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Friday, June 11, 2010

Kane: A Black Cougar Novel by Eliza Gayle



Kane: A Black Cougar Novel by Eliza Gayle
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Short Story (127 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Kane Gunn is beyond frustrated. He has a kill order to fulfill and after weeks of chasing his quarry he's boiling over with tension. Then he catches the woman who's become his obsession and Kane becomes consumed by a desire that overwhelms everything...including his quest for justice.

Lara is determined to seek revenge against the were-cougar guardians. Consequences don't matter and distraction isn¦t an option. Until she finds herself face to face with the pair of green eyes that have been haunting her day and night. Time is of the essence as the tables are turned and a tenuous truce is formed.

In the face of passion enemies become lovers, tempting fate, testing trust, and satisfying an undeniable need. Lies and secrets. Corruption and Revenge. Choices that change lives. Don't miss the revelation...of Kane.

Kane Gunn is the youngest brother of a family long seen as the final judgment for the Clans. Kane took over as enforcer when his brother Lucas found his mate and was banished for it. Now Kane must track the witch Lara, the woman who worked for one brother to capture and torture another.

Lara is under an execution order for crimes against the clans, but she has her own agenda of revenge. Complicating everything is the very explicit dreams Kane has every night; dreams of Lara and himself making hot and passionate love everywhere.

When Kane hears Lara’s story, he begins to doubt the unquestioned obedience to the Clans his family has shown. There are secrets and it is time for all hidden agendas to be brought into the open. When Kane discovers Lara has a Black Cougar mating mark, he realizes she means more to him than duty. Can Lara put aside her hatred and move on? Will Kane prove that Lara was justified in her vendetta and get the death sentence overturned? Can they find out who is behind the subterfuge and stop it once and for all?

This is the second Black Cougar novel by Eliza Gayle. I loved the character development in this one. Lara is not the evil witch we believed her to be from book one. There is a reason for what she has done, and she may have been justified in her actions. Lara is a strong woman, determined to have her revenge, or maybe it is justice she really seeks.

Kane was sure of his mission, and as the last Gunn enforcer, he is all that his brother was: strong, handsome and powerful. But, unlike his brother Lucas, Kane is not happy as an enforcer, and questions the authority given and taken away by the council of the clans.

I loved the mystery behind it all, and we get an idea about who is behind the trouble. The one thing in this book that I didn’t care for was that there was no real solution: Lara still has much to find out about the past, and I can only hope that the loose ends left in this one will be tied up in another book soon. The world is one of shadowy motives and mysterious histories, but it is an intriguing book all in all. I loved the way the relationship between Lara and Kane grew, not sudden, but with give and take on both sides.

If you can be satisfied with a happy for now, with more future action, this one is for you.



Riding Double by Sayde Grace



Riding Double by Sayde Grace
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (100 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Anal Sex, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Stressed to the max by her rodeo production company, Billie turns to young bareback rider Chet Haskins for a night of fun. She expects to get her mind off her business and her bull rider ex-fiancé, Bo Bennett. What she gets is several nights of sinful pleasure with both Chet and Bo. Finding herself quite literally between two hot cowboys, will Billie decide to move forward with Chet or start over with Bo?

Does the pain last forever? If you can’t let go, then it sure does. So what do you do to make the pain go away? Try Riding Double.

Ms. Grace’s story intrigued me. A female in a male dominated world making good and showing she can handle the rough stuff. It worked for me. I felt like I was there with Billie, on the rodeo circuit and seeing the bulls and riders. Talk about setting a mood — Ms. Grace did it well.

What I had an issue with was some of the heroine’s actions. I liked that she had gumption and didn’t take guff from her compatriots on the circuit. But, there were times when she wasn’t fun to read — like she thought more about her body needs than her emotional needs. I understand why she did, but I didn’t agree with it and it took a little away from her story.

The hero, Bo, piqued my interest because he worked the tall, dark, and handsome angle well. But, I thought he acted a bit wishy-washy at times and wanted to see him just go for her. Take what he wanted. But when he did finally make his move, it was really sexy and full of passion aimed at no one but her. I understood they had to cleanse each other of the emotional ghosts, but I wished she’d let him in a bit quicker.

If you want a short story that packs an emotional punch, then you need to read Riding Double. I give it 3 cherries.

Rogue Warriors (Collections) by Marie Treanor



Rogue Warriors (Collections)by Marie Treanor
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (223 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

A new war rages on Earth, and growing numbers of Dome City humans blame their immortal allies, the mysterious Dragul.

