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Friday, July 9, 2010

Tanner's Angel by Doreen Orsini



Tanner’s Angel by Doreen Orsini
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (160 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Forced Seduction, Fetish, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Move over vibrator, Angel’s found herself a real man—a tall, sinfully handsome Texan who won’t stop buzzing at her command. Then again, the Italian baker her father hired has an evil edge that might fulfill her darker desires.

Tanner came to New York City to find a woman angelic enough to bring home and marry, yet wild enough to accept his wicked needs in the bedroom. Angel may be a virgin but her eyes flare at the sight of a rope, and she loves following commands. If the odd vibrator with a bunny riding shotgun was his only competition, he’d have no problem getting her on a plane to Texas. But her meddling father, an Italian stallion and Angel’s need to give up control might be more than he can handle.

Tanner has come to New York City to find himself a woman to marry. A woman who can take his wild side and love him all the more for it. During his stay he bumps into Angel. Is she the woman Tanner is looking for? Before he even starts, Tanner must deal with Angel’s father and the young man he has brought back from Italy to seduce her. Will Tanner's love be enough to save Angel from her Hell?

This is a story about finding love and trust when you least expect it. I enjoyed Tanner, the hero of this story, but I found it hard to connect with the heroine, Angel. Tanner is a strong and honorable man who ends up giving more than he thought he would when he goes to New York. Angel came off as a very naive and simple woman. At times I just wanted to shake her and try to get her to understand. Everyone around her plays her including her father and his Italian baker Antonio. Even after she realizes this, she lets the using continue. Angel has a problem understanding and facing her desires and the way she deals with it puts her in danger. The tentative bond that she and Tanner begin to have is stretched to the limit.

I enjoyed reading about the love that Tanner has for Angel. He gives Angel his whole heart and shows her he can satisfy her desires. A word of caution: this book has some intense scenes that some readers may find offensive. Angel is taken farther than she should by Antonio and his friend. Angel’s reaction and reasoning may take some readers aback as well. I found her a bit too naïve for my taste.

Tanner’s Angel was well written and it's clear the author has talent, even when I had some problems with the story itself. Doreen Orsini is quite a good writer and I would love to read another book by her to see if it would be more to my liking.





House of Stone by Vaughn Demont



House of Stone by Vaughn Demont
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Fantasy
Length: Full Length (180 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

A modern knight, a noble quest, and a magical sword. What could go wrong?

Welcome to the City, where gods run nightclubs, goblins hire out as mercs, sorcerers work their magic, the Fae hold court over every neighborhood…and humanity is blissfully ignorant of it all.

For minor Fae noble Richard Stone, life is going well. He has a decent fiefdom (okay, it’s a slum), a budding acting career (okay, so it’s porn), and one of only five magical swords in the City. An arranged marriage is barely a blip on his worry meter—until his family blade loses its magic. The shame of it puts his noble standing in jeopardy.

To regain his status, Richard needs help. Fortunately, his new bride is a sidhe knight and his servant Simaron has, er, his back. Together they embark on a quest to find the demon who slew his father, investigate a conspiracy that goes to the highest echelons of Fae nobility, and discover a secret family legacy that could ruin his House.

All while keeping up appearances to a society that demands perfection. And they say a noble’s life is easy…

What’s a gay porn star to do when his arranged marriage comes due? Go on an epic quest of course. This fantasy story delivers a quest to defeat evil and save the princess with a few side trips such as falling in love with the butler and learning about responsibility. Richard, aka Dick, thought his life was pretty well settled with his job as a gay porn star and a satisfying sexual relationship with his friend and butler, Sim. Unfortunately when his aunt and royalty call Richard to get married, trouble starts brewing in all directions. Only with the help of an ancient ancestor can Richard save both his new wife and his long time lover while realizing his fate and responsibility.

House of Stone is a humorous romp with some great characters and a fun plot. Although the summary may make this seem like a ménage, it’s not. The main relationship is between Richard and his butler, Sim. Richard’s arranged marriage to his wife Jen provides some interesting conflict and adventure, but this isn’t a love match and Jen has her own lover causing problems. There are a few sex scenes, though very brief and mostly alluded after the initial porno opening. The setting is classic fantasy in a contemporary setting. Imagine the modern world as you see it but behind the illusion there is a world of Fae creatures, trolls, brownies, etc that have complicated politics and responsibilities of their own.

