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Friday, June 4, 2010

Picture Perfect by Jack Greene



Picture Perfect by Jack Greene
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (42 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

When Ashton happens into a new bar, he's immediately taken with the young, male bartender.

Hayden is cheerful and flirtatious but his personal life is not so simple. Ashton is in an unhappy marriage. Hayden's boyfriend is possessive and controlling.

Can Ashton save him? Or does Hayden want to be saved?

Ashton’s not sure he’s gay, but he’s seen the one man to make him think twice. Hayden’s positive he’s gay and proud. He wants to get involved with Ashton, but he’s scared of his current partner.

If you think domestic abuse is a hetero problem, then you’re wrong. And you need to read Picture Perfect to find out more.

Jack Greene’s characters are intriguing because they aren’t perfect. In this story, they are more developed and easier to relate to. I wanted to see both characters get out of their sad situations and find the happily ever after they deserved. Although there were times when things seemed a little expected, there were plenty of twists and turns that balanced it out.

Ashton got my attention immediately because of his artsy background. He wanted to get back to his photography and with Hayden as the subject, he saw the beauty in things again. It was like it was his reawakening to the world. Hayden matched him, where Ashton was quiet and reserved, Hayden was more flamboyant, but I loved it. He wore his heart on his sleeve and his emotions out for everyone to see. It was refreshing to see a character with faults that I still loved.

There is a lot going on in this tale that I didn’t expect. The little things going on—Ashton’s wife, Chad, the bully, and Ashton’s struggle with his identity, kept me right in my seat.

If you want a story that will stay with you long after the last page, then you need to read Picture Perfect. I give this story 3.5 cherries.

Wishing For A Home by T.A. Chase



Wishing For A Home by T.A. Chase
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (100 pages pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Tuberose



Derek St. Martin is Nashville’s hottest country singer. For eight years, fame and fortune have come his way, but he’s not happy. In fact, he’s on the edge of a nervous breakdown or checking into a drug rehab center. Hiding his sexual preferences is driving him to resort to numbing the pain. When his stepbrother suggests he should go on vacation, Derek jumps at the chance to relax and get his head on straight.

Max Furlo isn’t happy. His bosses were leaving him in charge of some singer while he had other more important things to take care of. Seeing Derek St. Martin for the first time hits Max hard and, suddenly, he’s considering a summer fling.

Both men know that a relationship can never be for them. Derek’s career wouldn’t handle the news and Max can’t live a lie. Yet when a summer fling becomes love, who will be willing to risk it all for a chance at forever?

Can a closeted country singer and a cowboy find love? If so, when it is time to head back to real life for the country singer, will they decide to make it last?

Derek St. Martin is Nashville’s hottest country singer. He has fame and fortune but is not happy and uses drugs and alcohol to blunt the pain, causing his creativity to suffer. His step-brother finds him a place to get away from it all -- a ranch -- but the owners are out of town. This leaves the foreman, Max Furlo, to watch out for Derek.

Max had a difficult childhood and is determined that he will not be in the closet for anyone. Unable to fight their attraction, Derek and Max start a relationship knowing it could never be more than a fling and will have to end when Derek returns to Nashville. As time goes by, both men realize they want more, but feel their situation will not permit it.

I really love how Mr. Chase does not rush the sexual relationship, but once they move to that point both men feel they could spend the rest of their lives with each other. Derek is even able to write again with all the emotions he feels around Max. The emotional roller coaster really starts when Derek has to go back to Nashville to fulfill his contract obligations. When Derek leaves, the men decide it is best to end things so they don’t end up resenting each other. Will Derek and Max change their minds and be together or is this really the end?

Every time I read a story by Mr. Chase, it is always a true love story and Wishing For A Home is no different. The reader goes through a variety of emotions watching Derek, knowing he needs help to get off the drugs and alcohol and the pain of losing his ability to write, and hiding his true self from the public. It's only more heartbreaking when Derek and Max decide that, even though they love each other, it cannot last. As a reader who has read the previous two stories in this series, I was extremely happy to revisit the characters from both. And this reader definitely cried at different parts of the story, but thankfully the author made it better.

I’m sure I’m not the only reader that has been waiting for this story for what seems like a very long time, but it was well worth the wait. Wishing For A Home can be read as a stand-alone but why would you not want to read No Going Home(Les and Randy’s story) and Home of His Own (Tony and Brody’s story)?

I definitely recommend this story and predict that if you are not already addicted to T.A. Chase’s writing you will be after reading Wishing For A Home.

Bedtime Stories: Ugly Duckling by Lena Austin



Bedtime Stories: Ugly Duckling by Lena Austin
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (26 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, anal sex, toys
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Jean-Paul, incubus editor for Bedtime Stories Press has been assigned a new author. Troll says Jean-Paul is the only one who can handle him.

