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Friday, February 26, 2010

Kilted Lover by Nicole North



Kilted Lover by Nicole North
Publisher: Red Sage Publishing
Length: Short Story (113 pgs)
Genre: Contemporary, Action/adventure
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Bittersweet

When kilted cabertosser Scott MacPherson tosses Leslie Livingston over his shoulder to rescue her from two armed thieves trying to steal her priceless amulet, they are thrust into a deadly but sexy adventure. Though Leslie already has a lukewarm, uninterested boyfriend, her attraction to Scott is whitehot and undeniable. She wants to lick this tall, muscular alpha male all over and explore the depths of eroticism with him. But will he want anything more than one night once the danger is behind them?

Every time I read a kilt related story I get the crazy urge to go to Scotland and find myself a handsome long haired, hard bodied highlander. Kilted Lover by Nicole North was no exception. From page one, Ms. North attracted my attention. She kept it when “the scot” appeared in the picture: long blond hair, firm body, kilt, and the attitude of a real gentleman. Then the pendant that the protagonist wore glowed slightly and I became inevitably hooked.

Through Ms. North’s words, I quickly created an emotional link with most of the characters. For example, though Les, the main character seems a bit too innocent at times, it is an innocence which I couldn’t help find sweet and adorable. From empathy towards the main characters (the predicament they find themselves in is something which could happen to anyone), to dislike and pity towards others which seemed too perfect and yet were not, or humor towards those that tried to act like adventurous match-makers, I ran the gamut.

The novel is filled with comedy (those wild car rides and the friendly advice) as well as snippets of imagined erotism and finally, wild lust-filled sex that had me switching from a good laugh out loud to biting my nails in anticipation.

The ending of Kilted Lover sticks to the classic romance ending, but nonetheless the novel left me feeling sort of giggly and giddy and, of course, happy. There was only one “but” to my smile: I would have loved to know a little more about the history behind the pendant and what sort of magic it hid. Regardless, that was a small thing and I thorougly enjoyed my time with this "Kilted Lover".

Bedtime Stories: Kiss of Fire by BJ McCall



Bedtime Stories: Kiss of Fire by B.J. McCall
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (29 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Bedtime Stories editor Claire Casson is on the run. Her job as the housekeeper at Dragon Haven is a convenient cover, but the sudden death of her employer and the arrival of his son, Jonas Thornkill, threaten to expose her secrets.

Why his father chose to offer sanctuary to an employee, a shifter with a false identity, perplexes Jonas as much as his intense, primal attraction to Claire. According to dragon law, he's stuck with her.

The last thing Claire wants or needs in her life is the complication of an alpha dragon capable of setting her blood on fire.

For Jonas, it's a matter of honor, and lust.

B. J. McCall has written an imaginative and romantic story of love and danger. The characters are well written and interesting. In spite of her fear, Claire is a strong and determined woman. When she feels threatened by Jason, she plans to leave and seek another hiding place. She is shocked when Jason tells her how far his father went to help her, but still decides not to stay where she is not trusted.

I found Jason to be the strong handsome and hot hero that every woman dreams about, and Jason quickly realizes that Claire is perfect for him. When Garath arrives, he brings demons to help him, leading to a fantastic duel for the fair maiden. But the best part of the book is the passion that erupts between Claire and Jason. I was lost in the moment when Claire actually glowed with the passion, as did Jason.

This is a fantastic romance, with a damsel in distress and the strong, brave hero who rescues her. The only difference with this is that usually the hero saves the damsel from the dragon, but here, the hero IS the dragon. For a hot read with magic and mystery, this book is the one. But turn the fan on high, no matter how cold it is outside.

Deadly Fetishes by Kayden McLeod



Deadly Fetishes by Kayden McLeod
Publisher: Eternal Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (239 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

A woman finds a soul mate she could never live without, even if it kills her.

Kelly needs to get herself a fetish. A newly-converted vampire, she’s quiet, conservative, and prone to panic attacks. When her friend drags her to a vampire fetish club, she meets Marcus, a walking manual on sexual pleasure. Marcus is captivating and dangerous and knows exactly what he wants. With a single-minded purpose, he scoops Kelly up from her abnormal, disillusioned life and shows her the pleasures of immortality. His obsession with her body knows no limits, and her desire only burns hotter every time he touches her. She drives him insane with the blinding need to hear her scream his name with absolute abandon. Marcus shows her the true world of vampires, which is more magical than Kelly had ever dreamed.

Deadly Fetishes is a vampire lover’s dream, full of heat, intensity, and so much chemistry you’ll sizzle and burn. Author Kayden McLeod has written something fans of the paranormal erotic genre will love, creating vampires who are both unique and captivating.

When the story begins we are introduced to Sara and the voice of the story, Kelly, who believe they are the only ones of their kind. Following an unexpected encounter at a fetish club, Kelly engages the interest of a mysterious stranger who sweeps her off her feet and reveals just the opposite. Not only are they not the only vampires in existence, but Marcus is one of them, and after one taste of Kelly, he’s not willing to let her slip away. Much heat and passion ensue, along with revelations that will change the lives of everyone involved. Can Marcus keep Kelly and Sara safe? Will they have their happy – and lusty – ever after?

