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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Spaceport: Reckoning

Spaceport: Reckoning
by Aubrey Ross

Vihlok Torral is a dashing, though somewhat unscrupulous, “contractor” forced into exile on Spaceport Adana. He offers a variety of less than legal services for outlandish fees. When an anonymous client asks him to kidnap a young woman during her wedding and sully her reputation so badly the groom will no longer want her, he’s intrigued.

A past indiscretion leaves Rana Jabulayni little choice but to accept an unwanted marriage. Yet one night alone with her fiancé convinces Rana overthrowing her mother is better than being bartered as part of a trade agreement. Needing time to stage a political coup, Rana arranges her own kidnapping.

Vihlok has dreamed of repaying the corrupt House of Jabulayni for their utter indifference to his people ever since the war ended. A quirk of fate has left his enemy at his mercy and the day of reckoning is long overdue. Knowing the uninhibited people of Adana will shock and scandalize the sheltered princess, Vihlok agrees to kidnap/rescue her. But Princess Rana is not nearly as sheltered as Vihlok presumes and erotic adventures await them both down the corridors of Spaceport Adana.

Spaceport: Reckoning is my first venture into the world of Spaceport Adana. It's a fascinating world these authors have developed. I sense there are a lot of avenues to explore and this particular story wasn't what I expected. The beginning is a bit gritty and controversial and it may even make some readers uncomfortable.

Rana's mother is not a nice person, and she forces Rana to submit to a political marriage with a ruler who is really whacked. The thing I want to emphasize is Rana's strength and ability to rise beyond the proving ground of Vega's little interlude. She doesn't let Vega break her. He just made her decision that much easier to make.

Umar is a character who is a typical foil, yet I found him to have merit. I think he's as much a victim of circumstance as Rana. Initially, I bet you'll be perplexed as to why I felt he has redeeming qualities. Rana doesn't think so. You won't think so, but I can't help it--I think he does.

Vihlok is our hero and is characterized quite well. I enjoyed the descriptives that had me appreciating the man, the brigand and the master that he is. His story is a storyteller's classic favorite and it remains so. I think Vihlok is channeling Han Solo with a serious inner version of Lonestar from Spaceballs and a dash of James Bond's sex appeal. Personally, I find it quite a yummy combination.

The absolute best scene for me is between Vihlok and Rana when he, through his words and actions, healed the hurt that Vega inflicted upon her. Looked at on the whole, starting with Vega and ending with Vihlok, the incident and its ramifications was cleverly written. I give credit to the author for writing about this conflict. In my opinion, Aubrey Ross illustrated very clearly the differences between respectful and joyous erotic romance and blatant and demeaning porn. Perhaps it wasn't her intention, but through Rana, she showed us the powerful impact of eroticism in a relationship filled with respect and trust, which often times leads to love. Anything less cannot last, cannot bring joy and does not endear a reader to the characters. I am impressed.

By the time Rana and Vihlok got their HEA, I was left with the feeling these two lovers are going to go at it like bunnies for years to come. The ending delightfully left me with the question; will there be an Emperor of Devaunt?

Spaceport: Reckoning reads like some of the best in space adventures that you see on T.V. Except television can't give us the heat you're sure to feel between Rana and Vihlok. Some things are best enjoyed between the pages in a book and between the sheets of our beds.


Reviewed by Xeranth

Friday, January 11, 2008

Review: Yeti! Were?

Yeti! Were?
By Celia Kyle

On the night of the midnight moon, Sela finds herself locked in an industrial freezer, put there by none other than her alpha’s half-crazed brother. Content to spend her weekend as a wolf for her duration at the frozen prison, she doesn’t expect the whack job to thrust someone else in there with her. Now, faced with the choice of shifting and tearing into the yummy man’s hide or simply fucking through the lust frenzy that accompanies the midnight moon, Sela doesn’t know what to do. Decisions, decisions…

Yosi should have kept driving right through the town. He definitely shouldn’t have stopped for dinner at The Den. When the weaselly wolf, Ron, approached him, he told the man exactly what he thought of him. Which landed him in a nice stay at the local meat plant and a cozy room in their freezer. Not a good place for a yeti to be. Drastic changes in temperature from hot to cold make Yosi feral, and horny…

Just the title gets me to laugh. Heck, this whole short story ended up being a fun read for me.

Sela is a werewolf who is not totally accepted by her pack. She's considered larger than a wolf is expected to be and has found her acceptance contingent on the say-so of her Alpha. It's not a very secure or comforting thought. Add to that the insult paid upon her by Ron, the Alpha's brother--what a weirdo. Where can she turn for help? Seems no one wants, or is willing, to help her.

