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Friday, April 22, 2011

Blackout by Wynter Daniels



Blackout by Wynter Daniels
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (35 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Carnation

Kendra learns that her boyfriend thinks she’s a cold fish. To make matters worse, he’s made plans to go away with one of her coworkers for a long weekend. When a blackout strands her in an elevator with sexy Latin maintenance man Jorge, she sets out to prove she’s more hot dish than cold fish.

OK...This is HOT! If you are in the mood for a scorching-hot female fantasy romance, this quickie is one not to miss. This short story is just magnetic, and won't let you go long after the last page!

Socially shy and reserved, Kendra was just cheated on by her boyfriend who is now telling everyone that she's a cold fish. Almost convinced of that charge herself, Kendra decides to set out to prove him wrong. But before she gets a chance, fate intervenes.

Awakened by lightning after falling asleep in the high-rise where she works, Kendra finds herself stranded on a top floor in one of the elevators with the sexy maintenance man. The storm has blown out the electricity. But it turns out that the electricity between the two ignites a raging hot sex-storm of their own. The very believable erotic descriptions and visualizations in this story are so well done that I found myself drawn into the situation completely. Not only is this a scorching hot tale, but a satisfying romantic journey in miniature.

I found this to be a very engaging, irresistible story of a blazing hot feminine sexual emergence, that left me feeling pleased and victorious for the likable young heroine. Slight errors in editing judgment were the only reason I gave it four cherries instead of five. The author packed a lot of story in this short little read. Wynter Daniels is now on my auto-buy list!

Stay With Me by Gwen Campbell



Stay With Me by Gwen Campbell
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre:– Contemporary Paranormal
Length: Short Story (155 pages)
Other: M/F, Anal Play
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Dogwood

After a messy divorce and the death of her mother, author Charlotte Allen is looking for a quiet place to hang her laptop. She finds it on a hundred acres of pristine, Northern Canadian wilderness. Things start to look up when a hunky contractor signs on to build her dream home.

David Hadfield is a big fan of Charlotte’s work, so it’s no trouble at all when the lovely Ms. Allen asks him to put his big hammer to use. David’s also a 250-year-old vampire who’s been looking for a woman to call his own. Forever.

He loves the vampire stories she writes. It makes sense she’d find it easy to love a real bloodsucker…doesn’t it?

Gwen Campbell puts the “Sizzle” in “Hot”, with this enchanting paranormal love story!

David is a modern day vigilante vampire with a sense of justice. How can one not love that our hot hero is looking to acquire his true life-mate? There is nothing “cold-blooded” about this vamp.

As the story begins, my interest was grabbed and held when we immediatley see the darker side of our hero David, revealing to the reader that one of our main characters is not only strong and sexy but indeed a true protector of his territory; and, as a real vampire, why should he not pursue a potential love interest? Especially when she is a fascinating writer who knows all about vampires with her fictional horror best-sellers? Since he's read everything she has ever written, he feels he knows Charlotte intimately already.

Charlotte reveals her humanity right off in the story. We see a strong, yet vulnerable woman who feels she has to start over with her life in a place where she can concentrate on her writing career instead of focusing on her past disappointments. Her character comes across as sharp and intuitive, but yet a bit leery and reserved. We see from the beginning that David has his work cut out for him if he plans to seduce and win over Charlotte for the long-haul.

David and Charlotte have sizzling chemistry from the very beginning. I found myself completely enthralled in the heated love-scenes and was anxious to turn the page to reveal yet another facet of the characters' budding romance. Though the book tended to weigh a tiny-bit on the predictable side, I was impressed with the descriptive details that made the story come alive in vivid technicolor. I did feel that the background story revealing a major villain was somewhat rushed. I would have loved to see our villain's side-story more detailed so the reader could truly learn to wish for and anticipate his future demise. Overall though I did come to realize the focus was to show the main character's life as a vigilante, as well as to prepare his future mate for the life he has to lead.

I really like that readers can see the humbleness and insecurities of both characters in their quirks and their banter, making them seem touchable and real; however I was mostly impressed with the fluidity of the storyline. Mrs. Campbell's smooth story-telling that seemed to flow effortlessly lured this reader into her fictional reality. I even envisioned myself in the story's scenic location more than once. I found myself reading this book non-stop from start to finish without even realizing that my allotted leisure time had passed by.

If you enjoy contemporary vampire erotic-romance stories, then this book is definitely for you. Be prepared to find yourself rooting for the character's “happily ever-after” and falling in love right along with them.

Serengeti Sunrise by Vivi Andrews



Serengeti Sunrise by Vivi Andrews
Serengeti Shifters, Book 4
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (91 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

No strings? Try hopelessly tangled.

Serengeti Shifters, Book 4

Zoe King is itching to get out of Three Rocks. Sure, the pride is more progressive with her brother in charge. She’s just got a bad case of wanderlust…and an even worse case of the hots for Tyler Minor.