Rebel: Jake Lindow is a rebel with a cause -- leading the band of outlaws who harry the Ministry in pursuit of peace, freedom and the end of Dragul domination. Kidnapping the beautiful Dragul, Crina, is part of Jake's plan; falling in love with her isn't.

Soldier: Deep in a civilian prison in the heart of Dome City lies prisoner of war Sergeant Tanya Blake -- the West's secret weapon. Sorin, a powerful Dragul mind-specialist, is called in to investigate the violent prisoner, whose abused mind needs all his skill to heal. Tanya is both attracted to Sorin's gorgeous, leather-clad body, yet repelled by the power of his mind as it invades hers. She's caught in the grip of desires that hover between sex and murder.

Queen: As world leaders gather for a peace conference, Gina, daughter of the Dragul king, has more personal goals -- a night of forbidden sensual pleasures before her political marriage to Sylvus, leader of the western Dragul. However, when Gina picks up not one, but two sexy human lovers, she risks security, world peace, and ultimately, her own heart.

By the time the conference ends, the world will have changed -- forever.

The world has been destroyed by a devastating nuclear war. The survivors are trying to get by the best that they can. In the Dome, there is government corruption and betrayal, and the people are not all happy about it. There is unrest and rebellion against the alliance with the Dragul, and three couples figure prominently in the solutions needed to save them all from another war. The books in this collection are their stories.

Rebel: Jake and Crina’s story. Jake Lindow is a veteran of the war with the west, but when he refused to follow orders that would endanger those under his command, he was thrown out of the army. Now Jake leads a group of rebels unhappy with Dome politics and Dragul domination. He sees his chance during a peace council, kidnapping Crina, the daughter of the Dragul Keeper of the Laws. But Jake finds that all is not as it appears, and also finds that the people are being misled by corruption in high places. How long can Jake ignore the growing feelings he has for Crina? Can he admit he was wrong, and lead his people to a better government?

Soldier: Tanya and Sorin’s story. Sergeant Tanya Blake is the west’s secret weapon. Held prisoner in the Dome City, her captors are mystified at the alterations made to her brain: alterations she doesn’t remember being made. Dome officials call in a powerful Dragul mind specialist, Sorin, to try and figure out how it was done. Tanya is just as determined to fight any attempt to be tamed or understood. Will Sorin win Tanya’s trust and confidence in time to save her? Can Tanya trust Sorin, and her growing feelings for him, to bring her mind back and end her pain?

Queen: Gina and Sylvus’ story. Gina is the daughter of the Dragul king and his human wife, and wants to experience life to the fullest. While Dragul mature slowly, Gina’s human DNA makes her mature earlier than a full Dragul. She knows her duty is to marry Sylvus, the Dragul leader from the west; she wants one night of fun and passion before she is shackled to “an old man” for the rest of her life. She finds excitement and more, when she meets two men in a bar in the Dome City, and the three spend an evening enjoying each other. But Gina discovers that one of the men is working with the renegade Dragul Avram to bring destruction to the peace all are trying to build. She also is sad to have to leave her other lover, a man who never even introduced himself, in spite of the gratification they gave each other. Will Gina accept a life with her intended husband, Sylvus? Will there be a permanent peace for all-humans, “mutants” and Dragul?

Marie Treanor has taken one more visit to the ruined world of the future where humans, supernaturals and Dragul are trying to coexist in peace.

I enjoyed the characters in these three stories. The women were all strong characters: in Crina and Gina, we find women who, while young by Dragul standards, are in fact fully mature and frustrated by the lack of understanding by their parents. While Crina shows her maturity by handling herself admirably in a crisis situation, Gina takes the more direct route by picking up two lovers at a sleazy bar. All of Marie Treanor’s women are intelligent, strong and determined characters, independent yet willing to work toward what they want.

I love the Dragul men, sensitive, strong and supportive of the women they love, but protective alphas just the same. And Jake was a real treat, growing from rebel, to diplomat and finally acknowledging that he was wrong about the Dragul race.

