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Friday, October 17, 2008

Bedside Manner

Bedside Manner by Sophie Rae
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Scarlet Rose
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Anthurium

Overweight, overworked and undersexed, Sara Delaney loves her job as an E.R. nurse but fears her life has become a monotonous series of shift rotations with a little sleep in between and even less of a social life. That is until former high school jock, Alex Conrad, shows up with an allergic reaction and an inflated ego, questioning her bedside manner.

Alex not only took her virginity back in high school, he left a young girl heartbroken. Now he's back in town and ready to pick up where he and Sara left off. But the girl he left behind is more woman than he bargained for, and after one night, he finds himself addicted to the good nurse's TLC.

ER nurse, Sara Delaney’s life has become monotonous, just a series of too much work and not enough fun. Then one day former High School jock, Alex Conrad, walks in to the ER and asks her out. Sara is very wary about letting him back into her life after he ran out on her in back in high school and left her heartbroken, but he keeps working on her until she changes her mind and goes out with him. The spark is still there and the sexual encounters are very hot.

Alex finds himself addicted to the woman that Sara has become, and is surprised when he gets more than he bargained for.

Sara exhibits the standard vulnerabilities that you would expect to find with someone who has ignored her social life and let it become boring, focusing only on work and not her personal life. Alex’s ego is a little over inflated but he has a good heart, and he discovers he can’t seem to get Sara out of his mind or out of his system.

The give and take in the developing relationship is fun, and the sex is frequent and hot. Read this one if you enjoy lots of fun banter and the resolution of misunderstandings between the characters.

Guilty Pleasures

Guilty Pleasures by Renee Knowles
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story
Other: M/F, BDSM, Spanking
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Hibiscus

After his parents' death, Nick Duvane gave up freelancing and took a job at the local TV news station to stay home and care for his younger sister. Now that she's grown, he's desperate to get back to the work he loves. However, his boss blackmails him into one final assignment: go undercover at a male escort service and expose it as legalized male prostitution. No problem. Except once he begins an affair with the owner, sexy, hard-headed Diana Grady, how can he deceive her and destroy her business all for an exposé?

Diana Grady's failed marriage and financial struggles drove her to make her escort business a success. She's poured all of her energy into Pleasures and ignored her personal life. But when intelligent, steamy Nick Duvane enters the picture, she gives in to her passion. Yet Nick has a secret, and it just might shatter her…

Sex, lies and secrets. Disgruntled employees, and clients. With all of this in the mix, of course I thought this was a great storyline. Diana Grady and Josie Reynolds own Pleasures Inc., a male escort service. I liked both of these characters. I wanted Diana to be happy with Nick because she had such a hard life and bad marriage. She tried to protect herself from men and I just wanted Nick to crack open the hard shell she had around herself. Josie is a tough cookie who looks out for herself and uses men. I wanted her to find someone to love and when she meets Mitchell Kendrick, I saw a possible future.

The descriptions that Ms. Knowles uses are so detailed that I felt I was in the book. When she described Nick as having dimples the size of the Grand Canyon, I just wanted to caress them with my fingers. I felt like I was in the back room of Cup of Joe’s with Josie and Mitch. I could cut the sexual tension in the air with a knife and feel every caress that occurred; the writing was so detailed and explicit.

This is a very well told story and I did not want it to end. I wanted to have resolution to everything in the story but I see that this is the first book in the Pleasures, Inc. Series. I can only hope that the series continues with Josie and Mitch. I thoroughly enjoyed Guilty Pleasures and look forward to the next book in this series.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Let's Get Physical

Let's Get Physical by Cherie Amour
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Hibiscus

What do you do when you catch your husband in bed with his ex?

That's what Samantha Jenkins asks herself one heart-wrenching night when she pays her husband, Leo San Rocco, a visit in a sexy negligée, hoping to lure him back, only to find his lewd ex has beat her to the punch. Samantha musters what dignity she has left and runs out before Leo can explain things.

Distraught, she crashes into the debonair James Colfield. The sexual attraction between them is scorching hot. James decides he is the one who'll mend her broken heart and spark the sex goddess that dwells deep in her soul.

The problem with James' plan is Leo still loves his wife and the bond they share is practically unbreakable. Will James win her into his bed, or will Leo open his eyes and see Samantha is the only woman for him?

I enjoyed this story. I felt it was a realistic view into a typical family. I loved the character of Samantha. A poor abused housewife who loves her husband and children and wants them to live as a family together. She puts up with many years of his mother's verbal abuse for the sake of her husband. Then when his mother dies, everything is her fault. I felt that this is how many women would feel when tragedy strikes. Samantha's self-esteem is zero.

