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Friday, July 16, 2010

Double Time: Puppies Bite by Kate Hill



Double Time: Puppies Bite by Kate Hill
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (113 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Holly

On vacation Geri and Dee go swimming in a river, unaware that it's actually a portal to the planet Amazurn in a distant galaxy. They awake on an island where women lusting after rare alpha males indulge in sexual fantasies and gladiatorial sports.

In a world ruled by women, where dominant males are banished to the Alpha Islands, twins Iron and Rock earn their living as gladiators. They're training when they notice two women drowning in the sacred lake and dive in to help.

Saved by the two brothers, Geri and Dee can't resist their gorgeous rescuers, but on Amazurn, if a woman wants to keep her heart intact, she should never love a gladiator.

This was an interesting story. I loved the role reversal Kate Hill gives in this story. The men do the housework, tend the homes and take many roles usually occupied by women in society. It was fun to watch Geri and Dee try to fit in, but still follow earth traditions.

Geri has some baggage, and I loved watching her battle to overcome her fears and let Rock into her life, and her heart. I love how she grew as a person, and finally was able to accept what Rock offered her.

Dee is the athlete who wants more than competition in her life. On Earth, Dee had a school, and was a trainer, and she knows how much independence means to a person. She is drawn to the intense gladiator Iron, and I loved the way she was finally able to breach his defenses and make her way into his life.

Rock and Iron may be twins, but they are quite different in personality. Rock is the big handsome extrovert, doing modeling and is spokesman for the team, while Iron is a man of few words, preferring to let his actions speak for him. Both are handsome and sexy, and they are the team to beat in the gladiatorial field. I love that, although determined to earn enough to buy their freedom and get off the planet, they are really soft touches with big hearts, who can’t refuse to help a worthy cause. These two men won my admiration and then my heart with their wonderful actions.

Do Geri and Rock get their happy ever after, along with Dee and Iron? All I can say is if you want a fun read with some fun role reversals, and absolutely hilarious and imaginative character names, this one is for you. One warning, though, this has a happy for now, with more to come.

Seductive Illusion by Desiree Holt and Allie Standifer



Seductive Illusion by Desiree Holt and Allie Standifer
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (86 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Stephanotis

For Sonia, winning the Valentine’s Singles Cruise is an opportunity to escape her fantasies about Chase and find a real man to fulfill them. Evan brings her screaming orgasms, inventive sex and a new appreciation of every erotic zone in her body. After just two nights with him, there isn’t a part of her he hasn’t licked, penetrated or tormented to fulfillment.

As the relationship builds and the sex grows hotter, she finds herself pushing away memories of Chase. But on the third night of the cruise, the night of Valentine’s Day, Evan has a major surprise for Sonia—and her life is about to turn upside down.

Sonia Caffey's been fantasizing about her boss, CEO Chase Malone for as long as she can remember. As the story opens, an office party is about to begin, but she's reluctant to attend. However, it's Chase who talks her into joining the fun.

Sonia's surprised to learn that she's won a Valentine's Day cruise aboard Masquerade Lines. This isn't just any cruise, but one where the guests wear masks to keep their identities a secret.

Shortly after the ship sets sail, she meets two men, Mark and Trent, who both seem very interested in her. But it's at her assigned table that she meets a man named Evan whose cologne reminds her of Chase. They're both attracted to one another and begin a relationship during the cruise. The question is, can he make her forget all about Chase?

This book is a fun read. It's a fast-paced, hot story. I really liked Sonia because she's not the perfect woman we read about in many books. She's your average, every day girl who most of us can identify with - a working girl who just happens to be in love with her boss, but feels he's out of her league. However, it seems that fate is handing her a chance to have her happily ever after.

When Sonia won the prize for the cruise and stepped on board, I really wanted her to fall in love with someone who could love her back, but in the back of my mind I was also hoping Chase would realize what a great person she was and pursue her. As the book progressed and she met Evan, I guessed where the story was going and I think that's maybe what spoiled it somewhat for me. However, having said that, maybe the authors intended us to figure out just what was happening so we could cheer just that much louder for Sonia. The dialogue is very natural sounding and the pacing just right for this short read that will have you smiling all the way to the last page.

Dirty Deeds by Eliza Gayle



Dirty Deeds by Eliza Gayle
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Other: Spanking, Bondage, Anal Play, M/F
Length: Short Story (74 pgs)
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Jasmine

As a newly turned demon, Melody loves being a bad bad girl. Sex is her weapon and she knows how to use it. But when her boss demands five souls in five days, she’s in an awful fix. Desperate to find those souls, in as easy a way possible, she heads for the Dungeon: the hot new BDSM club in town where she’s bound to find just the kind of man she’s looking for.