I enjoyed watching the intrigue as it wound through all three stories, with lots of danger and action to satisfy any reader. And what would a Marie Treanor book be without the scorching and passionate sex uniting the couples. The love stories are wonderful as well, showing that the differences don’t necessarily get in the way of true love, which is as it should be. These are ultimately just that - love stories, filled with passion, compassion and imagination. If you are looking for a great reading experience with lots of heat, this collection is for you.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Constant in Love by Elayne S. Venton



Constant in Love by Elayne S. Venton
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (56 pgs)
Other: mild BDSM, M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Stranded at an inn near Gretna Green, Miss Cassandra Briggs is without funds, without a chaperone, without her virtue. To add to her humiliation, her faux pas is discovered by the ruggedly handsome rogue, Mr. Philip Masterson.

Philip has been Cassie’s friend for years. What he really wants is to tie her to his bed. The time has come to claim the woman. Now ruined, Cassandra is willing to settle for a courtesan’s life and Philip is willing to take her as his mistress. In each other’s arms, however, neither is ready to settle for anything less than love.

But love is inconstant…and a woman will protect her heart at all costs.

What happens when you want a husband so badly you break all your own rules? And what if the love of your life was about to make a huge mistake? Would you intervene?

Read Constant in Love and find out more.

This is my first Elayne Vernon story. I have to admit, I’m not a huge historical fan, but this story was interesting enough to keep my attention. Ms. Vernon’s characters fit the time period and I felt a part of the surroundings. The plot has enough twists and turns to keep it moving.

Cassandra confounded me. She wanted the husband and it seemed she’d do whatever it took to get him. Although I thought she lowered her standards a bit, it worked for the story. I wasn’t her biggest fan to begin with, but her determination to rise above the lot she chose in life helped her grow on me.

Phillip was another conundrum. At first I got the impression he wanted one thing, and then he changes his mind. I give the man credit for going for what he wants, but I wish he’d have said something a tad quicker. Just seemed like a lot of waiting, but when things finally happened... wow.

There was a twist at the end that made this read totally worth it. I didn’t see it coming and it fit perfectly.

If you want a steamy story for a chilly spring night, then you need to read Constant in Love. I give it 4 cherries.

Del Fantasma: Duck Fart by Jade Buchanan



Del Fantasma: Duck Fart by Jade Buchanan
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (111 pgs)
Other: M/M, M/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Toys, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Peppermint

Keith Malone is incredibly content. He loves coming around Del Fantasma… great food, great company, and a decent place to rest his soul when he needs it. Plus, it doesn't hurt that Cody lets him dust off his carpenter skills with the odd job here and there.

Bailey Mitchell is incredibly nervous. He's come all this way to San Diego, following up on a chance encounter that happened months earlier, and now he doesn't know what to do. One glance and it's obvious Adam's already taken. What's a lonely Siamese shifter to do?

Drake McKale is incredibly grouchy. He's sick and tired of every shifter he's run across making fun of him. Hey, duck's have feelings too! So what if he's smaller than everyone else? Spoiling for a fight he can actually win, he decides to pick on the shy, little kitty in the corner. Only, Drake never reckoned the diminutive cat would proposition him. Or that the big human in the corner would want in on the action.

One part burly human, one part shy Siamese shifter and one part twinky (and kinky) duck shifter… layer together and enjoy!

Who would have thought Siamese cat shifter Bailey, Duck shifter Drake and human Keith would make great bed partners? If nothing else it should make for some wild kinky sex and since that was the only thing each of them was looking for, the next few days should be perfect for all involved, even us readers.

The main characters in this story all had their own unique personalities that complemented each other perfectly. Keith was the take control type of guy, while Drake was the immature jokester, and Bailey was the shy timid one. In Drake and Bailey’s case they also showed some of their animalistic qualities in human form, which I am fond of. Alone, their characteristics would have been too strong and annoying, but together they made the perfect combination.

The fact that this unlikely trio got together definitely made this plot unique. I think during a few moments in this story they proved that sometimes there is a thin line between love and hate. Because one second they would be at each other's throats then the next second they would be kissing, and so much more, to make up.

The relationship between these three was shaky at points, but continuously moving forward. All of these men had baggage, and where they knew deep down inside they belonged with the other men, they were not willing to admit it to themselves or the others. This, however, did not prevent them from having a hot sweaty fling for at least a few days... or so they thought.

And we cannot ignore the title to this story, which just grabs you from the very beginning. With a title like that I knew it had to have had a meaning and at the very end the author tied it in very well. So, if you want to learn more about a Duck Fart look no further. I definitely enjoyed this unconventional romance and highly recommend it.