Dominick may be a fantastic author, but when he gets aroused, he turns into an ogre. Then the situation gets ugly. Literally. Ever confident, Jean-Paul is sure he can handle Dom.

Ogre lovin’!

Got your attention, didn’t I? Well, it got mine, too. But this story isn’t a run-of-the-mill paranormal/fantasy story. Ugly Duckling is more than I ever imagined and worth the read.

Ms. Austin writes a hot story, no doubt. Jean-Paul is scorching, even when I wasn’t totally sure what type of being he was. And I couldn’t help but love Dominick. He needs that combo of pain and pleasure. I liked how Ms. Austin wrote it, not as blunt or bold, but as touching and loving. I wanted to see them get together and have the happily ever after. And the ending was just perfect because it was just how I’d expected, but not at the same time.

The sex in this story will melt the screen, but not because it’s graphic, but because I felt the passion growing between the two men. When they morphed to accommodate each other, it was really refreshing.

If I had any qualms with this story, it was that I wanted it to be a tad longer. I wanted to know what happened to them after the story and have little instances in the story explained further. Still, it wasn’t enough to keep me from devouring the tale.

If you want a red-hot tale of love, then you need to read Bedtime Stories: Ugly Duckling. I give it 3.5 cherries.

Inescapable by Saskia Walker



Inescapable by Saskia Walker
Publisher: Total e-Bound
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense
Length: Short Story (149 pgs)
Other: M/F, Menage, M/F/M
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Stephanotis

When Lily Howard agrees to meet the man she is having a powerfully erotic online affair with, she subsequently walks into a crime scene. Sexy police officer Seth Jones takes her into witness protection together with her online lover, Adrian Walsh, a man with crucial evidence for a court case.

Deep in the heart of the Welsh countryside and locked up in a secluded hideaway with these two men — one alpha dominant policeman, and a wry, sensitive accountant who knows her every secret erotic desire — Lily soon becomes embroiled in a torrid ménage à trois that surpasses her every fantasy. Lily is wildly empowered by living her innermost desires in the safety of the hideaway. Adrian is the key that unlocks her sexuality, and Seth is the master who sets them both free.

As danger stalks ever closer and the three lovers are torn apart, they each find that deep emotional bonds have also been forged. Can Lily ever forget what they shared? Does she even want to?

Setting London and Wales, UK.

Lily Howard's involved in a virtual affair with a man just known to her as A.W. When the story opens she's thrown off guard when A.W.-Adrian Walsh, asks to meet her in person. She agrees to somewhere public (his office) and on the understanding that if she doesn't feel attracted to him, she can just walk away, no questions asked.

Adrian is an accountant who's got himself into a dilemma. One of his clients is involved in illegal overseas exports and realizes he has no choice but inform the police.

The following day, Witness Protection Officer, Seth Jones is at Adrian's office trying to convince him to go into protective custody because he might be in danger. In walks, Lily who has no idea who is who. Due to unfortunate circumstances, Seth wastes no time whisking both Adrian and Lily into protective custody and heads to a hotel in North Wales. Cooped up together, Seth is attracted to Lily. Lily is attracted to both men and soon the three of them begin a relationship.

I really enjoyed the story. Many plots in this genre rely on just the sexual relationship and never focus on an actual story, but this one delivered on both counts. It's a sexy ménage story with a suspenseful plot intertwined within it. The characters are all very likeable. The dialogue is very natural sounding, and the pacing ideal for this genre.

Some chapter endings had me worried about the welfare of these three people which is always a good sign and kudos to Ms. Walker for making me feel on edge as I read this story. In fact, all through this book I kept thinking about how this was going to end and who Lily would ultimately end up with. I can't give away the ending but let me just say it's very satisfying.

If you're looking for a sexy story with a good plot and not just page after page of descriptions of sexual acts, I recommend Inescapable to you.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Icing On the Cake by Shayla Kersten



Icing On the Cake by Shayla Kersten
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing Inc.
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (74 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Tuberose

Jeff Morgan’s life is all about career. Relationships aren’t on his radar. His friendships are limited to a very few and his sex life consists of wham-bam-thank-you-man sexual encounters. He doesn’t do long term. He doesn’t even do breakfast.

Then the fate of a cake brings Ollie Cranford into his life. Shaved head, tats and piercings, the baker is far from Jeff’s type, but Ollie is as luscious as the treats he whips up in his bakery.

Now if only Jeff can relax long enough to enjoy the icing on the beefcake.

YUM! This is a sinfully delicious story. Jeff and Ollie sure do have a lot of fun with icing and other food.

