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Friday, May 28, 2010

Lush Velvet Nights by Tina Donahue



Lush Velvet Nights by Tina Donahue
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (142 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Anal Play, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Mistletoe

During the day, Adriana’s a lonely corporate heiress, helming a supermarket empire. At night, she hires escorts, scripting provocative fantasies of kidnapping, lust, submission and endless longing. It’s all she has to excite her until she meets Nathan Wynn.

Tall, blond and muscular—like a modern-day Viking—Nathan is a labor relations attorney representing Adriana’s union employees. His imposing presence intensifies her basest desires. When he protects her from an escort he believes is an attacker, she knows he’s wonderfully dominant and unrestrained.

Fascinated by Adriana’s underlying sensuality, Nathan brings her to his secluded mountain estate, determined she submit fully to his hunger. At a gentleman’s club, he makes certain she denies him nothing. Engaging in a seductive sexual journey, Nathan’s caught off-guard by his stunning need for Adriana—and a growing emotional connection she will not let him deny.

Supermarket heiress Adriana Greco has spent many a lonely night. When she meets Nathan Wynn, a lawyer representing her union employees, all her lonely nights may just be over.

After a misunderstanding in the parking garage of her office building, Nathan and Adriana spend the weekend together. Both are lonely and want to enjoy a weekend of play with no strings attached. As they spend their weekend together feelings begin to grow and establish. Will Nathan and Adriana grab a hold of the love within their grasp or will they stay lonely forever, never opening their hearts?

This was a good story about two people in love who must get over their pasts before they can move forward. Adriana is a strong independent woman who takes control of everything in her life while secretly wanting a strong dominant man that will control her sexually. When Nathan saves her from what he thinks is an attacker Adriana knows she has found her man. Nathan is a strong man but he has skeletons in his closet that make it hard for him to embrace another relationship. The bond that develops between these two was a wonderful read. The trust and love that Adriana feels and shows to Nathan was a wonderful gift.

Tina Donahue draws the reader into her world and keeps you entertained all the way to the end. Well-written and fast-paced this is a book that should not be missed. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and will be on the look out for more books from this author.

Rediscovery by Mychael Black



Rediscovery by Mychael Black
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (31 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Nikky and Danny know they are different, and are perfectly happy being with each other. Yet, Nikky yearns to know more about his kind, for surely other werecats exist in the world. A chance encounter with a woman who could be his twin sparks a desire to research his murky past...but will Danny go along with it?


Just when things seem to be perfect, life throws a curveball and it’s up to you to swerve, duck, or catch it. In the case of Nikky and Danny, well, you have to read Rediscovery to find out what happens next.

Mychael Black is in my pile of must be read and devoured books. This story is one for the keeper shelf. Rediscovery hit raw nerves in a way that made me think. There are few times when a romance is more than a romance. This is one of those times. Mr. Black’s characters are accepting in a society where acceptance isn’t always deemed appropriate. I liked the touch. I also liked that they were so devoted to each other. Nikky loves Danny with his total being. Even though the word love isn’t used frequently, I felt their passion.

The plot twists in this short story were the clincher for me. I totally didn’t see the ending coming and wanted more when it arrived, but in a good way. I didn’t want to let Nikky and Danny go.

As I said above, I felt their passion. Each time they touched, I thought my screen would melt from the heat. Even when things got a bit rough, I knew these two men had nothing but respect and desire for each other and it was beautiful to see it unfold.

If you want a story that will stick with you long after the last page, then you need to read Rediscovery. I give it 4.5 cherries.

Eternity by Christina Jade Loren



Eternity by Christina Jade Loren
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (20 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, M/M/M, Ménage, Voyeurism, Anal Sex
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Human errand boy Jason was sent for one purpose: seduce Damien Meade.

Damien Meade is a fledgling vampire who's learning the ropes and falling in love with his maker, but there remains one problem: he can't resist the sexual games his sire plays.

With toy in tow, Damien leads the man back to the apartment where Nathan is waiting to join in the fun.

His one desire—blood. His one passion—sex. The one person he needs in his undead life? His mate.

I love a good vampire story. Add the element of man/man love and I’m hooked. Eternity is a good mix of both. Ms. Loren drew me into the story quickly. I wanted to know more about Damien and why he met up with Jason what seemed like a seedy environment. I felt their desires, needs, and deepest emotions as if they were my own. And the out come—that was something I didn’t see coming and loved.

