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Friday, August 20, 2010

Lassoing Lara by NJ Walters



Lassoing Lara by NJ Walters
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (47 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Brody Courage wakes up after a night out with his brothers and finds himself naked and tied to his bed with no idea how he’s gotten there. Just when he thinks he’s going to have to rip apart the headboard to get himself loose, he hears someone entering the house. He thinks it’s one of his brothers and calls out for help, but it’s Lara Jacobs, his childhood friend and neighbor.

He’s humiliated to have to ask her help and swears her to secrecy. She’s quiet and pale and leaves after releasing only one arm. When Brody finally gets himself out of bed, he finds a pair of red lace panties stuck near the footboard—a perfect match for the red bra he’d glimpsed Lara wearing when she bent over to untie him. It’s then his memories of the night before start to flood back. He spent one hell of a night in bed with his neighbor.

Now he wants another. One he can remember. But there’s the little problem of Lara avoiding him…

Imagine waking up with a tiny recollection of what happened the night prior, but knowing for certain you’d lost your heart. Oh, and to add insult to injury, you’ve been tied to your own bed. Now what would you do? Looks like you need to read Lassoing Lara. I’m glad I did.

NJ Walters writes a scorching hot read. I fell in love with the characters from page one and rooted for them to get the happily ever after they desired. I felt like I was right there with them, feeling their emotions, and realizing what they wanted after all.

As much as I liked the story, there were a few stumbling blocks for me. I liked the characters of Lara and Brody. Both are independent and strong. But when I got to get really inside their heads, there was a lot of telling. I knew how they felt, but it seemed very matter-of-fact. The other issue that tugged me from the book a couple times was the inconsistent point of view. I had a good grasp of whose POV I was in, but there were times when I had to go back and read again to make sure. I didn’t want to let go of the characters after the last page, but the back and forth became a little jarring. And though I liked Lara, there were times when her reactions were unrealistic for a woman her age. I wanted to see her show her backbone a bit more. Still, it wasn’t enough to discredit the story.

I loved the idea that love can happen quickly between people who know each other on the molecular level. Reading about Lara and Brody kicked my heart rate up and was cause to find a fan. If you want a story that’s quick and hot, then you need to read Lassoing Lara. I give this book 3.5 cherries.

Emerald Ecstasy by Lara Dien



Emerald Ecstasy by Lara Dien
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (60 pgs)
Other: M/F, Multiple Partners, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Tansy Robertson is in Ireland hunting ghosts—and a fortune—in a haunted castle when her childhood crush Charlie McCullough strides into the foyer, looking sexy and dangerous as ever in a kilt. Her worries of how to keep warm in a drafty castle are cast aside as he tutors her in more than Irish folklore. But when time runs out and an ocean threatens to separate them once again, can the memories of Emerald Ecstasy be enough?

He’s everything she wants, if he even remembers her. She’s all he’s ever dreamed of, if she’s willing to give him another go. And then there’s these jewels... hidden and thought to be lost. Intrigued? You should be. You need to read Emerald Ecstasy.

I knew when I opened this book, it would be hot. I wasn’t disappointed. Phew. I needed a fan for this one. Lara Dien wrote characters that found their way into my heart.

Tansy wants to be loved. She does. She’s just not sure the man she wants to be in a relationship wants more than a little bitty fling. I liked her inner struggle. It made her more realistic. Go for him or wait for another, better model... it makes sense. There were a few times when I wasn’t sure if her motivation was to get him or rather to find her own physical pleasure, but I understood her conundrum — he’s so hot, she wants to be with him.

Charlie, an enigma in a kilt, is hot from the word go. Tall, brooding, and my-oh-my, nothing on under that plaid. Yum. What really made me like him was his determination to have Tansy without making her feel taken. He wanted her, in every which way possible, but he wasn’t the possessive type. I loved it. And his determination? More men need his one-track mind...

If you want a story that will make you squirm and sigh, then you need to read Emerald Ecstasy. I give this one 4 cherries.

The Starlight Rite by Cherise Sinclair



The Starlight Rite by Cherise Sinclair
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (218 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Her voice is known throughout the galaxy; her face is completely unknown.

