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Friday, April 16, 2010

His She-wolf by Amy Redwood



His She-wolf by Amy Redwood
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (108 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Forced Seduction, Spanking
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Ropes, guns, secrets—and one overprotective hit man. Sometimes, only life-changing sex will do.

It’s nothing personal, it’s just sex. At least that’s what I thought, meeting Seth. You see, I have a personality problem every full moon. My shifter genes urge me to hunt. And to mate. It’s an itch I can’t scratch during business meetings, obviously. What I want is my name on a lucrative contract, but this is where my life really takes a turn for the worse. The last thing I need is a hero, risking his life to save mine, but that’s exactly what I got.

Seth, hit man-cum-journalist, is on the run after securing a crucial piece of evidence against a known kingpin. Still trying to figure out how Candace is involved, he is even more puzzled at her strength, fast reflexes and appetite for sex. But he’s ready and able to save her—even if he has to tie her up to make her see reason—and heal her heart along the way.


Life sure is complicated when you hate yourself for being who you are yet can’t run away from reality, not matter what you try. Such is the personal journey of acceptance that the heroine, Candace, must travel.

The tough thing that Candace has to deal with is her own beliefs. Compound the fact that she’s been influenced by someone she loved, it’s pretty much a given that doubting isn’t even in the cards. Despite her internal conflict she’s a character of strength because she’s fighting to save her livelihood with every weapon she can muster. She has a backup plan that screams desperation so it gives a reader clear insight just how much is riding on her meeting. Her determination is balanced with a wonderful and delicious talent of candy making and it’s her store that draws her into a world of pleasure and pain. That, and her nature – when she wants something, and that includes a man, she is a very focused woman.

Seth is a man whose character I never felt 100% clear on. There was something a bit unfinished about him yet despite that, he is an interesting mixture that reminds me of biting into a Sour Patch Kid – bitter on the outside, sweet and chewy on the inside. Seth can be ruthless and harsh yet the reasons for his actions are altruistic and honorable. He has this John Wayne thing going on and does things his own way – much to the consternation of the authorities. His propensity to be so tightlipped is what makes the sparks and mistrust fly between himself and Candace. A lot of guys think that keeping a woman in ignorance protects them when, often in the case of any kind of romantic suspense stories, the opposite is true.

Both characters have some major trust issues to work out and it’s a bit straining on the patience when Candace is effectively resistive. But she has her own secrets that mess up the situation for Seth so they both are their own worst enemies and at the same time, a reader knows they eventually will be the best of friends. They just have to survive the bad guys, the insatiable need for sex and the truth when it finally comes out.

His She-wolf is written with fast paced dialogue and has a nice twist on the typical paranormal scene. Her POV is first person and Seth’s is third person POV. It’s presented in a logical order with no unnecessary head hopping. The bed scenes were hot and imaginative with well placed hints of what was to come. Although I prefer the word ‘sneaked’ versus ‘snuck’, it’s not that big a soap box issue for me. The climax of the story was gripping and interesting and made everything fall into place. It also provided more insight into Seth and his personal history. I was entertained by the story and am quite glad I read it.

Shadow Play by Jeri Duvall



Shadow Play by Jeri Duvall
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (42 pgs)
Other: M/F, Multiple Partners
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Demetrius Von Clare has fallen in love. However, his happiness is thwarted when the same villagers he has always protected so fiercely betray him. Near death and with his castle in shambles, an alluring stranger saves him. Queen Marcella, a vampire, offers him immortality in exchange for his eternal devotion and servitude.

Demetrius accepts her offer and becomes Dominick, Marcella's strong and virile prince. But after a disastrous confrontation, Dominick is banished from the court with Marcella's promises to harm any person he falls in love with. Dominick doesn't care, as he believes he'll never find another to love.

But in the bayous of New Orleans, Lillian is dropped on his doorstep, and he finds himself torn between his budding love for her, and keeping her safe from his vengeful former Queen.

Can love transcend time? Can love conquer injustice?

You need to read Shadow Play to find out.

This story grabbed me instantly because I love vampires. Ms. Duvall writes an interesting tale of vampires, greed, and redemption. I liked how I couldn’t put this ebook down once I began.

Demetrius is a tortured soul. He’s allowed the finer things in life and to take what he pleases, unless it’s the woman of his heart. That idea radiated with me because it showed that even tough guys have soft spots and can’t always get the girl by just the snap of his fingers. But his transformation...Wow! In the middle of the story, I wasn’t too fond of him. He seemed to be still very self serving, yet I liked how he grew as a character and improved himself. By the end, I rooted for him to win his heart’s delight.

Lillian and Delilah are interesting heroines in that they give freely to him in order to make him happy. The idea fits fine for the times, although I did like Lillian’s brashness much better. She has a healthy fear in her, but she also knows when to stand up for what’s right.

This is a short story, but I did wish to see more emotion, more passion between Lillian and Demetrius, who by this point is Dominick. I almost felt like there was a lot of telling that they cared, but not as much showing. Still, the love scenes, sizzle and the rest wasn't enough to deter the reader. I enjoyed it very much.