The story is told in first person present tense and the narrator, Richard, talks to you the entire time. Whenever something comes up that pertains to the background or world building, Richard takes a few moments to explain everything to you, the reader. This is both humorous and slightly frustrating since this isn’t a story you experience. It’s told to you from beginning to end, which puts all the pressure on Richard as a narrator to engage the reader. If you like Richard’s humorous voice, you’ll likely enjoy the story. If you don’t, this isn’t going to appeal. I personally found it funny for the most part but it starts to wear as the story goes on. There are a few inconsistencies that, while meant for a laugh, feel forced.

For the most part though, House of Stone is an entertaining, fun, adventurous tale. It has a lot of classical fantasy elements while still giving a fresh, contemporary feel. The narrative nature means you may not enjoy this totally but it’s worth the time on a lazy afternoon to be swept away in Richard’s dysfunctional world.



Illusions by Ann Jacobs



Illusions by Ann Jacobs
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (85 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Stephanotis

Master magician Drake Conover is dark, dangerous and irresistible to women. But a terrorist? Agent Erienne Duval doesn’t think so, but it’s her job to find out—by any means necessary.

Including seduction…

Master magician Drake Conover is a sexy womanizer and he might just be a terrorist, too. As he travels around the world, the FBI feels he has the perfect cover. So Agent Erienne Duval goes undercover to find out more about him. Drake is giving a benefit concert at a stroke rehabilitation center and Erienne just happens to be the volunteer specialist overseeing his performance. She soon finds out he's tall, dark and possibly dangerous. Can he really be a spy and if he is, where does that leave her heart?

This story starts with a very hot and sexy Ménage a Trios scene. I haven't read too many stories where the main character is a magician so this made for welcome change. It seemed Ms. Jacobs put in lots of time researching magic tricks and it really complemented this story.

I emjoyed reading about the two main characters. Drake is very much a devil and at first you feel like warning Erienne not to get involved with him, but this is, after all, a romance and you'll get your happy ending. I liked the mystery sub plot and felt it was nicely weaved throughout the book. I also liked the way the two came together not only as a couple but also as a team trying to find out who's the bad guy. I even wondered if Ms. Jacobs might use these two characters in another adventure.

There is lots of sex in the book, and if you like a smoking hot read that will make you perspire under the collar, this is definitely one for you.





Having Patience by Debra Glass



Having Patience by Debra Glass
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (118 pgs)
Other: M/F, Spanking, Light BDSM
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Honeysuckle



Throughout their long engagement, James Camplyon, Earl of Somerset, has fantasized about Patience Hadley Mims’ silken skin and voluptuous curves. He expects his witty, beautiful bride to be timid on their wedding night. But Patience is far more than shy. She’s terrified.

James presents his reluctant bride with a box of risqué novels, ordering her to choose a passage each night for them to act out. Despite her fears, Patience thinks being bound and blindfolded will undo the hard-learned lessons of a lifetime. But she doesn’t count on her husband’s patient resolve to strip away the dark secrets threatening to prevent her from giving herself to him completely.

How does a 17th Century Earl coax his beautiful new bride out of her fear of intimacy…he makes her choose her own seduction.

James Camplyon, Earl of Somerset, anticipated some reserve from his bride on their wedding night but nothing prepared him for the utter look of terror on Patience’s face when they first kiss.

James is everything a romantic hero should be. He loves his new bride and is determined to help her get past her fears. While he isn’t ever cruel he doesn’t allow Patience to suffer his attentions just to get it over with. He wants her to realize her inner passion and enjoy the sexual chemistry that she is scared to embrace. The brilliant use of the “penny dreadfuls” to draw out her secret desires had me breathlessly anticipating her next choice of seductive passages.

Debra Glass is known for her paranormal romance but the demon that Patience is fighting is not of a ghostly nature but rather childhood memories loaded with guilt. The raw emotion and internal struggle Ms. Glass paints into Patience and James’ wedding night was so palpable and heart wrenching I wanted to cry right along with Patience.

Fear not romance lover, without giving to much away, I can tell you that they not only find their HEA but they come out of the ordeal so much stronger and closer as a couple. I think you’ll agree, after reading Having Patience, that the clever double entendre in the title is genius. James has to practice an awful lot of patience before he can ever have Patience. I’ve read just about everything Ms. Glass has written and I can honestly say Having Patience is on the top of my favorites list.



Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dear Sexy Lexie by Ashlyn Chase



Dear Sexy Lexie (Red Stilettos Book Three) by Ashlyn Chase
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (89 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Stephanotis

Some women should take their own advice…

No-nonsense, thirty-nine-year-old Lexie Burns pens an advice column—Letters to Sexy Lexie—that delivers common sense with a dose of humor and a verbal slap upside the head. Tyler Black, a younger, drop-dead gorgeous cop, has had it with empty-headed, superficial women. In Lexie, he sees the kind of intelligent woman with whom he could build a solid relationship—if he can convince her to acknowledge his existence.

With the help of some magical stilettos, Tyler might get his woman…and Lexie might get a desperately needed slap upside the libido.

Lexie Burns writes a column called Dear Sexy Lexie, her readers are a lot like her, facing the same dilemmas in love and dating. She's thirty-nine, a widow and reluctant to take a chance on a very sexy cop, Tyler Black, who's twenty seven years old and pursuing her like there's no tomorrow.

If you haven't read any of the other books in the Red Stiletto books, let me give you a quick background. The shoes once belonged to a famous movie star and now whoever wears them, well, their lives…especially their sex lives are transformed.

The title of this book caught my attention. It sounded fun, flirty and humorous and it didn't disappoint. I really liked Lexie, and Tyler is almost too good to be true. Handsome, sexy, thoughtful. Lexie is hung up about their age difference and I think it's a topic lots of women can relate to. He's basically the perfect guy but will age finally be the breaking point. I found myself cheering for Lexie and saying, "Oh, just go for it. You know this guy's a keeper!" And for many of us who are no longer in our twenties, there's no better read than living vicariously through the heroine as she finds herself falling for a younger guy who's hot in bed. Of course, what helps Lexie is the magical red shoes.

The dialogue is great and supporting characters perfectly placed. This is a hot, funny read and the ideal length for reading by the pool or beach this summer.

The Chaste Librarian by Celia Jade



The Chaste Librarian by Celia Jade
Publisher: extasy books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (37 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Cheryl Parker has come to accept her reserved nature. Her tight ponytail and glasses are not eye candy for the average man, but that’s fine by her. Therefore, she’s taken aback when Matthew Cooper, a hunk of a man, shamelessly propositions her for a no-strings, intimate relationship. What in the world does he see in her?—and more to the point—what can she possibly offer him when he can practically have any beautiful, experienced woman? But she’s tempted beyond reason, and without much thought, she’s swapping her glasses for a pair of contacts…

This quick read packed a lot into it and held my attention from the start.

Cheryl is a great heroine. I enjoyed watching her blossom into the beautiful and sexy woman that she becomes. Matthew is a wonderful man. He is willing to see what others do not. Matthew sees the beauty that Cheryl hides. Watching Matthew bring out the sexy side of Cheryl was an entertaining read.

I enjoyed reading about the bond that grows between Cheryl and Matthew. They make a great couple playing off of each other very nicely. Even though they begin their relationship as a no-strings affair it looks as if their love may build a stronger bond between them. Not many people can say that they ever find anything close to what Cheryl and Matthew share. No matter what she changes Matthew not only tells Cheryl that she is sexy he shows her that he finds her attractive no matter what, not only endearing him to Cheryl, but to the reader as well.

Celia Jade has the readers enjoying themselves from the very first page. With good characters and a well written storyline this book should be on your to be read list.

An Uncommon Whore by Belinda McBride



An Uncommon Whore by Belinda McBride
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (122 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Phlox

Pasha is a slave, whoring for travelers at the most dangerous bar on Warlan. He has no memory, no future of his own, yet deep inside Pasha knows that that he is meant for better things. The day that Pasha spots the dangerous pirate in the bar, he knows that he mustn't let the stranger slip away, regardless of what he must do to attract his attention.

Captain Griffin Hawke spent the greater part of a decade searching for his lost king, only to find Helios Dayspring crouched between his knees, swathed in the robes and shackles of a whore. Though he is appalled by the downfall of his king, the hardened officer finds himself falling for the allure of the sensual creature who has taken his place. Returning Helios to his position on the throne is the only right thing to do, yet Griffin knows that in doing so, he risks losing his lover forever.

