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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cross-Checked by Lily Harlem

Cross-Checked by Lily Harlem
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (123 pgs)
Other: M/F, Anal Play, BDSM (light)
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Dahlia

Okay, I’ll admit it, I have a crazy, lust-infused crush. Brick, the sexy right-winger of the Orlando Vipers, is the star of all my erotic fantasies. Just a glimpse of him has me panting. So when the chance to actually work with this hot hockey player comes along, of course I say yes!

Being a world-class athlete myself, I have a strategic plan to have him all tied up with lust and desperate for me too. The thing is, plans never go smoothly. Especially when my heart pedals right into the vulnerable game of love again—completely unprotected.

Luckily this sinfully delicious superstar is just as hooked on me—phone sex, bondage, anal sex and rude piercings abound. Despite my tactical errors, Brick catches me when I fall, holds me when I cry and pleases me when I need it most. He’s hard on the outside, soft on the inside and plays one hell of determined game when it comes to finding the ultimate satisfaction.

Carly's every fantasy is about to come true when she finally comes face to face with her bad-boy, hockey-playing obsession. In true Carly style, she takes control of the situation when it becomes clear he is also interested. Her mind is sent on a determined slow seduction of the mind versus becoming another rink-bunny notch on his bedpost. Although a one-night stand with Brick would be nothing short of electrifying, Carly's looking for more, but Brick doesn't exactly have a reputation of being tamed. Carly's controlling and untapped dominate nature is exposed and soon her weaknesses are too.

Brick played a hardcore game both on and off the ice, that is until he met Carly. Their athletic talents brought them together for charity work, but upon seeing Carly for the first time, Brick is immediately drawn to her. She charms him with her unpredictable mind and her athletically appealing body makes it hard to think of anything else. She's not his usual type and maybe just maybe that's exactly what he needs.

After reading the first book in the Hot Ice series, I was very unimpressed with Brick's character. His short role in Phoenix and Brooke's story, left me with the feeling that this wouldn't be the last that we see of him and I was anticipating the challenge that his character would no doubt bring in his own story. Therefore, I was completely surprised to see that much of the challenge and frustration didn't so much come from Brick, but from Carly herself. Of course, there are good reasons for her actions and with the story told from Carly's point-of-view, it allows the reader to experience all the surprising layers that make-up Brick.

The stories I've read by Ms. Harlem have always been entertainingly sizzling reads and Cross-Checked is no exception. The sexual tension is thick and the pacing perfectly matched for connections to form with the characters. Ms. Harlem provided a surprising epilogue, which only leaves me wanting more of the Orlando Vipers and what will no doubt be another scorching read with my favorite fictional hockey team.

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