If you want a story that makes you think and squirm, you’ll want to read Shadow Play. I give this ebook 4 cherries.

If I Must by Amy Lane



If I Must by Amy Lane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (60 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Joel Martinez, a practical and organized computer programmer, is roommates with Ian Cooper, a certified IQ-in-the- stratosphere mathematical genius who literally can't find his own underwear in the mess of his day-to-day life. When Joel uneasily leaves Ian for the holidays, he ends up telling stories to his sister and discovers he feels much more for Ian than he thought. So when Ian calls, distraught because the only other thing in his life that loves him (a half-feral cat named Manky Bastard) is going to have to be put down, Joel hurries back home hoping that opposites really do attract.

Two roommates, a sick cat, and a life crisis all combine to offer an interesting holiday weekend. Joel is going home for a few days to see his mother and sister, yet worries that the scatter minded Ian will forget to take care of himself while Joel’s gone. Despite Ian’s assurances, Joel can’t seem to talk about anything but Ian to his family who finally get Joel to question his true feelings for Ian – is it friendship or something more? When their cat becomes sick, Joel rushes home to be with Ian and their relationship moves to another level when their feelings deepen.

This short story is delightful, entertaining, and thoroughly fabulous. Joel and Ian are great characters with unique flavor and quirkiness that makes them memorable. Although the classic genius who lacks common sense is a familiar stereotype, Ian transcends that particular role with his caring heart and adorable actions. He’s not perfect and makes mistakes, some worse than others, but I really liked how the author portrayed him beyond behind an incredibly intelligent but helpless young man. Suiting Ian well is Joel, a computer engineer of Mexican decent that adds some great dialogue and is the glue holding Ian’s intellectual world to reality.

There are some questionable issues such as Ian not realizing he needed condoms for sex – can anyone be that clueless? – and Joel having no idea that he was gay – something he likely should have realized was a possibility long before being told by his sister and mother – but these are minor issues. The great writing, absorbing descriptions, and solid dialogue all deliver a story that is perfect for the length and satisfying. The ending is a good happy ever after and there is a lot of romance between the men – even before they realize it. The final resolution is very sweet as is the tag line, “If I must!”

For a short, sweet, and well-written novella, definitely spend your money on this one. It’s not perfect but it’s very close and the best thing about it is that you’ll remember the characters even after you put the book down. As an introduction to this author, I was impressed and can’t wait to read more.

Dragon Shift by Alice Gaines



Dragon Shift by Alice Gaines
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (72 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Ilona's always dreamed of her dragon. Now that she's grown, the images have become so erotic no real man can compete with them. But lately, she keeps getting jolts of sexual energy, and she needs relief. So when a hunk of male flesh named Zimm shows up on the scene, she's tempted to finally lose her virginity. Drake, crown prince of the realm of dragons, seeks his mate so that he can help her with her first shift. Unfortunately, he finds her living with demons, and one in particular has nearly seduced her into his bed. Drake now has to convince Ilona that she's his princess, and the best way is to take her on their mating flight.

Ilona has dreamed of “her dragon” for most of her life. He is the reason she is still a virgin, in spite of many near misses.

When Drake decides to search for his princess, missing for sixteen years in the human world, he takes a crystal that will help him trace here whereabouts. Unfortunately, it also causes extreme sexual passion in her every time he uses it. To make matters worse, Ilona doesn’t know she is actually a dragon--raised in the human world, by demons pretending to be her family--she thinks she is human.

The demons will do anything to cause chaos in the dragon realm, in order to take over and end the time of peace. Can Drake find and claim Ilona before the demons rob her of her innocence? Will Ilona recognize Drake as not only “her dragon” but as her destined mate? Can these two unite and prevent the chaos that the demons want to rain down on the peaceful realm?

This is a story for all the dragon lovers in the audience. Alice Gaines has created a world that is believable and yet fantastic at the same time.

I loved her take on the demons that raised Ilona. There’s the “aging hippie grandmother” Holly, the “sex crazed sister” Emmaline, and there the hot beyond belief biker demon Zimm, brought in to seduce her virginity from Ilona. Ilona is determined and passionate, but refuses to give her innocence to just any man: she is waiting for “her dragon” even as she tells herself he doesn’t really exist.

When she and Drake finally meet in the human realm, the heat rises to almost volcanic levels. Drake is everything Ilona has ever wanted, Tall, strong and drop dead sexy, and he is just as innocent as she is. Part of the prophecy for them is that both must be untouched until their union. This is why the demons are determined to give Ilona to Zimm.