The first person narrative is wonderfully written, and due to Ms. McLeod’s distinct voice, very appealing and entertaining. Aside from a few circumstances in which the dialogue seemed a stifle awkward, the story is enthralling and impossible to turn away from. I loved this new version of vampires, as well as the laws that are in place to govern them. The tension is perfect, and provides you with just enough uncertainty to keep you on your toes. The new ideas and concepts are refreshing, while the sexual intensity builds into an inferno of dominance, submission, and desire.

If you’re in the market for a vampire story that will make your pulse pound and your heart race, Deadly Fetishes is certainly one you will sink your teeth into.

Full Disclosure by Cari Quinn



Full Disclosure by Cari Quinn
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (126 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism, Anal Play, Toys
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily



Thirty-eight-year-old divorcee Holly Burrows has had enough of battery-operated love. Prompted by an ad left at her law office, she investigates Hunk Du Jour, a website designed to foster ‘adult connections’. After weeks of sexy emails and phone calls with surf hunk Kent, she's ready to test their chemistry in person. But first she has to get through lunch with her colleague Alex, a man with a brain as agile as his body. When their consultation ends with a bang, she barely remembers the man she'd lined up for dessert. Now she thinks she's juggling two hot young guys. How can she choose between her two gorgeous cubs – and why do they remind her of each other?

Is it possible for a love match to happen over a website? What if he’s twelve years younger than the woman he’s interested in? What if she’s just as interested?

Sounds like you’re interested. Better read Full Disclosure and find out more.

This is a fun story from new author Cari Quinn. The writing is tight and flows fast, keeping the reader firmly in her seat until the last page. The world of Holly and Alex builds throughout the story, making you feel like you’re really there too.

Alex is a hunk of a hero. Yes, his heart is solely with Holly. It’s nice to see such determination. I even liked his means to winning her heart. Now I know he’s got his issues, but I still enjoyed seeing him work to woo her and rooted for him to get his heart’s delight.

Although I liked Holly and can identify with her struggles to trust Alex, her tendency to use physical love to keep Alex off balance was a tad unnerving. She wants him and you see her wanting him. Then again, her emotional scars run deep and who can’t identify with that? As the story progressed, I did gain respect for her and rooted for her to find her inner most desire.

Now, if you want a story that will make you squirm in your seat--guaranteed!--then you can’t pick a better story than Full Disclosure. I give this story 4.5 cherries.

The Marriage of True Minds by Jamie Freeman



The Marriage of True Minds by Jamie Freeman
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (74 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Phlox

In April 1945, soldier Charlie Blanchard met a handsome Canadian captain named Danny Farnham in a small village on the Rhine River and reluctantly found himself falling in love. As they stole time for themselves, Danny asked Charlie a question: if a djinn appeared and offered him one wish, what would that wish be?

Fifty years later, Charlie is alone in his home facing a hurricane, inundated by memories. Looping through the details of his life, his thoughts always return to Danny. As the storm escalates, Charlie realizes this may be the end—the end of a love affair that has spanned decades.

Transported, whisked away, and completely caught off guard—that’s what happened when I read this story. I often avoid the combination ghost story and romance. Things get a little odd, or they’re simply tragic. Here, the author lets you know up front that the love interest died long ago. Never fear. You still get your happily-ever-after ending. This is merely a jumping off point for this heart-seizing romance.

With depth of feeling and wonderful description, the reader travels back and forth with Charlie between his old age in Florida and his youth in WWII Germany where he and Danny, both young officers, meet. The tale gently leads us into the mind of this man, a man who has tried to live his life as honorably as he could, but who has always been left with a sense of being incomplete and restless. His inability to live in the present except with Danny, who now haunts his Florida house, runs as an undercurrent to the romance, beautifully illustrated by this passage:

“I felt disconnected to the world around me as if, at least for the moment, nothing mattered outside the room. It was a rare occurrence for me, to live so intensely that my life narrowed to a single point. No past, no future, no worries, no speculations. Just Danny and me.”

Yes, the sex is hot and steamy but written with a tenderness that tugs at the heart, with desperate emotional poignancy. I felt in the moment as well, reading the WWII passages. Freeman’s portrayal of the period is rendered successfully because of the little details, what sorts of buttons have to be undone, what sorts of songs might be in a German record collection of the time. Having been forced to watch too many hours of WWII documentary, I’ll confess I’m not an avid fan of the era. Usually. But this story has nothing to do with generals and troop movements, and everything to do with conquests of the heart, a look at the conflict from a more human level, tragedy and all. Freeman demonstrates an excellent grasp of the short story medium. Some writers are more comfortable in the short form, but I would be intrigued to see what this author might do in a longer work.