How much of an identity is actually recoverable when someone has been stripped of memory, power, dignity and all that he loves? For Helios, finding out who he truly is after living as a sex slave is only the beginning. It’s his slow, almost archeological uncovering of his identity that makes this book a fascinating read.

Not that there aren’t other things to enjoy here. Pasha/Helios, despite repeated mind wipes and brutal slave training, never quite submits to his life of captivity. He knows, though he has no inkling why, that he’s meant to be somewhere else. Always thinking, constantly assessing his surroundings, he has retained the core of his resourceful, stubborn personality enough to know that when the right opportunity arises, he has to be ready to seize it. He does what he must but the reader has to admire his inability to give into despair and his ability to adapt.

Though we’re held a little at a distance by Helios’ first person narrative, his opposite number, Griffin, is no less likeable. Tough as nails on the outside, inwardly tortured, he is quickly revealed as fiercely loyal, a man struggling to reweave what he sees as his tattered honor and holding desperately onto the hope of recovering a love he thought lost forever.

In an SF novel, though, I would have liked to have seen a bit more in the way of world-building. There are hints and tidbits about Arash and its inhabitants, but only glimpses. We never know what the significance is of the Sun Priests, never really have a good feel for this lost world, never really see the character of its people beyond the fact that they weren’t well-prepared for invasion. One also expects a bit more in the way of political machination, especially at the end. (There are obviously traitors among Helios’ subjects – except for his cousin, we never find out who.) I believe there might be more coming from the tone of the ending, but it did seem a bit abrupt. These items and the fact that there are perhaps more than a few odd coincidences (Griffin just happens to be in the right bar, at the right moment. Carlotta just happens to be guarding a buyer at the right time, etc.) driving parts of the plot are the only things keeping this from being a perfect story.

Helios’ voice is sardonic and full of biting wit even as he is self-deprecating and often uncertain, lending an endearing poignancy to his sarcastic internal remarks. It is his personality and his journey of discovery, after all, which give the story its greatest strength. Space opera, yes, but I say that in the fondest sense since the growth of individual and of relationship are so well done. The reader wishes Helios all the best, of course, but we would like an excuse to see him and his Griffin again.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Alpha by Annie Nicholas



The Alpha - the Vanguards: Book 2 by Annie Nicholas
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (62 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by: Xeranthemum

Someone is about to get some Spice in his life.

Spice has nothing but the clothes on her back when she returns to Chicago. She's looking for a better life, and that means reuniting with her estranged twin sister, Sugar. She isn't thrilled to find out Sugar's boyfriend is a vampire. But then she meets Eric, once the bottle-cap-glasses wearing nerd next door - now grown into the kind of man she'd love to snuggle with on this cold winter night...and he’s offered her his room in Sugar’s house.

Eric can’t believe Spice has returned. He’d given up hope of ever seeing her again, let alone having her stare at him as if he’s sex on a stick. But now that all of his fantasies for them are coming true, reality rears her ugly head and Eric must tell Spice his intimate secret; he’s actually an Alpha werewolf looking for his mate and he thinks he’s found her.

Ever read a story about a woman broken down by life and saved by the love of a techno geek? I never did until I read The Alpha.

Spice is a woman who is still reeling from her decisions in life. Most were hard and perhaps not too smart but they were what she felt she had to do. Unfortunately when this story starts, she’s at the absolute low of her existence. She wants to succeed and feel like a person again so she has to gather whatever tatters of pride she still has and reach out to the only family she has left. Because there is no one else. Or so she thinks and that is where the fun and exciting moments of discovery occur. Spice learned from the best school – the school of hard knocks and she’s learned her lessons well. Good thing too because her fortitude and mettle are tested in very dramatic ways. She’s sassy, she’s predisposed to hating anything other than human and yet, she’s not completely unreasonable. Spice is able to get over the trauma from her past to see the future she could have, if only she’s willing to fight for it. Watching her come to terms with her sister’s reality and with Spice’s own path is a good example of well written character development.

Eric was my favorite, perhaps because I, too, am a Star Trek fan. His character is funny, humble, clumsy, and very hot. I say clumsy because one of the first scenes between him and Spice was incredibly funny. Whatever he had been when Spice left home, he’s now more than that and Eric has to prove himself not only to Spice but the werewolf females that are vying for his attention. He never loses sight of what he was even as he grows in personality and faces the new responsibilities that now lie on his shoulders. He has a fine line to walk and he’s not perfect, which made him more likeable for me. Ultimately, he lives up to his title and that made for some riveting reading.