Ms Gaines has created a fun and unusual world, with dragons and demons and lots of hot and steamy “unsex” if you will. Ilona manges to have more hot times without actually doing the deed than any other heroine I have read. I laughed at the lengths she went to in order to prevent the actual loss of innocence. This is for all of you out there who like to laugh and enjoy a hot time, with just a bit of danger thrown in for the fun of it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Heart of the Maze by Rain Chapman



Heart of the Maze by Rain Chapman
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Historical, Holiday, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (39 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

For generations, members of Devlin Easterly's family have each been born with a special gift, but no matter which way their talent manifests, they all know when they have met the one they are destined to share their lives with. Devlin is no different. Within hours of meeting Cilia Makepeace he knows their futures will be intertwined. He opens his empathic abilities completely to her and nothing in his life will ever be the same.

Finding herself in trouble is nothing new to Cilia Makepeace. Finding herself in love however, is something else entirely. For most of her life Cilia has avoided physical contact with others. Afraid of the dark visions that sometimes follow her touch and how they alter her perception of the people she receives them from. That is, until she meets Devlin Easterly, Third Duke of Rutherford. Devlin fans the flames of desire from their first kiss, causing her to long for a future she thought beyond her grasp. Does she dare risk her heart knowing she may receive a vision that would change her view of Devlin forever?

“Miss Makepeace, How did the Lord bump his head?”

“With a chamber pot.”

“Was the chamber pot in your hand at the time?”


This is just a sampling of the clever and humorous dialogue in Rain Chapman’s Heart of the Maze. Ms. Chapman combined three of my favorite literary elements: Regency era, paranormal gifts and likable characters that compliment each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Cilia and Devlin are beautifully matched. She is headstrong and determined to see justice served while maintaining a humility that allows her to be likable. Devlin just comes across as “make you melt where you sit” charismatic alpha male. He has no problem taking charge especially where it concerns keeping Cilia safe. They both have particular gifts that aid them in not only finding each other but in addition Cilia is able to see past and future events.

Something I really appreciated about the way Ms. Chapman wrote this story is that you don’t see salacious sex for the sake of writing in sex. You really feel that they have a deeper connection and the tension has been built that culminates the first time they are together intimately. Bravo to Ms. Chapman for writing a story that maintains an interesting plot while integrating erotic elements when appropriate.

I look forward to seeing what Ms. Chapman offers up next.

Heartless by Nathalie Gray



Heartless by Nathalie Gray
Publisher: Red Sage Publishers
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (94 pgs)
Other: M/F, Multiple Partners, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

His fall from grace came in the year 117 A.D. Cursed for the last two thousand years, Gaius roams the earth, always one heartbeat ahead of his own personal hell, but always a step behind salvation. Until an irreverent, modern woman crashes through his defenses and teaches him to never give up. Unfortunately, hope always comes with a price.

What’s the price a man must pay for cheating? Money? Pride? His life? In the case of Heartless, by Nathalie Gray, it’s his very heart and you won’t want to miss Gaius’s story.

When I first opened his story, I was taken by the back and forth nature of the plot. First to Egypt, then to Canada. Honestly, it didn’t jar the reading—the back story made the details make more sense. I liked the world Ms. Gray created. I really felt like I was transported back to Gaius’s time and conversely, like I was in the middle of the treasure hunt with Anne Marie.

One sticking point for me was Anne Marie’s choice of profession—she stole things. This may not be a big thing to some, but it had me rooting against her initially. But I liked how she and Gaius grew through the story to become better people. I wasn’t Anne Marie’s biggest fan, but I see why she acted in the manner she did and respect her decisions.

Gaius is one handsome hunk of man...even if he does have a bit of baggage. I liked the play of past transgressions clouding and ruining his future because it made him become a better person—it made him grow as a character. Plus, I wouldn’t mind having a Gaius of my own hanging around in my closet.

Although I thought the sex happened a tad fast, I see why it happened as it did and still found it hot. Ms. Gray writes a sizzling love scene. Whew!

If you want a book that’s chock full of action, hatred, scorching hot sex, and a hero to die for, then you need to read Heartless. I give this one 4 cherries.

Her Mates by Suzanne Thomas



Her Mates by Suzanne Thomas
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (58 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/F/M/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Spanking
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

When the five Dupries brothers first look upon the lush beauty destined to be their mate, they are awed and filled with lust. Alice has to come to terms with not only her raging desire for the five were-bear brothers but also the knowledge that she has become a ferocious and dangerous animal herself.

The uncontrolled lust and cravings the Dupries brothers have ignited in her has Alice reeling to find a balance to make sense of what her life has come to mean. Will the love and devotion the five men besiege her with be enough to overcome the overwhelming knowledge that she is no longer who she thought she was?

What’s a girl to do all alone in the world where men with devious designs on her body plot against her? Why, go get a job of course.

Thing is, that’s kind of hard to do in the wagon train days. I give Alice a lot of credit for never giving up and trying her best to be true to her good heart and character. Although this is a fast paced story due to its length, I got a good feel for Alice’s woes and her determination to not take the easy way out. A reader feels bad for her because there’s a good sense that she’s about to hit the end of the road and it won’t be pretty.