Jeff Morgan meets Ollie Cranford when Jeff goes to Cranford Designs to order a wedding cake for his best friend, Clarissa. Ollie is not what Jeff expects. He looks more like a biker than a baker with his shaved head, tattoos and piercings. There is an instant attraction between Jeff and Ollie that leads them to nearly having a sexual encounter in the walk-in refrigerator. The two quickly move things upstairs to Ollie’s place. But when they reach Ollie’s bedroom, Jeff is ready to call a stop to everything—the bedroom is more of a dungeon than bedroom. Can two men looking for different things in life be happy together?

Ms. Kersten has the reader caring about what happens with Jeff and Ollie in a very short amount of time. We also learn a lot about the characters, like Jeff being a workaholic with Clarissa as his only friend. Ollie is more relaxed and confident. He is wonderful at getting Jeff to do something he never does –- let go. The scenes with the icing and other foods are very sensual and hot.

I would love for Ms. Kersten to visit Jeff and Ollie again since the readers only see what happens between them for a few days. I will definitely recommend this book to someone looking for a short story that is very sensual and sinful.

The General’s Treasure by Ana Star



The General’s Treasure by Ana Star
Publisher: Written Expressions
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (30 pgs)
Other: M/F, Anal Sex, Multiple Partners, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Salima is a dancer for the sultan and his guests. She spends her days in a cage with the other dancers having servants paint her skin gold and glue sapphire gems in her hair, the sultan’s favorite stone. All dancers are destined to be courtesan when they reach eighteen.

Salima, however, has a different plan. She dreams of spending the rest of her life with the general, the man she’s always loved. On her eighteenth birthday, Salima is allowed to spend a few days with the general at his private home. She is determined to seduce him even if it means defying the sultan’s law; she must remain pure until her special night with the sultan.

Will Salima find a way to escape her fate and live with the man she loves?

Sometimes you have to give up a little to get the one thing you want the most in your life. Want to know more? Then you need to read The General’s Treasure.

This is a unique little story. Ms. Star has created intriguing characters that I wanted to know more about. This is a short glimpse into their lives, but I wanted to read more — where were they, why did they live with the customs, and could they act differently? Of course, the is a short story so I simply have to accept that the characters must act according to the rules of the Sultan.

I liked that Salima grew into womanhood before Rachid’s eyes. She doesn’t want to go to the Sultan—she only wants her General Rachid. When they got together, there were issues, but I loved how they worked them out. It was beautiful and emotional. The passion was overwhelming and I wanted to see them get their happily ever after.

But what wasn’t as pleasant for me was reading about her connection to the Sultan. I felt she was treated poorly, and it made it a little difficult to read, but the ending was good and satisfying.

If you want a story that’s sexy and has a few twists and turns you won’t see coming, then you need to read The General’s Treasure. I give it 3 cherries.

Evan's Heaven by Nikki Bennett



Evan's Heaven by Nikki Bennett
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (120 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Actor MacAlester Kerr wanders into a whole new world of pampering and pleasure when his director sends him to Evan's Heaven for a pedicure. When Mac meets the spa's owner, Evan York, he finds himself head over heels and up to his eyebrows as Evan spoils him like no one ever has before.

Whether it's a paraffin manicure, an herbal body wrap, or even a sugar waxing, Evan makes every treatment special with his own brand of kinky accompaniment. But when Mac wants to take things farther than Evan ever expected, will it lead to trouble in paradise?

Two men with creative sex drives have new uses for spa treatments. Mac wanders into Evan’s spa for a pedicure and finds a kindred spirit. Their instant attraction soon takes place over a series of weeks with Evan introducing new and different treatments. Mac soon comes to appreciate Evan’s mind, body, and spa. When Mac goes out of town for his job, he reminisces about their time together during some very memorable spa treatments.

Evan’s Heaven is an erotic novella. There is not much to the story other than several sex scenes strung together, all around the spa theme. This premise makes for a cute and fun story with everything from pedicures to seaweed wraps becoming an excuse for hot and steamy sex. The story is told from Mac’s third person point of view so he sees Evan as perfect and wonderful. Their relationship mostly builds off page although their love and commitment is clear in the sex scenes shown. Their final happy ending makes sense and works with the characters even if the buildup is not shown.

While the sex scenes are fun and imaginative, they start to run long since the entire novella is sex. The premise is seriously cute but Mac relates everything to sex. He thinks in terms of nothing but sex so as soon as the explanation of the treatment is done, the men move on to sex, sex, and more sex. It sometimes feels like the story is reaching and trying to be creative with endless terms for Evan’s brown eyes and his god-like physique. This gets slightly boring and frustrating since the characters aren’t developed at all, they’re just always having sex, which gets increasingly kinky.