Fleeing her monstrous husband back on puritanical Earth and the police assassins he's hired, singer Mella Archer becomes stranded on the frontier planet of Nexus. Desperate to survive, she picks the wrong target--Dain, the head of planetary security.

Dain is amused by the attempted theft, and when Mella is sentenced to serve time indentured as a bedroom slave, he buys her contract. As he introduces the repressed Earther to the pleasures of sex with a dominating warrior, he slowly comes to realize that the little thief has stolen his heart.

When the monster arrives on Nexus and has lunch with Dain, Mella is panic-stricken. Her owner must be part of the conspiracy to kill her, and it will only be a matter of time before the monster discovers that she’s still alive. She attempts to escape. She fails. Embittered by her lies and mistrust, Dain returns her to Indenture Hall to be sold again.

Now the monster has found her. And she has nowhere left to run...

Whenever an author offers something entirely new, I’m always excited. There is something thrilling in delving into the unexpected, especially when the previous works of the author are those you enjoy. Such was the case with The Starlight Rite, the first sci-fi offering from BDSM writer extraordinaire Cherise Sinclair.

The moment The Starlight Rite begins, you are swept into a story in which planets have varying rules, laws, and cultures. The inhabitants of each world are incredibly diverse, to the point that while sex on one planet is considered taboo, it is celebrated on others. Mella, a woman who has escaped near death and, fearing for her safety, finds herself stranded on the latter of the planets. Alone and desperate, she attempts to steal the purse of a crippled man and finds herself face to face with her fate. Dain is nothing like she expects, and he proves he is more than capable of taking her down when he turns her over to the proper authorities and she is held accountable for her crimes. When faced with the prospect of being sold as a sex slave, Mella concludes it’s best to trust the enemy she knows versus the one she doesn’t and agrees to become Dain’s unshuline for the duration of her sentence. Passions ignite, wills clash, and soon the D/s elements are in full swing as Mella and Dain discover there is so much more to their bargain than they ever imagined possible.

As with previous Sinclair works I’ve devoured in the past, I was enthralled by The Starlight Rite. Mella is both sympathetic and relatable as a woman on the run while Dain is an alpha male strong enough to defend her no matter the cost. Their exchanges are as sizzling and, at times, heartbreaking, making the story one readers will thoroughly enjoy. There is so much good here, both for the erotic reader as well as the romantic at heart, that it’s difficult as a fan to state my only criticisms of the work.

While The Starlight Rite is an erotic sci-fi offering, and takes place in a futuristic setting, the BDSM themes, as well as the strengths, insecurities, and conflicts of the hero and heroine, are what have become a formulaic approach in Ms. Sinclair’s stories. While certain aspects - namely the genre, setting, and world build - provide variation, I found that Dain and Mella mirrored heroes and heroines I’ve been introduced to in her previous works. There were also times when the terminology/language differences caused me to pause and shuffle back through the book to get a handle on what parts of the anatomy were being referred to, but once I settled in, I was able to go with the flow and enjoy the story and the physical interactions.

The Starlight Rite is an enjoyable, hot, and exciting story. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to longtime fans of Ms. Sinclair or new readers alike. The sex is steamy, the chemistry between the hero and heroine is perfect, and I loved the new world Ms. Sinclair has created. If you’re looking for something that contains BDSM in a futuristic setting, with twists and turns and pulse-pounding suspense, I’m certain this is one book that will keep you reading well past bedtime.

Ex Appeal by Cari Quinn



Ex Appeal by Cari Quinn
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (108 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism, masturbation, bdsm, anal play
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

As the webmistress for one of the Northeast’s hottest dating sites, Hunk Du Jour, Jenny Talbot is no stranger to reading the applications of potential clients. But when the latest application that crosses her inbox belongs to Ty Randall, the guy she broke up with a mere twenty-seven days ago, she does a double take. Reading what Ty wants in bed not only gets Jenny hot, it also makes her rethink ending their relationship. All she longed for was a little more spice in the bedroom—okay, a lot more—but he let her go without an argument. Faced with the possibility that Ty may really be moving on, getting her ex back becomes more appealing than ever. But will revealing exactly what she needs allow Jenny to finally experience ultimate pleasure or will she drive away the man she loves for good?

Ex sex is the best sex. Seems like an old adage, but it’s true. Or at least it is in the case of Ex Appeal by Cari Quinn.