Good thing she smells. Not that people notice anything unusual about her but the first of the story’s heroes steps into the scene with a strong sense of smell and he’s thrilled. I love the description of the hunt. Brand is the first and for some reason, I see him as the strongest and more alpha of the group even though he’s second born. The sensual tension builds as Alice and Brand ride to the cabin. There were switches of POV’s but they were well placed and explained quite well what was going on and why. The paranormal aspect of this book made it all work and in fact made it perfectly plausible.

I was a bit curious how all those brothers could make it all work out with one woman and I’m happy to say it was terrific. I had such fun reading this story that I was done reading it before I wanted to be.

Usually, the men do all the biting and clawing in paranormal romances and it was refreshing to find a woman who is so ferocious, the men dote on her. It’s a bear thing.

If a reader is looking for some sensual and fun paranormal sexcapades with really cute and brawny men, then Her Mates has everything one could wish for. I’m very glad I read this book.

The Barracks Affair by John Simspon



The Barracks Affair by John Simspon
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (60 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Basic training at Lackland Air Force Base is over and Airman Zach Kellerman passed with flying colors. A natural leader, now he shoulders the responsibilities that come with being in charge of the barracks, but his professional conduct is challenged by the vivid blue eyes and buff body of Matt Williams, a soldier under his command. While fear of exposure keeps Zach from making overtures, Matt is not so reserved, and soon their physical compatibility is matched by the feelings growing between them. But just one rumor could bring about an investigation that could end their careers before they get started, and the bittersweet barracks affair may be doomed from the beginning.

Two young men pushing their sexual limits in a military setting. Zach and Matt are just out of basic training and have been assigned to the same training group. Although they’re both gay, Zach is more careful and cautious about his appreciation for the male form while the bold and daring moves of Matt set the sexual tone for their liaison. Against the backdrop of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, these two men discover sex together while worrying about keeping their relationship a secret and their potential separation.

Simpson is one of the few authors in the current m/m romance genre that writes with pure authenticity. As ex-military himself, his stories ring with accurate details and have a raw honesty that comes shining through. Although there are elements of romance and of sex to the stories and especially so in Barracks Affair, what comes through the most are the military details. Here and there the everyday routine of the young men is offered so readers can get an idea of what life is like for those in the military. Everything from roll call to class work and consequences is stated in a basic, no frills style. There is very little romanticizing done and the story lets the setting talk for itself. This will especially please fans of military stories that want to know what a day in the life of a military man is like.

Matt and Zach are both young men just getting started on their lives and careers. They have to hide their relationship and know that there is every possibility they will be separated which keeps an immediacy to their connection. They explore sex in ways neither had done before and care about each other, even if they’re not in love just yet. The descriptive quality of their interactions is low but a raw sensuality is definitely present. There is very little conflict even with hiding their relationship and the story moves incredibly fast given the short length.

Overall, fans of military themed erotic romance will like this offering with its authentic setting and likable characters. While there is nothing especially memorable about this offering and fans of the author will likely feel this one resembles most other stories of Simpson’s, it's likely no one will be turned off either. The writing is very classic for the author and the lack of embellishments allows the stark reality to shine.

If you’re looking for a story based in reality with some hot, gay military men, definitely check this out. It’s a worthwhile short read.

Waiting For Wednesday by Mari Carr



Waiting For Wednesday by Mari Carr
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Short Story (144 pgs)
Other: M/F, Anal Sex/Play, Attempted Forcible Sex/Rape
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Holly



Tristan Collins knows Lane Bryce is strictly hands-off. She’s smart, funny, kind…and married. But he still looks forward to her once-a-week visits to the family pub where he tends bar. When she fails to arrive one Wednesday, Tris is concerned. When he learns she’s in the hospital, brutally beaten after attempting to leave her unhappy marriage, he’s enraged. Tris vows to protect her, but doesn’t get the chance—Lane checks out of the hospital and disappears without a trace.

A year later, newly divorced Lane is back, and enjoying her independence too much to embark on a relationship. Tris intends to prove she can have freedom and love, and he’s not above using seduction to do it. The more she resists, the more he sets her body ablaze with pleasure the likes of which she’s never known.

After a lifetime of disappointment, trust doesn’t come easily for Lane. But when her ex-husband reenters her life, threatening her independence, her happiness, she could discover too late that Tristan is the one man worthy of not only her trust, but also her love.

From the heart-breaking opening pages to the passionate conclusion, Waiting for Wednesday is a superb tale of love lost and found, betrayal and danger, and lots of steamy scenes along the way. This is the story of Tristan Collins and Lane Bryce, a couple who are only friends, in the beginning.

Tris works in the family bar, and knows Lane from her regular Wednesday evening visits. Until she leaves her husband and ends up in the hospital, seriously hurt. She disappears for a year, but just when Tris decides he needs to get on with life without Lane, she returns to Baltimore, and the bar. Can Tris continue to be “just friends” with Lane on her return? Will Lane discover that she can have her freedom and still be with Tris? Can they fight their attraction when Mr. Collins has a stroke, and Lane is the live in nurse the family wants? What about Lane’s possessive ex-husband-will he cause trouble for the couple?