Charlie and Danny’s story is one that will stay with me for a long time, most likely always. Pick an afternoon when the significant other won’t pester you, shoo the kids out of the house, and give yourself a couple of uninterrupted hours with this beautifully crafted story. Immerse yourself in it, and I promise you’ll feel uplifted and fulfilled at the end.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

South Beach Submissive by Jennifer Dunne



South Beach Submissive by Jennifer Dunne
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (117 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Alexandra Davidovitch finagles an invitation to an exclusive BDSM party, but doesn’t let on that she’s really club reviewer Sassy D, on assignment to get the goods on how the South Beach elite party in private. Then she meets fashion photographer Michael Jackman, a drop-dead gorgeous Dominant who makes her forget everything but the way she feels under his control. She’d do anything and everything for her new Master…except tell him who she is. But the only way out of exposing him in the pages of her paper is to expose herself, and either way, one of their careers will be over.

South Beach Submissive is a sultry and sexy BDSM tale that fans of the genre will swoon over. Author Jennifer Dunne has written a story that enflames your desires, builds the tension, and creates oodles of heat.

When lifestyle reporter Alexandra, AKA Sassy D, takes on a job to explore the BDSM scene, she thinks she knows what to expect. She’s read about the "D/s thing", and has a fairly good handling of how things go. So imagine her shock when she meets Michael, a dominant who brings her to her knees. A night of passion leaves her breathless, yet, as much as she longs for more, she fears Michael’s reaction when he learns the true reason she was at the exclusive gathering in the first place. Unwilling to take the chance of losing him by coming clean, she explores her passion, embraces the moment, and tries to think of a way to do her job without alienating the man of her dreams.

This is the sort of tale that keeps the reader on the edge of their seats. You are aware from the start that the relationship between a Dom and sub requires implicit trust. Without it, there is nothing. So while you revel in the heat between the characters, your stomach will clench in anticipation of what is to come. Can Michael, a renowned photographer who detests the limelight, forgive Alexandra when he discovers she’s a reporter? Will Alexandra be able to salvage her job, keep the man she desires most, and find solid ground?

The writing here is fantastic, ensuring the story moves along at a nice, steady pace. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next, and hung onto every word until the story’s completion. My very minor criticism would be that I was disappointed that the story was explored entirely through Alexandra’s POV. It doesn’t necessarily deter from the enjoyment of the material, but rather, was an observation I had while reading. As captivating as Michael appears through Alexandra’s words and eyes, I would have enjoyed some time in his head. You do get a sense of his emotions, but he’s one sexy piece of man, and I would have loved to have gotten to know him on a deeper level.

If you’re in the mood for a story that positively sizzles, South Beach Submissive is sure to hit the spot. Be sure to mark this one down on the TBR list, and have plenty of ice water handy when you prepare to take the ride.

Heavenly Bodies by Sascha Illyvich



Heavenly Bodies by Sascha Illyvich
Publisher: Renaissance EBooks
Genre: Action/Adventure, Recent Historical, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (195 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/F, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Anal Play, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

In Sacrifice, Ares, the God of War, is banished from Olympus, falls in love with a mortal woman and is called upon to make a very unusual sacrifice if he wants to keep her. In Echo's Odyssey, the wars of faery are over, but for the assassin Echo and his lover Alexandrya, a new war is just beginning. They return to faery expecting to be reunited with the third member of their triad, the princess Serenissa, only to find she and faery itself are threatened by even greater peril.

What happens when a God is forced to be a mortal? What happens when a man in desperate need of redemption feels he can’t be redeemed? And what if there’s a healthy dose of hot sex added in? Then you have Heavenly Bodies and it’s a pair of stories you have to read.

Everyone from time to time makes a mistake. Most every time we want to made up for those goof-ups. In the first of the two stories that make up Heavenly Bodies, entitled Sacrifice, we find out what happens when a large dose of jealousy and a pinch of realism makes a God into a mortal. I liked the interplay between Ares (as John Mars) and Linda. To solve the murder, they have to work together and deal with the mutual attraction. I almost though the attraction was too quick, but this is a shorter story, so things have to move at a brisk pace. I liked the similarities to Sam Spade and The Maltese Falcon, but I wanted to see more of a passion develop between Ares and Linda.

In Echo’s Odyssey, we meet Echo, a fae who has become an assassin for the good of the fae. I liked that he didn’t choose his path, but followed what he thought was right. The reader can identify with his struggles—we don’t always want to do what we have to, but we do it out of necessity. This is an interesting story—Echo must overcome his past to save the fae and his love, Princess Serenissa. The love between them sizzles, but I almost felt that Alexandrya, the third part of the triad, was forgotten. I wanted to see some more development of the story as to why they were a threesome. The ending seemed a bit quick, but really hot.

If you want a pair of stories that will make you think and squirm, then you need to read Heavenly Bodies. I give this novel 3.5 cherries.

Fort Knox by Moira Hanson



Fort Knox by Moira Hanson
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Other: M/F
Length: Full Length (181 pgs)
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Jasmine

Eleven years have passed since Knox Turner locked his heart away and threw out the key. While he is a man with needs, he won't let any woman break down the barriers he built.

Until now.