The pride’s mechanic sets her senses on fire one second, then shuts down and walks away the next. Before she hits the road for good, this lioness decides it’s time to bring their cat-and-mouse game to a satisfying end.

Twenty years ago, Tyler’s father walked out and left him with a mountain of responsibility. Now that his younger siblings are settled, the last thing he wants or needs is another obligation. Which is exactly what he’ll get if he screws around with the Alpha’s sister.

When Zoe offers—more like demands—a no-strings affair, temptation wins and he finds his hands in places they shouldn’t be, and his thoughts straying to words like his. But Zoe’s got her own ideas about possessive, chest-banging males. And they don’t include white picket fences…or letting Tyler keep her out of the danger zone when an outside threat to the pride’s secrecy becomes all too real.

Vivi Andrews has created a world filled with sensuous shifters and hidden dangers with this, the fourth book in her Serengeti Shifters series. There is passion and desire, and well-crafted characters. This is most definitely Zoe and Ty’s story, one that has been eagerly awaited. I can honestly say it was worth the wait.

Wanderlust has its clutches on Zoe King. As the Alpha’s sister, she needs to get out of Three Rocks, and soon. But before she goes, she has one last itch to scratch, and that itch has a name: Tyler Minor. The pride’s mechanic confuses her, one minute he's looking at her with hot desire, the next he's turning away from her and walking away.

Tyler has spent twenty years taking care of his responsibilities after his father abandoned his family and left Tyler in charge of his siblings. Now they are all grown, and Ty isn’t ready to take on a new responsibility in Zoe. But Zoe is persistent, and finally wears Ty down with her promise of a brief ‘no-strings’ affair that isn’t supposed to lead to thoughts of ‘mine’ or ‘forever’. But when the pride is threatened, can Zoe and Ty work together to save them all? And will Zoe stay with Ty once the danger is past, or give in to her wanderlust?

Zoe King is determined and independent, with a smart and sassy personality. She knows exactly what she wants, and that is Tyler Minor, with no strings to tie her in Three Rocks. She has decided she will have him before she leaves for greener pastures, and sets the wheels in motion. But she also wants to be taken seriously, by her brother and by Ty as well. She knows she is more than just a pretty face, and needs to prove it, to everyone concerned. I liked watching Zoe slowly discover that love doesn’t have to be a collar and leash.

Tyler ‘Ty’ Minor has been responsible most of his life. He is strong and sexy, but he wants a bit of freedom, after being responsible for his siblings since his father left them. He finally sees light at the end of the tunnel, and is determined to avoid any entanglements, especially one named Zoe. I enjoyed watching Ty avoid temptation, and how hot it got when he finally gives in.

This has something for everyone: shifters, screaming hot sex, danger and suspense, and one very well deserved happy ever after for two people who didn’t know they wanted one. I highly recommend this book, but you might want to read the rest of the series first.

Strangers in the Night by Brynn Paulin



Strangers in the Night by Brynn Paulin
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (50 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Anal Play, Spanking, voyeurism
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Mistletoe

The bar, Sin’s Door, has a reputation and McKenzie Stewart knows all about it.

She’s been warned it’s nothing but a meat market, but meeting someone is exactly what she has in mind when she goes there one hot, September night.

Little does she realise that she’ll meet not one but two men and experience pleasure that keeps her coming back for more.

Many of us have dreamed of taking that one chance and stepping outside of our comfort zone to find a true love. McKenzie does just that and she finds not one but two soul mates. She meets Gareth and Logan when she finds herself at the bar called Sin’s Door. When the men give her the night of her life she realizes she wants more and it seems the men do as well. The three must fight for their love, but will it be enough?

McKenzie is a great character. She loves with her whole heart and wears it on her sleeve. Each moment she spends with Gareth and Logan only makes her care for them more. They in turn are wonderful men. Ready for more than a fling, they show her how much she means to them in every gesture and look. The building of their relationship was a wonderful read. I really enjoyed watching McKenzie find her true self in and out of the bedroom. The love and trust that develops between the three is a wonderful thing that stands true no matter who tries to break them apart and seeing McKenzie fight for her right to love whomever she wants to made me proud to be a woman.

Strangers in the Night is a wonderful story that shows us all that love can conquer just about everything if it is strong enough. With characters full of emotions and depth this is a book that should not be missed.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Amuse Bouche by Kelly Maher



Amuse Bouche by Kelly Maher
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (47 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Carnation

Two chefs who strike sparks off each other. A secluded retreat. A competition they must work together in order to win. It’s a recipe for hot times in the kitchen.

Liana Richardson had her eye on Tommy Howard back in culinary school, but since she was in a committed relationship, she never made a move. Tommy had his eye on her too, and now he’s seized his chance to show her the kitchen isn’t the only place where she sizzles.