If anything, I wanted to see more in this story. I wanted to know more about Jason—why was he there? What was his story? And Damien. It took me a while to really get to like him. His motivation—sex—was evident. He was a vampire; but did he want something or someone else? I liked the BDSM angle and wanted to know more about Nathan, the Dom. He acted as an enigma through much of the story and I yearned to know his role in Damien’s life. There is so much that can be done with dominant vampires. The hint of raw sexuality really added to the tale.

Now, I realize this is a short story and there is only so much room to work with—but I think this is a positive for this story. If Ms. Loren writes the continuation (and I hope she does), then there is plenty of room for growth and development of the characters. What wasn’t touched on in this story can be wrought in the next one.

If you want a story with a hint of bdsm, lots of man on man action, and an ending to satisfy, then you need to read Eternity. I give this story 3.5 cherries.

Do Me Good by Adele Dubois



Do Me Good by Adele Dubois
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy
Length: Short Story (73 pgs)
Other: M/F, Anal play
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

Penny throws her hot but worthless mooch of a boyfriend out on her front lawn with his clothes, and vows never again to be a bum magnet. Exhausted by overwork and mountainous debt, Penny pleads for divine intervention.

Gunnar, a rebellious Nordic warrior cast into servitude by an angry god to learn humility, answers. While Penny sleeps, the celestial arrives to houseclean, but she awakens and confronts him. The handsome immortal kisses her, sparking a passionate, forbidden sexual encounter.

Dark forces seeking vengeance for Gunnar’s past misdeeds mark Penny as a target. To protect his lover, Gunnar tests immortality in a death battle using a god’s magical sword. But the strength of Penny’s love and their lusty connection might be what saves them both.

Being a magnet for hot looking bums is nothing to brag about, at least not in Penny’s opinion. So she resorts to praying for divine intervention. The answer she receives is more than she could have hoped, or even dreamed, for. Tall, blond and decidedly Viking, Gunnar makes up for all the guys that left Penny high and dry. Instead, Gunnar leaves her wet and wanting.

This was a really fun read. Ms. Dubois tapped into several girlish fantasies inside this short novella including going to sleep and being awoken to a smokin’ hot man doing dishes. Honestly, is there anything sexier than a man doing housework? Not if he looks anything like the Nordic warrior turned Light Elf, Gunnar. This non-pointy eared elf has more going for him than just his looks, though. He’s loyal, caring and honest to a fault.

Penny’s history with men has left her a bit shy but there is just something instinctively honorable about Gunnar. Their chemistry is the perfect blend of hot AND steamy.

Ms. Dubois writing style is very easy to read. The premise is clever and unique; I was hooked from just reading the blurb. Also, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how Ms. Dubois resolves the issue of an immortal loving a mortal. This reviewer will be keeping an eye out for further installments by Ms. Dubois. She has earned herself another loyal reader with Do Me Good.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Taste of Midnight by Aubrey Ross



A Taste of Midnight by Aubrey Ross
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (75 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Voyeurism, Anal Sex
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Brenna Skyler, Mistress Air, chooses ambition over love. To become an Elemental, the most exalted position among the Unseleighe Sidhe, Brenna has to end her scandalous affair with Phillip Noir, a vampire. Although she never stops loving him, she is resolute in her decision, until now. A vampire is preying on Dark Elf females. And it takes a vampire to track a vampire…

Phillip is thrilled when Brenna comes crawling back to him. He’s not used to playing the jilted lover, yet he’s never forgotten the only woman who ever really touched his heart. He doesn’t mind destroying a rogue vampire—it’s the right thing to do—but Brenna needs a lesson in humility. She’ll pay for her callous rejection with her supple body. And they will both enjoy her punishment!

Want a story that will keep you locked in for the duration? Then you need to read A Taste of Midnight.

There is a lot going on in this short story. When I read the blurb, I had a notion formed of what I was getting into. Let me tell you, the blurb doesn’t scratch the surface. Ms. Ross’s story is a conglomeration of a lifetime and is spread out over a large period of time. There were moments when I wasn’t sure how many years had passed and the setting was a tad fuzzy, but it wasn’t enough to detract. What took away from the story a bit for me was the different species of characters contained within the plot. It was hard to keep them straight and to remember who was who.

Still, I liked the story.