When this title became available, I jumped on it. I only wish I hadn’t had to put it aside. I so loved the ride. The descriptions nabbed me from page one. I couldn’t put this book down.

Ms. Quinn writes hot, no doubt, but this story takes the cake and adds crayons. Yeah, I loved the art angle and the creative use of edible crayons. The love scenes darned near melted my screen, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Although I couldn’t completely get a bead on what Ty and Jen looked like, it wasn’t an issue. The chemistry between them was so powerful, I found myself rooting for them even when I wasn’t sure why they split. If I had any issues, it was the lack of communication between them, but, and this is the key, their failure to talk is realistic. It was like watching two of my friends who I know should be together, butting heads because they can’t see the obvious — they love each other. It worked perfectly.

I’m referring this story to all my friends. It’s hot, sticky, and a breeze to read. If you want a story that will stay with you, and characters you won’t forget, then you need to read Ex Appeal. I give it 4.5 cherries.



Thursday, August 19, 2010

Litha's Constant Whim by Amy Lane



Litha's Constant Whim by Amy Lane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (110 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Whim believes himself to be the least powerful sidhe at Green's Hill: he is as constant as a bumblebee in a hurricane and as faithful as a stray breeze. Whim's prince believes there is more to him than that and on Litha, the night of the summer solstice, sends Whim into the mortal world where he strives to give a piece of himself to others.

It is on Litha that Whim meets Charlie, a young, desperate human who steals a kiss. Whim steals one back and, in turn, craves another taste of this extraordinary man. Their vows to return next Litha and finish what they started launch a thirteen-year tradition of celebration between the mortal and the immortal, between love and patience, that is sustained by Whim's driving, faithful compulsion to love and keep his human close to his heart.

Star crossed lovers meet on the most magical night every year. Litha is the magical day of the year when the day is longest and night is shortest, offering supernatural creatures a chance for a night out. Elf Whim has been venturing outside his protective home on this one occasion for years to give and receive magic. When he encounters a young, despondent Charlie their lives are changed forever. Yet they can only be together on that one day in the span of each long year. The two men will have to decide if their connection is enough and if they can take the final steps to be together, once and for ever.

Litha’s Constant Whim is a wonderfully romantic and beautifully told fairy tale set in a contemporary time. The story is one of a series by the author about Green Hill, the home of elves, fairies, and supernatural creatures. This easily reads as a stand alone but there are references to important events, characters, and actions that link this story to the series. If you’re intrigued enough to read more -– as I suspect you will be -– the other stories are available. There are some major leaps in the plot though as the time frame covers a dozen plus years between the time Charlie and Whim first meet to the end of the story. On the one hand this is nice to focus on their star crossed romance but I also wouldn’t have minded a bit more detail of how they survived when apart as well.

The characters are well described and really come to life. From Whim’s mercurial nature to his one obsession, Charlie, the elf is utterly delightful to read. I laughed and cried at his antics from bursting out singing during sex (which he forgot he was having) to his trick in remembering Charlie’s name in a mind that forgets everything with the wind change. Charlie’s developing life is really interesting and nice to see as he grows, matures, finds love and purpose yet remains true to Whim in his heart. The reasons they are apart and can’t quite come together before the dramatic ending all feels natural and authentic. Responsibilities, fear, and life never feel like excuses or false issues to keep the tension but instead are real.

Although there are some leaps and gaps in the story which may frustrate some readers, this novella hits a good mixture of romance, characterization, and erotica. The romance is heavy on the theme of lovers who yearn for each other, constantly, so this is better suited to those serious romantic readers. The slight bite to the story in the form of separation helps keep it from being sickly sweet. Instead a nicely written story is offered for romance fans who love the idea of love conquering all, even time.

Pump Me Up by Andrew Grey



Pump Me Up by Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (119 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Taking advantage of a free pass from work, Maddoc decides to try out a fitness center. After meeting up with a friend, Dan, and making dinner plans, Maddoc meets Ivan, a hunky, silver-haired ex-Marine who gives him a ride home. Soon Maddoc finds himself with a new friend, a workout partner, a protector... and maybe something more, as a simmering attraction comes to life between him and Ivan. After moving too fast in previous relationships that fell apart, Maddoc wants to start slow—wants to make sure it can last. Luckily, Ivan is willing to wait.