If you don't fall in love with this hunky chef, then the kitchen must be stone cold! He's everything a hot-blooded woman could want. So, what is this ultra strong and independent woman waiting for? Could that take-charge exterior be hiding cold feet?

Tommy, television chef and hot bodied bachelor, is ready for the romance and commitment of his life. He has waited years for the chance to make that all-important claim on his seemingly uninterested kitchen assistant, Liana. Setting the stage for his success, the sexy cook has arranged for a weekend away in a forest hideaway to work on the ultimate menu to win the chef's competition they are there to work on. But no matter how romantic the setting -- candles, silk comforter, excellent wine, this cool confident lady is all business.

Liana is a woman of strength and confidence who, after spending years single and totally alone, is not thinking about a serious relationship. She starts off cool, with a mild streak of domination, but heats up to 'can't-touch-that', burnin' hot after some steamy kissing and petting from a very convincing Tommy. The sex scenes in this story are amazing in scorching description. Tommy is a sensitive and creative lover with the intelligence and affection that wins the hesitant heroine's heart. Oh, yeah....and he's so flaming hot, who could fail to fall into bed, or love with him?

I really enjoyed the pace and the upbeat, fresh work of this writer. Several times I found myself smiling and chuckling at the details and dialog. I recommend this burnin' hot, but still sweet, and lively story and plan to read more of this author myself.

Abducting Alice by Angela Castle



Abducting Alice by Angela Castle
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (111 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Buttercup

For someone who thinks rocks are more interesting than men, geologist Alice is proven how very wrong she is.

When a probe crashes to Earth near a dig site, Alice Clarkson thinks she has hit the jackpot of her gem collecting career finding a real life meteor to add to her collection. But this is no mere meteor. It’s an alien probe designed to capture life; specifically female life.

Abducted and placed on sale in an alien slave market. Alice soon discovers the pleasures of being a captive in the arms of the sexiest alien man she’s ever laid eyes on.

Kerr, high commander of Kelon warriors raids a slaver station only to find a small human treasure he want to keep as his own.

When you look up at the stars at night, do you ever wonder what might be looking back at you? Alice didn't; all she wanted was someone to share the view with. But as they say be careful what you wish for, you might just get everything you never knew you wanted. While a woman getting abducted by aliens for breeding purposes and falling in love with her rescuer is not an unfamiliar storyline, Ms. Castle deftly avoids most of the pitfalls that accompany using such a well known plot, leaving the reader with a book that is familiar but not cliched, and with enough twists to keep if from being predictable.

Alice is not your typical heroine, she is undoubtedly smart and independent but she almost seems a bit aloof, rather lacking in passion preferring her rocks to people. Nothing is directly said but the impression is given that she has been hurt in the past and to compensate she throws herself into her work rather than deal with people and their possible rejection of her. Of course it takes being abducted by aliens, put up for auction as a sexual slave, being simultaneously rescued and abducted by another, much better looking, alien for her to realize that there are worse things in life than rejection. And when she meets Kerr it becomes all to obvious that Alice isn't lacking in passion she simply needed to meet someone who was worth being passionate about. While my more cynical nature screamed Stockholm Syndrome when Alice professed love for Kerr after such a short time, there is no doubting the depth of Kerr's passion or feelings for Alice and later her feelings for Kerr.

When Alice first meets Kerr she mistakes his eyes for pure black, only finding out later that they have glints of light in them resembling a starry night. I love this detail probably as much as Alice seems to. It reminds me of the quote from Nietzsche "When you stare into the abyss the abyss stares back at you." Kerr is a warrior and a pilot he has spent many nights out among the stars staring into the abyss of space and having it stare back at him. The romantic part of my brain would like to think that long ago there was a warrior not unlike Kerr, the first of the Kelon race, who would also stare into the abyss of space giving a little of himself and so space gave a little of itself to the Kelon people.

The Methrill, the race of aliens who abducted Alice, are really an interesting study. The fact that they abducted Alice and were planning on selling her to the highest bidder immediately paints them as the villains, but the more I thought about it the less convinced I became that they were. The Methrill, although far from good, are more pragmatic than villainous. They are traders by nature, and as such are always on the lookout for what is needed, and currently what is needed is females with breeding capabilities. The fact that Earth is a thus-far untapped source for breedable females, will make them a lot of money and that is what they care about. When their treatment of and behavior towards Alice is examined it is easy to see that she is only a commodity to them. They are not nice to her but they are also not abusive. They answer just enough of her questions to keep her relatively calm, and although they did perform a rather invasive bodily examination they did this while she was unconscious, and ensured that she woke without pain. From the Methrill's perspective having an exotic creature like Alice will bring in a small fortune, but it is still preferable to have one that is subdued rather than a hysterical one.