Drake is the Master here in the Dungeon. Anything and everything he wants is for the taking…until he meets Melody. But despite his need to master the strong willed demon, he harbors a secret that threatens their bond, Melody’s soul, and even immortality.

Most people don’t consider demons sexy, but then again, they’ve never read Eliza Gayle’s Dirty Deeds because it's sexy-as-sin. Or, maybe sinfully sexy.

Abandoned by her “soon-to-be” lover without a word, Melanie decides that her looks are what drove him away. Determined to never suffer such hurt and embarrassment again, she decides to sell her soul to none-other-than Harold, “The Devil” himself. Her wish is to become a sexy vixen that any man would want in his bed and although Harold comes through with her wish, Melody, aka Melanie, has a few problems living up to her end of the bargain. So, when she’s been summoned to the big man’s office and given five days to collect five souls or suffer the pits of hell…literally, what’s a girl to do?

Determined to meet her quota, Melody returns to a new BDSM club to collect her second soul only do discover Drake, the would be lover who abandoned her without a word. Drake is sex personified and warms Melody up in all the right places. But there’s a twist, even though Melody recognizes Drake, he doesn’t recognize her. Will she accomplish her task of collecting another soul, or will The Dom in Drake master his perfect little submissive?

The moment Drake lays eyes on Melody he stakes his claim and makes it clear to everyone in the club that she belongs to him. The connection between these two is intense from the beginning and the scene where Drake introduces Melody to the BDSM scene is explosive. It’s obvious these two were made for each other, but both are hiding secrets that threaten to destroy everything, even their Happily Ever After.

Ms. Gayle does an excellent job of providing flashbacks into Melody (aka Melanie) and Drake’s past so that the reader gains more insight about their relationship. I also enjoyed how she leaves you hanging on the edge in regards to Drake’s Endgame and the role that Melody will play in order for it to be successful.

It’s obvious as these two rediscover one another that they were willing to make sacrifices in order for the other to live a happy life. However, you can’t control fate, which is something these two learn the hard way. Now, Harold, is the typical Devil and there’s really nothing sexy about him, but as a villain, you’ll love to hate him. I also enjoyed how Ms. Gayle allowed us to witness the strength within Melody when it came time to choose her fate. In addition, Ms. Gayle does a wonderful job of allowing her characters to stay true to the story regardless of the consequences.

If you’re looking for a short, sexy story that packs a punch, will have you sitting on the edge of you seat in regards to what’ll happen next, and will set your soul on fire literally from the unbridled passion and sex between Melody and Drake, then Dirty Deeds is definitely the book to read. Who knew demons and Hell could be so appealing? I would definitely recommend Dirty Deeds by Eliza Gayle to my friends.

Rhythm of Love by J. Hali Steele



Rhythm of Love by J. Hali Steele
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (57 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Carter Gates, amateur Latin ballroom dancer, is ready to make a move on his sexy new assistant. Bree intoxicates him and her lithe body makes it hard to keep his hands to himself. But Carter has one rule—hands off the staff. His body isn’t listening.

Bree’s no better off. She has a taste for her new boss, one she can’t quench. Hiding the fact she’s best friends with his dance partner, she slips into a revealing outfit and his arms…just for one night of sexy, hot competition and a highly erotic tango that gives new meaning to “going up in flames”.

Bree’s friend has other ideas—she wants to keep Carter for herself. However, after spending a passionate evening in Carter’s arms, and his bed, Bree wants more. And she’s determined to get it.

Work and play should never mix, unless it's really, really, hot.

J. Hali Steele writes compelling stories that draw the reader in from the first page. Rhythm of Love is no exception. The characters are life-like, interesting, and fresh. There are plot twists in this story I never saw coming and loved.

"Opposites attract" stories are some of my favorites. Bree and Carter really aren’t a matched set, well, not in their minds. A boss and a secretary shouldn’t have sexual relations, should they? Anything is possible when the aspect of love and dance is involved. It’s not a new concept, but Ms. Steele writes the story in a fresh way that I couldn’t put the story down.

Bree’s had an attraction to Carter from the moment she started working for him. She’s a strong woman who knows what she wants and how to get it. I liked her determination. She’s a real role model for women.