For a quick, hot novella, Evan’s Heaven is fun, entertaining, and mostly works. As noted, it’s very sex-heavy with implied romance, so those looking for almost pure erotica will love this. While I found the constant sex wearing after a while, I can see why those who want nothing but sex will enjoy the cute premise. If you’re looking for a fun, sweet story with lots of hot sex, check this one out.

Sexual Healing: Too Shy by D. Musgrave



Sexual Healing: Too Shy by D. Musgrave
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (25 pgs)
Other: M/F, F/F, anal sex, Voyeurism, BDSM
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Despite being married for several years, and loving her husband with all her heart, Sophia is looking for something more--the Big O. But her deep-seated shyness has made that search all but impossible.

Can Dr. Marianne Haley show the inhibited Sophia the way to bliss? Can she guide Sophia to take what she needs, to both her and her husband's pleasure?

Sometimes you need to see what you’re missing in order to fill in the lost pieces. For Sophia, the visual learner, that’s exactly what she needs.

But if you want to know more, you need to read Sexual Healing: Too Shy.

This story is interesting from the word go. Dr. Marianne helps people deal with sexual issues through psychology and discussion. I liked her dedication to her calling and her need to help people like Sophia. I even liked the glimpses into Marianne’s personal life, but I wanted to see more. I get that the author wants the reader to come back for the next installment in the series, but I felt like things were left a little too loose.

Marianne is a different spin on the heroine. Her means to help is very passive to begin with and directed by Sophia. I liked the shared control. I liked how Sophia grew through the story and accepted her sexuality. D. Musgrave handled Sophia’s transformation well, including a bit of a ‘stepping off the deep end’ for her that made her more realistic.

The side story between Marianne and her boyfriend Tom is hot, hot, hot. The love scenes are blunt, getting right to the spicy parts without a pause. I realize this is a short story, but I felt that the relationship between them could’ve been delved into a bit deeper. We know about Marianne and Sophia, but I wanted to know more. Same with Tom — I liked his character, but felt I didn’t get a chance to really know him.

If you want a story that’s a new twist on erotica, then you need to read Too Shy. I give this story 3 cherries.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Between Heaven and Hell by Stephanie Adkins



Between Heaven and Hell by Stephanie Adkins
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (54 pgs)
Other: M/F, Violence, Fetish, Erotic asphyxiation
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Gillyflower

Somewhere between Heaven and Hell ... there are nightmares. After being forced to confront an abusive ex-lover in court, Elaina Richmond wanted nothing more than to get away from the trial and the nightmares that came with it. Escaping to her aunt and uncle's vineyard in the rolling hills of Sonoma, California, she is reunited with her first love, Caden Russell. An old flame is rekindled. Though Heaven is found in his arms once again, Elaina soon discovers that the Devil has a way of finding you ... especially when there's hope to destroy.

Stephanie Adkins takes her heroine and her readers from hell to heaven in this contemporary short.

Between Heaven and Hell is the terrifying story of Elaina Richmond, whom we meet after she survived a violent relationship with a jealous psychopath who tortured her rather than let anyone else appreciate her beauty. We learn all this as Elaina is forced to testify about it in her ex’s custody battle. Elaina escaped, but she did not escape unscathed. Nor would anyone, as is painfully clear to the reader, who relives Elaina’s nightmares with her.

Sent to her aunt and uncle’s Sonoma winery to recover, Elaina meets up with her recently widowed adolescent lover. Caden accepts Elaina, with all her burn and knife scars, as his beautiful angel. But Elaina’s ex isn’t ready to let go. I don’t want to spoil the rest of this short story, though you can probably guess where it goes from there.

While this story deals with a terrifying bit of realism in such subjects as rape and torture, there is very little character or plot development, such that both come off as a bit cliché. This also makes it difficult to really feel for either main character’s devastating losses or truly identify with Elaina’s fears. This may be just a side effect of the brevity of the book. I would have liked to have seen Ms. Adkins delve and develop more.

However, Between Heaven and Hell gives a glimpse of both, and would be enjoyable for anyone seeking a pithy book with likeable characters and a fair bit of adrenaline and suspense to keep things moving along quickly.

Idaho Pride by Sarah Black



Idaho Pride by Sarah Black
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (120 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

After an attempt to diffuse an explosive situation, Lee Hunter and Jeremy Sheridan end up taking the heat for the conflict and become friends. While researching a tragic local story for Jeremy’s magazine, Idaho Pride, Lee agrees to mentor Luis, a troubled young intern. But Jeremy has a problem of his own: a jealous ex-lover who threatens not only Jeremy and Lee's new romance, but also the fledgling family they're trying to create.