Sweet Temptation by Becca Dale



Sweet Temptation by Becca Dale
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (40 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Ex-marine, Marcus Braddock’s protective instincts are stirred by Darcy Ferguson’s generous nature, but her luscious curves arouse an altogether different response. Capturing her for his own quickly becomes a primary objective, but before he can claim his prize, he must liberate the enticing beauty imprisoned behind a wall of insecurities.

Darcy is surrounded by physical perfection—the American standard versus the American ideal. When the ruggedly tempting Marcus Braddock breaches her defenses in a blatant frontal assault, she has no clue how to resist. Yielding could make her the butt of a practical joke, but his sensual blue eyes and tantalizing muscles promise such deliciously sweet surrender.

Before Marc, Darcy understood how the world worked, had been told repeatedly, “Fat girls do not eat sweets in public, do not flaunt their oversized breasts, and certainly do not attract gorgeous men.” Fortunately, no one ever explained the rules to Marc.

When can food be more than nutritious? When it’s Sweet Temptation.

I wasn’t familiar with Becca Dale’s work until this story, and man, I waited too long. This story is just what I was looking for when I wanted something hot, sexy, and realistic. Her heroine is tough, but fragile and her hero, though a tad blunt, is pure male and very handsome. Although I realize it’s a short little tale, I loved it, but wanted more. I wanted to know what happened afterwards and didn’t want to let this couple go. I got involved in their lives and that’s what made it powerful. I felt like I was there with them.

Darcy is the heroine I want to see more often. She’s got a big heart, wide smile, and curves. She’s what her family calls ‘plump’. I felt her pain and irritation with them as if it was mine and wanted to scream at them to leave her alone. And though she’s got moments where she’s a bit sad or depressing, I could relate to her feelings. She wanted to be loved for her inner beauty. That was powerful.

Although I wanted to see more from his point of view, Marcus is an interesting hero. He sees her beauty immediately. Despite the bevy of willing, willowy women, he’s got his sights set on the one who makes his heart sing. I loved his one track mind and his determination to show her what he saw.

The sex is hot, but the passion burns brighter. The couple met quickly, but this is one instance where I believe love at first sight worked.

If you want a story that sizzles and pops with passion, then you need to read Sweet Temptation. I give it 4 cherries.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

City of the Damned (Collection) by Marie Treanor



City of the Damned (Collection)by Marie Treanor
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (193 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

In the depths of nuclear winter a self-sufficient cop leaves the safety of her Dome City and travels north in search of her missing brother. In the City of the Damned, where radiation poisoning has created new mutant species, April sets off a chain of events and deceptions destined to change the life of all the city’s inhabitants.
For Max, who has felt little but blood thirst for many years, the blinding sexual pleasure he experiences with April becomes an obsession. When wolf and vampire collide, one will be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice, for the survival of their world.

Like wolves, the lupi mate for life. As for vampires… they mate for something more…

The devastating war is over. The world as we knew it has been destroyed, and the survivors struggle daily to meet basic needs. Life is split between those in the Dome, and those in the ruined city known as the City of the Damned. Those in the Dome believe in their superiority, while those in the City realize that it takes many different kinds, working together, to make survival possible. The inhabitants of the City are seen as mutants, because the radiation after the war brought out latent tendencies that were long dormant. Those in the City include werewolves, vampires and other supernatural beings. This collection tells the history of three of these couples.

Loving the Wolf: Will and Lara’s story. Lara is a police officer in the Dome City, but ventures out to search for her brother, who went missing after leaving to follow a girl he believes he loves. She comes to the ruined city, and is struck by the devastation and despair. Hitting the clubs, she soon discovers a side of life unknown to a cop from the Dome.

As she makes the rounds, she soon notices the same man, a mysterious silver haired Adonis, watching her. She is attracted to him, and eventually they cross paths and he helps her find her brother. Will, the silver haired man, is determined to bring order to the chaos of the city, although even among his people the Lupi, he is shunned. Once they locate Lara’s brother, she knows she should return to the Dome and to her life, but she can’t leave Will behind.

The post apocalyptic world that Marie Treanor has created is dirty and gritty, but the people she inhabits her world with are fascinating and well-developed. Lara is a police officer, strong, intelligent and independent. She ventures away from safety and security to find the only family she has left. Will is a loner, strong, handsome and a born leader, fighting to bring order out of chaos. When Will meets Lara, he knows she is the woman he wants as his mate, but can a full human love a shifter? I love the interaction between Lara and Will, and the way he gives her time to know him, while having the hottest sex she has ever known.