Waiting for Wednesday is the third book in Mari Carr’s marvelous Wild Irish series. It is a story of sweet beginnings, hot sexy nights and harrowing danger. I felt like the characters were real, like they are people I have met and liked, and want to get together with again.

There is a passion in Ms. Carr’s story that is hot beyond words, but she also shows the softer side of the newly forming relationship with Lane and Tris. Lane is a strong woman, determined to stand on her own two feet and not be controlled ever again. I loved the fact that Lane was attracted to Tris, but didn’t realize that her feelings were returned. I think we have all been there at one time in our lives.

I also found myself falling for Tris along with Lane; he is certainly a sweetie. Tall, strong and handsome, he is sensitive to all that Lane has been through, and determined to be patient with her.

I have found few authors who can bring my emotions boiling to the surface like Mari Carr did with this story, and that is definitely a tribute to her skill as a storyteller. This is so much more than just a boy meets girl and they live happily ever after tale. This is real and brutal and strong, and worth reading time and time again. To Ms. Carr, I say Bravo, and bring on the rest of the week. I recommend this one for all who love their romance real and hot and on the edge of your seat.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Lady’s Lowborn Lover by Brenna Lyons



The Lady’s Lowborn Lover by Brenna Lyons
Publisher: Logical-Lust Publications
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (35 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Lady Riann Summer-Night's programs to help the lowborn find matches has brought Jaesin Park and his bond-brother Matty to a fine inn in Hanford. Alia Autumn fears this meeting day will be her last; if she fails to find a mate or bond-sister in the morning, her high born family may decide she's unmatchable. Being in a high-stress situation and close proximity are all these two need to find each other...or is it?

What do you do when the man of your deepest fantasy comes to life? And what do you do when he can also read your mind?

Make sure you claim him as your own!

When I read a Brenna Lyons story, I know I’ll be transported to a whole new world. I like her use of memory links and unusual pairings. Her tales are the kind you don’t forget even after the last page.

Jaesin and Alia are an interesting pair. I wanted to see them come together from the beginning and I liked how Ms. Lyons did just that. When Jaesin and Alia make love, it sizzles. I liked how they didn’t just have sex on a physical plane, but on an emotional one as well. What was a tad jarring was the occasional mindspeak, but if I reread, then the story flowed better.

The only thing about this story that made me pause was how Alia liked to remind Jaesin he was lowborn. I understood she loved him for the man he was, not his standing in life, and I liked that he wanted to remain true to himself, but sometimes it came across like he was less than her. Yes, she’s a lady and he’s a working man, but she acted like it was scandalous that a lady would choose someone so beneath her. But it worked for the story and still, I couldn’t put this book down.

If you want a tale of saucy sex and true love, then you need to read The Lady’s Lowborn Lover. I give it 4 cherries.

No Rest For the Wicked by AM Riley



No Rest For the Wicked by AM Riley
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Sci/Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (160 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Adam has gone through a lot of changes in the past year, a new taste for 'O' neg blood and allergy to sunlight being the least of them. Maybe it's the cute young grad student who has been sniffing around Adam's longtime sex partner, Peter. Or maybe immortality gives a man a little too much time to think. But Adam's feeling motivated to change a few of his ways. If he could just get Peter to stop working long enough to notice.

Peter has his own issues with dating a dead man. And after over a decade of being in love with a commitment-phobe, he's finding it hard to believe that Adam isn't sampling the goods of the hot young vampire he works with.

They manage their issues the way they always have. By not talking about them...until a high profile computer software genius turns up drained in Hollywood, revealing a new vampire gang in Los Angeles, and all of their troubles come to a head. There's no rest for the wicked.

Adam is back and this time he’s one of the good guys. A year ago Adam died like he always thought he would –- bravely in the line of duty as a cop. Unfortunately for him he also came back from the dead as a vampire. It’s taken Adam some time but he finally has managed to inject some stability and routine to his new life as an undead blood drinker but that’s about to be turned upside when a celebrity is discovered drained of all blood. Complicating matters, his long time casual relationship with Peter now has competition from a young, cute boy who adores Peter and can keep the sorts of promises Adam always seems to break.

As the sequel to Immortality is the Suck, No Rest for the Wicked definitely delivers the same fast-paced, high action entertainment as the first book. Adam is still our first person narrator and struggling with his new role as an undead good guy while trying desperately to be a decent boyfriend to Peter. Given Adam’s track record, his attempts to create a perfect date for Peter are adorable and delightful. That date ends as only it can for Adam and Peter with a dead body and the resulting police investigation is interesting and well crafted. Whereas the police case in the first book overwhelmed the story and injected some over the top elements, this time around the investigation is more integrated to the story and helps progress both Adam and Peter and their relationship.