Opposites attract when they least expect it. Lee is a sportswriter and typical jock. He may be attracted to men but he doesn’t consider himself gay so when a local Pride magazine starts waving rainbow flags, Lee is somewhat uncomfortable. When a fight breaks out between interns and semi-pro hockey players, it’s up to Lee and magazine owner Jeremy to work things out. Sparks fly between the unlikely duo and their slow blooming romance changes both their lives.

Idaho Pride is a lovely, well-written, and entertaining story. It has a lot of action that comes across in a very natural, easygoing manner. The characters seem to drift easily from one scene to the next, even as more and more issues are tackled. All of these issues feel honest and interesting as they go from closeted sexuality to abuse, homeless teens and even suicide. None of this is heavy or depressing at all and that’s a real testament to the great writing and superb characterization. The story has a good, even pace that has you flipping pages before you know it. The chemistry between the two men is hot but their romance takes a bit of a backseat to all the other action happening.

The characterization is really well done in that Lee comes across as a typical jock that’s not willing to label himself. He’s not comfortable with the exaggerated connotations that come with being labeled gay but he slowly comes to understand why labels mean something. His mentoring of homeless teen Luis is really great and Luis is in fact a dynamic and interesting character. His tragic childhood is just a fact of life but he uses it to build something better for himself. The setbacks he receives in the story make a great set up for his own book, which I hope is coming.

The novella is one of those rare stories that fits perfectly in its length. It feels just right without being too short or too long and examines the various issues in a way that comes across with weight but without a heavy depression. The romance between Lee and Jeremy is sweet and sexy, yet it’s clear early on they have little drama between themselves so instead they can just be cute and fun. As an introduction to the author or even for long time fans, Idaho Pride delivers a great, well written story with engaging characters. I’d definitely recommend it.

Riverboat Named Desire by Kelly Conrad



Riverboat Named Desire by Kelly Conrad
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (97 pgs)
Other: Ménage, M/F/M
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by: Honeysuckle

The Riverboat Desire was once a floating bordello with a scandalous reputation, known all over New Orleans. It's a ship that caters to hot, passionate ménage relationships as it follows the path of the moon along the romantic waters of the Delta. The Desire is a rich ship, and La Flame, a notorious jewel thief, is aboard with plans to make the biggest heist of her life until her plans are interrupted by two of the sexiest cowboys she's ever seen.

While standing before them in quickly dissolving soap bubbles, they appear to her as nothing more than two drunken riverboat gamblers whose only desire in life is to make hot, passionate love to her. She doesn't realize until she becomes involved that beneath their lace-edged shirts and diamond stick pins, breathe two rough-talking, rough-riding lawmen with the badge of a bounty hunter. And she is their prey.


If you’re going to dream big in a small town, where else would you head but San Francisco? That’s just what Sadie Beal aka Lila Palmer aka La Flame did at the first chance she got. She had dreams of being somebody and knew that it would never happen in Thunder Mesa, Wyoming.

The fast life in San Francisco soon led to an even faster and more exciting life as a jewel thief. It also led her to a riverboat named Desire and into the arms of Val and Clint Morgan. Too bad these rough and ready to tumble cowboys also happen to be bounty hunters.

Ms. Conrad’s short story is fast moving and full of action. Lila is a determined young woman with her sights set on a prize, while unbeknownst to her, the Morgan brothers have their sights set to catch a thief.

The sexual chemistry is good between Lila and the Morgan brothers. But you have to wonder, is it them or some dubious influence of The Desire that has them unable to keep their hands off of each other?

While the writing and the plot were a little predictable it was a scintillating read. Lila has personal history issues that she has to work through and that seem to influence her decision to be a thief. Clint and Val are conflicted between doing their duty and keeping Lila for themselves.

If you’re looking for a steamy novella with a sassy thief and a couple of gambling good guys with a flair for Lady Luck then this is the book for you.

Pack Mentality by Julia Talbot



Pack Mentality by Julia Talbot
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (169 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/M, F/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Forced Seduction, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Peppermint

Pack Mentality: Alpha Bites
Sasha, the dark-eyed Russian, or Liam, the red-headed Irishman -- Jenny just can't choose. They're both amazing lovers. They're also both strong alpha wolves. It's Sasha who finally decides the three of them will make a fine pack. Now all he has to do is convince them both...

Pack Mentality: Myra's Mate
Myra has had the worst luck with men. Even when Colin's pack mates Sasha and Liam assure him that Myra is the girl for him he's reluctant to say the least. He certainly doesn't expect to find her secrets so incredibly intriguing. Can these two turn a blind date into a lifetime mating?