Loving the Vampire: April and Max’s story. April is Lupi, but has never been comfortable with that side of her nature. After a battle between hunters and Lupi, Max, a very powerful vampire, takes April. The attraction April feels toward Max is something she has never felt before, and she wants to explore this new feeling. Max is older, and has become bored with life until meeting April. Max was a scientist before the war, and he may be able to bring the sun back to the people of the City, but it will take cooperation with all the different factions to make it work.

April is young, and uncomfortable with her Lupi side. I loved her decision to take a chance on Max, in spite of his declaration that he is too old and jaded for her. There is an inner strength in April, and is shows in many of her actions toward her friends and family when they are threatened. I liked Max: in spite of what he says, there is a spot of optimism hidden in his heart, a heart long devoid of emotion. I enjoyed the way April was able to bring emotions back to Max, and give him back the joy of living. This is a wonderful story of rebirth and renewal, and I loved the passion these two share.

Loving the Man: David and Katia’s story. Katia is a vampire, and quite tired of her life. When she encounters a human scavenging in the City, she soon becomes fascinated by what he is doing. David is collecting things: books, equipment and machines that could help to rejuvenate the City. He is working with Will and Max to create a better set of living conditions in the City. Katia can’t understand why David is not afraid of her, and becomes more attracted to him as they spend time together. They become lovers, but Katia believes David will leave, as everyone else has left her.

Katia is a very insecure woman: strong, with the preternatural strength of the vampire. But she is also intelligent and lonely, and in spite of everything, she grows to love David, even as she believes he will leave her. David is a caring and determined suitor to Katia: he just refuses to give up on her. The passion that becomes love is strong with them, and leads to many scorching scenes of hot vampire sex. I loved this story because it reinforces the idea that love can’t be directed, but happens when and where it will.

These three stories are all about finding the ways we are alike, in spite of any differences we may have. I loved that in every one of these stories, love is able to bridge the gap between, not only people, but also species, uniting people for a chance to create a stronger society, one that, while not perfect, is a great improvement over what is in place. Marie Treanor has created a world where life must continue, and love is where you find it. And she does it with humor, passion, excitement, danger, and lots of screaming hot sex, in totally unexpected places. Read this, but bring the ice and the fan, because this one is hot.

Department 57: Jewel of the Dragon by Lynne Connolly



Department 57: Jewel of the Dragon by Lynne Connolly
Publisher: Loose Id LLC
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (166 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Peppermint

Dev Wyvern is Welsh, tall, dark and sexy as sin. When he walks into Alix Lancaster's jewelry shop he knows her brother, Clay, has set a trap for a shape-shifting dragon. Which he happens to be. Still, the minute he sees Alix he wants her. She sets him on fire, and it’s not long before Dev persuades her into bed for a heated and passionate lovemaking session. But if she’s a member of the enemy to all Talents, the PHR society, then he can't trust her.

Alix has a choice. She can betray her brother by warning Dev or she can let Dev walk into a lethal snare. Nobody has turned her on like this before, nobody has seared her soul the way he does. But Dev isn’t only a shape-shifter, he’s an agent for Department 57. He’s sexy, dangerous and she wants him.

It’s time to make up her mind. And maybe start living her life.

This story has found a permanent home on my shelf. Between the exceptional characters and skillful plot, I was up all night forcing myself to stay awake just so I could read more.

Alix’s devotion toward her family, Dev and her need to do the right thing was amazing. No matter what the cause, when deciding to give it her all she will do so no matter the cost. This is evident in the fact that even against everything she was taught by the Perfect Human Race (PHR) organization and her family, she risked everything in order to save Dev. But it did not stop there because she was also willing to do the same to insure her misguided brother Clay was unharmed as well.

The thing that stuck with me about Dev was the fact that he tried to see the good as well as the bad in people. That is what allowed him to not judge Alix when he first meets her even though he knew she was bait in a trap that could potentially kill him. He needed to find out himself is she really held the same beliefs as the radical PHR group. It is also what allowed him to not kill the members of the PHR even after he knew they meant to do the same to him.

There are so many admirable facets to this plot I don’t know where to begin. The fact that Clay, Alix’s brother, was part of the problem made the plot distinct. Not only did Alix have to deal with the emotions from falling in love with Dev, but also the emotions of realizing her brother may not have been worthy of the pedestal she'd put him on since they where children. The twists and turns around each corner had me on the edge of my seat in almost every chapter. It was evident that this author knew what she was doing in writing this story.

