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Friday, December 26, 2008

Foretaste of Forever

Foretaste of Forever by Christina Phillips
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 Cherries
Review by Lilac

Elyesha, last surviving descendant of a line of powerful witches, finally finds the only man she’s ever loved, the man who deserted her countless years before. But Ben is torn between desire and despair when Elyesha eventually penetrates his protective retreat. He knows what she wants, but the price for their love is too high. At midnight, on the beach, a battle of wills and erotic seduction ensues as each confronts the other’s darkest fears.

In this quick read, Elyesha, the last descendant of a group of powerful witches struggles to make Ben realize that they are meant to be together. The two come from different backgrounds which separate and force them into an illicit relationship. Determined to protect Elyesha, Ben pushes her away forcing her to search for him for over 1000 years.

Despite its brevity, Foretaste of Forever is a complicated story about two people finding peace despite their differences and the time they have spent apart. Their relationship fascinated me and I wish more had been revealed or explained about their backgrounds and what went on while they were apart. I found parts of the story a bit confusing, but overall felt it was a good read.

Beast of Burden

Beast Of Burden by Tami Sinclair
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Review by Lilac

Blade Wintermere is a lone wolf, literally, and as the Alpha Male of his werewolf pack, he must find a mate. Drawn to the local bar and its exotically alluring owner for reasons he doesn't understand, he watches her from the darkness of a corner table. Then, on the night of the full moon, when his senses are at their sharpest, he finally understands his attraction to the beauty. She's part wolf and doesn't know it.

Tina Black has been attracted to Blade since he first walked into her place, but getting involved with men in her bar is a really bad idea. Until Blade touches her. Senses alive as never before, she's determined to find out just what is going on between them. One touch, one kiss, and she knows exactly what he is.

Convincing Tina to become his mate is the only way Blade can ensure her safety, but can he do it before the moon forces his transformation?

As the Alpha of his pack, Blade Wintermere must find a mate. He believes he has found that mate in bar owner, Tina Black. At first he is confused over his attraction to Tina, but during a full moon he finally understands that she is part were, but doesn’t know it. Tina is attracted to the mysterious man, but is wary. When the two finally act on their attraction, the night is explosive. However, Blade still must convince Tina of her heritage and to become his mate.

The premise of this short story was interesting, but I felt that the story ended a bit too abruptly. I longed to know more about this couple as they seemed to have an interesting backstory and I was curious about what would happen beyond that night. At times I felt as if I were reading an excerpt from a book rather than a whole story, but what I did read was very enjoyable and well-written.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Animal Attraction

Animal Attraction by Paige Tyler
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press Torrid
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full
Other: M/F, spanking
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by Lilac

Frustrated when none of the real newspapers will hire her as a reporter, Eliza Bradley takes the only job she can get – at a paranormal magazine. Her first assignment takes her to Fairbanks, Alaska to investigate the possibility that a werewolf has killed two local hikers.

Eliza forgets about the story, however, when she meets Hunter McCall, a local college professor and an expert on wolves. The man is an absolute hunk, and she finds herself spending more time in his bed than worrying about werewolves. That is, until she finds out that Hunter isn’t just an animal in the sack, he’s an animal out of it, too - of the werewolf variety! Talk about a complicated relationship!

But Eliza can’t dwell on Hunter’s little shapeshifting issues. There’s another werewolf out there with a taste for human blood, and she and Hunter are the only ones who can stop him.

Eliza Bradley’s new job with Paranormal Today has taken her to Alaska to investigate claims of werewolf activity in a small town. During the course of her investigation she meets wildlife expert, Hunter McCall. Instantly attracted to the handsome professor, Eliza suspects there is more to him than meets the eye. Hunter, a werewolf, finds himself dealing with a rogue werewolf who has been killing people. He doesn’t need the distraction or complications that Eliza brings, however, he finds himself attracted to the young reporter. But if she learns his secret he risks not only losing her and but having her reveal everything to the world. As they spend time together (in and out of bed), Hunter wants nothing more that to keep Eliza safe and with him for good.

Despite the cold climate of the setting, Animal Attraction definitely heats up the pages with its steamy romance. The attraction and chemistry between Eliza and Hunter is instant and enough to warm anyone up on a cold night. As their relationship progresses and Eliza learns more about Hunter, the two grow closer and I couldn’t wait to see how Eliza would handle the truth about Hunter.

Not only did I enjoy the scorching romance of the story, but I also enjoyed the paranormal aspects. The twist behind the rogue werewolf was a nice surprise and I enjoyed watching Eliza and Hunter work to solve the mystery.

Animal Attraction is a wonderful paranormal romance full of passion, heat, and romance.

