stallion, no matter what it takes.

She intends to satisfy her curiosity and move on, but with every touch she’s less sure she’ll ever purge him from her system. Once corralled in her arms, Mustang finds himself thinking that domestication may not be so bad after all.

Except, once she finds out about his side job, she may not stick for the next go-round.
Hot diggity dog, do I love me some cowboys, and no one writes about em’ better than Cat Johnson. After reading her first in the Studs and Spurs series, Unridden, I couldn’t wait to get my fingers on the follow up, Bucked. Slade might have been the guy who got the girl in the first installment, but it’s the too hot to handle bad boy Mustang I wanted to learn more about. You know he’s a ladies’ man that get’s around, but are also aware that deep down, he’s got an enormous heart. Who doesn’t want a sexy cowboy to love?

The beginning of the story lunges at you like a bull out of the chute, with Mustang preparing to tackle the ever deadly bull Ballbreaker. Although he lasts the eight seconds, he breaks his arm in the process, and that means it’s back home to Huntsville, Texas to heal and recoup. When he arrives, he discovers the wisp of a girl who used to lend him an ear waiting to welcome him home. Only now, she’s all woman, and the feelings she inspires are anything but platonic. Sage isn’t the bottle-glasses wearing nerd Mustang remembers, and in an unexpected turn of events, she’s ready to show Mustang a bit of the attention she’s been dying to for years. It’s a forbidden attraction that Mustang vows not to partake in, especially when he begins to take jobs in the adult film industry to pay the bills. But desire cannot be denied, and soon, he’s fallen into the arms of a woman he could easily love.

While I did enjoy Bucked, there were portions of the story that could have been made stronger. A majority of the attention is on Mustang, his jobs in the sex business, and his unstable relationship with his father. I understood the need for this, as Mustang is the primary focus and Bucked is a continuation of Unridden. Unfortunately, in the process, Sage becomes a secondary–if not supporting–character. Granted, she is very young at twenty-years old, but her approach to many of the revelations that have kept Mustang distant is rather immediate and unbelievable. I’m not necessarily referring to the jobs on the side he wishes to keep secret, but rather her ready willingness to go along with almost anything to have him. The question becomes – why does she want him so badly? What more is there beyond a physical attraction created by a childhood infatuation?

On a more positive note, this is Mustang’s story, and you get to know a lot more about him. It’s both humorous and humbling to watch this confident man who kills the ladies getting his due from a Dominatrix. No longer is he in control of his life, his body, or his decisions. Sex in this story takes on a whole new meaning, and for someone like Mustang, that makes a lasting impression. Another point of notice is that you also get to spend time with Slade, Jenna, and Chase, which is something I always look forward to. Catching up with beloved characters is like reuniting with old friends – a win, win situation.

Fans of Ms. Johnson’s previous stories will enjoy Bucked, especially if they have a yen for Mustang like I do. The material flows nicely, the continuation is something new and unexpected, and the journey is one worth taking.

Power of a Carronade by Ellen Margret



Power of a Carronade by Ellen Margret
Publisher: Midnight Showcase
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical
Length: Short Story (145 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

“You are the enemy, Clayton Welbourne. You were born in England. You are English, and yet you fight for the colonies.” Thus, Euphemia brands Clay a traitor and pirate. Can he thwart an attack by the American fleet off the English coast and win back his lady’s love?

One decision can ruin a lifetime. And another can signal the beginning of a bright future. It’s up to you to decide which choice to make. I’d also suggest reading Power of a Carronade. It’s a story you won’t want to miss.

I admit this is an interesting story. But there is a lot going on within the story. Keeping the characters straight and figuring out who’s with who can be tricky.

Ms. Margret writes a tale that draws you in. You feel like you’re on the boat with Clay surrendering to Jon. She’s written the scene in the jail with Euphemia and Clay as if you are jailed along with Clay. The descriptions are rich and the characters lively. One note: there are a couple of characters that aren’t for the weak of stomach. If you get queasy easy, then parts of this story aren’t for you.

The baddie in this story lives up to the name evil. Once you meet the character, you know you don’t like him/her. But you must understand the character to truly dislike him/her. I hoped there was a chance for rehabilitation.

Although Clay makes a great hero, there are moments when you want to clock him on the head and ask why he makes the choices he does. But that quality is what allows the reader to see his inner turmoil and to empathize with him.

And you can’t discount the strength of Euphemia. She’s got guts to hop aboard the boat and to stand up to Clay, especially when all she wants to do is cower away from him. You root for her to get her man, even when he’s being uncooperative.

If you want a story that will keep you on your toes, then you need to read Power of a Carronade. I give this story 4 cherries.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Business of Sex by Rhonda Leah



The Business of Sex by Rhonda Leah
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (76 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

With Lee in her life, Laurel doesn’t need the props she peddles.

Laurel Delacroix owns and operates The Rubber Tree, a sexual necessities shop, on Bourbon Street. She’s spirited and independent, but when the man by whom she measures all others reappears in her life, she can’t resist tempting fate. She might not do relationships, but she craves sex. And sex with her inspiration for The Rubber Tree is the best she’s ever had.

Lee Carter is used to women dropping at his feet, but Laurel is different. She’s a challenge in every way. When he finds out about the threats she’s receiving, along with her store being vandalized and her condo torn to shreds, he’ll do anything to protect her…and make her see they belong together permanently.

Ever wonder what happened to the one who got away? What would you do if that one person came back into your life and wanted to be more than a minor dalliance? You’d have a big problem, or your wildest dream. Sound interested? Then you need to read The Business of Sex.

Ms. Leah’s story draws you in from page one. You can’t help but want to know what happens to the characters and root for them to find their hearts desires. The writing is tight and flows well, keeping the reader engaged throughout. I even liked the sly antagonist. You knew the character lurked, but you weren’t totally sure when he/she’d arrive.