The young, curvaceous and timid Simone Tanner is working her way to the top for her dream job in advertising, but she finds herself wanting more than work experience from Knox Turner.

When the two travel to Tokyo for business, they can't help but explore their forbidden desires. There are no ad slogans to describe the heat between them, but Knox has been guarded for too long to let this woman change everything, and Simone tries to convince herself work is her priority. The sex is erotic and intense, but will it lead to an everlasting bond?

Every day in the advertising business is a gamble and they welcome the challenge with open arms. But what happens when Simone and Knox are forced to gamble on love?

Simone Tanner is smart, feisty, and insecure at times, but she has a heart of gold. Like everyone, she has some demons in her closet, but she’s managed to make the best out of a bad situation, which includes landing her dream job in the advertising business. However, when she’s forced to accompany Knox Turner on a business trip to Japan, Simone can’t help but admire the man’s intelligence and stellar record for closing the deal. Moreover, his ruggedly handsome good looks are enough to set her body on fire. Will Simone give into her desires for Knox and take a chance on finding true love? Or, will she stick to the old adage of never mixing business with pleasure?

The connection between Simone and Knox is so endearing throughout the book that I couldn’t help but wonder where all of the Knox Turner’s are in the world. When witnessing all of the doubts and fears that both Simone and Knox faced on a daily basis, I couldn’t help but root for them to be together. They really were two halves of a whole and the only way they’d ever be complete is by being together.

Ms. Hanson has created two characters that not only come to life on the page, but also as a reader, you can’t help but love. There were times when I wanted to weep for both of them as they struggled to find happiness as both individuals and a couple. I loved how she slowly built each character up and as the book progressed you learned more and more about them as they learned how to compliment each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Fort Knox is an amazing story that not only will make you laugh and cry, but also will make you want to knock some sense into Knox’s head from time to time. The plot of the story is realistic and the characters are genuine. If you’re looking for a story that entails some heart-ache and will bring a tear to your eye, yet fill you with laughter simultaneously, then Fort Knox is the book to read. Two thumbs up to Ms. Hanson for providing us with a sensual, heart-warming story that’s a breath of fresh air and guaranteed to make your body simmer from the scorching hot sex. I would definitely recommend Fort Knox to my friends.

Lessons in Seduction by Charlie Cochrane



Lessons in Seduction by Charlie Cochrane
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (150 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

This time, one touch could destroy everything…

Cambridge Fellows Mysteries, Book 6

The suspected murder of the king’s ex-mistress is Cambridge dons Orlando Coppersmith and Jonty Stewart’s most prestigious case yet. And the most challenging, since clues are as hard to come by as the killer’s possible motive.

At the hotel where the body was found, Orlando goes undercover as a professional dancing partner while Jonty checks in as a guest. It helps the investigation, but it also means limiting their communication to glances across the dance floor. It’s sheer agony.

A series of anonymous letters warns the sleuths they’ll be sorry if they don’t drop the investigation. When another murder follows, Jonty is convinced their involvement might have caused the victim’s death. Yet they can’t stop, for this second killing brings to light a wealth of hidden secrets.

For Orlando, the letters pose a more personal threat. He worries that someone will blow his cover and discover their own deepest secret… The intimate relationship he enjoys with Jonty could not only get them thrown out of Cambridge, but arrested for indecency.

The two men from St. Bride’s are at it again and you don’t want to miss the fun. In the sixth book of the Cambridge Fellows Mysteries, Orlando and Jonty are investigating their toughest case yet. An old mistress of the crown has died and the police suspect foul play. To investigate, Orlando must go undercover and Jonty enlists the help of his energetic father. The mystery is complicated enough when more bodies appear and the men start to fray from their time apart.

For those following the series, this additional installment will tickle your love of mystery. The mistress’ murder is complicated and perhaps the best who-dun-it of the series. There are numerous clues, red herrings, and missing details that force you to figure out who did what to whom alongside Orlando and Jonty.

There were a few things that make it less than perfect. A few too many details and characters were thrown in, so many of them blend together without much distinction while the actual identity of the murderer felt a bit dissatisfying. There was just too much going on for part of the book, too many clues, secret rendezvous, and mysterious happenings that seemed to take the plot into tangent after tangent which got a bit confusing. However, the skill of the author comes into play by weaving these threads together to form a common strand and for the most part, a real purpose to each detail. A few hanging threads were left and some details and actions unexplained, but for the most part the plot delivers an interesting, engaging mystery.

The mystery is the main focus of the story, which will please some fans, but this happens at the cost of romantic scenes. In this book, Jonty and Orlando are apart for the majority of the book, only coming together occasionally for passionate encounters. These scenes are slightly more daring than previous books but nothing that will shock fans of the historical age. Orlando’s past is offered with a visit to his grandmother, showing her acceptance and love for the young man but also setting up a question or two that may be addressed in future books. The marked lack of the wit and chemistry between Jonty and Orlando unfortunately makes this not my favorite book of the series. I prefer when the two fellows solve a mystery together with their banter and charm dominating the pages. However, no doubt other readers will forgive this and enjoy any opportunity to visit the engaging men.