Then she meets James Colfield, her son's coach. I loved James. He is suave, kind, gorgeous, built like a model and is everything that I would love to see in a potential mate. James gets Leo's blessing to date Samantha and boy is he great for her. I could see how he took care of Samantha, treating her very gently and not pushing her. I could feel the love that James had for Samantha throughout the story.

The last major character is Leo, Samantha's husband from whom she is separated. I had mixed feelings for Leo. I did not care for him at first. He seemed to think he was God's gift and never wrong. As the story progressed, I could see the love he had for Samantha and how he was trying to redeem the wrongs he had done to her. I began to warm up to his character and laughed at how he strutted in some of the scenes of the book. He would bristle whenever he met Samantha and James and do stupid things, like fall off a treadmill. I really laughed at that scene.

There are a lot of minor characters who add to the storyline, from an ex-girlfriend and children to Samantha's mother and father. The story was told in great detail. I knew everything about Samantha and Leo from the time they were in college to their life 13 plus years later. This is a story that tugged my emotions from one direction to another.

Devil's Dance

Devil's Dance by Scarlett Sanderson
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Scarlet Rose
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novella
Other: M/F, BDSM
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Review by Poppy

How far would you go to fulfill every sexual desire?
As a sex therapist, Tessa Connelly is no naïve wallflower when it comes to sins of the flesh. Listening to her patients deepest, darkest desires, she knows there is something missing from her own mundane sex life. That something is a dominant, alpha male. Tessa’s most secret desire is to lose some of her tightly held control and be dominated by a handsome hunk.

Her devilishly handsome hunk appears in the form of Luc Campbell. After a chance meeting he offers her a deal - one month of sexual mastery. In return all she has to do is be his willing partner in anything he has to give her.

But accepting the offer from a green eyed devil is just the first step of her journey…

Looking for a hot story with a fun twist on the whole dom/sub storyline? This is the one for you!

Tessa goes to a BDSM club looking for a dominate, hunky male but thinks she's out of luck. As she turns to leave, she's accosted by a man she's already turned down that night and as she struggles to free herself she's rescued by the kind of dom she dreamed of, Luc Campbell. After turning her on more with a look, a touch and a kiss than she's ever been turned on before, she chickens out and runs.

But Luc isn't letting her go that easily.

He tracks her down and offers her a deal she can't refuse: one month as a submissive under his tutelage.

This is a fun, well-written story about a sexy man who enjoys playing at dominance, but doesn't live and breath the lifestyle; and a submissive who just can't quite give up control. I had so much fun watching the tug-o-war between the two of them as they learned to trust, to learn about each other, to make mutual sacrifices and, ultimately, to fall in love.

My only real complaint were the editing errors that littered the manuscript. To many folks, they may not have been as evident, but especially word misuse, ("...wet your appetite..." instead of "...whet your appetite...", for instance, or using the word "till" instead of " 'til " to mean "until") really threw me from the story. A personal pet peeve, perhaps, but they are errors that should have been noticed by someone as the story progressed through the editing process.

Editing errors aside, however, this author has a great voice, and penned a sexy and funny foray into the life of one woman as she experiments with a bit of bondage and some really amazing sex.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Spaceport: Drop Zone

Spaceport: Drop Zone by Fiona Jayde
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Futuristic
Length: Short Story
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 Cherries
Review by Dandelion

Roen Decks gave up life as a space pirate to mine uralium -- the red ore of Adana’s asteroids which can be turned into fuel. His enhanced senses ensure him of success, allowing him a sensitivity to his environment. And when he meets Kamura Shard, his enhanced senses drive him mad from the potent, rich scent of her arousal.

Except Kam Shard turns out to be his supply runner -- the one responsible for the suspicious string of accidents that undermine his mining operation. And when she shows up at his ship, livid to be accused of sabotaging equipment to ensure repeat customers, Decks lets her join his mining crew to repay the damage she’d caused.

He needs to keep his hands off her. But with her scent teasing his senses, Decks isn’t sure he’ll be able to resist.

This short but tumultuous story takes the reader to a futuristic space society, where Roen and Kam have a sizzling one-night stand before they realize they’re actually on opposite sides of the asteroid mining business. While both try to resist each other’s sexual pull, it’s all in vain. The sex in this story is hot and well-written, and I especially liked the concept that Kam possesses the “Kouri” scent of her grandmother, which allows her to drive men mad simply by nearing them. Both characters are equally strong in this story, and so they’re well-matched as enemies but also as lovers.

I wasn’t crazy about the gratuitous use of profanity in this story, to be honest. I have no problem if it contributes to character development or is necessary for the plot, but neither really seemed to be the case here. I also felt that the climax of the story, which pits Roen against his TRUE enemy and threatens both characters’ lives, was somewhat underdeveloped and resolved too quickly.

However, I did like the happy ending that finds Roen and Kam. It looks as though these two space dwellers will have nothing but hot sex to enjoy together on Adana!