Carter, though he’s a delicious man to look at, has got a weakness — Bree. I loved the connection to her and how she weakened his knees each time she strode into the office. There were times when I thought he acted a bit leashed, but I liked the realism — a man in love ready and willing to romance her. The pairing is hot, hot, hot and I loved every moment of it.

The antagonist in this story, though she’s not a nice person, was one of my favorites. Why? Because she’s conniving, rotten, and gives everyone a run for their money. I love characters that keep things lively and she’s right on the mark.

If you want a story that’s a little left of center, but worth the read, then you need to read Rhythm of Love. I give this story 4 cherries.

Happily Even After by Lena Matthews



Happily Even After by Lena Matthews
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (177 pgs)
Other: M/F, Spanking
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Two kids and a divorce later, Creigh De Luca figures she’s pretty much done with diapers and late night feedings. That is until a little blue stripe turns her world upside down. Never in a billion years would Creigh have thought she’d become pregnant from a one-night stand, nor could she have ever guessed the unforeseen pregnancy would warrant unexpected help…from her ex-husband, Dean.

Divorce papers haven’t changed a thing for Dean. He’s still as in love with his ex-wife as he’d always been. Despite the fact he’s not the father of her unborn child, Dean is determined to help Creigh during her pregnancy—whether she wants him to or not.

Creigh has never stopped loving Dean, but she’s not going to let him back in to her life just because she’s expecting a child, especially since she is determined to keep the father’s identity from Dean. But Dean refuses to be dismissed so easily. He knows that with a little patience, forgiveness, and love they can still live happily even after.

When I read the blurb for Happily Even After, I knew it was a book I had to read. Complexities in relationships, for me, are fascinating, so I couldn’t wait to see what author Lena Matthews had in store.

The story begins by placing the reader directly in the center of the drama. Dean and Creigh divorced when she realized they were starting to hate each other. He didn’t want to end the marriage, which meant the parting wasn’t entirely amiable. Shortly after Creigh started to think she might have made a mistake. Unfortunately, seeing Dean out and about with another woman rubbed her the wrong way and instead of confronting him and revealing her feelings, she engaged in a one night stand for revenge and was left with a little something extra she didn’t anticipate. As she approaches Dean’s home with his children for their weekend visit, she knows it’s time to reveal her unexpected pregnancy. From this point, the story moves forward. You know Dean and Creigh divorced, are presented with the fact that neither has completely gotten over the other, and follow their journey as Dean decides to become a father to a child who isn’t his and, in the doing, woo Creigh into giving him a second chance.

Creigh is a very sympathetic character, although at times I did have some trouble understanding why she pressed so hard for the divorce from Dean in the first place. Her emotions teeter-totter and it takes reading a substantial portion of the book to see the entire picture. Once this occurs, however, you are able to perceive her from an entirely different light. Dean is also very well-written, so that you are able to get into his head and understand his anger and resentment. The issue for me is that, while you are able to relate to them while viewing things from their individual point of view, their connection didn’t translate well when it came to each other.

The sexual chemistry Creigh and Dean share is blister-your-fingers hot, to the point that even as she reveals her pregnancy, you can still sense Dean’s attraction to his ex-wife (and vice-versa). It is this that seems to pull them back together. When Creigh looks at Dean, she isn’t reminded of the sweetness he exhibited, but rather how sexy and hot he is. With Dean, his possessiveness and need to control things seems to be what drives him to court Creigh and entice her back into his arms. The moment they fool around, things take a decidedly sexual turn. While this is erotic romance, I couldn’t help but feel the sex became what centered them and mended the rift versus strong emotion.

There is a lot of positive to be said for Happily Even After. The dialogue is laugh-out-loud funny, and there were moments when I absolutely melted for Dean. He is a super-sexy hero who does things so selflessly at times that it’s impossible to dislike him. Likewise, Creigh is a very strong female lead and doesn’t take crap from anyone. It’s not until she faces a future that is uncertain that she finally allows the walls that have been shielding her from Dean to crumble, so that he can see the entire woman who has silently longed for him. The tension that is produced when the biological father resurfaces also provides a little something extra, and I admired how Ms. Matthews decided to tackle the topic -- with as much restraint as detestation.

Fans of sexy erotic romance will certainly enjoy Happily Even After. The material is well written, the characters are engaging and memorable, and the story is just as the title states -- happy even after.