Only two questions remained in my mind after finishing this expertly contrived story. Why had I never heard about Lynne Connolly’s works? And where could I get more of the Department 57 stories?

Last Call Europe: Dog Sled by Selena Illyria



Last Call Europe: Dog Sled by Selena Illyria
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (90 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Werewolf Silvano wants a break from the drama in pack business. A night out is exactly what he needs. He doesn't count on his rival's familiar Hexuba strolling into Last Call.

Black cat shifter and wizard's familiar Hexuba has always wanted Silvano even though he's the enemy. One night is all she asks to indulge her wildest fantasies with him. Come morning she'll be gone.

Will one night be enough?

Pack politics weigh heavily on alpha Silvano, and he needs some respite from it all. He heads to Last Call, the Rome branch of the bar where paranormals go to relax and peacefully coexist. One night, and he will return to the ritual search for a mate. He didn’t count on Hexuba, cat shifter, familiar and woman of his deepest desires showing up to fulfill his wishes.

Hex has wanted Silvano for years, but sees this as her one chance to have him for just one night. As the familiar to Turk, an ex-pack member and former friend of Silvano, she is supposed to spy on him, not desire him. There are intrigues afoot, and nothing is as it seems. Can Silvano get Hex out of his system in just one night? Once Hex “scratches her itch” with Silvano, will she be able to walk away? Between the two of them, can they solve the mystery of who is really behind all the tricks and deceptions before it is too late for them?

I love the Last Call books, because you never know what to expect. Hexuba is a strong, sexy woman, tricked into becoming the familiar of Turk. She wants nothing more than to be with Silvano, and not because she has been ordered to spy on him. She is determined to have just one night with Silvano, and she does what it takes to get it.

Silvano is under orders to find a mate or lose his pack. He would love nothing more than to take what Hex offers, but he wants more with her than she feels she can give. Silvano is the strong, handsome alpha of his pack, but antiquated laws and regulations that make no sense in the modern world frustrate him.

I loved the hidden agendas of the many characters, and the surprise of who was the real “bad guy” behind it all. I found the character development in this one to be excellent, and laughed at the idea of an alpha werewolf choosing a cat as his mate. I know life for these two will never be dull. I recommend this one for those who like suspense and mystery, with a touch of irony included. Was Hex all he hoped she would be? Read this one to find out.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Like Bunnies by Cindy Spencer Pape


Like Bunnies by Cindy Spencer Pape
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (48 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism, toys
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Star Holiday never paid much attention to her father’s claims that their family was descended from the Celtic spirits of the seasons—and she certainly never expected to turn into a rabbit every time she stepped foot outside her family’s cabin on the weekend of the spring equinox. Now all she can do is stay holed up with her sexy-as-sin ex-boyfriend, Theo Morgan, until the magic goes away.

Or maybe the magic is just beginning as the former lovers have time alone to rekindle old passions and even ignite some new ones.

What happens on a mountain on the pagan Easter holiday stays on the mountain...doesn’t it?

You’d better read Like Bunnies to find out more.

I’ve not read much by Cindy Spencer Pape, but I’ve heard great things from my friends. They weren’t kidding. This story had me from page one and kept me right in my seat through the end. The twists and turns aren’t what I expected and that made this one even more memorable. I loved the parallels to the pagan holiday and want to read more about this family.

Star is a hilarious heroine. She doesn’t even realize her own powers and that she can shift. But not just into something ferocious...she’s a bunny. The rumor about bunnies holds true here and it is hot. I liked how Star came into her own through the story, not only about her powers, but her sexuality and it’s good to see.

Theo could get all powerful and alpha when he sees she’s hurt. He does, but he’s also got a soft side that reined me in. He’s skeptical about her. Who wouldn’t be? But the love he feels for her-—that he’s always felt—-helps him decide what he wants. When he and Star get together, prepare for steam. Not only did I feel the heat from their lovemaking, but the passion and devotion as well.

I know this is a short story and that’s fine. It’s a hot little piece for a cool spring evening. If you like stories that will make you laugh, smile, and sigh, then you need to read Like Bunnies. I give this story 4.5 cherries.



Soldier of Fortune by Shelley Munro



Soldier of Fortune by Shelley Munro
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (146 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Hydrangea

Joanna “Mac” McGregor loves her father, and she’ll do anything to keep him safe after Alzheimer’s starts to steal his mind. That takes money, and Mac uses her only skills—those of soldiering—when she takes up a security contract in Iraq. She doesn’t have time for men, her last vacation fling in Fiji relegated as one perfect moment to hold close during the grim realities of war.