The only real problem with this story is the inclusion of an often used device that every female is familiar with and, if they are anything like me, really dislike: the moment when the heroine runs off into an obvious trap without telling anyone where she is going, under the pretence of saving the man she loves. I am sad to say that there is such a moment in this book, but like so many other moments in this story there is a delightful twist. Ms. Castle takes what could be a horribly cliched moment and uses it to not only let Alice learn the truth, but to let her stand on her own and fight for herself, for what she wants, for the life she has found.

Abducting Alice is a fun read full of unusual characters, and the unlikeliest of events, like a wife getting along with her mother-in-law. Ms. Castle has provided a great remedy to a rainy afternoon.

Male Order by Amy Ruttan



Male Order by Amy Ruttan
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (42 pages)
Other: M/F, Interracial
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Carnation

Angela West is a romance author whose muse has flown the coop since her ex-husband left her for a younger woman. She forgot about sex and lust, until a new man started delivering her mail.

Bastien, a mocha-skinned god with a Cajun accent, is the new mail carrier, and his smoldering looks promise more than politeness--much, much more.

Deciding to throw caution to the wind and not live vicariously through her characters, Angela seduces Bastien, but instead of a one-night fling she finds something more in his arms. Yet, Angela has been burned before and doesn’t know if she can let her heart be hurt again.

Recently divorced and burning hot, Angela has been fantasizing about the new mailman for months. Finally she has staged a seduction that would capture the attention of any man's mind and set his body on fire. How does gorgeous, young Bastian feel about following the 'full moon' of Angela's short-skirted, bare skin up the staircase to collect the money for her COD package? Let's just say this -- Bastian is no fool.

This exciting story has adventure, action and the thrill of intense, unexpected romance. Both Angela and Bastien are ready for the next step and it involves some wild, ravenous passion along with adventurous fun: a Harley Davidson, a frolick in the woods and lots of dripping hot sex...

After a blissful day and night that were not part of Angela's seduction plan, the two find more in common than she expected. She had only wanted a short, exciting interlude to fulfill her unrelenting fantasy about the hot bodied mail carrier. Instead she found her feelings involved. Will those unexpected feelings, and Bastian's, send Angela running?

The author is gifted in setting her scene and the details, especially the hottest ones, are delivered perfectly. This applied delightfully to the description of the sexy, cut young man and all his attributes! There were some unfortunate editing flaws, but I still found myself enjoying the romp and romance. The characterization was very well done and you won't be able to keep from cheering this couple on!

Hot, Hard and Howling by Mari Freeman



Hot, Hard and Howling by Mari Freeman
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (107 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Nell Ambercroft hasn’t done anything wrong. Lately. So why is someone trying to kill her? When a horde of moths lead her to a puzzle box in her basement, the Demon Hafling knows she’s found a clue. The box has some serious mojo working, powerful enough to kill for…and Nell’s at the top of the hit list.

Enter Werewolf Trent Nicholas. As Prime for the area, it’s Trent’s job to protect Nell and investigate the crime. Nell knows he’d rather investigate her body, which is fine by her; she’s loved the man for years. While the sex is sizzling, Trent continues to go cold every time he leaves the warmth of her body.

Trent’s always wanted the spunky half-Demon, but the men in his family have a nasty habit of murdering their mates. He refuses to give in to his wolf’s need to claim Nell. If he doesn’t, she might not have to worry about a killer on the loose. She could die by Trent’s hand first…

Trent has been fighting his attraction to Nell for years but now she not only needs his help but also his protection. Will Trent put aside his fears and fight to keep Nell safe or will he run from his feelings as he has done in the past?

Hot, Hard and Howling is a great read with many characters that endear themselves to the reader. I especially liked Nell. She is half demon and one feisty woman. Nell fights for what she wants and those she loves. When she sees her chance to fight for Trent she takes it head on never looking back. Trent may be hiding his feelings for Nell with good reason but he can no longer help himself. He comes off as big and mean when it comes to Nell and her family but they all know he has a soft spot when it comes to Nell. I loved the intense emotions that these two had for each other. Watching their relationship build was a great read. No matter what Nell never gives up on her love for Trent and the two must count on that to carry them through to the end.

The author does a good job of showing their emotions and the paranormal side of the characters. I really enjoyed the way Nell’s demon side manifests itself as a dragon. The imagery of it was very intriguing and makes for a new and interesting view of the paranormal entities and their creatures. Right from the start of the book we see the charm of these characters. Each one is fascinating in their own way and I hope that they each get their stories told. A good plot and delightful characters makes this book an engaging story that should not be missed.

Endless Lust by Lexxie Couper



Endless Lust by Lexxie Couper
Seven Deadly Daemons, Book Two
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (115 Pages)
Other: M/F, Anal Sex/Play
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Cate Sinclair is ruled by lust. Day and night, awake and dreaming, an unseen force plies her with pleasure to the point of pain. Each orgasm wrenched from her exhausted body stealing her energy, her very essence, until insanity seems a sweet relief.