Brenna, though a bit snobby at times, was an interesting heroine. She knew what she wanted, but wasn’t at all sure how to be herself which many readers can identify with. She’s not perfect and she makes mistakes that she thinks are the right choices. I liked that about her.

I liked Phillip better as he moved through the story. Yes, there was a moment when he wasn’t my favorite character, but I understood his choices and respected his decisions. I loved the brooding, tattooed man better anyway. I felt like I got to know him better later in the story.

If you want a story that had a scintillating ending you won’t see coming, then you need to read A Taste of Midnight. I give it 4 cherries.

Riding The Wolf by Jessica Quinn & Mary Winter



Riding The Wolf by Jessica Quinn & Mary Winter
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (130 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, M/M, Ménage, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Red Taylor thought she had it all: her wonderful lover Daniel and the career she’d always wanted. For years, she’d trained her grandmother’s horse, in hopes of becoming the first woman to win the Kentucky Derby. Then an envelope arrived, full of graphic pictures of murdered women--and a note telling her she was next.

Detective Jack Kennedy was assigned by the police to protect her. But Jack has his own secret: an attack three years ago infected him with lycanthropy, and every full moon he struggles to control his inner beast. His hunger for Red makes it harder to control the creature inside him, but giving in to those desires will inevitably infect her, too--and in turning her into a predator, prevent her from ever riding again.

Daniel has been Red’s lover for years, but before Red, he dated men as well as women. He resents Jack for wanting Red, but at the same time, he’s fighting his own lust for Jack. The three will have to figure out more than their relationships to keep Red safe from the Axeman.

When Red is targeted by a serial killer out for blood, the police department insists she have an officer on duty at all times to protect her. She never expects to be so attracted to the ultra-sexy detective Jack, drawn to him in a manner she cannot deny. To further complicate matters, her bi-sexual lover, Daniel, is also attracted to Jack, meaning things in her relationship are bound to get complicated. As they struggle to control their desires and fantasies, they’ll have to outwit a killer and learn to trust one another if they want to stay alive.

Riding The Wolf is a steamy and surreal erotic fantasy come to life. This isn’t your average werewolf tale but something else all together. From the moment the story begins, the reader is swept into a fantastical world in which becoming a werewolf can be done via the exchange of saliva or bodily fluids of any sort, which means that the stakes are high. It’s a unique premise and, while you’re aware of where things have to go, the journey remains both exciting and incredibly hot. It’s a constant dance -- will they or won’t they -- and the sexual tension is so stifling at times it’s difficult to breathe.

The mystery of the killer is nicely done and kept me on the edge of my seat, which was a nice distraction as the character development -- for me -- was a bit lacking. When the action starts, it doesn’t stop, and the result is a story with tight writing and a fast pace that is sure to captivate and entertain, but rushes into the emotional aspects that never quite make it to the finish line. You don’t get to know too much about Red or Daniel, aside from the fact that they are very liberated sexually, and the same goes for Jack. The three, quite literally, are thrust into a situation and are forced to acclimate if they want to survive.

With that said, Riding the Wolf is a story that paranormal enthusiasts are sure to devour. The sex is hot, the characters are lively, and the dark tone of the story gives it an edge many are sure to enjoy. If you’re looking for something with a whole lot of heat and pulse-pounding action, be sure to pencil this one onto your TBR list.

Cilla’s Master by Katherine Kingston



Cilla’s Master by Katherine Kingston
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (85 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/F, Multiple Partners, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Longtime divorcee Charles and recently widowed Cilla have been friends for years. They play together and put on BDSM demonstrations at the club they both frequent. But when their feelings for each other heat up to match the fiery sexual chemistry they generate, other issues come between them. Cilla knows Charles wants a full-time relationship, but having been married to a control freak once, she’s wary of allowing another man that much power over her, especially another who plays the Master role in the BDSM scene.

Cilla wants a family and a safer relationship with a man who’ll be her partner and lover, not a full-time Master. She challenges Charles to prove his love transcends their play. Can he leave the Master at the club and give Cilla what she needs?

Cilla’s Master is a story about second chances, accepting who and what you are, and going after what you want most. Although a BDSM themed work, the material focuses on the emotional scars that occur when you lose someone you love and are left to grapple with what you want and need most.