Soldier Louie Lithgow is tired of fighting and has decided this is his last contract. He wants to retire, sink his savings into a place on the beach, and find the sexy Joanna, his holiday lover.

Mac’s arrival in Iraq causes consternation. They’ve both been economical with the truth, but the attraction sizzling between them flares hot and bright. They embark on a clandestine affair—professional and confident during their high-danger day, passionate with the release of emotional stress during their torrid nights. One thing is clear—they have different goals and the future is both murky and dangerous. If they survive their contracts.

Will former lovers Joanna "Mac" Mcgregor and Louie Lithgow get back together and develop a lasting relationship while busy fighting the war? Or is it hopeless and too dangerous -- especially when you toss in that Louie is Joanna's boss to boot?

I really enjoyed this book. I like Joanna's character very much. She is tough, yet devoted and loving, feisty and strong. I liked how she really loved her father, and checked on him to make sure he was well taken care of. I also liked Louie as well. A nearly perfect hero, he was hard on the outside, yet very caring toward Joanna and the rest of their team. The chemistry between Joanna and Louie was scalding hot. And even though they fought it, as their encounters progressed it was clear they really mattered to each other, and were involved in a loving relationship.

The plot of this book was really exciting, believable and well done. It was packed with thoroughly described, high action and never got boring. And I liked how the team, after many trials and difficulties, came to be eventual friends and stood strong amongst all of the fighting. And, just to add icing on the cake, the sex was smoking hot!

If you like action and a good plot in your books, along with a great couple with chemistry and screamin' hot intimate scenes, then this is the book for you.



Impatient by Viola Grace



Impatient by Viola Grace
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: Short Story (85 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Eva has met her match, but though he is older than she is, he will not be physically mature for sixteen years. Their solution is to put her in stasis. She would have gone mad, but her connection to her match keeps her sane, even if he is way too short for her. When she wakes, her best friend is holding her and with his help, she will soon be back to her normal activities. If only she didn’t have the almost constant urge to peel his clothing off, she would be fine. Giving into her lust is fun, but preparing for his ascension isn’t. As much as she is enjoying romps in the sheets, shower, sofa, chairs, she has no urge to engage in a public consummation of their affection.

Eva Morris, translator for the Alliance, has arrived on Golaz to meet her match. As a Terran Class Zero, she is genetically compatible with her destined mate, Prince Storoth Elengar, heir to the throne. He must have a mate by the time he ascends to take his place on the throne. The people of Golaz mature more slowly than most, and although Storoth is in his early thirties, he appears to be a youth in his teens. The solution: place Eva in stasis for sixteen years, while he matures to his prime.

While in stasis, the mind link between Eva and Storoth grows strong, and they become close. Eva is hidden away, protected, because there are those who would try to prevent the ascension by harming Storoth’s destined mate. Will Eva be able to accept the solitude for sixteen years? Can Storoth keep her safely hidden until her awakening? Will Eva be pleased with a fully mature version of the one who has become her best friend these past many years?

I enjoyed this book from the magical mind of Viola Grace even more than her others. Eva is a treat to meet: sassy, irreverent and more than able to hold her own. She uses words to strike out and to defend herself. She calls the Prince “squirt” and he explains her attitude to his advisor as “her only defense”.

Storoth grows into a strong and handsome man, more than able to defend her against his enemies. I love the relationship that grows between them while Eva is in stasis, a friendship strong enough to build a life on. When challenges arise after her revival, they must unite to defend their union, and have to succeed to become true mates.

Impatient is what Storoth is, waiting sixteen years to claim the one woman destined to be his for all time to come. And this is one of the hottest books I have read, as these two are determined to make up for sixteen years of abstinence in every place that they can, in as many ways as they can.

Do they have a happy ever after after all the trials and challenges? Read Impatient to find out. You won't be sorry you did.



Wicked Wraiths: Man About the House by Mina Carter



Wicked Wraiths: Man About the House by Mina Carter
Publisher: Changeling Press LLC
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (48 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Peppermint

When Janelle's friend offers to help with the housework, she doesn't think it will include any hocus pocus. Not convinced it will work Janelle recites the incantation and summons a domestic god. He cooks. He cleans. He even does the ironing. The trouble is Corvin isn't your typical wraith. In fact, he's not a wraith at all but a demi-god looking for love...