Pack Mentality: Big Bad Wolf
Kamen loves the day-to-day business of running his pack, but he's lonely and bored, and Steve smells like the perfect mate. But when the two of them get together, the pack turns on Kamen, challenging his alpha status, and his love for Steve. Is Kamen enough of a big bad wolf to keep them safe?

Pack Mentality: Natural Selection
Ryan is happy working as a park ranger and living with his big bear of a lover, Loyal, but wolves are social creatures, and he misses having a pack of his own. The new pack in town has been burned before, and Kamen and the others are willing to live and let live, but when Loyal gets kidnapped, will the pack throw in with Ryan and help save him?

This author has a gift when it comes to creating exciting characters. Once I started reading the first story I quickly made my way through the rest because I had to know what they were going to do next. It also helped that all of the stories followed the Colorado Springs Pack. So each story incorporated the characters from the previous story, and many of the characters were introduced in the previous story so that the flow was continuous.

Pack Mentality: Alpha Bites

This story is about Jenny who is currently dating two separate men. Little does she know that Sasha not only knows she is seeing another man, but is trying to figure out a way for all three of them to be one happy sexual pack. I would like to have seen the fact that they where werewolves play a little bigger part in the story. It seemed to only affect the story in the fact that Liam and Sasha could smell another man on Jenny. Other than that I don’t think it really added as much as it could have. One thing that I did find intriguing about this particular story was the fact that Liam seems to be the one with reservations once things are discovered. In many of these stories both men seem to be on the same page but the woman is the one with the concerns, so it was a nice little twist.

Pack Mentality: Myra’s Mate

I absolutely adore Myra and Colin. I like the fact that Myra is such a free spirit and completely different from not only the pack but the type of female that Colin would normally go for. Colin is able to not only look past the fact that Myra is completely opposite from the type of female he normally goes for, but also he is able to look past the fact that his roommate Steve claims something is seriously wrong with her and no man should ever go near her. And when these two people get together-- wow, do they get hot and heavy!

Pack Mentality: Big Bad Wolf

In this story we get to follow the budding relationship between Pack Alpha Kamen and Steve. Not only do you see the development within their relationship, but also the disapproval of the direction Kamen is taking that pack by some of the other werewolves. Kamen is definitely an alpha male while Steve still needs direction in his life. So the fact that these two can come together and help one another see a different side of themselves is great. But don’t worry, all of the characters from the previous storie are well-intertwined in this story also. Of all four stories this one definitely had the best plot.

Pack Mentality: Natural Selection

This story introduces two new characters Ryan and Loyal. Unlike the two previous stories, you do not know these characters prior to the story. Ryan is a wolf shifter while Loyal is a Bear shifter. Since in the previous story Kamen, Steve, Myra, Colin, Jenny, Liam and Sasha left the pack to move to a new area they meet Ryan and Loyal. Where the previous stories focused mostly on the couple that particular story was about, in this one it went back and forth between the previous characters and the couple in this story. I think this took away from Ryan and Loyal, so I was not able to connect with them as well as I had with the other characters. I do think this story wrapped up the entire book well, since by then you know the outcome of all of the characters.

There was an inconsistency that I found within this book. They mention in the first and second story that Myra can shift into any organic/living thing including plants, but she will remain that way for the entire three days of the full moon. In the last story Myra takes the form of Colin the first evening of the full moon, but becomes Ryan the second evening and returns to herself in the morning. It confused me a bit, but it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the stories.

Yummy alpha males are all over this book. It is one of the reasons I enjoy weres so much. Each of these stories has at least one alpha male if not two. And although they exude power and authority they are willing to bend in order to make their partner or partners happy. No man or woman is safe around these shifters. This was a collection I enjoyed. I give it four cherries.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cassie’s Awakening by Brigit Aine



Cassie’s Awakening by Brigit Aine
Publisher: Eternal Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (38 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

He obviously doesn’t want her…so how can she be his mate?

Cassie’s talent is dampening the emotions of others. This has been a very useful way of keeping peace around her, but has proven harmful in learning about passion and love. After all, none of the men she has ever dated have been able to profess or show the true depth of their feelings.

What if you could feel the emotions of your significant other? What if you knew what was going on with them the same time they did? And what if you had no idea you had these talents? Then you’d feel like Cassie in Cassie’s Awakening.

The general idea behind this story is refreshing because it’s novel. Yes, there are stories where the mates can read each other’s minds, but in this story, it’s written in a touching way that made me want to continue reading. There are also enough little twists and turns that snagged my attention and have me waiting for the next installment of this story.