You never know how strong you are until you have to show it. Thankfully for Maddoc, Ivan isn’t a slouch when it comes to protection.

When I first opened Pump Me Up, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. I’ve read reviews of Andrew Grey’s work and as well as the blurb for this story, and knew I had to read it. I wasn’t disappointed. The world Mr. Grey creates is rich with details and I felt like I was right there with Maddoc and Ivan. The sexual tension is thick and great to read about.

I liked Maddoc. He’s a great sub-hero. Why do I say sub-hero? The poor guy has a scary problem—someone wants him harmed. He’s trying to be strong in a situation where a lot of people wouldn’t be, and when he sees Ivan, his world is turned upside down. I liked his somewhat lack of self esteem because it made him realistic. Most of us have issues with our bodies and he wasn’t any different. It endeared him to me.

At the same time, I loved Ivan. He’s the strong part of Maddoc even when Maddoc’s breaking down. No, they aren’t the same person, but the way he jumps in during Maddoc’s time of need is really sweet. He cares when a lot of other people wouldn’t or just aren’t sure how to. Plus, both men are darned sexy in their own ways. When they get together, it’s hot and steamy. And the ending wasn’t anything I expected, but it’s perfect.

If you want a story that will leave you with a smile, then you need to read Pump Me Up. I give this story 4.5 cherries.



Raising Kane by Lorelei James



Raising Kane by Lorelei James
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (214 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern



She surrendered the reins. Now he’s raising the stakes.

Rough Riders, Book 9

When a patch of ice sends attorney Ginger Paulson head-over-high-heels down a flight of stairs, she has no one to care for her young son and her invalid father—until lethally sexy Kane McKay shows up at the hospital, determined to prove his cowboy chivalry. Past experience has inoculated her against take-charge men, but even Ginger isn’t immune to Kane’s invasive charm and Built Ford Tough body.

For two years rancher Kane McKay has followed the Little Buddies mentoring program’s cardinal rule—hands off his Little Buddy Hayden’s mama. But one look at Ginger’s bruised body and Kane is through watching the stubborn woman take care of everyone but herself. The feisty, curvy redhead needs his help, and he’ll give her the hands-on type whether she likes it or not.

After Kane throws out doctor’s orders and issues his own demands—her full sexual submission—Ginger realizes Kane’s caring nature extends beyond just fulfilling her physical needs.

Can the former hell-raiser convince the gun-shy single mom to look beyond his past…toward a shared future?

Like most women, I can’t help but swoon when it comes to a sexy cowboy. There is something so appealing about a man who is comfortable in his own skin, preferring the gravel to concrete, flannel to satin. So it’s a good thing that I have author Lorelei James when I’m desperate for a hero who wears a Stetson, drives a truck, and knows how to wrestle a steer, shoot a game of pool, or offer the lucky lady of his choice a wild night between the sheets. Raising Kane, the ninth book in her immensely popular Rough Riders series, doesn’t disappoint. Making things even better is the fact that you don’t have to have read the previous stories to follow. If you’re new to the world of the sexy McKay men, you can dive right in.

The blurb offers all the information you need to get started. When the sultry attorney Ginger hurts herself following a nasty tumble down the stairs, Kane steps in to care for her, her son, and her wheelchair bound father. Their attraction has been easy to deny in the past, as they’ve kept a safe distance following a kiss that neither has been able to forget. Now though, the gloves come off, and the result is some blazing action in the bedroom, dialogue that will make your ears steam, and a story that is as touching as it is sizzling.

Kane is oh-so tasty as a cowboy who realizes it’s time to settle down with the red head that can do better than him, while Ginger is relatable as a woman who has done for herself for so long that she’s forgotten what it’s like to be cherished and nurtured. When they’re not tugging at your heart, their chemistry will make it race, and that is always a sure sign of an excellent erotic romance.

The returning and secondary cast will make you want to come back for more of the series, which is to be expected when you’ve been introduced to Ms. James. Her dialogue is sharp, her pace is fast, and ability to create real situations that bring you into the story is unmatched. Although the focus is one Ginger and Kane, she sets up the next book in the Rough Riders series in Raising Kane, and I can’t wait to see what surprises she has in store.