Genesis In Bloom

Genesis in Bloom by Sophie del Mar
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story
Other: M/F, M/F/F, F/F, Ménage, Multiple Partners
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Bittersweet

Alexander Lansing ran a trembling hand through his hair. There was something about this woman which made him feel like a callow, inexperienced youth.
Even if this was only a brief sexual encounter, he wanted it to be special...

After being abandoned by her mother, Genesis Kelly trusts no one and believes in nothing. However, she wants to understand the mysteries of sex and seeks employment in a high-class brothel.

When a gorgeous stranger falls for her, she must choose between his love and the way of life she is determined to follow.

Beautiful, lovely, it got into my heart, that’s what “Genesis in Bloom” did. Ms. Del Mar caught me into her web of Parisian courtesans and handsome men in the blink of an eye. The main characters are well developed. We have Alex, handsome, heartbroken after the death of Anna -- I felt for him; Genesis, trying to find out certain things the hard way, closing herself to her feelings -- I can relate to that and I think anyone can. The secondary characters don’t fall out of line, and she brings them in to fulfil more important roles with great facility.

I loved the cat attack scene which made me laugh. “The house of fairytales” restaurant, I wish that existed for real! I must admit I was a bit surprised when a certain character appeared in Paris, but after thinking about it for a moment I recalled that Ms. Del Mar had provided a rational explanation beforehand. Everything in this short story is well portrayed, from the feelings of jealousy, the sweetness, the love, the sexual moments, the humour, the witty sentences, the sad, heart-wrenching scenes, the tense, life fearing seconds -- all and more are placed into the story in a natural flowing way which caused me to smile, laugh, tap my fingers nervously against the desk, or wish my boyfriend was around. I’m definitely keeping “Genesis in Bloom” in my collection!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hostages of Love

Hostages of Love by Sophie del Mar
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand
Genre: Contemporary, Action/Adventure
Length: Short Story
Other: M/F, M/F/F, Multiple Partners, BDSM
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Bittersweet

Commercial pilot, Sean Merrick, and Larissa Christie explore and indulge their secret desires during an evening at an elegant hotel, never suspecting that terror lurks on the horizon.
Sean is grieving the loss of his beloved wife, but a favor for a friend changes the direction of his life. He enters a world of deviant sexual games, desperate terrorists, and true love with the woman of his dreams.

But first, Sean must save Larissa and the other passengers from the fanatical men who have taken control of the aircraft.

Can he save his passengers from certain death? Will he have a happy future with the woman of his dreams...or die trying?

I’ve never had a thing for pilots, or uniformed men for that matter, but after reading “Hostages of Love” I don’t think I’ll be looking at pilots in quite the same way again.

From the beginning, the author Sophie del Mar, has already captured my attention. She presents us with very sexy, Captain Sean Merrick, and a plane which will be boarded with beautiful actors under his expert command, simple enough. Whatever could happen? The flight is delayed, but Ms. Del Mar knows her stuff and she is able to range from fun sexual games: the naughty stewardess (oh la la!), the harem (oh dear!) to the simple down to earth encounters, all in the blink of an eye. And, all of it written in a natural way which flows easily but still caused me to blush, smile and feel every inch of what’s happening through her well plotted characters.

The action rolls on and a nervous giggle escaped my lips from all the built up tension. Tension, which at times almost turns to horror, and causes me to whisper an “Oh no!” or cover my mouth in distress. But “Hostages of Love” is so much more! It also has room for pleasant surprises, pity or anger that surges for certain characters and moments, humorous times and good advice, which can be taken and enjoyed by all.

Ms. Del Mar and her “Hostages of Love” have made me a captive, one that’s not willing to give up her smile any time soon. This short story is definitely a reread!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pleasure After the Pain

Pleasure After the Pain by Savannah Chase
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Hibiscus

What is your wildest fantasy about getting a tattoo?

A night out on the town with a friend ends up bringing Serena to a tattoo parlor. There she discovers a tattoo that takes a hold of her. Something about it calls to her. Body art can bring pleasure to its owner but this tattoo brings more pleasure then Serena ever imagined.

Will Serena's tattoo give her more pleasure than she could imagine or will it be a fleeting moment of pleasure after the pain?

Ms. Chase proves herself again with a very hot, vividly detailed short story revolving around tattoos.

I was right there inside the tattoo parlor with Serena as she looked around the store and through the binder Jack had given her. I felt the cringe from Serena when Jenny moaned with the first prick of the needle. When Serena walked out after seeing the design of the stranger with the blue eyes, I could not believe it. I kept shouting in my mind for her to do it, to get the tattoo. I was so glad when Serena went back to the tattoo parlor. Even though Jack tries to warn her off of the design she picked, Serena was determined to get her tattoo.