I liked Cassie. She’s happy-go-lucky and wants nothing more than to stay that way. She’s attracted to Jared, no doubt, but the fact that she’s shy around him, yet won’t take his guff. I love a strong heroine and she’s the epitome of strong. Although her acceptance happened a tad quickly, I still enjoyed reading about her.

Jared is an interesting hero—if not a bit gruff. I understand he’s co-alpha of the wolf pack and I get that he’s got to be tough, but there were times when he came across almost mean. He’s handsome, and his transition into wolf is beautiful, but I almost wanted to see him soften just a bit when it wasn’t in the bedroom. That said, the sex was hot and singed my screen.

If you want a sexy story that lends well to a follow-up story, then you need to read Cassie’s Awakening. I give it 3.5 cherries.

Coyote Home by Rhian Cahill



Coyote Home by Rhian Cahill
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (117 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Holly

Book One in the Coyote Home series.

Coming home was never going to be easy for Rowan Wilder, but after six years she didn’t think it would be this hard. First she can’t control her inner coyote, then she has to deal with her mate and the madman out to get them both. Determined to take her rightful place in the pack, Rowan must face each hurdle and succeed. To fail could mean losing her life.

Quinn MacClellan is more than ready for the return of his mate and he’ll do anything to keep her safe and by his side. He couldn’t protect her years ago, but things are different now and he won’t let anything or anyone separate them again. Together they’ll confront all obstacles and ensure the future they both deserve.

It has been said that you can never go home. After six years away, Rowan Wilder has decided it is finally time to do just that. She left home as a scared and wounded teen, now she is coming home a woman. She has spent six years away from family, her mate and most important, her inner coyote.

Quinn MacClellan has waited six years for Rowan to return: six years without the mate he needs beside him. Knowing that she had to leave to gain the strength she required to survive doesn’t calm his coyote, but Quinn understands it was for the best.

Now Rowan is back, and all bets are off. Can Rowan and Quinn find the happiness they have waited for? Will life let them be together? Or will the maniac that caused all the havoc drive Rowan away from Quinn and home once again?

I have to say that this is the first book by Rhian Cahill that I have read, but it will not be the last. This book has it all: romance, mystery, danger, and over the top screaming hot sex between two people very much in love. Ms. Cahill has created appealing characters, and a marvelous world of fantastic coyote shifters.

Rowan leaves town a victim, but comes back a survivor, determined to take back the life that was ripped brutally from her six years ago. I loved her sense of humor, and her determination to be with her mate. Quinn is strong and protective of Rowan, but also knows he has to accept that to be with her, he has to take it slowly, and do things her way. He is patient and caring, helping Rowan face her coyote and get comfortable with her inner self after so long without her.

As it becomes clear that all of the danger is not in the past, these two face it with courage, together, and fight for what they want. This book kept me on the edge of my seat, as Ms. Cahill let the suspense of who was behind it all build until the end. I was surprised at who the “bad guy” was in this, I really didn’t see this one coming.

The love is strong between the two main characters, and the sex is frequent and blazing hot. The secondary characters are well defined as well: Rowan’s brother Brogan, the pack sovereign, and Gordie, the town doctor who was Rowan’s best friend before she left.

This is one of those rare books for me; not only did I desperately NOT want it to end, but I have already written to my friends about, telling them this is a must buy book. I recommend this one for anyone who likes hot love stories, with a happy ever after, but with more coming in the future.

Wicked Business by Evanne Lorraine



Wicked Business by Evanne Lorraine
Publisher: New Concepts Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (66 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Mistletoe

From the first glance, Desiree is drawn to Eduardo. The man is the stuff of dreams--rich, powerful, and smoldering with sexuality. His dedication to the foundation’s mission, his fierce protection of his family, and even his wicked connection to the underworld only adds the cache of impossibility to his potent charms. Watching him is her job and a private thrill. But, she’s much too sensible to act on her crush, risking her job, to say nothing of her heart. Then, he reaches out to her. The invitation is impossible to resist and everything changes.

Eduardo has many secrets, and some aren’t his own, but he’s sworn to keep them. Since Desiree works for the enemy, indulging his passion with her is recklessly insane. However, it’s even more impossible to leave her alone. As the attraction between them burns hotter, something more than simple desire glows to life. Caught between the love of a lifetime and promises he must honor, he can never have anything with her--except for a few stolen moments.

Agent Desiree Joy has finally landed a field assignment. Even though it may just be watching a suspect, at least it is in the field -- and what a suspect Eduardo is. He is pleasing to the eye, that is for sure. And, more, Desiree is not so sure about his guilt. She must decide if she will follow her instincts about Eduardo or blindly follow her superior.