This is definitely one series that cowboy fans don’t want to miss. Be sure to put Raising Kane on your TBR list.





Instructing Emily by Lyla Sinclair



Instructing Emily by Lyla Sinclair
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (75 pgs)
Other: M/F, BDSM, anal play, toys, spanking
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

Graduate student Emily Brooks wishes she were going to a romantic rendezvous with Professor Mark Kendall. Instead, she’s heading to his office to salvage her grade-point average, since she was too distracted by his hotness to pass some of his tests. When the professor realizes Emily wants more than a passing grade, he agrees to retest her—while he administers some new, very pleasurable distractions.

When Emily passes, Mark invites her to his house for the weekend and she’s thrilled that her romantic dreams are finally coming true. However, once there, she learns he expects her to be his sex slave. His touch is too exquisite to resist and his demands and dominance become more and more exciting as the weekend progresses. But is this all part of a bigger test? And if she passes, will she get the one thing she’s wanted for years?

“Are you saying you were hot for teacher?”

Class has ended once again at EJ Kumm University but the student / teacher after hours extra curricular activities are in full swing.

If you enjoyed the breathless intensity of Hard on Ms. Hardin and the scintillating naughtiness of Checking Out Audrey you will love the final installment to this educational trilogy, Instructing Emily. Ms. Sinclair takes you to the campus of EJ Kumm University one last time and it’s a trip you won’t soon forget.

Emily Brooks is a student with a problem. While she aces every other class she takes at EJ she just barely skims by (or outright fails) in the classes taught by Professor Mark Kendall. Emily has a common EJ Kumm disorder known as OWP syndrome or “obsessed with professor” syndrome to which there seems to be only one known cure. Seduce the professor. As Emily learns, that’s easier said than done when the professor is as sexually dominant and creative as Mark Kendall.

Hold on to your fans and crank up the air. This little novella is HOT! I was squirming right along with Emily when Prof. Kendall told her that while he couldn’t be seduced for a grade, he could be seduced. Ms. Sinclair really knows how to build the sexual tension. While Instructing Emily is a short story, Ms. Sinclair writes in such easy flowing, vivid language you aren’t left feeling shorted on plot or details.

One of the hallmarks of Ms. Sinclair’s writing that shines throughout this series is her character development. I felt like I really knew Emily and Mark by the end of the story. Mark’s sexual dominance is almost overwhelming to Emily. Almost. To be honest this reviewer was getting pretty nervous on Emily’s behalf. She takes a huge leap of faith by giving over her freedom to Mark for the weekend. More than once I wanted to jump into the story and tell her get dressed and get out. Thankfully, Emily was stronger than I would have been and it totally pays off. Mark needs Emily almost, if not more, than she wants him.

Instructing Emily is a true can’t miss in my book! I look forward to seeing what the ever so clever Ms. Sinclair offers up next. Guaranteed to be great!





Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Her Arizona Cowboy Brothers by Sabrina Sinclair



Her Arizona Cowboy Brothers by Sabrina Sinclair
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (100 pgs)
Other: BDSM, Multiple Partners, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Sweet Pea

Arizona cowboy brothers, Kyle, Jake, and Ben Dexter, are the last of their kind. They need a Sybar woman in order to continue their line.

Twenty-four year old, down on her luck Lizzie Miles is that woman. She applies for the position of housekeeper, unaware that the three brothers have arranged the whole event, using their special powers of illusion, fantasy and mind melding.

It soon becomes apparent that all three brothers have unlimited sexual desire for English woman Lizzie, both individually, and as a ménage a quatre.

Will she be able resist the inevitable carnal advances of the cowboy brothers? And will she really want to?

Can the brothers tame the English firebrand, and lure her into their beds? Or will Lizzie see through the complex and ingenious illusion that they have created especially for her?

Now these are three sexy brothers any woman could fall for. Kyle, Jake, and Ben Dexter are three Sybar males that can trace their roots all the way back to Russia. But they are down on their luck both in money and in woman. That is until the delectable Lizzie Miles answers their ad in the paper.

Lizzie came from England to America in search of her dreams. After many hard times she sets her eyes on one final job, that seems almost to good to be true. Meeting her new employer, instant sparks fly and she falls swiftly head over heels for not one but all three brothers. But they are keeping big secrets that can only be answered when her true being comes out.