When Spice and Eric do the horizontal loving, it’s well written, passionate and meets what I look for in erotic romance. The internal conflicts are Spice getting over her distrust of anything not human, of accepting her sister’s friends and her major decision about how to stay with the love her life. Eric’s is more of paranormal politics and his uncertain wooing of Spice. The external conflict is what pushes the two into making decisions that don’t only affect them but Eric’s pack and Spice’s sister’s friends. It’s all interwoven and critical to their happily ever after. Plot movement is brisk and well presented.

I recommend The Alpha for readers who are looking for a different kind of alpha male, one that is quite endearing and relatable. It’s a sweet yet hot romance with just the right amount exciting plot to show off the main character’s personalities and strengths. I’m very happy that I read this book and look forward to more by this author.



Shared by Lily Harem



Shared by Lily Harlem
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (117 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M Menage, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

Struggling artist Ariane Arlington flees the Welsh valleys after exposing her corrupt boss. But when the sun rises she finds herself jobless and homeless in Cardiff city with barely a penny to her name.

She responds to an advert in the local paper—Room to let, wanted, girl to share. What she doesn’t realize is that the two insanely gorgeous guys who live in the penthouse apartment really do want a girl to share, in every sense of the word. Fortunately for Ariane, rent is the last thing on their minds.

She discovers the men are bound together by a turbulent past. Liam, a computer whiz, keeps a painful secret hidden beneath his buff exterior, whilst Quinn, a pioneering neurosurgeon, wonders if he’ll ever meet a woman who can live with his controlling ways. They admit the one thing missing from their lives is a woman just like Ariane, who can handle them both in and out of the bedroom and who, together, they can keep satisfied, loved and most of all, safe.

Ariane Arlington was not looking for love with one man much less two when she left Merthyr and set out for Cardiff in the dead of night. Who knew answering an advertisement for a room to let could be so life altering?

Quinn and Liam are roommates and best friends with a connection closer than brothers. Both men have so much love to give the right woman but their hectic lives and chosen professions make it almost impossible to give a woman their undivided attention. So, logically if one man can’t be enough then two can give more than enough. That lucky recipient is Ariane at just a time when she needs someone or in this case two some ones to love and cherish her.

Ms. Harlem has written some truly fantastic characters. Liam is the easy going, fun loving guy who is all about giving Ariane just as much pleasure as she can stand. What makes her happy makes him happy. The only person he cares about more is Quinn but you’ll have to read the book to understand their special bond.

Quinn is, as Ariane describes him, “fiercely self controlled”. He’s an American neurosurgeon that takes his responsibilities to his patients extremely seriously. As much as he wants to always be in control, he soon realizes that he needs the freedom that Ariane provides him to be able to relinquish some control in the bedroom.

Then there is Ariane, herself. She has just the right combination of gentleness and “take charge” to be exactly what both Liam and Quinn need. At first she balks at the idea of being shared and attracted to both men. The realization that she can have it all is an unexpected surprise.

Shared is a well-written, fast moving short story with a suspenseful back story that keeps you reading until the end.

A Safe Harbor by Moira Rogers



A Safe Harbor by Moira Rogers
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Historical, Paranormal, Action/Adventure
Length: Short Story (95 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

A bootlegger will save her life. A debutante will steal his heart.

Building Sanctuary, Book 1

Joan Fuller enjoyed a privileged life—until her wealth and connections garnered her the wrong sort of attention. Her rejection of a textile heir’s proposal comes back to bite her when he turns out to be a werewolf on the prowl for a mate.

She may have been turned against her will, but now that she’s part of his pack she sets out to protect all its women. Even if that means joining forces with a witch and a vampire—and leaving the comfort of Boston.

Former bootlegger Seamus Whelan has cleaned up his act, but when his old partner Gavin comes to him for help, he can’t say no—no matter how deadly the threat. Escorting some female wolves to safety should have been easy, except their leader is a prim ex-debutante with enough power to challenge Seamus himself.