When Eamon enters her life, Cate’s uncertain if the gorgeous, enigmatic man is her salvation…or the cause of her worst nightmares.

Reader Advisory: Our heroine endures endless amounts of forced seduction. But how do you fight advances from an enemy you can’t see?

Lexxie Couper has written a story of chilling and erotic stalking gone over the top. When does pleasure slip over the line to become pain, desire become the one thing you dread above all other things? These are questions Cate Sinclair asks over and over.

Cate is looking forward to a promotion at work, but she has been suffering through highly erotic dreams, dreams that are becoming more real every day. When she begins to feel phantom hands and unseen caresses that bring her lust to new and painful levels, she believes she is losing her mind. When she begins having these experiences during her waking moments, she is more than sure she is going insane.

Into her life comes Eamon Fallen-Black, and she is devastated when he is given the position she so dearly wanted. But there is more going on than Cate can imagine. Her former boss is stalking her, but not in the ‘normal’ way. Xander has made a pact with the Daemon of Lust, Asmodeus, and is slowly taking over Cate's spirit. If something isn’t done soon, Cate will become his sex slave, unable to break free. Is Eamon the one who can save her, or is he just another part of her worst nightmare? Together, can Cate and Eamon stop the evil that Asmodeus and Xander are wreaking on Cate and set her free?

This is a very frightening story of obsession, and how far one man goes to get what he wants. This story grabbed me by the throat from the beginning, and I simply could not put it down. I wasn’t sure at first who was behind the torment of Cate, and even thought for a few pages that it was Eamon, but the truth was stranger that I expected. The characters in this are exquisitely crafted, and the glimpses into both Cate’s and Xander’s minds is chilling to read.

Cate is talented, and strong, but she has begun to doubt her sanity. She is determined to get past this set of circumstances, but is slowly losing the ability to distinguish reality and fantasy. She wants to think there is a logical reason for what is happening, but logic really doesn’t enter into it. This is a dramatic look into a mind that believes it is crumbling, and trying not to.

Eamon is tall, strong and sexy, and he is also much more than he appears to be. He is there to save Cate, to keep her from being the next victim of Asmodeus. But he also realizes that Cate is his Twin Heart; that one person whose soul is perfectly matched to his, the other half of him. Before he can save Cate, however, he has to convince her that what is happening is due to the Daemon of Lust and the pact he has made with Xander.

This is definitely not for the faint of heart. Ms. Couper has created a world filled with passion and desire, with a fine line between pleasure and obsession. All of the sex with Xander is less than consensual, and could be considered psychological rape but it is never physical. When Cate and Eamon get together, the heat goes off the charts. There are two big twists here, and a wonderful happy ever after for Cate and Eamon.

Mate of the Wolf by Mandy Rosko



Mate of the Wolf by Mandy Rosko
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (79 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Verbena

Shelley just wanted to get out of the city and relax by a campfire. She’s pretty sure that has nothing to do with getting kidnapped by a werewolf, who happens to be getting stalked by a vampire princess who's out to skin him for his rare silver pelt. And they say show business is tough.

Michael Hunter has found his Mate after years of solitude and months of self-induced exile. He's the alpha of his pack, and his duty is their protection. With a vampire hunting him, things have gotten tricky, and it’s not so safe for those he's charged with caring for. But now another person needs him, whether she knows it or not. Shelley is his mate, and he wants to keep her hidden with him. But when the vampire in question finds his hiding place, Michael is forced to make some hard choices.

Is it rape, forced seduction, or something else all together?

That’s what Shelly keeps asking herself when she becomes the unwilling captive of a strangely alluring, albeit frightening, man. While her initial reaction is terror—as it would be for most women—when he doesn’t behave the way a typical kidnapper/rapist/serial killer would, she begins to wonder what it is he wants with her. She’d heard of Stockholm Syndrome—when a hostage develops feelings for their captor—but this is getting ridiculous! The next couple of days of her life are about to take a wild turn, one that may either scar her forever, or give her what she’s always yearned for.

Michael is obviously plagued by some conflicting emotions. Since we never see his point-of-view, we can only gather information about him through Shelly’s perspective. While he can’t deny the part of him that wants to keep her forever, his life is wrought with some dangers that may threaten her as well. Aside from that, keeping her proves difficult. Like any other victim, she’s not going to just wait around for him to decide what to do with her. But when some of his darker secrets come out, her response will shock them both.

Mate of the Wolf is an enjoyable short story. The developing relationship between Shelly and Michael will keep you intrigued. The author’s humor in some scenes had me laughing out loud. Your emotions regarding Shelly’s predicament will likely run the gamut from anger to understanding. While the author spends a good amount of time on Shelly’s character, Michael is left a little bland. By the end, you’ll understand his motives, but it would have been nice to get to know him a bit better.