Enter Yosi, the yeti. Oh, yum. Poor guy. He's a rarity so no one realizes just who or what they've ticked off. Ron insults him, too, and since Yosi also rebuffs Ron, he ends up the same place as Sela.

She doesn't know what he is and he doesn't know what she is. Let the fun begin. If you read the blurb, you know this all starts in a freezer. Let me assure you that the freezer is the only cold thing in this story. When Sela answers the call of her wolf and Yosi succumbs to the primal urges of his inner-Yeti, the fur and hormones fly. Oh my!

I'll admit that the realization of love between Yosi and Sela may be quick for some readers but for me, it was the perfect balance. I needed a quick, fun read packed with heat, passion and connection and Yeti! Were? delivered it. It filled my need for a paranormal sensual adventure and the best thing was the sense of lighthearted humor even while they were in the throes of passion. Who knew one word answers could be so sexy? You could say this story hit all the right buttons of my personal preference; paranormal love, werewolves,and fast and furious primal matings. The only thing I felt was missing was some good biting action. I found the ending to be quirky but the sense of an HEA is intact. Also, Yosi is a smarty-pants. Good thing Sela is more than enough of a match for him. In all the best ways.

If you are looking for a short story that will leave you smiling, with a unique paranormal being in a starring role, then Yeti! Were? is the story to read.

Reviewed by Xeranth

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Review: Bound in Lust

Bound in Lust
By Dawn Montgomery

First of three in the Bound series.

A bite by a demon leaves Elena cursed. When the dark mark of the succubae entwines with her soul, she becomes the enemy, one who drains the élan vital or life force of her victims. Now she is the hunted. And the only place she can find refuge is with a demon. Drake Oblivion, dark demon of lust. For a price, all things are possible, but will a cure be worth the cost of her soul… or heart?

For Drake, a millennium of lust is the icing on the cake of demonic life. When the sexy bartender asks for his help, he can't help but agree. But things aren't always what they seem. An enemy has created a double-edged sword in the luscious curvy body of the passionate woman. He'll have to successfully bind her soul to his or die. For once the succubae has you, you are bound in lust to her unto death.

Bound In Lust may be short, but it packs a powerful burst of sensual heat, interesting world building and two characters that are explosive together.

Elena is a pawn in a game she has no knowledge of. She has talents and needs that she's only beginning to know.

Drake is a lust demon who knows the game but not all the players. He is the only one who can save Elena but it means risking himself for the first time, and for a human female no less.

Dawn's characterization is a perfect balance for such a short piece. I was able to appreciate Elena's vulnerability yet I got glimpses of her strengths that the enemy has no knowledge of and Drake is all too willing to use.

Drake is a 'man' who is so long-lived, he should have been filled with ennui, but finds himself feeling things he doesn't dare name. I guess I like men of mystery. The tease of a male who is sexy and strong, who knows something and who leaves you unsure if they are good, bad or in that gray area where a man has to be bad to be good.

What Drake does in order to save Elena should make you hot and bothered as well as eager to read more because it certainly did that to me.

You might decide that Elena's amorphous acceptance of her new status in life might have been too easily won, but I don't feel that way. I think Elena is adaptable and most importantly, in love with Drake; she just hasn't faced her heart yet in this installment.

To say the ending took me by surprise is an understatement. What was the surprise?
It ended.

Bound in Lust is written well enough that it has me hooked solid for the next installment. What in the world is going to happen in the second book,Bound in Fury? How hot is the fire going to burn between Elena and Drake? And is the betrayer who I think it is and once Drake finds out, how is it going to affect him? Will it cripple him? Will Elena have to save Drake?

This is so exciting! Dawn has written a wonderful tale in an unusual world where demons are not cliché,the characters have substance and the erotic heat makes you crave to read more.

And I do want more.


Reviewed by Xeranth

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Review: Hot Rio Nights

By Stella and Audra Price

When Starla Gibson learns of the bet that the sexy stranger across from her is putting forth, to be his darling little slave for the night, she thinks it's a joke. Strong and dominant Gibson, has been hurt too much to play anyone's subordinate and tells him that she can't possibly sink to sub level. When he presents her with the answer to both their problems, a small bottle of clear liquid that Derrek claims is a potion to turn her into the most willing toy he's ever had, Starla can't back out of the challenge. Little does she know that what she's about to experience is going to change the way she looks at herself, and the man before her.