Our poor heroine doesn't even realize when a man is genuinely hitting on her. So when Demi-god Corvin comes to the bar she works at she quickly disregards his advances as another drunk who sees the overweight waitress as an easy lay. Little did she realize Corvin in fact did plan on having sex with her but it was because she was the most gorgeous woman he had ever seen.

Janelle’s insecurities really made the story interesting. The fact that she could not fathom Corvin actually being attracted to her just because she was a full-figured woman is sad. I know society makes us self-conscious about our weight, but the way Janelle acted made me feel as though there had to be more to the story than just the average not-happy-with-the-few-extra-pounds feeling. But because of the insecurities it made her a very likable and realistic person. I am happy that Corvin did not let Janelle’s low self esteem deter him from pursuing her.

Not only did I enjoy Janelle’s character, but Corvin really amused me. I like the almost frat boy attitude he had towards life. I mean, he was a demi-god who probably never had any real responsibilities. This is immediately shown in the story due to the fact that he is dressed as a woman because he lost a bet.

At the beginning, I was a bit puzzled the blurb the author provides you with makes it seem as if the story would start with the scrawl and Corvin appearing as the wraith, but that is not the case. That aspect of the story did not come until almost halfway through the story. To be honest, for a second I thought maybe the author messed up on posting the wrong blurb. Once I got past the confusion of this not meeting my expectations, I realized that I enjoyed the way the story started very much.

The relationship development was very good in this story. Not only did the characters' relationship together develop, but they also grew individually. Janelle was forced to realize that Corvin could actually like her for who she is, plus size and all. Corvin was forced to grow up a little and realize that although he might be a demi-god he would actually have to be accountable for his actions when he almost loses Janelle because of his antics. I really enjoyed watching these two muddle through to their happy ending.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Wild Rekindled Love by Sandy Sullivan



Wild Rekindled Love (Wilder Series book 4) by Sandy Sullivan
Publisher: Siren Publishing, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (163 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Peppermint

Jamie walked away from her love for Wyatt for the sake of his career as a physician even though she carried his child. When she runs into him at the local emergency room, she can’t believe her eyes, but her heart knows she never stopped loving him. Can she let him back into her life for the sake of their daughter?

Wyatt knew he would return to Laramie when he finally finished school. He never stopped loving Jamie, but she pushed him away and insisted she didn’t love him. He wasn’t sure he could forgive her for shutting him out of their daughter’s life. When they come face-to-face again, he can’t walk away, not from Jamie nor from his daughter.

Will they be able to get past the disappointments and tears to rekindle their love or will old hurts kill the feelings that still linger in their hearts?

Wyatt Crossland would do anything to get back to the two woman he left nine years ago even if it meant facing all of the fears and anger left behind also. He is determined to not only win the heart of the daughter he was never given an opportunity to know, but also the heart of his first and only love, Jamie Wilder. Now if he can just get past not only Jamie’s reservations, but also her family.

The first thing that drew me to this story was the fact that the plot was somewhat based around the child Jamie and Wyatt shared. In so many romance/erotica stories there is usually no child or, if they happen to have one, it is only briefly mentioned. When I read the blurb about this story I could tell that the daughter would play an important role in the couple reuniting I couldn’t help but smile. As I read the story I was not disappointed. Samantha was definitely integral part in not only the story, but in getting her parents back together. It was absolutely refreshing to see an author involve a child in the plot and she executed it perfectly.

I think the thing I liked best about the characters was how realistic they are. It almost seemed as if the author based the story off of a real couple that she knows. I mean, we all have regrets that we wish we could go back and change, right? Luckily for Wyatt and Jamie, though they couldn't change the past, the had the opportunity to insure that they made up for their mistakes in the future. This story allows the hopeless romantic in all of us believe that if something was meant to be, it can definitely happen.

I do feel it is necessary to mention that although at the time this story takes place Wyatt and Jamie are adults they do conceive their child when Jamie was seventeen and Wyatt was twenty. There is a scene within this story that Wyatt looks back to when he found out about Jamie being pregnant and it contains an extremely detailed sex scene between the two. I know this may be touchy for some since Jaime wasn't a legal adult, but I felt this scene really helped me as a reader understand the depth of the relationship the characters once shared and how difficult it was for both to lose each other at such a young age.

This story evoked feelings from me that a story has not done in a long time. There are moments in this story when I could feel my eyes begin to burn from unshed tears while other times I could not help but smile brightly. This story certainly had all of the key elements to make it a great and memorable contribution to Wilder Series.