Soul Familiar: Lucky Dog

Soul Familiar 1: Lucky Dog by Kate Steele
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Paranormal
Length: Short
Other: M/M
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Eglantine

My name is Alex Layton and I'm a soul familiar. What's that, you ask? Well, as you might already know, having a familiar is the icing on the cake for a magic practitioner. A familiar enhances their power and gives them the ability to work spells they might otherwise find beyond their reach. Having a soul familiar as a partner goes way beyond cake, baby. We work with our partner and bond with them heart, mind, body, and soul. It's a true joining imbued with love and magic.

All that aside, I'm about to tell you a little story of how Tyler Montgomery, an untrained wizard, summons me to help him with a small problem. It seems Tyler's had a spell cast on him. It prevents him from getting close to anyone in any way for any reason -- including sex.

Fortunately for Tyler, I find myself very eager to help him. Of course it doesn't hurt one bit that he's a sweet and sexy virgin. I've had over two hundred years of magical and bedroom experience. I'm the perfect guy to break this spell and if I help myself to a taste of Tyler, well, where's the harm in that? Hmm?

Alex Layton is right in the middle of perfecting a sculpture when he's 'called'. Minutes later he's miles away, in a quiet library. And there, trying desperately to get rid of a most unfortunate curse, is his destiny.

Lucky Dog was an absolute pleasure to read. Well written, with spotless editing, the story of Alex and Tyler's meeting is told in an easy, laid-back style from Alex's point of view. The supernatural aspect is well handled and seems natural. The sex is super-hot. Hey, I'm straight and I was turned on. The ending is wide open, and hopefully there will be sequels. I'll be first in line to read them!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Lust Knows No Boundaries: Sports Wives 2

Lust Knows No Boundaries by Destiny Blaine
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Menage
Rating: 4 Cherries

There's unconditional love and there's obsessive love. In a love triangle, sometimes there's a little of both--and it can complicate a marriage.

Professional football player Corby Teller realizes he's losing his wife but he also knows if a man loves a woman, he doesn't set her free when she doesn't really want to go. Instead, he does everything in his power to make all of her dreams come true.

Corby finds a way to ensure everything is perfect for the wife he plans to keep and it means sharing her with a man she has always loved. After Corby pushes Cassie back into Steve's arms, an earth-shattering event threatens to tear her world apart. Corby's smart enough to know if he doesn't allow Steve to keep his place in Cassie's life, he will lose her because of the history she shares with the first man she ever loved.

This second story in the series is better than anything your could see on television. Including the big game. No, you do not have to read the first book in the series to enjoy the second but I would highly recommend it just so that you get a better understanding of the players.

Cassie Teller loves her husband Corby but is having a hard time living with him. I start to feel sorry for her when she is ignored by Corby. It doesn't help that her “best” friend, Suzy, puts her down all the time. I felt bad that Cassie didn't have anyone else to talk to. I wished that she could see Steve again as he was her best friend, first lover and bed buddy but I understand that she had to cut him out of her life after the fiasco that had happened. As I read the story, I could see how miserable Cassie was.

Corby Teller is also unhappy. I felt that he was having a hard time working through everything that had previously went on. I could see the love he had for Cassie and how he wanted to make her happy. After he rejected her, I was afraid to hope for any happiness in his life. I was thrilled when he and Cassie finally made love. I believed that all would be good again. Enter Suzy. My heart bled for Corby when Cassie left.

I knew in my heart that Cassie would go back to her true friend Steve. What happened next was a series of events that I could not predict. It is creative writing at its best.

And did I mention scorching hot love scenes? The computer screen began to glow red from all the heat being generated by the words on the page. Wow.

All I can say is I loved this second book in the Sports Wives Series and recommend reading it instead of watching a game or soap on the television.

Devon Falls: Red Hot Magic

Devon Falls: Red Hot Magic by Raine Delight
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Holiday (Valentine’s Day)
Length: Short
Other: M/F, bondage
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Lilac

With the help of a charity fundraiser, Jenna sets her friend, Raven, up to find Mr. Perfect. Raven though, has found Mr. her dreams. Now, if she could only find the sexy man in real life.

In this quick read, Raven’s dreams are haunted by a mystery lover who heats up her nights. She has given up on finding Mr. Perfect, so when she agrees to attend a bachelor/dog auction for her friend, she is surprised to see the man who has haunted her dreams up for bid. A Dreamwalker, Jean-Claude is doomed if he doesn’t capture Raven’s heart and convince her that they are meant to be together.