Cilla and Charles have a long history. In fact, Charles often joked that if his best friend hadn’t proposed to her first, he would have. Theirs is a relationship built off trust and admiration, but when Cilla’s husband passes away, everything changes. Now, Charles is ready to bridge the gap and claim her for his own. Unfortunately, Cilla is afraid of falling into the controlling pitfalls of a full-time D/s relationship and fears what a commitment between them could mean. They agree to explore a life together that is vanilla only, but will it be enough? Or will they discover that the true power of submission rests in the trust you place in another?

Cilla’s Master starts off with a sultry and unforgettable bang. The heat is incredible -- so hot it burns, in fact -- but it’s the flourishing relationship between Cilla and Charles that takes front and center. He knows he can support her and love her in a manner she deserves, while she is someone who is unsure of what she wants and is too afraid to take the risk to find out. It’s a constant give and take between them, with an ending you’ll see coming, yet, will enjoy nonetheless.

The writing is fantastic, the sex scenes sizzle, and the characters are well developed and likable. I enjoyed watching Cilla emerge from her shell and felt that Charles was the perfect hero to show her the way. Those in the mood for a blistering BDSM erotic romance should definitely place Cilla’s Master on their TBR list.

The Wedding Night by Ava Delany



The Wedding Night by Ava Delany
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (11 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

When Debbie suggested that they wait until the wedding night to be physical again, Todd had reluctantly agreed. Now after two months of celibacy, he is hard and ready for the honeymoon to begin. He grumbles when she asks him to go get champagne, but he’s not complaining when he returns to see what she has in store for their wedding night.

A hotel room, a white flowy gown, and a hot-for-his-girl groom. You guessed it. It’s The Wedding Night.

I have to say, this is a short, but hot read. Ms. Delany knows how to reel the reader in with just a few words. That being said, I wanted more. I liked the idea that story ended where it did, but at the same time I felt a tad cheated — like I needed to know what happened next. I wanted to get to know the characters more than I was able to.

Short stories are great and this one hits all the right hot spots. I squirmed with anticipation. I liked that the point of view was Todd, the groom’s. I saw through his eyes the enchantment and need of that first night together as man and wife. But again, I wanted more—what did she think? What was she feeling? I wanted more background on them—why make him wait...that sort of thing.

Now don’t think that the questions left to be answered took away from the story. Not in the least. It’s a hot read that will satisfy the need for a spicy read on a chilly evening. It whet my appetite for more by this author.

If you want a story that’s spicy, saucy, and a little naughty, then you need to read The Wedding Night. I give it 3 cherries.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tagging Her Lynx by Abby Wood



Tagging Her Lynx by Abby Wood
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (103 pgs)
Other: M/F, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Living in the bush of Alaska, Chloe Barrant wanted to take care of the animals at her wildlife refuge and ignore the times she shifted into a lynx. Even she knew that wasn’t normal. Little did she know that the day she'd turn away the poachers she'd find a male lynx coming to her rescue. What surprised her even more was when the lynx turned into a man claiming her as his life mate.

Granger, alpha of the Lynx clan, would do anything to protect the Lynx. They'd lost too many members to the hunters who preyed on them. Finding his alpha life mate gave him back dreams for the future that he'd given up on long ago.

Chloe didn't understand how the other Lynx expected her to fill the alpha role within the clan, when around Granger she only wanted to slip into beta role and submit to him. Could she figure it all out in time to save the Lynx?

Hot and spicy is the name of the game in this paranormal romp in the Alaskan wilderness.

Chloe is thrust into a new world where she struggles to reconcile her fears with her new reality. She’s no shy miss, but she’s not worldly either. Ms. Wood created a good balance in Chloe’s character because there is growth and confidence gained as the story progressed.

Granger is her mate and her hero. He’s in charge and top kitty. He thinks he knows how to bring her into his world, until certain things come to light which make it a bit problematic. He ends up facing more emotional upheavals than he planned on and it showcases his skills and worthiness of being Chloe’s mate.

The internal conflicts are typical for when someone has to come to terms with what they really are. The external conflict was a good one but the way Granger dealt with it was a bit over the top. I won’t get into specifics but I’m thinking the cavalier way they mete out their brand of justice was irresponsible, especially when the goal was secrecy and avoidance of attention so they could protect their existence. But that’s just my opinion.

For erotic romance lovers, Ms. Wood delivers consistent, well-written, explosive and hot scenes. The love claimed in the beginning on the side of Granger has a chance to grow and be expressed with each smoldering encounter, until Chloe accepts the wonderful truth – she is loved and has a home. It’s a beautiful thing. The dialogue started out a bit stilted for me, but it smoothed over nicely as the tale unfolded so I was able to enjoy reading it to its happy conclusion.