Appealing Proposal by Jambrea Jo Jones



Appealing Proposal by Jambrea Jo Jones
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (50 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Review by Tiger Lily

Attorney Becca Scott doesn’t have time for a relationship. She’s worked hard to prove herself to the old boys’ club and now it’s her time to shine. She certainly doesn’t have time for the tempting Samson Roust. He’s totally lickable, but sex with the boss is never a good idea—unless you draw up a contract to protect yourself. At least, it seems like a great idea to Becca.

Samson, however, knows his passion can’t be contained by a silly document. He lures Becca to his house for a meeting and the case of Scott vs. Roust gets some much-needed deep probing of the sexual kind.

Now Becca must decide if she should close the case on love…or engage Samson in more intense negotiations.

Some rules were meant to be bent to the point of breaking. Other rules shouldn’t be fiddled with at all. When you’re at that cross roads, which one do you choose? For Becca Scott, the only solution is an Appealing Proposal.

This is my first foray into the world of Jambrea Jo Jones, but it won’t be the last. Even in this short little story, I felt transported to the law firm where Becca and Samson worked. The sexual tension in this story is palpable and so much fun to read.

There is a lot going on in a few pages. There are a lot of characters and at times it was a tad hard to keep them straight, but not enough to drag down the story. I also felt like there were a couple of sub-stories that couldn’t wait to be told and I certainly hope Ms. Jones tells us about Becca’s friends.

Becca is prim, proper and so buttoned-up, she squeaks. I had to give her props for her determination. She wanted to make something of herself in order to make her family proud. That kind of pressure is something many readers can relate to. I liked it. I also liked that she was so tidy and controlled that a little bit of tumult drove her berserk. I could relate to her need to control and contain things.

Samson was a great hero. Despite his overwhelming masculinity, he had cracks in his veneer. He wanted so much to be with Becca and I liked seeing his struggle to get with her. Nothing ever goes perfectly and that was one thing that struck me about this story—the imperfectness. Samson had doubts, had moments of fear, and it was realistic. Plus, he loved Becca, even when neither one of them could admit it. Very hot!

If you want a story that will stick with you long after the last page, then you need to read Appealing Proposal. I give this story 4 cherries.

Interdependence by Dee Carney



Interdependence by Dee Carney
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (136 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, anal sex, voyeurism, Ménage
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Jonah Ballard has seven days to find a way to stop the possession trying to consume him or resign himself to preternaturally induced madness. His twin brother, Elijah, has no intention of letting that happen. Their father’s legacy has doomed them from a young age, but the brothers will have to trust each other as never before if they’re going to survive.

A chance meeting with emotionally ravaged Laurel Butler might provide the brothers part of the solution that they’ve been searching for. In the next seven days they have convince Laurel to take them into her bed, the first step toward the beginning of the end of their curse.

As the hours rush by, both old and newly formed wounds threaten to break the bond the trio is only now starting to forge. For how can a woman who has nothing to live for, who toys with death on a daily basis, and who doesn’t know how to save herself, save them?

Sometimes, you’ll come across a story that has an amazing premise that you can’t wait to read. Such was the case for me with Interdependence. Dee Carney writes incredible characters, and I couldn’t wait to delve into this world in which light battles dark and a woman is the only salvation for two brothers who are doomed in her absence.

When we meet Laurel, she’s in a bad place in her life -- emotionally and financially. So when she meets Elijah, who offers to buy her a hot meal, she eventually caves. His offer for a job follows shortly after and she finds herself driving to his home with his business card, unsure and uncertain. Shortly thereafter she meets Jonah, Elijah’s twin, and after being shown around and told her duties, she quickly settles in. What she isn’t aware of is the darkness that Jonah struggles against, a power so consuming that soon he will lose all control. Elijah has managed to work out what he believes is a plan to save his brother, which involves Laurel, but he’s not sure of the part she will play -- or how to go about banishing the darkness using her presence. Together, they begin revealing more and more about each other and, in the process, unravel the mystery.

The beginning of this story got me hook, line, and sinker. I was curious about Laurel and these two men who continued to struggle against this mysterious force. All are complex and the way they open themselves to one another is timed extremely well, so that there is a necessary and believable amount of growth. Unfortunately, as the story progressed, this steady pace began to shift and their feelings came on so quickly that I wasn’t entirely certain I believed them. Not to mention, the light/dark forces were partially versus fully explained, leading to moments of confusion regarding the source of the darkness and what will ultimately occur when it takes over.