I particularly liked Ben, even though he was considered the baby. All three brothers are very sexy, and I love the southern drawl. I anticipated them getting caught in the lie that they had spun and seeing what Lizzie would do to them. And the sexy scenes were very, very steamy and oh so great.

Sabrina Sinclair does any excellent job of transplanting you into one hell of a sci-fi fantasy. She did an excellent job describing the backround in the culture, and the history behind the people and they way it transpired into their now lives. Her characters are both believable and lovable. Definitely a great way to spend a couple of hours.

Melting Iron by Laurann Dohner



Melting Iron by Laurann Dohner
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (135 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Being a female mechanic on a space station for eight years has taught Dawn a lot of tough life lessons that have hardened her heart. She’s got a temper and a mouth to match her red hair and has never backed away from a challenge. Then she’s kidnapped and blackmailed into agreeing to be a cyborg’s personal sex slave.

Iron is one big bastard with long, fiery red hair, intense, dark blue eyes and a stubborn streak as thick as his dense muscles. If Iron thinks he can tame her, he’s about to learn that “meek” is not in Dawn’s vocabulary. But with that handsome face, a body to die for, a wickedly talented tongue and those magical hands, the guy just doesn’t fight fair.

Dawn is intent on melting Iron’s icy resolve to never fall in love with a human. He’s winning her heart and she’s determined to win his right back. These two redheads have just met their matches. Let the battle for love begin.

From the moment I read the first story in Laurann Dohner’s Cyborg Seduction series, I was hooked. Her world-build is amazing, her characters are well developed and fascinating, and there is always so much sexual tension and heat it’s impossible to turn away. Saying I was eager to read the third installment, Melting Iron is an understatement. I knew I could expect something new, something hot, and something that would entertain from start to finish.

In this installment, we are introduced to Iron -- a gray skinned cyborg with red hair, a gorgeous body, and a dominant streak a mile wide. He’s not one to be trifled with, both powerful and undeniable and, as with all the cyborgs, a force to be reckoned with. His tendency to demand total submission and subservience only gets him into trouble when he claims the human captive, Dawn, as his own. She is the fire to his ice, equally proud and determined. With flaming red hair and an attitude of her own, she challenges Iron at every turn, keeping him on his toes. Their personalities don’t just clash; they ignite in a manner that turns up the heat like you wouldn’t believe. Ultimately, this is the appeal of the series. Cyborgs don’t feel or experience emotion as humans do, so they are detached and cold. It’s only when they meet these women that they feel an intense attraction for that they discover there is far more to sex, companionship, and love.

The writing, as always, is excellent. Ms. Dohner keeps a clipped pace, ensuring the reader keeps flipping those pages to learn what happens next. I loved the clever banter between Iron and Dawn, as well as the unexpected surprises and obstacles that could have kept them apart but brought them closer together. Unlike other stories that provide different characters but use the same formula, you can expect variations and different twists and turns in this series, which is something I appreciate and enjoy.

A definite read for sci-fi fans who like their erotic romance hot, be sure to check out the Cyborg Seduction series. Melting Iron is another addition to an already fantastic line up.

Counterpoint by Ruth Sims



Counterpoint by Ruth Sims
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (330 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

At eighteen Dylan Rutledge has one obsession: music. He believes his destiny is to be the greatest composer of the rapidly approaching twentieth century. Only Laurence Northcliff, a young history master at The Venerable Bede School for Young Gentlemen, believes in Dylan’s talent and encourages his dream, not realizing Dylan is in love with him.

But Dylan’s passion and belief in his future come at a high price. They will alienate him from his family and lead him on a rocky path fraught with disappointment, rejection, and devastating loss that kills his dream. A forbidden love could bring the dream back to life and rescue Dylan from despair and bitterness, but does he have the courage to reach out and take it? Will he deny the music that rules his soul?

Genius is not always easy to live with. Dylan Rutledge is a musical genius. He’s an uncommonly gifted composer in a world that’s not ready for change. The late 1800s world is not easy for Dylan as he struggles to gain acceptance for his works while his preference for men puts his life in danger. Through school, tutors, mentors, hardships, set backs, loss, heart break, and perseverance, Dylan’s life is one of tremendous highs and lows. From the first love of his life, music, to his long time partner Laurence, Dylan is not an easy man to love but he’s worthwhile. Yet when tragedy stacks on disappointment, even Dylan’s legendary stubbornness is put to the test.