Tagging Her Lynx is an enjoyable read about a unique set of shifters in a harsh environment. The relationship between Granger and Chloe shows growth and solidarity while their expressions of love, both physical and verbal, are fun to read. The secondary characters provide understanding for the reader as well as Chloe herself as she navigates the nuances of her new people. It’s an interesting world Ms. Wood has created and I’m glad I visited.

The Lost Son by Mychael Black



The Lost Son by Mychael Black
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (91 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

One warrior, one sorcerer, and a legacy that will change their lives forever…

Secrets of Socendor, Book 1

In the world of Socendor, humans are forbidden from using magic and elves keep their distance.

Kalen Ysindroc has risen far from his humble beginnings as a blacksmith’s adopted son. Now the king’s general, he investigates reports of magic-wielding half-human, half-elven lithings sighted along the kingdom’s borders. It would be a lonely life, if not for the company of his best friend and long-time elven lover, Micheil Theirauf, the king’s sorcerer.

An attempt on Kalen’s life makes it clear to Micheil that there’s more afoot than random breaks in the land’s defenses. His lover is plagued by dreams no human should endure, and Micheil’s probe into Kalen’s subconscious reveals a past neither of them expected. And a future Kalen can’t escape.

Suddenly, everything Kalen never knew about his life is laid bare. A father possessed of terrible magical power. A half-brother who could be the family Kalen never had—or the catalyst that will rip Micheil out of his life forever…

Non-stop action and a red-hot love affair. You won’t be able to put this book down.

I know when I pick up a Mychael Black story, I’ll be on a thrill-ride. The Lost Son is no exception to this rule and totally worth the read.

Mr. Black’s characters are strong, independent, and have a reckless streak I love. I felt immediately transported to the world Kalen and Micheil live in and didn’t want to leave. The secondary characters add a distinctive flavor to the plot. They kept me guessing throughout and not wanting the story to end. And the ending...it’s a short story, but it’s very much worth it and exciting.

Kalen is a typical warrior. He’s a fighting man’s man. But what I liked the best about him is that he’s willing to say, ‘Hey, I made a mistake’. That takes guts. I also loved the idea that he loved as fiercely as he fights. He’s the type of hero I want on my side in any confrontation. And the plot twists concerning his future—I didn’t see them coming, but I loved them.

As much as I liked Kalen, I liked Micheil. There were times when I wasn’t sure about him, other than he needed and loved Kalen passionately. But when his true nature and role in the story were brought to light, I knew I liked him. In fact, I didn’t want the story to end. He’s as strong and unruly as Kalen, but with the added flavor of magical powers.

If you want a story that will indeed stick with you long after the last page, then you need to read The Lost Son. I give it 5 cherries.

Torment by Iona Blair



Torment by Iona Blair
Publisher: Club Lighthouse Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Action/Adventure
Length: Short Story (53 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/M, Multiple Partners, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Amidst the dangers of war torn Afghanistan, an army officer finds himself irresistibly drawn to another soldier. The forbidden attraction shakes him to the core and plunges him into a bitter inner conflict.

But the battle against these new and disturbing desires is not the only war he must fight. A patrol goes missing, under suspicious circumstances, while on routine surveillance. The subsequent media interest, and the shocking truth as it unfolds, challenges his belief system and rocks the comfortable world he grew up in.

One minute he knows exactly what he wants. The next moment, he’s knocked off his feet by the last person he ever saw coming. But the Torment truly is: What’s he going to do and who’s he going to choose?

Iona Blair never shies away from a hot-button subject. She tackles the disputes in the Middle East and the soldiers working for peace with ease. The situation isn’t pretty and she doesn’t dress it up or make it easy to read. Still there were times when the story was a tad hard to digest.

Ms. Blair writes white-hot sex scenes. The need-to-be-primal-together feeling is undeniable. Whereas I might not be a fan of characters that have multiple partners, the readers who do will find this story a treat.

Jay isn’t a polished hero like most stories. He can’t be. He wants to be what everyone wants, but he’s not who he wants to be. He’s a gritty guy confused by his desires. I was a bit turned off by his way of dealing with his confusion, but I understood it. Everyone has those moments when things aren’t clear and we do things we later wish we could take back. Although he grew through the story, it took me a while to really like him, but once I did, it was good.