Red Hot Magic is a highly entertaining and fast-paced read about two people finding each other. I enjoyed the chemistry that Raven and Jean-Claude share in this hot read as the passion between the two heats up the pages. They are interesting characters and I enjoyed learning more about them through Raven’s dreams as well as in person.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Vampire Oracle: Harmony

Vampire Oracle: Harmony by M. G. Braden
Publisher: Cobblestone Press
Genre: Paranormal
Length: Short
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Cholla

Recently engaged, Kara Staten and Marc Brodeur are in love, and Kara has a brand new business. Life is good. When things start to unravel, they struggle for the harmony they once had.

Unbeknownst to Kara, Marc’s a vampire trying to live a normal life. When her skincare salon produces a special serum that results in several fatal love bites, she doesn’t know where to turn. Hoping to keep her safe, Marc runs away. As their lives spin into separate paths, they find that what could tear them apart is the one thing that will ultimately keep them together.

Newly engaged, Marc and Kara are excited about entering their new life together. Marc’s steady job at a local hotel is going strong, while Kara is nursing her new baby: a brand new salon of her own. Encouraged by her good start, Kara starts experimenting with items for the salon and ends up with a serum that helps entice lovers to come together. It takes off immediately and then comes to a crashing halt when a series of infected bites are blamed on the serum.

Discovering Marc was a vampire was a nice twist to the story. And later, his confusion after taking a break from Kara adds to the mystery of the story. You’re not really sure who it is attacking the innocent women and infecting them. I do think that the resolution of the story could have been longer with a bit more detail. The wrapping up of the mystery was a little abrupt. However, the resolution of Marc and Kara’s relationship was very satisfactory -- and steamy, as were all the scorching hot love scenes.

I will never turn down a good vampire story and Vampire Oracle: Harmony was definitely a good story! Not just in regards to vampires, but in regards to every day relationships as well. The characters are engaging and the story holds your interest. If you love steaming hot sex coupled with a sexy vamp, then this is a story for you.

Christmas Cake

Christmas Cake by Victoria Blisse
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday (Christmas)
Length: Short
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Review by Lilac

Sweet and spicy, and that's just the cake!

The festive season is in full swing but Emily hates it and just wants it over as quickly as possible. Jim finds out why and shares his Christmas with her and she uncovers her Christmas Spirit as she rediscovers her lust and sexuality. Includes a short selection of sexy holiday poetry!

Told in first person, Christmas Cake is the story of pastry shop owner Emily who, after the death of her husband, detests the holidays. His death ruined her Christmas spirit and she has yet to recapture it. Jim, a patron of her shop, seems to be filled with the Christmas spirit and tries to bring a little of the holiday joy to Emily. As she spends time with Jim she rediscovers her Christmas spirit and a passionate nature she forgot she had.

Christmas Cake was a lovely story featuring an older heroine and hero. I really enjoyed watching as Jim helps Emily to heal and find joy as she discovers the true meaning of Christmas. The two also discover a passionate relationship. I do wish we had a little bit of Jim’s perspective though, but since this was a first-person story that did not happen. I would have liked to have known a little about what he was thinking as he interacted and learned more about Emily.

In addition to the story, the author has also included some very naughty holiday poems that readers might find enjoyable.

Christmas Stalking

Christmas Stalking by Selena Kitt
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 cherries
Review by Violet

Alone and on the run, Ginny is desperate to stay one step ahead of danger while still trying to protect her sister and her sisterÆs boys. Forced from her home and holding the key to a horrible secret, Ginny is haunted by her memories and pursued by a man who will stop at nothing to regain his control over her. The appearance of a mysterious man in her time of greatest need forces Ginny to decide whether she will take the chance to trust this handsome stranger.

Ginny was a woman on the run from a terrible, terrible man, her stepfather, Patrick. Sleeping on the streets at night just praying that she would find food and shelter for the moment, was a continual problem. She would visit her sister Maggie and her two nephews who lived in a shelter as often as she could. On the run and scared, Ginny notices someone following her. Fearing it is Patrick, she makes sure to stay away from Maggie. When she finds out who it is, her life is changed forever. On the most special night of the year, Christmas, Ginny finds her fate.

Christmas Stalking piqued my interest from the first paragraph. It was an outstanding action packed, heart touching story of how Ginny finds her true love. I was intrigued and touched, angry and sad. Ginny was a beautiful woman who was in self preserve mode. Just when I thought she couldn't take any more, she showed renewed strength.

Nick was the angel we wish all men could be. He was strong, kind, patient and understanding. Together they made the perfect couple.

Selena Kitt did an extraordinary job on Christmas Stalking. I loved this story and cannot wait to read more from her. This would be a story that I would read repeatedly and strongly urge other people to read it as well.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Gingersnaps: Serendipity 5A

Gingersnaps: Serendipity 5A by Dawn Montgomery
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Holiday, Paranormal, Shape-Shifters
Length: Short
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Hibiscus

Welcome to Serendipity Estates, where accidental meetings, a little magic, and a bit of hot lust are a recipe for love ever after. We hope you enjoy your stay.