Getting inked was made out to be an erotic event. The descriptions of what went on before, during and after were fantastic. I could totally immerse myself in this story and be Serena. And after the inking, the story really got hot.

For an erotic little pick me up, I definitely recommend Pleasure After The Pain.


Djinn by Kathleen Brandt
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story
Other: M/F, M/M
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Buttercup

Pleasure, pain and passion… A new master must be chosen

The last djinn lives only to fulfill her master's every desire and erotic whim. But her master is dying. A new one must be chosen, and three men stand to inherit the beautiful and powerful Sharadzi.

Each man is given a chance to prove his worth. As Sharadzi passes through their hands, true natures are revealed: One man has love in his heart. Another, only passions. The last harbors dark plans to claim the last djinn at any price.

Djinn is a face-paced, new twist on the old I Dream of Genie-type story. Djinn is a hot, dressed to please, subservient, old soul who lives in the here and now present. She prefers current attire and is secure in her ways so much that you see her confidence as strong and liberating though other see her as an alluring slave to grant their most desired wants.

Dijin finds herself on the cusp of loosing yet another Master who still has one wish of his three. Now old and decrepit, Ray her kindly master for so long has one foot in the grave. Djinn asks but once more in a whispered voice, “Are you sure? I can fix this.” But her Master adamantly confirms to the negative.

As discussed over several aged years, Master Ray has a plan. Djinn must expose her powers to three top-notch, handpicked employees within her Master’s multibillion-dollar company. Each man will have the chance to win her servitude when the Master passes as written in his last will and testament. Which man will it be? Will it be Rich, the nervous, married public relations CEO? Or maybe Joss, the twenty-something year old computer genius with his multi-faceted awareness of life and essence and his kind and moral nature? Or perhaps the jealous, anger-laden Alex who will do anything to get what he sets his sights on?

Kathleen Brandt has expertly woven this story of love, power, greed, and sexual servitude into a clever tale of what makes human nature tick. The heroine is amazingly liberated within her given roll in life, and the hero is unerringly shrewd. Just when you think there is no way for the hero to win, the story shifts into a surprising HEA.

I thoroughly enjoyed this read. I noticed some erroneous punctuation duplication and found a bit of pronoun confusion but given the nature of the story, they weren’t all that noticeable. A good fast read with a unique and interesting plot, this story is well worth the time.

Seduced in Seoul

Seduced in Seoul by Helen Hardt
Publisher: The Wilder Rose Press, Scarlet Rose
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 Cherries
Review by Lotus

The last thing Allison Sanchez expects when she arrives in Seoul is the Asian god waiting for her at the airport. Right away it's obvious he can't understand a word she says. But body language is universal, and Allison soon casts aside her inhibitions in favor of engaging in one of her secret fantasies with the hot chauffeur. Talking dirty during sex takes Allison to an all new high until she discovers her exotic lover is only half Korean—and her brother's American roommate.

Seduced in Seoul should not be taken seriously. It is simply a deliciously sexy comedy of errors. It’s all laid out right there in the plot description, and you pretty much know going in what you’re going to get in terms of storyline. What that summary doesn’t tell you, however, is that what Helen Hardt has written here is a sensitively comedic portrayal of shyness and inhibition unleashed. It’s about a metamorphosis born of a pretty silly mistake, and that’s why it merits a second look.

First of all, I really don’t think the misunderstanding was Allison’s fault. When I went back to read this a second time, it really seems like Dylan is playing with her from his first appearance. To be honest, this made me like him a little less. Allison is warm and hapless and utterly shy, so she’s the kind of romantic heroine you really want to root for. Her transformation into sexy minx is intriguing, even though it might make you cringe, knowing what she does not. I found Allison’s “dirty talk” a little embarrassing, but I suspect that says more about me than the quality of the writing. Dylan really didn’t leave much of an impression on me at all, except maybe mistrust. Because he is, for all intents and purposes, silent for much of the story, it’s difficult to pass judgment on who he is and what his motivations are.

There’s real chemistry between Allison and Dylan, and the few times we get to see them together are pleasantly steamy. However, there are a couple of rough spots here, too. Hardt has a tendency to describe bits of anatomy as food, and it can seem pretty silly at times. The other difficulty lies with the major plot point of the story, and it’s not an uncommon trouble. You see, bedroom talk always sounds hot when it’s coming from a naked and sweaty person you happen to have right in front of you. We innocent voyeurs may not be as, well... moved by it. This is not to say that that the sexual dialogue in the story is out of place, but it may be a little overdone. Or it might just be some secret prudishness within myself that I have only just discovered. In the end, this is a light, naughty romp. The main characters are sexy and goofy and you want it to work out for them, even if you don’t forgive Dylan right away. Their happy ending seems a little rushed, but at least Hardt has the decency to leave it a little ambiguous. Read it for brain candy, and an easy laugh or two.