If you want a story that will make you cringe, smile, and squirm, you’ll want to read Torment. I give this story 3 cherries.

Insolence by Lex Valentine



Insolence by Lex Valentine
Publisher: Cobblestone Press LLC
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (54 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Aric Calderwood owns a BDSM club called Insolence. When his childhood best friend offers to be his sub for the weekend, Aric discovers that a decade as a Dom is no match for his long held feelings for the arrogant Ainsley Connor.

Once he touches her, Aric’s control is overcome by a flood of memories and emotion, and by then he's not even sure it's her submission he wants. A weekend of intimacy with Ainsley shows Aric what he's been missing in his life and he realizes that regardless of whether she's submissive or insolent, all he wants is her.

Aric Calderwood and Ainsley Connor have been best friends since they were children and when Ainsley shows up at Aric’s BDSM club, Insolence, he can’t believe his eyes. Even more than that he cannot believe his ears as she offers herself up to him for the weekend as his sub. Will he accept Ainsley’s invitation? The more important question being: Will their friendship survive?

There is a lot packed into this short read. I really enjoyed the interaction between Aric and Ainsley. Aric is a strong and loving man who decides to jump at his only chance at true love. Ainsley is a bright young woman determined to try and reach for her dreams one last time no matter what the consequences. The deepening of their already strong relationship was a great read. As Aric realizes his feelings and must come to terms with them he endears himself to the reader and has you hoping for that happy ever after for this couple.

The author does a good job of pulling the reader into the story. The characters in this book are full of emotion and depth, never one-dimensional. You are taken on an emotional roller coaster ride with this story. Lex Valentine has quickly become one of the few authors that I eagerly await for their next book to come out. No matter what she is writing I have yet to be disappointed. This book is no exception. If you are interested in a quick, but poignant, read you should definitely pick this book up.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cinderella Undercover by KyAnn Waters



Cinderella Undercover by KyAnn Waters
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (73 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Victoria Rosso works for Echelon Shield, an elite group of special agents. Their assignments sometimes require they work outside legal boundaries. Her assignment—to help the one man who'd ever gotten under her skin. Jaron Quinn was the best lover she'd ever had—and the one who left her six months ago without an explanation.

Jaron is undercover and has missed his extraction date. He works best under pressure and as former Navy SEAL, he’s been in harried situations before. Apparently ES has concerns. What in the hell is Victoria doing on his mission? It doesn’t take long to realize Cinderella Undercover is there for Jaron. So much for a simple operation. Now he has to deal with the one woman who knows exactly how to push his buttons—especially the switch that turns him on.

Excitement, suspense, danger and sexual power plays abound and astound in this action-packed short story by the incomparable Ms. Waters.

Victoria and Jaron are two lovers who face death in their jobs and this time it might be permanent. I liked this take on the romance between spies and secret agents. Ms. Waters didn’t use the trite civilian and the special agent ploy, no. She presented this fast-paced tale with two very capable and talented agents and plopped them in a scenario where they have to face their own internal fears and external dangers at warp speed. What a rush!

Victoria doesn’t play coy or waste time. She knows the score, mostly. She is dedicated, professional and totally in tune with her inner vixen. She doesn’t suffer from doubts about her capabilities. Neither does she stew and worry herself to death about what might have been - she faces it and demands answers. I like that because it is empowering and strong.

Jaron is a man who is out of time. Yet, he’d give his life to see the job done. And that is the crux of his internal quandary. Someone put a bug in his ear about the unfairness of his job, a job he loves, believes in and does exceptionally well, and how it would influence any serious relationship he might have. So he does the manly thing. Except Jaron is a better character for not hiding from himself or the reader. I have to respect a man who doesn’t completely shut out his heart so that the truth penetrates and he can act accordingly. He’s a well-balanced man. I even applaud what happens in the swamp. It takes a strong man to ignore his initial preference and really listen to his partner – and then own up to it.

The external conflict haunts them throughout the book. I appreciated the gritty and brave actions that Victoria had to perform in the line of duty and how Ms. Waters kept it classy, intense and gripping. The dialogue is to the point, bringing a reader into the suspense and drama of the moment. When Jaron and Victoria get together in the way of passionate adults, it burns up the pages, as hot as the way Victoria feels for her man.

This is a must read for romantic suspense buffs who are short on time but want a book long in substance. Cinderella Undercover delivers what a reader looks for with enough heat to make you sweat, characters that are exciting and a romantic happily ever after with a twist that is perfect for the story.