The classical use of prose and writing is reminiscent of the series without many alterations. The Oceanside setting came across very nicely, in contrast to other books when the different city wasn’t translated so well. There is a very large cast and a side story about the Dean’s sister that is a nice touch, however unnecessary. Overall I think fans of the series will greatly enjoy this latest offering and continue to clamor for more. I eagerly await the next book in the series and personally hope Jonty and Orlando have more scenes together, but I could just be greedy.

The Dhampir by Angela Knight



The Dhampir by Angela Knight
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (42 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Genevieve Drake is a Dhampir -- half vampire, half mortal, born and bred to be the perfect complement to her vampire mate, like those of her family for sixteen generations. Instead, she chose to become a cop. Three months ago she survived a vicious attack by a psychotic ex that left her with psychic scars and a desperate need for a new line of work. Time to rethink her future.

Hunter is tall, dark and handsome -- and very, very powerful. He's also been waiting for Genevieve. She was just sixteen when he had a vision that they'd one day become lovers. He's been biding his time ever since.

But Genevieve's experiences have left her unable to trust any man, even Hunter. If he wants them to have a future, the vampire will have to find a way to banish her ghosts...

Sometimes the hardest thing to overcome is the past. What do you do when the man of your dreams wants to help you heal? Do you give in? Or stick to your comfort zone?

Pick up The Dhampir and read on.

Angela Knight writes great paranormal stories. Her characters keep your attention while the world she creates pulls you in. The storyline moves at a quick clip.

I like the hero. Hunter knows Genevieve is his and it’s nice to see him take control. What I like the most about him is that he’s not only willing to take her body to new sexual heights, he’s also willing to help her get past the demons marring her life.

Genevieve is an interesting heroine. She’s got emotional scars that she can’t always control. It’s nice to see a heroine who isn’t perfect. She’s totally in lust with Hunter, but she’s afraid to let go. I know lots of people who feel the same way at times and it’s refreshing.

The sex in this story sizzles, but herein lies my quandary. This is a short story and the love scenes scorch the page, but it almost happens too fast. I wanted to see the physical attraction build at a little slower pace to make the sex feel more natural and less forced. I realize this is an erotic story, but I wanted to see more passion and emotional investment within the sex.

If you want a story that has parts that will make you squirm, cheer, and smile, then you need to read The Dhampir. I give this story 3.5 cherries.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Warrior Lover by Marianne LaCroix



Warrior Lover by Marianne LaCroix
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (61 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

June 6, 1944 - Belle is part of the French Resistance, fighting for freedom from the Nazis that have taken control of her country. She feels most comfortable with a rifle in hand, and earns the respect of the Allied Forces, always sure of her actions. That is until Lieutenant Colonel A. Riese appears on the French shores for the long awaited invasion.

Ares wants to take part in this war, and he wants to win. When he encounters Belle, he can't resist this mortal woman with the face of a goddess and the heart of a warrior. Will the mighty Ares, Greek god of War, be defeated by love?

Who says the love of your life has to be from your world? Who says he has to be mortal? When you read Warrior Lover, you’ll lose your heart to this God of War.

The Gods and Goddesses on Mt. Olympus lead their lives with little concern for the mortals on Earth as long as they themselves are taken care of. When Ares spends time in France during the Second World War, he finds that his greatest heart’s desire isn’t the battle—but Belle.

I liked Belle as a heroine. She’s one tough woman, yet soft and feminine at the same time. She doesn’t take crap from anyone. The reader can identify with her need to protect her people, the Resistance. You want to see her succeed in the war, and with Ares. She deserves a man who will love and cherish her.

I liked Ares struggle to find balance. He wants to be in the thick of war, but he also wants to be with Belle. As a God, he can make her do as he pleases, but as a lover, he must be cognizant of her needs. I wish other men understood his struggle. Although I wasn’t fond of him at first, I liked how Ares grows as a character and a man through the story.

The interplay between the world of the Gods and 1940’s earth is different and a bit hard to keep straight at first, but it’s worth the read. If you like a story with a fantastic twist and characters that stay with you long past the last page, then you need to read Warrior Lover. I give this story 4 cherries.

Corporate Desires by Bridget Midway



Corporate Desires by Bridget Midway
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (122 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Fresh from her recent incarceration, Edna "Madame Z." Zulma wants a normal life. Unfortunately between her new boss and her parole officer, she's finding it hard to be plain ol' Edna. Throw in the very sexy office manager, Burton McCutcheon, and Edna is starting to think about the BDSM lifestyle again.

Burton's goal of staying focused as he tries to start his own business is affected as soon as Edna Zulma arrives. When he discovers her BDSM past, he decides to fulfill her fantasies...and his.

After devouring Bridget Midway’s sensual and unforgettable Corporate Seduction, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the second installment, Corporate Desires. Even then a secondary character, Madame Z made one heck of an impression, and I couldn’t wait to see what happened to her. Now, I have my answer, and I have to confess, I enjoyed the journey immensely.