In an apartment complex where fortunate accidents in love occur, Donna and Jack will have a Christmas present mix-up that shows a little bit of their kinky side.

Serendipity means good luck in making unexpected and fortunate discoveries -- and that is what happened to me. I had the good luck of reading this story of two neighbors who stumble upon their common bond. Their meeting appears to be just an accident but is it?

The apartment complex where Donna lives is inhabited by both humans and paranormal creatures. This is fine with her but I had the feeling Donna wished there was a man for her in the building. She comes across as very reserved and shy with the opposite sex. She even states that she has to be careful about her pity parties. I loved how she watched Jack walking up the stairs. I know I love eye candy and would have done the same. The crash and unmarked packages are great. Especially when it winds up that she has his bondage kit and he has her Mighty Mo.

Jack was the perfect predator. The way he stalked Donna in her kitchen was great. Was he or wasn’t he? Then, when he whipped out Mighty Mo, the verbal sparring really heated up. Jack, it turns out, is a hell-hound who now works free lance. I thought it was cute how he clarifies his feeling for Donna and that he loves having Christmas every day.

A hot, good looking hunk, a heroine looking for love and a bit of paranormal happenstance make this story of not so accidental love and celebrating Christmas every day one I’ll be reading again and again.

Devon Falls: Fiery Magic

Devon Falls: Fiery Magic by Raine Delight
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Lilac

Damien Dracon is back in Devon Falls, and he is about to woo the one lady he left three years ago. Family secrets and youthful pride forced him to give up the one good thing in his life: the love of Alicia Stevens. What he doesn't expect is that Alicia has a secret of her own, and it may just tear them apart. Can two former lovers find it in themselves to forgive one another and let love grow between them? Or will past secrets haunt them and tear them apart? This 4th of July is about to get explosive in Devon Falls.

After a three-year absence, shapeshifter Damien Dracon has returned to Devon Falls determined to win back the woman he left behind. Banished by his grandfather, Damien left town breaking Alicia Stevens’s heart. Alicia is determined to resist Damien and keep her distance. But the love and chemistry that they share is hard to resist. And as the two reunite, both have secrets they must share with one another in order to move forward.

In this emotional and passionate read, we meet two characters who seem perfect for one another, but must overcome their past. I really felt for Damien and Alicia as they worked to deal with heartaches from the past and the secrets that the two have kept from one another. This was a highly enjoyable and quick read that I would recommend.

Carpe Nocturne

Carpe Nocturne by Tawny Taylor
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Paranormal, Vampire
Length: Short
Other: M/F, M/M/F, Menage
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Anthurium

One determined entrepreneur
Two seductive vampires
A brutal murderer…
…and a bar where every vampire knows your name.

Gives new meaning to the expression “Thrilling Nightlife.”
Burke Langton is on the run. Wrongfully accused of murder, he’s just one step ahead of the Excoluni -- the law enforcement arm of the United Magical Nations -- trying to track down the real killer. When the murderer strikes again, this time at Club Carpe Nocturne, Burke learns the owner, Sylvie Durand, is not only his Origo -- his mate -- and she may be the murderer’s next victim.

Miko Dvorak, a high-ranking officer of the Excoluni, is assigned to bring Burke to justice. But that’s no easy task, for the two share an Origo. Should he be caught protecting Burke from the Excoluni, his career will be over. Sylvie’s determined to convince him to take that risk.

Together the three must conquer a madman who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, clear Burke’s name, and shatter the chains that bind them to their own private demons before they can achieve the blood-bond they must have to survive.

This collection contains the previously released novellas:
Carpe Nocturne 1: Dressed To Kill,
Carpe Nocturne 2: Kiss Me; Kill Me,
Carpe Nocturne 3: If Looks Could Kill.

The premise of this story is great! The heroine, Sylvie Durand is the owner of the nightclub, Carpe Nocturne, and finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery with two alpha male vampires who are claiming her as their Origo, their mate.

The first man has been wrongly accused of murder and is trying to save himself by tracking down the real killer, the second man is an officer of the Excouluni, and is assigned to bring the first man in. He also finds himself the bonded mate of Sylvie Durand.

The book contains very vivid sexual situations guaranteed to set your hormones to dancing. There is plenty of conflict--while Sylvie loves and accepts both men, her mates are sworn adversaries. There is also the problem that if the three complete their final bond, then they are bound in life, and death. So if one is prosecuted for the murder he did not commit, they will all die.

This book is a fun and exciting story and is defiantly a recommended read for those who enjoy both Vampires and Ménage in along with a very good suspense story.