Screen Scenes: Surrender by Willa Okati



Screen Scenes: Surrender by Willa Okati
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (31 pgs)
Other: M/M, M/M/M, Ménage, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

When Cody and Aaron are asked to take twentysomethingtwinks.com's new location site for a test run, they're quick to agree. What could be more rewarding than pretending to be cowboys sneaking in a late afternoon quickie back at the ranch?

Only one thing comes to mind: bringing a dubious newbie along for the ride and showing him what love means for these film stars, both on-screen and off.

Is there a time when three is better than two? Could be if you’re talking about Screen Scenes: Surrender. Then three is mighty fine.

Twentysomethingtwinks.com is a captivating site. The guys do things with each other on camera. You guessed it, most of the time, it’s sex. But can there be relationships on screen? Yes, but not as romantic since the voyeurs want sex. In Willa Okati’s story, we get to see a little bit more into a relationship between the guys. This story concerns Aaron and Cody. I liked them in the prior stories, but this was a special treat to see them and get to really know them. Both men like sex—can’t deny the obvious—but mostly with each other.

I liked the addition of Guillermo. Cody and Aaron have a good thing going, but seeing the new guy adds a twist to the passion between them. Guillermo is a quandary. He likes his potential job, but he’s scared to let go and follow his instincts. It’s easy to relate to him because we all have things we want to try and are afraid to go for. Cody and Aaron respect each other and want to encourage Guillermo to give his passions a chance.

The sex is a bit blunt in this story, but the reader has to remember, these men are a tad jaded. They have sex on camera for a living. So adding the passion is a bit difficult. That said, seeing them demonstrate affection in addition to the sex was refreshing.

If you want a story that will keep you begging for more, then you need to read Screen Scenes: Surrender. I give it 4 cherries.

Kidnapping the Groom by Desiree Holt and Allie Standifer



Kidnapping the Groom by Desiree Holt and Allie Standifer
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (53 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Sex
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily




Cameron Greeley had spent a lot of years trying to put the memory of Gabe Holder behind her. But now he’s getting married to the wrong person and, despite the way they’d parted, she can’t let that happen.

Kidnapping Gabe and taking him to an isolated cabin, she treats him to hours of the hottest sex either of them could imagine. In one all-too-short evening they indulge in every erotic act she can think of—and then she dumps him back at his house, the memory of those hours eating at her. Will he let her go, or will he come after her, taking her into his bed and into his heart?

What do you do when you find out the one that got away is about to marry the wrong woman? Kidnap him and show him the sexual time of his life, that’s what. Are you intrigued? I was, so I read Kidnapping the Groom.

This was my first Desiree Holt story, but it won’t be my last. She and Ms. Standifer write captivating characters that I wanted to know more about. I felt like I was right there with them. I shared their joys and fears. Yes, I was emotionally involved with this story from page one.

Cameron Greeley is one interesting heroine. She wants Gabe more than she can explain. Hearing he’s about to wed a loose woman grinds her gears. I loved her tenacity. She knows what she wants and who she wants, but she’s a normal woman. When things go her way, she bolts, like a normal woman and it was easy to identify with her. What if she wasn’t enough woman for him? What if he really loved the other woman? She’s sure she loves him, but not sure what she’s going to do with him when she’s got him.

And Gabe... I love a guy who can play dumb and still be pretty sharp at the same time. He’s scarred and scared. Things didn’t go his way in the past, but instead of meeting them head-on, he reverts inwardly. I could identify with him as well, having been through an accident and not being up to perfection. I wanted to hug the guy, even when he was strung up, because I sympathized with him.

If you want a pair of characters that will stay with you even when the book closes, you need to read Kidnapping the Groom. I give this story 4.5 cherries.

The Chosen by Annette Gisby



The Chosen by Annette Gisby
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Fantasy, Historical
Length: Short Story (140 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Love or duty -- which would you choose?

Prince Severin has been brought up to put duty before all else. Now, his duty is to marry and produce an heir. He has his choice of princesses. Unfortunately, his passion is for princes.

Havyn has been a slave all his life. When his powers are discovered, he finds himself purchased and freed by a Prince and apprenticed to the royal wizard, Ildar. His duty is to stay chaste to keep his powers strong. Unfortunately, his passion is for Severin.