Grammar, punctuation, and editing were clean, and since this was all in Shelly’s point-of-view, there were no violations there. The sex is minimal, not really fitting a typical erotica, but it serves its purpose in the story. With so much time spent on the interaction between Shelly and Michael during her captivity, it left little time to adequately play out the major dilemma surrounding Michael’s presence in the plot to begin with. The author does leave it open for a possible sequel. Perhaps we’ll see more of these two and the trials they’ll likely encounter ahead.

Forget the bodice rippers of the past, this story provides a whole new twist on what might happen between a kidnapper and his victim. Before reaching the end, you’re bound to wonder just who’s seducing who and you might develop a little Stockholm Syndrome yourself.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Secrets of a Reckless Princess by Annabel Wolfe



Secrets of a Reckless Princess by Annabel Wolfe
The Starlight Chronicles 4
Publisher: Siren Publishing, Inc.
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure
Length: Short Story (125 pages)
Other: m/f, multiple partners
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Iris

A future queen and the two males who desire her...

Luckily, Princess Jayla of Anasta doesn't have to choose. Damon Le Clerc is a political rebel who is exasperating, yet devastatingly attractive. Marc Kartel is a handsome ambassador with a diplomatic agenda that includes marriage.

Having two virile lovers who are so different is interesting, but as disaster for her planet looms, she finds that that is only to her advantage. Perhaps between the three of them they can save Anasta from a danger that is more elusive and deadly than it seems.

When she is taken hostage and the entire situation becomes explosive in a literal sense, both the passionate genius with a volatile personality and the cool negotiator are willing to risk their lives to save her...

Lucky Jayla. Re-engineered humans provided abundant numbers of highly sexed males, and a society that encourages women to have multiple partners. This explanation at the beginning of the book eased me into this futuristic society, and allowed me to enjoy the story without having read any of the other books in this series. It also provided ample opportunity for some hot sex between Jayla and her consorts, Damon and Marc.

If their couplings aren’t enough for you, we also are invited into the bedrooms of other secondary characters and enjoy their steamy interludes, too! Political intrigue assassination attempts, kidnapping, and lots of twists and turns keep you interested between the bedroom scenes.

The coupling is tender and explicit. With the exception of the marriage coupling, any sex involving Jayla, Marc or Damon involves all three although there always seems to be one of the males watching while the other male is engaging in intercourse.

The author seems fond of descriptive words which can be good and bad. While it helps to really set a scene, it can also be intrusive, as when the author consistently describes ladies underwear as “filmy undergarments” while disrobing for sex.

I enjoyed the political intrigue that drove the plot between sex scenes. I also very much enjoyed the fact that our heroine was not just a sexual plaything, but a strong, capable woman.

This book is an excellent break from reality, and is an easy to believe sci-fi reality. Do yourself a favor, and get this book today.

Impassioned Waters by Crymsyn Hart



Impassioned Waters by Crymsyn Hart
Storm Riders 3
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (124 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, menage, Fetish
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Verbena

Being a Storm Rider is no easy task. Especially when it comes to ridding hurricanes. Cecilia and Seth are partners in work, but not in love. Their shared feelings have been buried for a long time. When an angel plummets from Heaven, they must face their darkest fears.

Jacob might be an angel, but he’s not who he appears to be. Once he meets Cecilia, he wants nothing more than to love her. However, he has to confront his brethren to avert an oncoming war his call. When things go horribly wrong, he turns to Seth to help him save the woman they both love.

God has taken a hiatus from heaven and his angels, charged with protecting humanity, have decided to exterminate instead. Who will stand before the mass of powerful beings and stop the impending apocalypse? What about one of their own?

Jacob, whose real identity I won’t share as it will spoil the storyline, is fed up with the constant bickering between his brothers and sisters in heaven. The angels have had enough of mankind’s abuse and destruction of the Earth and many think it’s time to eliminate them. But Jacob disagrees. Despite his Father’s absence, he knows God would never abide such a plan. Perhaps if he can elicit the Storm Riders’ help, he can stop the impending war. What he doesn’t anticipate is the feelings he develops for the only female Rider of the bunch, Cecelia. Angels don’t have souls. They don’t feel love. At least, not on a mortal level. And yet, this tiny woman manages to touch a cord in him so deep he feels it in every fiber of his angelic being.

Seth has been a Rider, among other things, for centuries. His latest partner, Cecelia, was everything he could ever ask for as a co-worker, and more. Problem is, every time he tries to tell her how he feels, they end up in an argument. Things have been stressed between them for quite some time, ever since they tried to be intimate. He’s not sure what happened or how to fix things, but his heart tells him he must. When Jacob arrives and starts moving in on his girl, Seth knows he has to do something. Jacob is not what he appears. Angels are the only thing that can kill a Rider. He fears this man/angel’s presence will only spell trouble for the woman he loves. But can he convince her to listen to reason without biting his head off?