Edna is in a rut brought about by her own actions, and now she’s paying the cost. Once the renowned Madame Z, she is now simply Edna, a woman nearing forty, fresh out of prison, who lives at home with her mother. She fantasizes about the man who drove her to madness, but knows a future together will never happen. He’s married – to the very woman she tried to remove from his life. Taking a regular job, she hopes to find some sense of normalcy and happiness, but accepts things might never start looking up. Just when she’s settling in, she’s introduced to her co-worker, a gorgeous man who brings all of her wickedly naughty passions to life – Burton McCutcheon.

Burton is a man who has denied his sexual needs for far too long. Newly divorced, he’s determined not to make the same mistake again. He needs control – both in his life and in the bedroom. His attraction to Edna is both consuming and confusing. She dresses like a spinster and carries herself like a woman much older than her years. Still, there is something about her he can’t ignore, and soon, he discovers there is far more to his office assistant than meets the eye.

As with Corporate Seduction, Ms. Midway lures you in with complex, yet relatable, characters, fantastic dialogue, and scenes that will have you in stitches. She’s the Mistress of writing moments that make you cringe as you chuckle, ensuring your stomach rolls as a smile expands across your face. Edna and Burton each have issues, with tainted histories, which mold them into people you can’t help but care for. I loved the flourishing relationship, especially as it’s hindered by comical (and at times uncomfortable) obstacles along the way.

Bridget Midway fans will not be disappointed with Corporate Desires. The writing is excellent, the characters are fantastic, and the story has enough drama, emotion, and tension to keep you turning the pages to learn what happens next.

Bound To Be Mine by Tess Lamont



Bound To Be Mine by Tess Lamont
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (57 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Stripping had not just been profitable for Lisa Emery; it had given her the power, the control, to be the woman she wanted to be. She’d had a stimulating job and the perfect man at home—her master. Together, they were exploring the darker side of passion, and both seemed to bloom with the knowledge. Why then had he suddenly disappeared just when things were going so well? And why now was he back?

Ben Johnson knew the “life” he and Lisa were living had been wrong...just knew it. Something that felt that good couldn’t be right. According to his therapist, “only by atoning for your wrongs could you really grow and change as a person.” Why then, after so many months apart, did he still need to dominate Lisa, to bend her to his will and give in to his baser instincts?

When I read the blurb for Bound To Be Mine, I was intrigued. A couple who are into BDSM part ways when the man begins to believe his actions are harmful to the woman he loves. Got your attention? It certainly did mine. So imagine my surprise when the story offered a jolting dash of the unexpected.

Lisa is a woman who turned to stripping as a way to gain power over men, which is at odds with her sexual preferences. In the bedroom, she learned about the power of submission, and her Master, Ben, was all she wanted and more. His sudden departure left a hole in not only her life, but her heart. Picking up the pieces, she struggled to move on without him and carve a new life for herself without the one man who completed her in all ways.

Ben left Lisa a year before to get help. The dominant tendencies he expresses are wrong, and he fears that he’s ruined Lisa’s life by introducing her to them. Now, as a part of his twelve steps to recovery, he’s returned to apologize, and if possible, make amends. Armed with the journal he kept through his struggle to curb his sexual nature, he faces the woman who still has the key to his heart and hopes she can forgive him for all the damage he’s caused.

What comes next are revelations, confrontations, and ultimately, resolutions. This is one of those stories in which signals were mixed, and as a result, lives were irrevocably changed. Ben might have felt he was the reason for Lisa’s erratic behavior, but the truth is something else all together. As the pieces come together, you’ll get a better understanding of the characters and the challenges they faced (but failed to discuss).

The story is well-written and progresses at a steady pace, which is wonderful in a novella this length. Ben and Lisa have an excellent chemistry, and their emotional scenes are both touching and heartbreaking. Be sure to place this story onto your TBR list, especially if you love a BDSM themed erotica with oodles of emotion.

Wizards of Venus Book 1: Magic Touch by Dakota Trace



Wizards of Venus Book 1: Magic Touch by Dakota Trace
Publisher: eXcessica Publishing
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (292 pgs)
Other: M/F, Light BDSM
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Welcome to the World of Venus. Unlike many had believed, it's not an inhabitable place, but one which simply has cloaked its people from outsider presence. In a world of magic and warriors, High Prince Randall deCarthwright and his two best friends, his cousin, Jonathan deCarthwright, and the daughter of his dad's advisor, Grace Anne O'Connor, grew up.

Rand, the crown prince, soon to take over the reins from his retiring father; Gracie, who longs to follow her dad's footsteps; and Jonathan, a powerful vindexicis warrior who has become the head of security for the royal family - all think they are on their set courses, until a prophesy shatters their belief.

Gracie was aware of the prophesy but with time and distance from her chosen mate, her belief in it is broken. She becomes livid when she finds out her father and the King of Venus have arranged her marriage to Rand. She's shocked to find out Rand wants the marriage to take place. Against the advice of his sentient power, Ruzac, Rand's given Gracie the time she's needed to grow up before claiming her. Now, with the time at hand, the mezlcar, their intense mating ritual, begins to burn as an unseen force plots against them, and Rand is torn between mating with or protecting his chosen.