Another issue is that while Interdependence is technically PNR/Fantasy, the heroes are, for the most part, normal men. Elijah’s ability to perceive emotion could be construed as something paranormal (as could his brothers darkness), but not to the effect that say shifter stories are in relation to falling in love with a mate or partner over the course of a few days. While the bond Laurel, Elijah, and Jonah form is understandable, those deeper emotions they all proclaim to feel (including Laurel) seemed a trifle rushed as a result. There was also another element that I’m hesitant to reveal as it could be construed as spoiler, but suffice it to say that Laurel is a woman who deals with her inner torment and pain in a very dangerous and dark manner, yet, I felt that it was slightly out of place as it’s mentioned, used as a catalyst for possible tension (although it is used as a tool to bring two of the characters closer together, which is only fair to mention), but is forgotten by the story’s conclusion.

There are great things to be said about Interdependence, however. Ms. Carney has a very distinctive voice that I enjoy very much, and her ability to lure the reader into her worlds allows them to feel as if they are experiencing the story versus reading it. Her descriptions are vivid, and her dialogue is always witty (one memorable scene with Laurel, Jonah, and a sharp object, had me laughing aloud). The writing is spot-on, which is always important, and the pace doesn’t relent from start to finish, so there is no desire to put the story away and return to it later.

I enjoyed the emotional interactions between Elijah and Jonah, as well as those which occur as Elijah, Jonas, and Laurel create a tentative balance. There is a lot of heart here, especially as they face a future in which the fall of one brother will bring about the destruction of the other. As Elijah and Jonas continue fighting the good fight, you’ll cheer for them, cry for them, and when things take the downward turn you know has to happen, you’ll rally for them. That is always a fundamental part of an engaging and entertaining story, and Interdependence delivers.

Fans of unique paranormal erotic romance are sure to enjoy Interdependence. There is enough sizzle to keep you hot around the collar and enough mystery to keep you reading to find out what happens next. If you’re searching for a steamy ménage, this is just the ticket.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blood and Fire by Mychael Black



Blood and Fire by Mychael Black
Publisher: Audio Minx (Changeling Press)
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Novella (1 hour 38 minutes)
Other: M/M, anal sex, masturbation, Multiple Partners, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Jason Summerfield is a lead singer of a local metal band and an all-around, love ‘em and leave ‘em type of guy.

He’s also pyrokinetic. Strong emotions can literally start a fire with him, so he’s always struggled to hold emotions back, unwilling to let his “gift” harm anyone. So far, one-night stands have been the answer.

Then along comes Julian Kristados, a man who turns Jason’s world upside down. When he’s with Julian, Jason finds it impossible to control his fire. When the truth comes out as to why Julian remains unscathed, Jason doesn’t know whether to run… or let the man into his heart.

Until he opens his heart to his gift, he can’t open his heart to the one he loves. Are you intrigued? I was. So I listened to the audio book of Blood and Fire by Mychael Black.

Now I have to admit, when I saw this one on the list, I had to nab it. I’m a Mychael Black fan-girl. This story didn’t disappoint. Mr. Black has a way with words that draws the reader in from page one. Hearing this story read aloud made it even more powerful. I felt like I was right there with Jason and Julian seeing and feeling them find each other in the midst of the chaos of Jason’s life.

I liked the idea that Jason had a gift he really didn’t want, but needed. All those metal/industrial/Goth type bands who pay oodles for pyrotechnics and Jason can do them all on his own. How cool. But I liked that he retained his humanity—he didn’t let the gift define him, even when he could’ve. And although I wasn’t a fan of his destructive behavior, I felt that it made him more realistic as a character. How many guys in popular bands aren’t promiscuous? It made the whole story more believable.

Julian was a conundrum, though. I liked his dark mystique, but I wanted him to show up more fully a tad earlier. I felt like he was almost left out, and forced to watch as a penance, but I understood why he held back. The guy, though a vampire, has been hurt in the past and like all of us, is a tad cautious. Who could fault him that? Not me.

If you want a book that will, pardon the pun, suck you in from the first page, then you need to read or listen to Blood and Fire. I give this story 4.5 cherries.

Kallie Revealed by Mel Tescho



Kallie Revealed by Mel Tescho
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (40 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M/F, M/F/F, F/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

When Kallie’s fairytale life turned into a nightmare, she dealt with the stress in a way she never would have imagined. For too long she’s yearned to live life outside the box, experience things she has always been too afraid to try.

Becoming every man’s fantasy as a stripper drives away the constant ache within and makes her feel beautiful again. She discovers her dark side and sets out to explore her secret desires.