Cecelia is confused about her feelings for Seth. Deep down, she knows she loves him, but doubts he shares her sentiment. After their failed attempt at intimacy, things just haven’t been the same. They fight terribly and can hardly be around each other without having a yelling match. When she rescues Jacob from the ocean, she quickly develops an attachment to him, even before she knows what and who he really is. Faced with one man she loves but can’t get along with, and another she craves because he gives her a sense of comfort, she doesn’t know how to choose. Is it possible to have both?

Impassioned Waters has an interesting storyline. The characters are intriguing and easy to identify with. I found myself frustrated with Seth and Cecelia and wanted to reach in the book and give them both a little shake. They’re both so stubborn.

Jacob adds a different twist to things. At first, I wasn’t sure if I liked his presence or not, but as things progressed, I understood his role. There were quite a few editing mistakes that were distracting -- mostly missing words or words that just didn’t make sense in the sentence (i.e. way when it should have been away). Also, there was one place where the editing strike-throughs hadn’t been removed. And, while this is a personal pet peeve of mine and in no way detracts from the story, I have to mention that the cover on the book does not match the description of the female character. The characters, particularly Seth, didn’t follow his role the way I would have expected at the end, especially since it was such a stark contrast to how he’d been the entire story. But, I understand his reasoning for the change, in relation to his feelings for Cecelia. Overall, it proved to be a different story that had enough appeal to be worth reading.

If angels who aren’t so angelic strike your fancy, if a fiery woman who can hold her own in a job predominately ruled by men makes you say, “heck yeah!”, and a if man who is willing to keep trying to win his girl despite the competition melts your heart, then grab a copy of Impassioned Waters, book three in Ms. Hart’s Storm Rider series, you’re sure to be intrigued by her characters.

The Perfect Balance by Trina Lane



The Perfect Balance by Trina Lane
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publication
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (135 Pgs)
Other: m/m, m/m/f, m/f/m, anal sex, ménage, voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Myrtle

One man’s arms sends a young woman plummeting into hell, but can she learn to trust the hands held out willing to lift her into heaven?

At thirty-four Miranda Harper finds herself trapped in a loveless, emotionally abusive marriage. When her husband finally steps too far over the line, she must find the strength within to begin her life anew. After moving herself halfway across the country she finds that friendship and a second chance at love are within her grasp. However, she has to take lessons in how to trust again.

Doctors Chase Pruitte and Victor Burns, who have been intermittent lovers since their days in medical school, have their toughest case ahead of them in teaching Miranda what it means to truly be loved. The two bisexual men have been unwilling to fully commit their lives to each other due to their continued attraction and desire for women, and not always the same one. However, from the moment Miranda enters their lives they know that the skittish beauty if perfect for them, and they set out to win her heart together.

Can the three of them strike a perfect balance?

Verbal abuse can devastate a person as thoroughly as physical abuse. The pain of living in a verbal abusive marriage can destroy a person and make them gun shy. In this highly emotional tale, Miranda Harper grabbed my heart from the start and made me ache for her. It was hard not to cry as I read about her abuse and shattered dreams when she realized that she had married a monster. When she finally finds the strength to fight back, divorce her husband and begin a new life in a new city, my first thought was "you go girl".

When Miranda starts her new job she is run over in the hall by “a living breathing god of masculinity with shaggy dark blond hair and a pair of sky blue eyes.” Dr. Chase Pruitte has a winning smile and charming personality, which gives you not only a visual picture of the good doctor but will make your heart beat faster as you watch the story come to life. Add in his long time lover Dr. Victor Burns along with some hot -- and I mean hot -- kissing scenes and you won’t be able to put the book down.

There is one sentence that stood out and had me chuckling: “If you need to hit someone…aim for Vic, because I’m a big pussy,” which reminded me of a scene in the movie Steel Magnolias. The Perfect Balance is written with the British style of spelling that is unique and a little different then what I am use to reading. However, the story line was realistic and well thought out so it was easy to connect with the characters and fall in love with all of them. The sex scenes between the three are chocolate melting hot and will steam up the windows with the graphic details.

The Perfect Balance is book five in the Perfect Love Series, which means I’m on the hunt for the other four to see what they are about. Ms. Lane is a new author in my library, but you can bet I will be reading more of her work in the future. Don’t hold back on getting this book if you are looking for a hot menage to read because this one will definitely curl your toes.

Of Wolf’s Blood by Charisma Knight



Of Wolf’s Blood by Charisma Knight
Publisher: Amira Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Interracial
Length: Short Story (69 pgs)
Other: M/F/M, menage, Anal Play
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Verbena

In an effort to escape her sister's sadistic lust for power and her clan's dark family curse, Simone retreats into the world of the vampire for survival purposes. While dwelling within the coven, she meets her vampire mates Sax and Lucius. Eventually, coven law requires them to turn her vampire. There's just one little problem. Her mates are unaware of Simone's true nature. How will Simone survive the vampires discovering her identity--especially when others of her kind have been enemies of Steeleheart Coven for centuries? Furthermore, can she escape her sister's clutches and avoid embracing the dark destiny of her clan?