Join the wild ride as Rand attempts to convince Gracie of their right to be together, all while trying to defeat the bad guys with a bit of help from his friends - a spunky offworlder, and two unpredictable sentient beings.

Dakota Trace has created an enchanting world, inhabited by strong and powerful characters. Gracie is a delight-a strong and powerful witch who wants to be taken seriously. She truly believes she is not Rand’s true Chosen, because so much has been kept from her over the years. She is determined to be taken seriously for her strength, power and intelligence, not just because of a prophecy made when she was young child.

Rand has known for a long time that Gracie was his one true love and mate, but left her alone for ten years, trying to protect her. It doesn’t help that their sentient powers want them together, so that they can reunite. When Venusians die, their spirits pass into an unborn child, to bring wisdom and knowledge to the one they inhabit. In this case Rand’s "spirit", Ruzak, and Gracie’s "spirit", Zara, were mates in a previous life and want to be reunited through the union of Gracie and Rand. The supporting characters all play important roles in this as well. Gracie’s twin sister Patience, while having no magic, is a strong warrior in her own right. Jonathan, Gracie and Rand’s best friend, is a strong warrior, as well.

Watching these four learn what it takes to survive the takeover attempt, and watching Rand slowly discover what Gracie needs from him are both marvelously written. I loved that Gracie didn’t just sit back and accept her “fate” but made Rand work so very hard for her.

I recommend this to everyone who believes that love will find a way to win in the end, but who want the journey to be thrilling and even a bit dangerous before the happy ever after.

Feral Heat by Lacey Savage



Feral Heat by Lacey Savage
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (342 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, F/F, M/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Cholla

Think werewolves aren't real?

Tell that to the four women and one man who find themselves captive to the whims of the Zante pack's males. Fierce, mythical, and sexy-as-sin, these delightfully debauched wolves guide their lovers through a journey of seductive exploration. Whether newly discovered or rekindled, their relationships are as passionate as they are.

And the women can give as good as they take. From a fairy bent on revenge to a vixen determined to destroy the pack, they'll all discover that getting caught is its own reward.

Wild and dangerous, menacing and exciting, otherworldly and naughty to the last...

The men of the Zante pack will make a believer out of you.

Feral Heat is a collection of steamy paranormal stories sure to set you on fire. All centering around various members of the Zante pack of werewolves, each story links to the next connecting them all into one cohesive novel in many parts. Lacey Savage has a wonderful talent for melding the emotional with the erotic and taking you on an incredible journey of the heart and body.

Chemistry to Burn starts this collection off with a bang, literally. When fairy chemist Angelina is robbed of her secret fireworks formula, she sets out to retrieve it from her ex-lover, Griffin. When the confrontation turns from an angry battle of words to frenzied lovemaking, they realize that they’re not ready to walk away from each other quite yet. Chemistry to Burn is a short and fun story that makes for a great introduction to this collection.

Following on the heels of Chemistry to Burn is the second story in this collection, Feral Magnetism. J. C. has been ordered by the pack elders to find a mate – a female mate – in twenty-nine days. Reluctant to find a mate of any kind, he’s shocked and just a bit aroused when Eve stumbles into his private party with his friend and packmate, Brad. Could she be the mate he’s been looking for? There’s only one way to find out! Feral Magnetism is a highly erotic story filled with ups and downs and three really great characters. I love Eve’s attitude as well as Brad’s sideline humor. J. C. is a conflict of emotions and alpha male werewolf. The three make a great trio just destined for trouble.

In Feral Bachelorism, we follow Brad as he watches his friend and lover, J. C. perform the mating ritual with his new human mate, Eve. Lost and despondent at the idea of J. C. moving on – and with a woman to boot – he stumbles across Sean and decides that he just has to have him. Little does he know that the one woman hidden in his past is going to make a surprise guest appearance. Brad and Sean make a delectable couple, two strong young men, one experienced and one not. However, they both eventually teach the other about the ways of life and love in their own way. I enjoyed the extra mystery and intrigue wrapped up in this story as well. The question of why Ali returns after so long gives the novella more meat.

Ali returns in Feral Hedonism, after having been caught by the pack’s security chief, Victor. In an attempt to rehabilitate her mercenary ways, Victor takes her prisoner and stashes her at his mansion. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for her – hard. It was fun watching two very alpha wolves dance around each other in this story. It was even more enjoyable trying to decide which would submit to the other first. This story also has the added benefit of being slightly more intense emotionally than the ones that came before. It shows a nice progression in the work.