Seth Masterton is a rising star in the corporate world and he is everything Kallie has ever wanted. He’s watched all Kallie’s performances and never hides his lust for her. She knows it is time to face her demons and make some changes in her life. Maybe this possessive man is all she really needs. Tonight, she’ll find out.


Sometimes the thing we want the most is the one thing we already have but can’t see the forest for the trees. So what do you do when you get a second chance? Go for it.

Such is the story of Kallie Revealed. Mel Tescho wrote an intriguing novel about two people who are totally in love, but the strains of life tore things apart. Although this is a short story, I really felt like I was there with Kallie and Seth. The sights, smells, and sounds of the gentleman’s club were vivid.

I liked the bit if mystique in this story as well. Things didn’t quite progress as I expected and it was refreshing. I liked that Kallie wanted to be her own person and had struggles, such as the battle with the credit card. I could totally relate because there are lots of times when you want to shop and that plastic is darned alluring, but reality won’t let you. It was a nice touch. But, I had a hard time liking her because I felt she came across as very selfish when she didn’t get things to go her way. I liked how she grew through the story, but I wanted to see the transformation a bit earlier.

Seth, though the favorite character of mine, wasn’t a martyr. He had his own issues. He wanted to make her happy, even if it meant his own demise. I had to give him credit for being so selfless, but there were times when I wanted him to strengthen his backbone and give her the what-for. Still, I felt his love for her and understood why he acted as he did.

If you want a story with red-hot love scenes and some smokin’ hot F/F scenes, then you need to read Kallie Revealed. I give this story 3 cherries.





Shivaree by Cara McKenna



Shivaree by Cara McKenna
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (81 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, M/M, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Ambrosia

Hot on the heels of a nasty break-up, Natalie’s truck dies and strands her deep in Louisiana’s sweltering backwoods. A glow beyond the trees and a haunting melody lead her to what she hopes is salvation.

The Shivaree is more than a bar. It’s a mysterious oasis where people go to escape into a cold drink and lose themselves against a warm body on the dance floor. Gabriel is its resident musician, gifted with unnerving talent and intoxicating sexual charisma. The only thing standing between Natalie and the perfect rebound is Gabriel’s possessive and domineering lover, and Natalie’s not afraid of a bully. Certainly not one built like Shane Broussard. She’s ready to discover the perfect remedy for heartache—two hot male bodies, one long, sultry, southern night.

Wouldn’t you know it? A woman is lost in the back roads at night with a broken down truck and a light in the woods lures her into blissful erotic sex with two gorgeous men. Why don’t these things happen to me?

Natalie is angry and frustrated after a break-up with a boyfriend and drives her truck until it dies in the Louisiana backwoods. When the only place she can go is a bar called Shivaree, she finds Gabriel, the most gorgeous man she’s ever seen and is attracted instantly. The only problem is that his angry lover, Shane wants her to leave without looking back.

While captivating his audience as he plays and sings his songs on stage, Gabriel notices Natalie and wants her too, even though he knows that Shane will punish him for it. Not one to shy away, he talks Shane into agreeing to let him have her and sets out to accept his due without a qualm. He loves it when Shane gets angry with him.

Tall, dark, handsome, moody and possessive, Shane knows he can’t stop Gabriel from doing what he wants and ends up joining the two bed partners, giving in to his desires. He’s under Gabriel’s spell and warns Natalie she won’t be able to stop craving the man when she leaves. And he’s determined that she will leave even though he’s drawn to her also.

This is a tale that you won’t be able to put down. A touch of melancholy rides over the surface of the story. You'll feel it in the author’s words as the characters deal with their own emotional issues. Gabriel is the only one who seems to have no worries, as though he’s a mystical being with the power to make others desire him. Each character is interesting and unique, holding your attention throughout though I’d really like to meet Shane! *G*

This story deserves 4.5 Cherries. Well done, Cara McKenna.





Stalk Me by Jennifer Salaiz



Stalk Me by Jennifer Salaiz
Publisher: Siren Publishing, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (100 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Sex, Toys, Mild Violence
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Peppermint

Things have never gone well for Nicole in the boyfriend department. But when a gorgeous one night stand introduces her to the darker side of passion, she can't help but get sucked into the addicting pleasure. Ayden is everything she never knew she needed, and she can't help but feel a connection to him immediately.

When an accident drives him out of town, Trevor, Ayden's best friend, is left to protect her. Nicole can't help but feel something between them upon sight. Can she resist the pull she feels for him, too, or will all three of them get sucked in an obsessive triangle ending in disaster?