A new take on sleeping with the enemy, one with a paranormal twist…

Simone is desperate to escape her murdering sister, Selena. She knew her sister had embraced her inner evil, but she had no idea how deep her betrayal went. Most wolf shifters were harmless. But once they took allegiance with the dark side and murdered one of their own kind, they became a Hrothega, a vicious killing machine hell bent on power and control over everything around them. Knowing the only way to escape either being killed by her twin or embracing the same evil, Simone elicits the help of a dear friend. It seems as though she jumps from the pan into the fire when her plan takes an unexpected turn. She’ll have to reach deep within to face the trials ahead.

Lucian and Sax have been friends for many years. They share just about everything, including their mate. Unknowing of the dark secrets she’s kept hidden from them, they don’t understand why Simone continues to defy their coven leader’s wish that she be turned into a vampire like them. When they find out what she’s been hiding, both men have to decide if love can overcome centuries of hatred and misunderstanding between their species. For Lucian, it also means choosing between a mate and his own flesh and blood. He’ll need some honest answers from his brother before he can decide. Perhaps it’s time for a change in the way things are done. But is he up for the task?

Of Wolf’s Blood offers an interesting twist to the typical werewolf/vampire tales. While there have been many versions of such forbidden love, this one is new and refreshing. The dilemma for Simone is intriguing, and left me wondering if the author had made up the term Hrothega, or if she had just introduced me to another paranormal creature described in folklore. While the story certainly posed an appealing plot, it lacked enough character development to make it memorable. The content felt rushed. Grammar usage and punctuation were handled well enough, and there were only a few editing errors and point-of-view violations that caught my eye. Probably the most limiting aspect to this tale is its length. Had some pertinent scenes been played out more, and perhaps some additional time spent on Lucian and Sax, it would have felt more complete at the end.

Still, fr a refreshingingly new twist to the forbidden love between werewolves and vampires, grab a copy of Charisma Knight’s Of Wolf’s Blood. It’s a fast paced story with enough hot sex and thrilling danger to keep you on edge of your seat, curious to see what happens next.

Dragos 3: Blazed by Amber Kallyn



Dragos 3: Blazed by Amber Kallyn
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (91 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

When someone comes after the rock band Brianna Jones works with, she must not only embrace the fire nymph within herself, but also the growing desire she feels for bounty hunter and dragon shifter Tyler Dragos. Together, they will try keeping not only the band members, but Bree safe from the dark mage hounding the Dragos Clan.

Dragos: Blazed is Amber Kallyn’s third story in the Dragos saga. Each story tells a little more about this fantastic world, filled with all manner of supernatural beings. I was originally drawn to this series because of the dragons, but I quickly fell in love with the whole world Ms. Kallyn created, and its inhabitants. The characters each have a unique personality and the stories are well crafted and action filled.

Pyrotechnics is Brianna Jones’ specialty, and she has an inside track on the art. A fire nymph, she does the setups for The Grave Diggers, a popular rock band on tour. When things go wrong at the first of three shows in Phoenix, Bree knows she did everything right, and that someone sabotaged her work. She even has the approval of the inspector, Ty Dragos, vouching for her expertise. But something is going on Bree doesn’t understand, and Ty needs to keep his eyes open for trouble. The black mage that has been capturing magical beings and stealing their power has targeted someone in the band. What neither Ty nor Bree realize is that he is after Bree. They also don’t know what to do about the fire growing between them, because neither is looking for a relationship. Can these two accept what is happening between them? Will the black mage be stopped, or will he once again start stealing power from innocents?

Brianna ‘Bree’ Jones is determined to remain self-reliant, wanting no one or nothing to tie her in one place. She is a fire nymph, and has realized that love isn’t for her, after some disastrous early relationships. She doesn’t believe any male can survive her fire, and has accepted her solitary state. She is strong and loyal, and fights to protect her friends. I enjoyed watching her discover love for the first time in her life, and her attempts to deny how she felt were delightful.

Tyler ‘Ty’ Dragos is strong and independent. He has always been the ‘love them and leave them’ type, at least until now. But the heat between him and Bree has his mind in a whirl. He is afraid he will lose her to the black mage, once they determine she is the target. He is in unfamiliar territory, wanting to protect this woman who already has a hold on his heart. I loved watching him come to terms with his emotions for the first time.

The blazing heat between these two fiery beings, dragon and nymph, is all consuming to them. They fight the attraction as long as they can, but very soon, they give in to the burning desire surging between them. When the black mage makes his move, it will take everything in them both to stop him from stealing Bree’s power. There are two very powerful scenes in this story, and they serve to bring Bree and Ty closer than ever. Do they get a happy ever after? Read Dragos: Blazed to find out.