Adam and Peter are the main focus this time and to their benefit. The push/pull aspect to their pairing is given more space as Adam is now in the unusual position of not getting everything he wants when he wants it and Peter shows a deft mastery in knowing how to handle Adam with a few well-meaning comments. Adam’s jealousy is a great component and shows a change to his character from his somewhat sluttish behavior in the previous book. The resolution to their relationship feels like the end to the series for these two but is completely satisfying. Fans can feel happy with the romantic and very fitting end. This series finishes up on the perfect note.

The writing is once again solid with quick dialogue and great descriptions. The fast paced makes the novella fly by and almost sorry it had to end. However, as I’ve said, the ending is wonderful and closes the chapter on these two with a great feeling. Although this can be read on its own and there are enough details to catch any reader up, I’d suggest reading Immortality first to fully appreciate the relationship between Peter and Adam and the changes both go through to get their happy ending. Although I’m sad this is the the last time I'll read about these great characters, this is a series I’ll easily read multiple times and suggest you do the same.

Bound By Nature by Cooper Davis



Bound By Nature: A Forces of Nature Novel by Cooper Davis
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (122 pgs)
Other: M/M, Voyeurism, Violence
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tuberose

The mind may forget, but the heart remembers…

A Forces of Nature novel.

It doesn’t take Hayden Garrett’s college degree to figure out why Officer Josh Peterson is the last man alive he wants to face. Not because of the council’s harebrained idea to broker peace between their clans.

It’s the sweaty palms that prove Hayden never got over his embarrassing attraction to his alpha rival. Mate with him? Nothing fills Hayden with more desire—or dread. Josh doesn’t have a gay hair in his fur. At least not one he owns up to.

Despite Josh’s reputation for being a connoisseur of female flesh, he’s always cared about Hayden. In a different world, they might have been friends. Now, face to face after five years, the bitterness in Hayden’s eyes fills Josh with regret for what could have been—should have been.

As Hayden and Josh journey through rituals—and intimacies—that will knit their souls for life, passion and anger flares, revealing a powerful secret. The truth about a long-ago sharing of hearts, bodies and souls that ended in tragedy…

Can two alpha rivals fall in love? What if one feels betrayed by the other?

Hayden Garrett has been attracted to Josh Peterson for a very long time. The main problem with the attraction is Josh is not gay. Hayden also feels that Josh makes fun of him every time they are around each other. When Hayden is home for a break from college, Josh talks him into spending time together first as wolves out running and playing. After changing back Hayden and Josh share a kiss, or at least that is all Hayden remembers. That same night something horrible happens to Hayden and Josh.

This story goes back and forth between the present time and the night five years ago that things went so horribly wrong for the two men. The only negative to this story is the going back and forth is rather confusing. The story itself is very good and Ms. Cooper really made me feel for both Hayden and Josh. Hayden cannot remember everything that happened five years ago and is very bitter since he thinks Josh betrayed him by testifying in Court that Hayden was driving drunk and killed someone, leading to Hayden spending time in jail. I could also feel Josh’s frustration in trying to get Hayden to remember what happened and all that he endured five years ago. Josh is also hurt by the anger he feels coming from Hayden, when he knows the truth that they are mated.

Ms. Cooper has told a good story with Hayden and Josh. She makes you feel compassion for her characters and all they go through together in the past and what they go through in the present to work their way back to each other. I recommend Bound By Nature for fans of m/m and paranormal works.

Enthralled by Viola Grace



Enthralled by Viola Grace
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (72 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Tess Mathers wishes that her mind would simply stop recording the horrors that she witnessed after the city where she studied was blown to bits. Running through the nearby hills may have saved her life, but nothing short of a miracle would save her sanity. Taken from the planet as the spoils of war, Tess hopes that her end is quick. Life at the fighting pit is harsh, brutal and usually short. Hiding inside her mind is her means of survival until the day she is thrown into a black cell and given to one of the fighters. The next day she remembers nothing, a frustration to her captors, but the next night she is sent back and once again he holds her enthralled.

Who would have believed that the studious geek girl would be the one to survive the attack?

Tess Mathers traveled to the planet Chavip to be a part of the think tank there, only to be caught in a massive and destructive attack on the city. Captured alive by the enemy, Tess is terrified she will be thrown in the fighting pit and forced to fight for her life. When Tess is taken from the pen holding the prisoners for talking, she is taken to Soorn, the creature who caused all the destruction, to use for target practice.

When The Shadow, one of the fighters, requires her particular DNA, she is spared, and thrown into a dark cell with him. The Shadow is actually Vere Breggin of Admar, and the destined mate of Tess. Can Vere and Tess escape their captivity? Can Tess forgive Vere, when she discovers what he did to keep her? Will Tess stay with Vere on the beautiful planet of Admar, or will she return to her people?

The mind of Viola Grace must be a miraculous place. She just keeps creating wonderful stories with exciting worlds and fascinating characters. Enthralled is no exception.

Tess is smart, funny and determined to survive at all costs. When she is chosen for Soorn’s target practice, her only hope is to die quickly. When she is taken as the mate of the Shadow, it is a relief to be safe for a while.