What do you do when the most gorgeous man you have ever seen decides to stalk you? Invite him in for a night of wild passionate sex... what else? At least, that's what Nicole did with Ayden. Just when she was willing to take the jump into a relationship with him, Ayden leaves but not before commanding his best friend Trevor to do anything and everything Nicole needs.

Although misguided, Ayden really believe that what he was doing was the best for Nicole, from threatening her abusive ex-boyfriend to secretly watching her to make sure she was safe. Because some of these decisions really were not what was best Nicole found it easier to care about Trevor, and so did I. Trevor didn’t seem to have as many hang-ups as Ayden he just really wanted what was best for Nicole and did exactly what needed to be done to keep her happy.

I like that fact that it wasn’t the perfect situation that brought them together. Instead it was a series of unfortunate events that really forged the relationship between this trio. It also really wasn’t external factors that keep them away but the internal issues. In many romance/erotica stories you see more external conflict than internal so this just seemed a little different than the rest.

This story definitely had its spicy moments as well as its sweet. I think this is especially true when dealing with the different men. You got to see more of Ayden’s spicy side since the relationship between him and Nicole was based on a physical relationship initially. With Trevor, they did not jump into bed immediately so they had a chance to fall in love with each other before experiencing the physical pleasures of their relationship.

By the time I finished this story I literally had to take a deep breath because I hadn’t realized I stopped breathing for a minute. If that is not a reason to give this story five cherries, I don’t know what is.



Something Worth Fighting For by Lena Matthews



Something Worth Fighting For by Lena Matthews
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (129 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

No good deed goes unpunished… And no one knows that better than Tisha Nichols, who, out of the kindness of her heart, agrees to style the hair of her nine-year-old neighbor Cami, so the little girl can look good for picture day. Unfortunately, Cami’s adoptive Uncle is far from grateful. In fact he’s down right livid…and far too attractive for Tisha’s peace of mind.

Love thy neighbor… Is easier said than done, especially when the neighbor in question is a sexy little spitfire who gives even better than she gets. Although Jonah is not the type to say he’s sorry, even he can admit when he’s wrong. But the ongoing fight to win custody of Cami has made him cautious and mistrustful of people, even those as desirable as Tisha.

What starts as a misunderstanding turns out to be one of the best things to ever happen to them. Unfortunately, not everyone is as thrilled, and Jonah and Tisha must decide if their newly formed family is something worth fighting for.

When a young girl wants her hair done properly for her school picture, an innocent knock on her neighbor’s door becomes so much more. Something Worth Fighting For combines romance, humor, memorable characters, and steamy sexual tension. Lena Matthews has created a story in which strangers who seemed destined to hate each other learn there is as much passion as there is animosity between them. The result is something that will make you laugh, squirm and, at times, writhe in your seat.

Tisha and Jonah have the love/hate kind of relationship that, at times, drove me insane. A few of the arguments, which led to their blow outs in which they didn’t speak for days, were somewhat difficult to believe. Fortunately, their chemistry always managed to return the focus to their relationship, Jonah’s daughter, and the struggles the three face to be together, which is truly the heart of the work. Of the three characters, the saucy young Cami (Jonah’s goddaughter turned daughter following the death of her parents) was perhaps the most delightful. Her dialogue is quick and witty, and the scenes in which she’s front and center were some of my favorites. I was also impressed with Ms. Matthews’s ability to address the issue of life in a multicultural household, as well as the way in which she kept her attention solely on the characters and their interactions versus their ethnicity. Certainly, there are scenes in which race is an issue, but it’s from outside forces versus from the characters themselves.

Those who enjoy a solid (and scorching hot) contemporary romance with a few twists and turns along the way will definitely enjoy Something Worth Fighting For. Be sure to pencil this title onto your TBR list.





Downfall by Elene Lewis



Downfall by Elene Lewis
Publisher: New Concepts Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (63 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Cholla

All alien-rocker Sebastian King wants is to suck the energy out of pretty human females. They orgasm, he gets his “food source” from the energy they produce, and everyone is happy. No harm, no foul. Until innocent Hope Riordan walks through the door and the irresistible connection they share forces him to reevaluate all he knows about his own species. Sebastian eventually faces execution because of his forbidden emotional connection with Hope. It is only through his scheming and bargaining that they fake their own deaths and escape together.