Her courage captures his interest, and her first hesitant kiss ensnares his heart. But before they can build a haven for their kind, they must free themselves of the past—and the powerful man who’s out to teach her a lesson she may not survive…

This is a marvelous look back at a time before Red Rock Pass, before Sanctuary and a time when chaos was the rule of the day. Set just after the big crash, during the great depression, it deals with a wilder time, when money was all-powerful, and could override even the Alpha for a price.

Into this ere, Moira Rogers brings a strong alpha woman, unheard of at the time. Joan is the prim and proper former society deb, brought to her situation because she spurned a rich man’s advances. I love Joan, with her stubborn pride, and her sense of decency and responsibility. She is smart, strong and cares for her “people” to the exclusion of all else. She is determined to fix things, and feels it is all her responsibility. Until Seamus sneaks past all of her carefully erected barriers and settles in her heart. I love that her wolf accepts him long before she does.

What can I say about Seamus Whelan? Strong, handsome, and every bit the rogue, in a nice sort of way. Alpha wolf, bootlegger and jack of all scams, Seamus quickly falls under Joan’s spell. His wolf is strong and protective, and he offers the chance to help those who want to escape the problems in Boston to get to a better place. This is set in an interesting time, and it shows the care and research that the author puts into each of her books.

There are so many wonderful characters in this one: Adam Dubois, vampire and pack alpha to a group of, mostly, female wolves trying to break free and save themselves, Gavin Hamilton, who goes on to establish the Red Rock Pass Sanctuary, and many more too numerous to mention. But this is definitely Joan and Seamus’ story to tell, and they are finely detailed and wonderful to read. This is a marvelous “prequel” to the Sanctuary books, and I really hope we get more from this line.

If you want to travel back just a bit in time, this one will give you romance, excitement and some of the hottest sex between two people I’ve read. But be warned: there is violence and blood here too.



Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Crystal Genie by Opal Carew



Crystal Genie by Opal Carew
Publisher: Red Sage Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (80 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Have you ever wished you could find a magic lamp and… poof!… a genie would appear before you offering wishes? Be careful what you wish for!
Celeste feels a special draw to a beautiful quartz crystal she sees in her favorite store. When she brings it home, she finds herself staring into its liquid depths at a small imperfection that makes the stone so mesmerizing. She polishes off a fingerprint marring the surface and a man—all granite hard muscle and starkly sensual good looks—appears before her.

The genie of the crystal. Zurvan.

As Celeste goes through the process of making her wishes, she and Zurvan discover some unsettling truths about both their pasts. Now she knows that when he returns to his imprisonment in the crystal—and there is nothing she can do to stop it—she will be left to endure a life of interminable loneliness missing the man she was meant to be with forever.

Celeste has just released Zurvan, the genie of the crystal, from his imprisonment. Zurvan must grant whomever the crystals deem worthy three wishes, yet when he sees it is a woman that has released him he becomes angry. A woman only reminds him of Atia the woman who trapped him in the crystal to begin with. Will Celeste and Zurvan find true love or will he keep up the walls around his heart?

This book pulled me in right from the start. I loved the bond of love and trust that developed between Zurvan and Celeste. Zurvan is a great hero who loves with his whole heart and would give up his life for those he cares about. Celeste is a strong woman who fights for what she loves not caring what will happen to her. The love that these two share is a once in a lifetime thing that many of us crave to find. I loved that Celeste was not a simpering naïve woman but one that fought for her love and made sure she thought before striking. As the book goes on we see the love that they have shine through it all. Even the evil Atia may find peace after all these years.

With a few unexpected twists this book is a good read and should not be missed. Opal Carew writes a magical story about true love, keeping the reader enthralled until the end. If you enjoy a tale full of love and magic this is one you are sure to like.

Truthful Change by Jane Davitt and Alexa Snow



Truthful Change by Jane Davitt and Alexa Snow
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (200 pgs)
Other: M/M, BDSM, anal sex
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by: Cactus

Karl Blake's good at a lot of things: killing bad guys, rescuing hostages...and looting priceless diamonds, but when a bullet ends his career as a mercenary he discovers that he's really bad at living in a huge house with nothing to do. A shy, oddly sexy gardener with an unexpected liking for rough sex seems just what the doctor ordered for his boredom. But Adam's got secrets that make Karl's seem mundane, and if the two of them are going to find a future together, there's a lot more to deal with than dandelions in the lawn.