With kingdoms at war, the throne hanging in the balance, and magic in the air, can the two men find happiness together, or is duty more important than love?

A prince, a wizard, and a new slave set out on an epic quest that changes their lives. Prince Severin and the royal wizard, Ildar, are heading home after a long journey meant to humble and teach the irreverent prince. They happen upon a slave auction and buy Havyn with the intention of freeing the man. But matters aren’t that simple as Havyn soon becomes Ildar’s apprentice and Severin is newly engaged to a woman he hasn’t met yet. The three head off on an epic journey with 2 bodyguards to find the missing princess complete with mystery, intrigue, and wonder.

The characters are well-defined, even as they feel very familiar. There is Havyn, the slave who turns out to be so much more. He’s somewhat submissive, somewhat meek, but he’s also an exaggeration. He’s never had a single kindness in his life, never had clothes, went weeks without eating, always beaten. He’s still a likable character even though he’s a bit too much the poor orphan stereotype. Severin and Ildar also follow their predictable stereotypes but they work in a classic fantasy setting. They may not be the most original but they are still interesting and I like reading about their adventures.

Some of the writing feels basic and the same words are used repeatedly, especially during the sex scenes. Severin’s “staff” reminds me of too much of bad romance writing and after a while I fatigued on the throbbing, aching staffs. As a first offering though, the story is enjoyable and interesting. It plays on all the basic concepts and themes of fantasy stories with a bit of romance, sex, and an obvious happy ever after at the end. It may not be the most unique story but it will likely please fans who enjoy classic tales of adventure and true love.

This is a classic fantasy story with all the various ideas that make fantasy stories a lot of fun without the elaborate world building. The setting is historical with the twist of magic thrown in so the story doesn’t spend a lot of time creating a unique world. Instead it plays on the familiar concepts of a historical setting and lets the action take center stage. There is a lot going on in the book from the introduction of the characters to Havyn’s new status, their great journey across many lands to find the missing princess, mysterious prophesies, and a complicated future. None of these feels overwhelming and actually they work pretty well together to keep the pace moving quickly and the story interesting. All in all, this was an enjoyable read.

Body Rush by Anne Rainey



Body Rush by Anne Rainey
Publisher: Kensington Aphrodisia
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (228 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Multiple Partners, Anal Play, Fetish, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Legal Briefs…
Taking orders from egotistical hot shots in suits is no turn-on for legal secretary Lydia Burke, but she knows where to find what she’s looking for—at a local BDSM club. Three sexy, commanding men want to show Lydia their version of the law, and she’s just the woman to yield to their demands…

Doctor’s Orders…
Neurosurgeon Roni Smart is willing to play doctor in her spare time, but she’s looking for a man who lusts after more than her money. Enter Jake, a computer whiz whose able fingers, red-hot body, and brash take-charge attitude are the perfect antidote for her fever…

Midnight Snack…
Coffee shop owner Jeanette Williams just can’t read the menu when it comes to men. But she’s more than happy to serve the knee-weakening biker guy who shows up each morning, stirring a shameless desire within her. So when she catches his hungry eyes on her, she offers him an after-hours culinary lesson he’ll never forget…

Three close friends and three fantasies. Whose will come true first? Lydia, Roni and Jeanette decide that they are tired of their dull and unexciting lives and make a bet to see who can make their fantasy become reality first. Will it be Lydia the legal secretary, Roni the Psychologist or Jeanette the coffee shop owner? What are their fantasies and how will they make them come true?

This book had me right from the start. Fast-paced and well-written it keeps the reader's attention from beginning to end. Each section of the book deals with one woman; her fantasy and how she goes about making it come true. The women have been friends since grade school and are closer than sisters, sharing everything without fear. Not only were the relationships between the woman and men good but also the bond between these three women was a very nice thing to see. I enjoyed reading each couple's story as each story is an intense and erotic read.

I loved the way the men were able to bring out the women in this book. My favorite would have to be Jeanette. She blooms under the love of Hunter. With lots of love and care from Jake, Roni finally lets her guard down and opens her heart. After much assurance and devotion from Dane, Lydia comes to terms with her life and love. No matter what, these alpha men love their women and go to great lengths to prove it. The bond that develops with each of these couples is a wonderful read. It is that kind of bond that we all strive for in our relationships and only a select few ever find.

Anne Rainey wrote a great book that is not only intense and erotic but also heartwarming. I will definitely be on the lookout for more books from this author.