When you’re destined to live a life without love, how do you cope? That’s precisely what Sebastian and the rest of the Clan males are trying to figure out. Living in a world where all they can do is feed off the sexual energy of human females, without hope for release of their own, life can become difficult and a tad bit lonely.

In the beginning, Sebastian is simply going through the motions. His life as a rock god doesn’t even seem to bring any happiness or satisfaction into his life. I felt a lot of sympathy for him in the beginning because of this. Here he is, watching a sea of beautiful women flow around him and not one inspires even the slightest bit of excitement. It’d have to be a hard way to live. The fate of his happiness lies with Hope, and he knows it the moment he first sets eyes on her. His determination to bring her into his life at any cost is endearing, even if it does cause him to push too hard at times. I loved the fact that, despite being both an energy vampire and a rock god, he didn’t have the typical ego attached to either. It made for a refreshing change.

Hope, on the other hand, is the complete opposite of Sebastian. She’s lived a rather sheltered life, being kept completely under her father’s thumb since her mother’s death. In a sense, she wasn’t doing much more to live her life than Sebastian was. She was very relatable to me in the way that our fathers both shared a rather undesirable quality. I instantly identified with her situation and it made it easier for me to understand her choices. Her difficult home life, and the way she managed to deal with it despite everything else, made her a good match for Sebastian. She needed someone to care for her and he needed someone to help him let go, just a little. Together they are a well-balanced and red hot couple.

Trouble – and passion – is brewing from the very moment Sebastian sets eyes on the beautiful Hope. Little does either realize that the other will be their own salvation. An intriguing story that leaves you begging for more, Downfall is an excellent introduction to this new race of beings on earth and their plans for the future. I highly recommend it!

Wolf Town by Joely Skye



Wolf Town by Joely Skye
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd.
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (75 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Violence
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Tuberose

Poised to run. Aching to stay. What lies between is sweet torture.

For nine years, Scott Lund has been erasing himself. Making sure his own kind—those who can control people’s minds—can’t track him down. It has been a lonely existence. So lonely, that when he makes a real connection with a stranger, he breaks his own cardinal rule and falls asleep in the man’s arms.

Rory McIntyre has been sent by his pack alpha to keep a protective eye on Scott. Seduction wasn’t part of the plan, but once he lays eyes on the Minder, Rory isn’t satisfied to keep his distance.

The moment Scott opens his eyes, he panics and flees—straight into a Minder trap. The handsome stranger from the night before turns out to be his rescuer, who whisks him away to a safe place. Wolf Town.

Overwhelmed by Rory’s family, Scott knows only two things for sure. His attraction to Rory is growing by the minute. And to keep his lover safe, he must put as much distance between them as possible...

What happens when a Shifter and a Minder get together? One great story!

Ms. Skye tells a wonderful story about two very different men. Rory McIntyre has been sent by his pack alpha to keep a protective eye on Scott Lund and Rory is dying of boredom. Bodyguarding someone that he sees as some unstable, psychic, mind-control-type person whose file didn’t make him sound particularly appealing, let alone nice, is not what Rory wants to do. Scott’s rather defeated posture intrigues Rory though. Scott is a Minder who lives alone and has been trying to make himself disappear from the Minders for many years. When Scott changes his boring routine one night and goes into a pub, Rory sees how really sad Scott is and makes contact with him. After talking for a while, Rory and Scott decide to go for a walk in the park and then back to Rory’s hotel room. Scott doesn’t know that Rory is a wolf shifter, and is concerned that he used his voice to manipulate Rory, so he tries to back out of going to the hotel. Rory lets Scott know that he really wants Scott to go to the hotel even if it is only to talk more. The night is more than either man expected, but Scott panics and leaves when he wakes up.

Ms. Skye shows a lot of give and take in the relationship between Rory and Scott. The reader sees the learning process with them. One example of this is the first day the couple is with Rory’s pack. When Rory leaves for the day to go to work he leaves Aileen, who stays in wolf form, to protect Scott. When Scott goes to leave the house he is frightened by the wolf and stays in all day thinking Rory left the wolf there to hold him prisoner there. The reader feels Scott’s fear and how upset he is thinking Rory is basically incarcerating him. Later Rory explains that the wolf was only there to protect Scott and he can go anyplace he wants.

This is only my second story by Ms. Skye, and I definitely need to read her others in my TBR pile. Ms. Skye does a great job of pulling the reader into the world she creates. I felt like I was right there with Rory and Scott. My only complaint is the story ended too soon. I hope that Ms. Skye creates more of this world and we are able to see more of Rory and Scott when she does.