With the past and the present combining to push them apart, betrayal, hurt, and mistrust around every corner, the two of them need to focus less on labels and more on what they are to each other.

Because a rose by any other name...

An ex-mercenary and a gardener get caught in the tool shack. Karl is retired from the mercenary business but the FBI is not so convinced. Determined to find the truth, they send an undercover agent in as the gardener meant to seduce Karl for information. Although Aiden has a happy, if not exciting home life with his partner, he can’t help being seduced by the chemistry with Karl. When the seducer turns into the seduced and feelings start to get involved, the complicated cat and mouse game starts to unravel.

This fun and entertaining read is delightful and absorbing. It deals with a lot of issues and packs a ton of action into the space but it’s all dealt with in a light, even manner so this remains a perfect summer afternoon gem. The characters are well developed but Aiden and Karl simply steal the entire book, as they’re meant to. They have incredibly hot, sexy, and every adjective I can think of sex. It’s rough, raw, manly, and even when tender and quiet it has an edge of D/s, but nothing too wild. It’s mostly rough sex that you’ll love and the story is generous to give a lot of it. Thankfully while not only being delicious, the sex scenes help advance the characters and their relationship so you actually learn about the men while enjoying their explosive passion.

While the sex makes the book worth reading, because it’s that great, there are a few caveats that may turn some readers away. The biggest is infidelity, which some romance readers stay away from. Here Aiden cheats on his long time boyfriend, Scott, by getting involved with Karl. It’s initially Aiden’s job to seduce Karl but it becomes more emotional and meaningful. The infidelity is the weakest part of the story and not handled very well. There is a quick resolution about halfway through that kicks Scott out of the story but the prior infidelity may or may not bother you. It bothered me initially but frankly Karl and Aiden are so good together, you can’t help but want them to be together so I forgave this issue, even if I didn’t like it. Another is that the FBI plot feels too last-minute and unimportant when the real eye catching aspects of the book are watching Aiden and Karl fight then fall in love.

Despite the few hiccups, I think Truthful Change is going to score big with readers looking for something easy and hot for summer. If you like your men arrogant but lovable and don’t mind just a taste of kink in their rough sex, this will be a sure hit.

His Sub's Submissive by Cooper McKenzie



His Sub's Submissive (Club Esoteria Book 1) by Cooper McKenzie
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (91 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Fetish, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism, M/M/F
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Erotic romance author and closet submissive Sloan Newman wondered what being a sexual submissive would be like. When her cousins Jenna Best and Taurus Green offer her a chance to take part in the slave auction their BDSM club is holding for charity, Sloan agrees. If nothing else, she’ll be able to use the knowledge gained in her future writings.

It’s Master Dane Bennett’s life partner/sub Merlin Gates’ 30th birthday and Dane wants to buy him a gift – a submissive little pet they can both play for the weekend. As soon as the bisexual men see Sloan on stage, they know this is the woman they’ve been looking for. After spending the weekend introducing her to BDSM, they realize she is the woman they want to complete their family. Now all they have to do is get her to agree to be His Sub’s Submissive.

Sloan Newman is talked into taking part in her cousins’ charity auction at their BDSM club. There she meets Master Dane Bennett and his sub Merlin Gates. Master Dane purchases Sloan for the weekend as a special birthday gift for Merlin. The two are looking for a woman to complete their family and once they set their eyes on Sloan they know that they have found her. Will Sloan survive her weekend or will she run and hide?

This was a really heart-warming book that captured my attention right from the start. Sloan is a strong woman who is trying to make it on her own. Dealing with many hardships and bad jobs. She deals with what life throws at her no matter how hard it is. I really admired Sloan, and loved to see her grow as each page was turned.

Dane and Merlin are wonderful men with a special bond between them. They love with all their hearts and are not afraid to fight for what they want. It was really sexy the way these two men focused on one another as well as Sloan.

Even though these three meet in an unconventional way and sex is a major factor, the love that they feel is obvious. From the instant attraction that they all feel for each other to the bond that they form, the reader can see how much deeper than sex it goes, making for a wonderful read.

Cooper McKenzie pulls the reader into a wondrous world where there is not only hot sex but also deep love. It was nice to see a woman that was not stick-thin but actually had a figure and the men enjoyed and wanted her that way. I truly enjoyed this book and look forward to seeing more from this author and hopefully more from Club Esoteria and its characters.