This is a story about hot sex. The characters are hot and alluring, and the sex is tinged with a dominant/submissive quality – minus the toys and bonds that are most often associated with the genre. This is more about having mental control and being in charge of the way, when and how things progress. It was exciting and hot.
This story is told solely from Starla’s perspective, and I liked hearing her thoughts and reactions to the events of the evening. She is looking for a fun time and has no inhibitions, so it really was like living in a fantasy world because I know I would be totally against ingesting some unknown substance a stranger handed me in hopes of a good time. It was dangerous and sexy, more so because it was something most of us wouldn’t ever do.

Derrek is a very sexy guy, physically, and certainly lacks nothing in the bedroom. I didn’t really find much in the emotional development of him, though. When he speaks to Starla, it was a bit off-putting at times with the words he used to describe her and took me out of the heat of their encounter, which I was enjoying so much. While there’s no denying the heat and compatibility they share in the bedroom, this story lacked a deeper emotional connection that I think would have added to it.

If you’re looking for a hot, forbidden sexual story, this one hits all the high notes.


Reviewed by Aster

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Review: Adventures in Space: Owned

Adventures in Space: Owned
by L.A. Day

A former commander of the Halian Federation, John Blaten, proud, strong, incredibly sexy, is now a prisoner of war.

His wife’s prisoner.

It’s been a year since Aurelia Giat last saw her husband John, but she hocks her ship to buy him and save him from confinement by The United Galactic Territories. And then she discovers their marriage, though never consummated, is still considered valid.

John is now considered her slave…

Aurelia isn’t sure what to do with John, her new property. Her droid, Ro, wants to torture him and drop him on a distant rock, but John has other ideas that have everything to do with blinding passion and wickedly sinful acts. After all, Aurelia does still owe him a wedding night…

Right off, I have to say that L.A. Day always does an amazing job with her world-building. Whether it’s werewolves, or sci-fi/futuristic intrigue, she never disappoints. I greatly enjoyed this erotic short story by her.

Aurelia and John were an entertaining couple, who kept each other on their toes. Aurelia was strong, and at the same time soft enough to be confused by her feelings for someone she is sure is a traitor to her people. Since their wedding, she has been unable to get her husband out of her head, even though they never did consummate their marriage. John was a fierce hero that had a hint of mischief we got to see near the end of the story. He was more than ready to be a husband, and wasn’t above a little… naughtiness to finally get what he’d waited so long for. What a fantastic couple to read about.

The sex scenes between these two were extremely hot, in characteristic L.A. Day style, and had me fanning myself constantly. Although this is a short story, it didn’t feel that anything was lost in the rush to tell the story. I enjoyed meeting these two characters and hope that I get to see them again in future stories. This was without doubt a story that I will endorse to anyone who loves a hot, futuristic story.

Reviewed by Viscaria

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Review: Christmas Cookies: Christmas, Werewolf Style

Christmas Cookies: Christmas, Werewolf Style
by Kyla Logan

Twin werewolves searching for their mate…
Nathan, the Alpha, and Aidan, the Enforcer from the Melrose Werewolf pack, visit the Lochinver Werewolves to arrange a treaty agreement between the two packs. They didn’t expect to encounter the most delicious scent of a female wolf.

A female werewolf in search of love…
Kerry, a Lochinver pack member, arrives late at her Alpha’s home on Christmas Eve after a callout prevents her from joining in the celebratory dinner to welcome the Melrose Werewolves. She is assaulted by the most delicious fragrance, a fragrance that she separates into two distinctive scents. Who do they belong to and where can she find them? The instant she sees them her body sizzles with heat, eager to claim them for her own.

When I came to the end of this short story, I decided that I’m going to look for the other stories by this author, as I’m sure there are more about this pack of werewolves. I had a blast reading this story and wished it didn’t have to end. That’s one thing I love about a good book, that feeling that you don’t want it to end.

Nathan and Aidan were amusing alpha males who had a snarky sense of humor about their brotherly relationship. They had no problem picking on each other and still maintaining respect for each other. I loved that these two strong men didn’t feel complete without a mate to share their lives with them, and were making an active decision to seek her out. This being a short story it wasn’t exactly surprising, though, that once they decided on this action they find her pretty quickly.

Kerry seemed to be a wonderful foil for these two dominant men. She was ready enough to let them carry her away and sweep her off her feet, but strong enough that they wouldn’t walk all over her. She too was looking for her mate, especially after having seen her own Alpha and Enforcer find their own. She just didn’t expect to get two mates in the bargain.

The interaction between these three werewolves was really intense and well written, and I enjoyed their wit. All in all, this is a lively, enjoyable holiday read that will leave you with a smile on your face as the last page is read.

Reviewed by Viscaria