Vere Breggin is from the planet Admar, a people the Terrans called Elves. Vere has been sleeping, waiting for his one true mate to wake him so he can claim her. When Tess’ transport passes over his planet, he feels her and wakes. Vere is tall, dark and extremely handsome, and Tess begins to fall for him. Can she forgive him when it is found that he used his power to enthrall Tess into staying with him?

These characters are wonderful together, and the story is filled with passion and danger that Vere and Tess must overcome to be together. I love the happy ever after that Viola Grace gives with this one, a happy ever after that may be in danger from Vere’s own actions. This is a wonderful story for those who like happy endings with just a bit of peril thrown in.

Hard Man by Amarinda Jones



Hard Man by Amarinda Jones
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (75 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism, Anal Sex
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

The last place Ashbea Somers wanted to be was stuck at a shoe convention with her crazy boss, selling trashy shoes to drunken women. When Ashbea runs into the surly, hard-bodied Harry, things start to get exciting. After a few terse words, she finds herself skin to skin with him up against a wall in a hot, body-shaking moment. Maybe the convention isn’t so bad.

Harry only ever has one-night stands. Hot, wild sex with Ashbea was supposed to be just that. In and out and over, with no regrets, just a passionate memory. But Harry can’t forget the woman who held him so tight and close. He wants one more taste of her luscious body before he walks away. That is, if he can. There’s something about her that’s unforgettable.

Ashbea isn’t sure what Harry’s problem is but she does know one thing. Sex with Harry Hardman is not something she’s about to give up without a fight.

Can love come on account of shoes? Depends on who you talk to. But if you talk to Ashbea and Harry, then yes it can.

Amarinda Jones writes the kind of love story that draws the reader in immediately. Once I opened this book, I couldn’t put it down. The story takes place in Australia and I really felt like I was there.

Harry is an interesting and tortured hero. He’s got secrets that made me want to hug him. He’s been through some really crummy things, but his way of dealing is anesthetizing himself. I could relate to his inner pain. Every person goes through times they wish they hadn’t or that they could change. That fact made him more human to me.

The character I had a hard time relating to was Ashbea. I liked that she wasn’t a skinny heroine. She had curves, which readers can relate to. But her attitude! I got the fact that she wasn’t real thrilled with her job and the people she worked with. At times she came across as almost as snobby as the people she made fun of. That turned me off to her. I didn’t see how she could be so caring with Harry and then such a snot with her boss.

Still, the sex in this story was hot and inventive. This is a voyeur’s delight. Harry is one hero not to miss and his smooth moves with Ashbea will make you sigh as much as it did for me.

If you want a novella that sizzles the pages, then you need to read Hard Man. I give this story 4 cherries.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Table For Three by Lainey Reese



A Table For Three by Lainey Reese
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (138 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

She’s taking two bites out of the Big Apple.

New York, Book 1

Riley Ramirez knew that moving to New York would change her life. She just didn’t expect it to start on her very first night in town. Her attraction to nightclub owner Kincade Marshall is instant, mind-blowing—and mutual. When she finds he is a Dom who requires her complete surrender, even when it comes to submitting to his best friend, Trevor Wellington, she finds herself willing and eager to embrace the sexual adventure.

From their earliest days, Cade and Trevor have shared everything, including women. Yet it only takes one night with Riley to know she is their forever lady. Convincing her that this is more than a temporary fling, though, will take every tool in their sensual arsenal.

As Cade and Trevor set their sights on Riley, however, they’re unaware—until it’s almost too late—that someone is targeting their fragile relationship. Someone who’s taking deadly aim at Riley. Suddenly their struggle to keep their forever woman is a fight to keep her alive…

A Table For Three is a sizzling hot ménage story that offers elements of suspense, danger, and sensual thrills. Author Lainey Reese has taken a hot premise and created something that is so much more, and the twists and turns along the way will ensure you remain on the edge of your seat.

When Riley arrives in New York to start a new job, she has no idea how much her life is about to change. The moment she enters into an exclusive club, she gains the notice of Cade – the wealthy owner of the establishment with a taste for D/s. One steamy encounter later, and they venture to his upstairs penthouse. The sex is sultry, exciting, and everything she’s dreamed about. So when he introduces her to his best friend, Trevor, the next morning, she’s nervous but willing to explore the possibilities. The three enter into something that is both combustive and sultry, and before long, passions and hearts will merge. It’s a progression that is both intense and intimate, and provides more as the men discover there is something special about Riley, something that makes them want to keep her – forever.

The writing is fantastic and the pace never slows. Riley, Cade, and Trevor are fantastic for one another, and their chemistry oozes from the page. The added tension that comes courtesy of the villain who would see Riley gone creates a necessary edge, while the growing romance will tug at your heart. There aren’t any real surprises as to the identity of the antagonist, but the things that do occur are enough to shock and anger the reader, which is great when you want investment in a story. I completed A Table For Three in one sitting and enjoyed the characters immensely. It’s got all the elements you want in erotic romance, yet manages to include a little something extra.