Counterpoint is simply a wonderfully emotional and complex novel. It’s beautifully written with fantastic characters and likely to make you laugh, cry, and be sorry the ride ever ends. After Ms. Sim’s incredible book, The Phoenix, I was hard pressed to believe she could top that. Yet Counterpoint, amazingly, equals if not tops her previous work and delivers in all ways. The plot is well paced and depicts a genius composer in Dylan who is difficult to love, almost impossible to live with, yet totally irresistible. He has charm, charisma, and the necessary stubborn attitude to break out and create something totally new, artistically. Of course that path is rarely easy and Dylan’s life is no exception. He experiences a range of disappointments, setbacks, frustrations, heartache, loss, and depression. Yet he never gives up, no matter how close he gets and his perseverance is the key to survival and eventual success and happiness.

Intricately worked into the novel are the themes of love, music, friendship, and of course the great historical setting. The time frame of the late 1800s London and Paris is extremely well crafted and worked in with numerous small details. From comments about prominent (but starving) artists of the time that would gain fame postmortem to the vivid landscape and feel of that era, the dialogue, description, and narrative never lets the reader forget. Yet the telling is never dry or dull, but imbued with an energy and engaging pace that sucks you in immediately and never lets go. Although there are no explicit sex scenes, the romance and love between the characters is enough to satisfy any fan.

There are so many good things to say about Counterpoint, I feel I could go on at length. However I’ll simply urge fans to read this delightful novel and sink into the incredible world offered by Sims. The vibrant music is never forgotten or used as an easy prop and the cast of well-crafted characters will steal into your heart leaving laughter, tears, and joy. The drama and angst involved, expected with any great artist, never overwhelm the story but this is not a light read. Instead pick this up when you want something meaningful. You won’t regret it.

Hardest of Hearts by Cat Marsters



Hardest of Hearts by Cat Marsters
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Paranormal
Length: Short Story (113 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

Emma and Aidan can't keep their hands off each other. There's just one little problem: she's sworn to kill all vampires and he likes the taste of blood a little too much.

Emma's been raised in the knowledge that all vampires are evil. After all, they're responsible for the death of her parents. Meeting Aidan shouldn't change a thing: so he might be the most beautiful man she's ever seen; he's still a vampire, and it's her duty to kill him, not to get him naked. Even if his Irish charm and quiet morality are extremely persuasive.

Aidan's come back to town to avenge the death of a very old friend. But far from the old zealot he expected, his new enemy is a young redhead with a killer body. She's determined to wipe out all vampires, and Aidan sees it as his duty to save his own kind.

And if he has to seduce her to do it, so much the better...

What’s a vampire slayer to do when she’s becoming addicted to a certain seductive Irish vampire? Stake her claim, of course!

Emma Howard has been ridding the town of Turnbury of vampires since she was sixteen. It’s never been a problem to kill “those evil spawn”... until she met Aiden Sullivan. Aiden isn’t what she expected and neither is her response to him.

I really enjoyed watching Emma struggle with her attraction to Aiden. He is all that is charming, sexy and Irish to boot. Their chemistry is so intense and explosive I couldn’t wait to see how Ms. Marsters worked out their HEA.

Ms. Marsters' character development is terrific. You really get to know both Emma and Aiden’s history and how it has effected who they are when the story begins, as well as how that history effects how the story ends. I think you’ll enjoy watching Emma’s perception of the world change from one where all vampires are evil with no chance of redemption to one that looks deeper to see who they were and who they’ve become.

The dialogue in Hardest of Hearts is witty and makes this otherwise dark novella a fun read. Emma doesn’t let Aiden get away with much so it’s fun to watch him turn her aggression into passion.

The mental pictures Ms. Marster’s paints are incredibly vivid. You really feel like you are very much a part of the scenes whether you are running from a pack of vampires, fighting along side Emma, or just in the moment with Emma and Aiden. It all felt real.

Be sure to add Hardest of Hearts to your TBR list. You won’t regret it!