Concluding the collection is probably one of the most intense and emotionally charged stories of the group, Feral Voyeurism. After leaving Victor’s home to make it on her own, Emma takes a job dancing on a pirate cruise ship. Desperate to leave her hurt feelings behind her, Emma immerses herself in her job, avoiding anyone and everything around her. When she accidentally stumbles across Durand and his ghostly lover, Chris, her world shifts in more ways than one. Torn between her painful past and a chance at a happy, loving future, Emma retreats within herself until the combination of Chris and Durand are able to awaken her curiosity… and her desire. I liked Emma when she first appeared in Feral Hedonism and was happy to see she got her own story in this collection. I also enjoyed the combination of her main men, Chris and Durand. They were similar in some ways, but so very different in so many others that it kept their interactions with Emma fresh and exciting. A great way to wrap up a group of wonderfully sexy stories.

I love the way each story flows into the next by introducing a secondary character that becomes the main character in the following story. This brings the individual stories together and makes for a more concise and cohesive collection. In addition, it draws you in farther by keeping everything familiar and keeping you from having to get to know new people each story. Also, each story gradually becomes more emotionally intense, leading the reader along a path of growth with the characters. A very satisfying collection overall. I would highly recommend it to any lover of shifter stories or good old fashioned love stories with a twist.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

2 Hot 2 Handle by Kelly Jamieson



2 Hot 2 Handle by Kelly Jamieson
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (55 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/M, F/M/M, Ménage, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Two men. Too hot…

Abby Finlay sticks to one simple rule: no commitment. Ever. She’s not a one-man woman—or even a one-woman woman. She likes sex, and she’s not afraid to experiment. The secret to her success is never sticking around long enough to let anyone get past her tough, cynical exterior.

And that’s what’s making her nervous right now. The Look. In other words, the expression on two-months-steady Eric’s face when he looks at her. It’s got “next level” written all over it—and Abby’s on alert to head for the door.

When Abby confesses to the sexual arousal she feels with his roommate, Jett, Eric can hardly believe his luck. He and Jett have been looking for that one perfect woman with whom to share their lives, and Abby is the missing piece who fits perfectly into the empty space.

Confronted with not just one man, but two who offer her the “C” word, Abby’s buried fears come roaring to the surface. There’s only one thing left to do. Run, before she hurts the two men who mean more to her than they should.

Abby is a woman who likes her sex life as it is – open and unpredictable. So when she gets involved with Eric, she hopes he shares the sentiment. Unfortunately, his feelings begin to take a serious turn. Attracted to the gorgeous man beyond words, she wonders if her heart might echo the sentiment until his roommate, Jett, comes on to her and she realizes she is undeniably attracted to him. Armed with the knowledge that she isn’t meant to be with just one man, she returns the following day to inform Eric they can no longer see each other. When Eric asks why, Abby reveals her sexual preferences, and is stunned when Eric and Jett come forward – as lovers – and promise her pleasures she’s never experienced.

Talk about an erotica that is hot, hot, hot!! 2 Hot 2 Handle is exactly that and more! Kelly Jamieson has done it again, creating memorable characters that are flawed, yet impossibly sexy. From the minute you step into her world, you’re surrounded in a heat wave of sexuality, and if that isn’t what erotica is all about, I don’t know what is. Abby, Eric, and Jett steam up the pages, and when they finally cave in to their desires, you’ll need an icy cold shower to cool down.

Though slightly disappointed with the brevity of certain elements of the story, I have to say there is a considerable amount of emotion in 2 Hot 2 Handle. Abby is afraid of becoming a cheating spouse like her mother, which is the obstacle she has to overcome in order to begin a relationship with the men who are offering her everything she has ever desired. When she visits her friend Melina (who fans of Jamieson will remember from Love Me and the follow-up, Love Me More), she comes to terms with what she cannot change. But will Eric and Jett forgive her hasty departure from their bed? Can the three lovers find common ground and strive for a happy future together?

Fans of Kelly Jamieson will love 2 Hot 2 Handle. It’s got the same blistering intensity of her previous works, and will leave you totally satisfied.

Of Death and Desire by Jude Mason



Of Death and Desire by Jude Mason
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Historical, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (33 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

October 15, 1898

Dear diary, that's how you're supposed to begin these things, or so I assume. I never in a million years thought I'd write in one, let alone under these circumstances. This was Jonathan's doing. When he asked me to make this entry, it was something I had to do, for him. He's given up so much.

The beginning. Yes, that's where I should begin and then let his accounting tell the tale.

Can loving someone be the utmost in your life, even beyond your work? What happens if the person you love is taken from you? Would you be willing to give up everything for a chance to have that person back again? Then you need to read Of Death and Desire.

Jude Mason writes stories that are guaranteed to make you squirm. I know when I have one of her ebooks in hand it’s going to be a great time. This book is no exception.

I liked being transported to the late 19th century with Philip and Jonathan. I felt like I was there in the carriage with them. I went through the loss with Jonathan. Talk about heart-rending stuff! You want to see these two men together, despite the fact that Philip is sick.

And the love scenes between these two, even though many are flashbacks are rife with tenderness and eroticism. You’ll have to check your screen to make sure it’s not smoking before you turn the page. I felt Jonathan’s desperation and wanted to see him get his heart’s desire.

Although this is a short read, it packs a powerful emotional punch. If you want a story to stay with you and make you think, then you need to read Of Death and Desire. I give this story 4 cherries.