Laurel made for a unique heroine. She knew what she wanted – for the most part. I say this because she played the part of the free spirit well, but when faced with true feelings, she shut down. Her feelings are those that the reader can identify with. Although she came across as a tad wishy-washy at one point, you still respected her decisions and cheered her to admit her truths.

Lee made a yummy hero. When he showed up, he wanted one person – her. How can you not love that in a hero? And when she flustered him to the point of giving up, he stayed strong. Most guys want to be like him and the reader can see the best of her favorite guy in Lee.

The sex in this story sizzled. The passion boiled over even when Laurel and Lee weren’t ready to admit their feelings.

If you want a story that will stay with you long after the last page, then you need to read The Business of Sex. I give this story 4.5 cherries.

Veiled Desire by Alisha Rai



Veiled Desire by Alisha Rai
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (79 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Look, but don’t touch…

Leyla Karimi can’t keep her eyes off the hunky guy living in the house behind her. How could any woman resist ogling Dr. Mason Barrett, especially when he makes it so easy by parading around in his skin and skivvies?

If it was only their age difference, she would have made a move a long time ago. Except Mason is more than a neighbor. He’s her baby brother’s oldest friend. It’s not like they can have a casual fling and walk away in the morning.

Mason’s been doing a little lusting—okay a lot—for quite some time. When he catches Leyla peeking, it’s a sure sign she could finally be ready to heat up his nights with loving. One taste of her lips, though, and he doesn’t want a “little” of anything. He wants it all.

Unwilling to jeopardize a lifetime of friendship for a one-night stand, Leyla is reluctant to throw caution to the wind. When he’s kissing her senseless, though, it’s hard to remember all the reasons why she should hold back…

I’ve always been a fan of friends-becoming-lovers romances. The foundation is already laid; all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride. In Veiled Desire, you get everything you could possibly hope for – fantastic characters, some angst, and enough passion and desire to satisfy erotic enthusiasts.

Leyla and Mason have known each other all their lives. In fact, his friendship with her younger brother, Sasha, meant that once upon a time they formed a sibling kind of relationship. Of course, that was before Mason finally got an eyeful of the fully mature and breathtaking Leyla in a skimpy red bikini a year before. Now, he wants her with a passion that cannot be denied, even if he knows she’s off limits.

Mason’s fantasy meets fruition when he catches Leyla scoping him out one night after work through the kitchen window. The game is one of temptation and desire, and both Mason and Leyla are aware that partaking in the forbidden fruit could not only ruin their relationship, it could end Mason’s lifelong friendship with Sasha. As they throw caution to the wind, revelations reveal far more than either anticipated. But as with all things, they can’t keep their romance a secret forever, and when their feelings come to light, it will take understanding and honesty to keep both friendships and romances afloat.

Veiled Desire is an absolutely unforgettable story that hooked me from the start. The writing is spot-on, the dialogue is fresh and witty, and the intimate scenes between Leyla and Mason are wrought with so much sexual tension you’ll hold your breath in anticipation of what’s to come. You’ll root for these two to get together and will not be disappointed when it finally happens. The subplot with Leyla’s brother adds a dash of tension, but it’s the humor that makes the “coming out” both memorable and endearing.

Don’t forget to pencil this one into the all important TBR list. Veiled Desire is definitely one story you don’t want to miss.

Awakening by Jet Mykles



Dark Elves VI-Awakening by Jet Mykles
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (258 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M/M, F/F, M/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 cherries
Review by Ambrosia

As the first girl child born to the dark elves, Eryhaen is rhaejena—princess—and desired by all of the men around her. Born with magical gifts that challenge even the most experienced sorcerers among her people, she has the awe of her people and the devotion of her three best friends and lovers. Brevin, Lanthan and Tykir have been at her side their whole lives and each of the three young men would do anything for her and each other.

But Eryhaen needs more than untutored if eager lovers. She is out of control, and she knows it. Her magic is raw and wild, and she is not the only one who’s started to see her as a danger.

She needs help.

The only possibility is Radin, a legendary sorcerer, returned from the dead but magically unconscious for a quarter of a century. Dreams and undeniable instincts tell her that he’s the solution to her problems, if she can only wake him up.

Once she does, what then? He may be the answer to her problems, but is the legendary lover the man for her? Or is he meant for someone else?

Out of this world! No, really! Jet Mykles not only managed to create a world where sex rules relationships as well as war, but also where battles rage only to be won by who gets to be ‘on top’ first, so to speak.

When two gods from two races leave the planet for decades, taking the spirit of one legendary sorcerer with them, the magic of chaos rules leaving one woman, destined for greatness, bursting with power she can’t control. It’s up to a number of people to help find the answer to her dilemma yet only magic can contain magic.

Three male friends, Tykir, Lanthan and Brevin grew up with Rhaejena princess, Eyrhaen, protecting her, loving her, dreaming of having her, yet she protects her virginity, saving it for him…Radin. Not only do they love her, but they love each other in a world without prejudice where sex is shared by all, regardless of gender.

Eyrhaen not only must learn to harness her powers, but she has lessons to learn about how to treat people and find love in her heart. Being a self-absorbed young woman who only seeks to please herself at the cost of other’s feelings, she leans towards madness as the magic she was born with spins into a whirlwind of chaotic frenzy affecting everyone on the planet.

This story is filled with strong, evocative writing and fantastic descriptions. I cared about the characters and what happened to them, they were so real! This story requires tissues and perhaps some anti-depressants for the heartrending roller coaster of emotions. Not to worry though, Mykles has it down pat and finishes with a resounding blow with love as the ultimate triumph. This book deserves every one of its five Cherries.