This story drew me in from the very beginning. I enjoyed the bond that developed between Eduardo and Desiree. The two are a great match. Eduardo is a strong man with a good conscience who will fight for those he loves. Desiree is a smart woman who follows her heart. As the two deal with their own feelings for each other they must also deal with the agency Desiree works for and their investigation of Eduardo. The story flows nicely between the investigation and the relationship. I loved reading about the strong feelings that they feel for each other and watching them show it when they must fight for their lives.

This author brings the characters' world to life. This story was well written and fast paced. I enjoyed the relationship that was introduced and would love to read more about Desiree and Eduardo. If you enjoy strong characters and ones that follow their hearts, you should definitely check this story out. I know that I will be on the look out for more stories from this author.

Stick Shift by Lissa Matthews



Stick Shift by Lissa Matthews
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (148 pgs)
Other: M/F, Spanking
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

An orchestra musician, a private music teacher, and a homebody, Lily’s a full-figured, quiet woman who lives a fairly simple and solitary life. Aside from music, she has one big passion: stock car racing. She’s been a fan for as long as she can remember and makes the yearly pilgrimage to Daytona as often as she can. When she’s offered a chance to get away to North Carolina and attend two weeks of races, she jumps at it. Little does she know what that chance has in store for her…

Cam Carter is one of the most successful young drivers in the top tier of the stock car racing circuit. All over the country, he’s well known to racing fans, loved by some, respected by a few, and hated by others. He’s arrogant, strong willed, and a consistent winner. What he doesn’t have is balance…until he meets a pretty, very curvaceous, and unassuming fan named Lily.

Lily fears the difference in lifestyles, ages, and personalities while Cam in turn, embraces them. Can they find a way to cross the finish line and take the checkered flag together or will the obstacles push against them until they crash and burn?

Stick Shift is a pulse-pounding, pedal to the metal erotic romance that will get the heart racing and the blood pumping. Author Lissa Matthews has written a story that captivates and excites and will engage the reader from beginning to end.

Lily was a heroine I connected with immediately. She’s quiet and reserved but has a deep, inner passion that cannot be denied. When she meets the luscious stock car driver, Cam, things are just bound to heat up. He’s brash and cocky where she is shy and sweet and it’s a perfect combination. As their romance blossoms, the obstacles they face are very real and provide for a bit of tension and conflict. I thoroughly enjoyed the way the story was developed and felt that things progressed at a steady, yet natural, pace.

The writing is wonderful and as with other stories by Ms. Matthews, the BBW, older heroine and younger hero theme isn’t harped upon but is addressed in an appealing manner, so that the characters remain important and their age and physical appearances don’t define them. I always enjoy reading stories in which there is so variation between the hero and heroine but it’s their journey to happiness that’s the goal, not overcoming insecurities or fixating on things that cannot be changed. Thus is the case here and it makes for a spell bounding read that will linger with you long after the final page is read.

A definite must read for contemporary erotic romance fans, I absolutely loved Stick Shift and I’m sure others will as well. Be sure to put this title on your all important TBR list.

The Devil’s Heel by Keta Diablo



The Devil’s Heel by Keta Diablo
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (66 pgs)
Other: M/M, Bondage, Anal sex
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Phlox

Five years ago Drew Hibbard dismissed Rogan Brockport from his life. Now, they meet again at the Governor’s Ball and Rogan will know the reason for the abrupt, unexplained cut. After Rogan saves Drew’s life during a pirate raid, he kidnaps him and the perfect opportunity to extract answers from Drew is finally at hand.

A dark, brooding hero to set the stage, the beautiful object of his desire beyond his reach, and the hint of some serious swashbuckling to come all promise the perfect recipe for a grand historical adventure. In large part, this is a beautifully written piece, lush with description and lovely visuals. Rogan fills the role of tortured hero while oozing sex appeal and Drew does get points for courage.

The desperate tension between the protagonists lends extra spice to their scenes together, keeping the sex at a volcanic level of heat. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Diablo’s work in the past, and did enjoy this story as well, but there were some unfortunate issues. The occasional odd word choices and awkward phrasings took me out of the story, and the reveal regarding their long-festering misunderstanding, when it finally arrives, is a bit of a disappointment. Without giving too much away, I had been hoping for something less predictable. Maybe one can’t expect Rogan to gush apologies, but his willingness to lay the blame entirely at Drew’s feet didn’t sit well with me. In the climactic scene as well, the reader hopes Drew will be allowed to redeem himself. There was a sense of Errol Flynn homage in that last bit, so certain things can be forgiven, but it did feel a little too easy.

All in all, however, this was a fun, sexy read, one I’d recommend for summer beach reading where the waves will invoke the setting and perhaps the sweat trickling down your back won’t be entirely from the sun.