Mara by the Sea by Faith Talbot



Mara by the Sea by Faith Talbot
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (32 pgs)
Other: M/M/F, Ménage
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewer: Dandelion

Since her divorce, Mara has been moldering. Or at least that's what her best friend tells her when she drags Mara to Cancun for a pick-me-up.

Mara finds more than a pick-me-up. On the beach, she meets two beautiful men who, though they're obviously into each other, are very much into Mara, too. And when they invite her into their unique world, it's an experience unlike anything she could ever imagine.

Mara is a lonely tourist in Cancun, dragged there by her friend after a painful divorce. Thank goodness she meets Chris and Aaron her first day on the beach – these two men of the sea prove she still has a lot of loving left to experience!

Though short, Mara of the Sea is a beautifully written story that features a ménage that takes place mostly – interestingly enough – in the ocean. Mara's attention is first grabbed while she’s watching the men lather each other up on the beach, but soon enough the three officially meet and share not one but two very unique underwater experiences.

Truthfully, I’m not sure what, exactly, Chris and Aaron are supposed to be. They aren’t human, but they don’t really have a name for themselves either. Suffice to say they live in, under, and near the ocean, and only come on shore when they sense a woman who will accept them for what they are. Even though this story is a brief thirty pages long, the plot and the characters are well developed, and there is a beautifully written emotional lead-up to the first time these three are sexually together.

Don’t get me wrong – the ménage scenes are definitely present, and definitely detailed enough to make you want more! But readers will also find a richness of character that isn’t always present in erotic short stories, and I enjoyed that very much. Chris and Aaron certainly know how to give Mara pleasure (as well as each other) and I was glad the ocean sex scenes continued in the hotel, later on.

I will admit that it takes a little mental adjustment to picture the three lovers enjoying themselves adrift in the water, but if you forget about the mechanics and remember that Chris and Aaron aren’t of this world, you’ll have a better time of it than I did. I wasn’t crazy about the ending and felt that it was a little abrupt, but all in all, the adventure does end happily for Mara, who definitely found more than she was looking for when she traveled to Cancun!

Overall, I enjoyed Mara by the Sea and finished it still wanting more. If Ms. Talbot is considering a sequel featuring sea-dwelling lovers Chris and Aaron, I’ll be buying it!

Enchanted by Viola Grace



Enchanted by Viola Grace
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (115 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Myka Michaels has been a Healer specializing in obstetrics for years. Her assignment on Dremarai is one she both revels in and dreads. She wants to be the best Healer she can be, but riding a horse-beast from town-to-town isn't really her idea of a fun work environment. Elite D'hai Bosun has been selected as her escort through the countryside, his dragon tattoo proudly proclaiming his ability to summon magic. When Myka begins to feel an attraction to her escort she doesn't know how to tell him, then the custom of Hospitality raises its head. All Myka needs to do is to ask D'hai to fulfill his obligations to her as her host, to give her the Hospitality of his body. Will her Terran prudishness override her urge to ride the dragon accompanying her?

Join the Alliance and be what you were meant to be! That could be what Healer Myka Michaels discovers when she goes to Dremarai for her next assignment. It is a low-tech world, where magic is strong, but the women are dying in childbirth at an alarming rate.

Because she is a female, she cannot roam the planet unescorted while it is decided if her unique talent will be what the Dremarai need to keep the race from dying out. Elite D'hai Bosun has been chosen as her escort, and the attraction between them is strong from the first time they met. When Myka is able to deliver babies that are alive, and also prevent the problems of the past with the mothers as well, she is delighted. Can Myka find a way to act on her desire for D’hai Bosun and stay on Dremarai? Will Elite D’hai discover why he is losing his mating bands with a mortal? Myka is more than mortal, but what exactly is she?

I loved the surprises in this wonderful tale of magic and passion. Viola Grace has created a world with little technology, a world where magic is all around. The Dremarai people are dragon shifters, but with a serious problem. The heroine, Myka, is strong in psychic power, but more important, she can heal what is killing the women in childbirth.

Myka is a strong and determined woman, attracted to Elite D’hai, even though she realizes he is highborn and not for her. Knowing she could be reassigned at any time, she is planning on enjoying her time with him for as long as it lasts. Elite D’hai is gorgeous and sexy and also confused at his feelings for Myka. His fated one should be Dremarai, like he is. But Myka is more than she seems, and when the magic alignment occurs, she is as shocked as everyone else to see the change in herself.

I love the twists and surprises Ms. Grace puts in this one, and the characters are beautifully detailed. I was drawn in to this by the passion between Myka and Elite D’hai, and stayed for the passion and mystery. This is a fun read, with humor, romance and lots of heat. I recommend this to all those who need a bit more magic in their lives. Oh, what is Myka, you ask? You will need to read the book, because I’m not telling.