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Friday, January 2, 2009

Passions by Jennifer Cole

Passions by Jennifer Cole
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
OTher: M/F/M, Menage
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by Lilac

The only thing more persuasive than a man pursuing the woman he wants? Two men.

Passions Resort. Humans, paranormal, or otherworldy visitors welcome. Adults only. This unique Caribbean get-away is centered on satisfying your desires. White sandy beaches, lush accommodations, and a full buffet for any carnal appetite. Public displays of sexual affection are encouraged, so check your inhibitions at the door, and possibly lose your heart. Disclaimer: We regret to inform potential Passions patrons that resort staff are strictly off limits. No amount of pleading or bribery, or alien persuasion will be accepted.

Jana Michaels escapes an abusive past by taking on a housekeeping position at a resort where fraternization isn't allowed. Tristan and Travis, however, came in search of the only woman to complete their trio, and nothing will keep them from her.

Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex, graphic language, ménage à trois, and mild bondage.

This fascinating tale features Jana Michaels, who has left an abusive relationship and taken a job at Passions Resort, an Adults Only getaway in the Caribbean. Inhibitions are left at the door at this resort as people explore their sexual side and are definitely not shy about it. Hired to clean the rooms, Jana is forbidden to have relations with any of the guests. This was one rule she didn’t think she’d have a problem with, but two guests are making this very difficult for her. Tristan and Travis have come from their planet to find the woman to complete their triad…and they believe they have found her when they spot Jana. However, they must convince her that she is meant to be with them while trying to keep their identity a secret from the others at the resort. Meanwhile, Jana’s boss grows suspicious of the three and when Tristan and Travis’s secret is revealed, they must do whatever they can to keep it out of the wrong hands.

I truly enjoyed this well-written and steamy story. Tristan and Travis fascinated me with their various special abilities. One of their abilities is to shield themselves so that they are invisible to everyone. They use this ability to spy on and seduce Jana. I could feel her confusion as she experiences phantom touches and caresses. But she seems to be just as fascinated as I was by the handsome duo and their relationship progresses nicely as they help her to overcome her insecurities and doubts about herself.

In addition to the romance, there is an interesting twist involving Jana’s bosses at the resort and some illicit activities and I loved how the trio handled this.

My only complaint is that I would have loved to have known more about Tristan and Travis’s world. Despite this, Passions is a great read that I would recommend to those looking for something a bit different, but keep those fans handy because you’ll need them with this hot read.

Night Critters 2: Faux Paws by Lena Austin and Tuesday Richards

Night Critters 2: Faux Paws by Lena Austin and Tuesday Richards
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length Short
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Bittersweet

Lucky Thornburn, a Faux Paws, or shifter-born who can’t shift, meets a half-angel named Charm. Charm doesn’t need or want his chivalry, but she’s literally trouble on the wing. She wants to renovate her mother’s old house into a home for foster children just like Charm needed as a child before she was adopted. Lucky’s cold-hearted brother wants the same property for a shopping mall, so Lucky joins in Charm’s renovation project in defiance of his brother.

Once Lucky experiences Charm's, well, charms, they become a team anyone would be fool to mess with. But JR isn't going to give up so easily. And Charm? Well, Charm's not going to give up at all. And Lucky's coming right along with her, because he's discovered something with the sexy Nephylum he never thought he'd find -- which just might be enough to sway his nemesis of a brother.

Amazing, exciting, funny, imaginative, sexy and spicy, all neatly tied up in a bundle called, Night Critters 2: Faux Paws got me releasing my wild side. I’ve never been one for werewolves stories, but I must admit that Lucky, the adorable Faux Paws (I wasn’t sure what that meant until I read the story) won me over, with little more than a blue glance and a roguish but sweet attitude. And that was only the beginning; I had never heard of such things as a Nephylum, but wow! The fiery wings, the indomitable spirit, the revival Goth look, Metallica… I loved every piece of it! Even the bad guys had a something special.

But not only the characters were good, the story in itself was a neat web which quickly got me trapped: the way the characters meet, how their casual thoughts about each other slip in, the spicy and funny things they throw at each other and which got me smiling with anticipation and of course, the tension when they were separated, the happiness when Lucky made a complete change, and the funny, sometimes accidental, but always hot and steamy wild sex.

Night Critters 2: Faux Paws is a definite good, fast read. I’ll be looking forward for more stories from Ms. Austin and Ms. Richards.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Wedding Crashers by Sage Burnett

Wedding Crashers by Sage Burnett
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: short
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 Cherries
Review by Lilac

Sexy Nate Walker, an undercover cop, operating out of bounds and under the radar, is attempting to bust one of the biggest drug dealers, Lucas Becker, in the state of Montana. What he hadn't planned on was bumping into his Callie Jensen, the woman he ran out on years ago, at Lucas Becker's wedding reception.

Nate wants Becker taken down because of what happened to his younger sister. His instincts warn him that he's been made, that Becker is on to him. When Callie creates a major disturbance at the reception, Nate loses it when Becker's bodyguards man handle her. Nate drags a protesting and uncooperative Callie from the reception.

With some fancy foot work, Callie and Nate manage to elude the gun toting bodyguards, while discovering that the sexual chemistry still burns red-hot between the two of them. High speed car chases and dodging bullets can't seem to stop the reunited lovers from raising the heat level in spite of the life threatening danger.

After nearly losing his sister to an overdose, undercover cop, Nate Walker is working without departmental approval to bring down Lucas Becker, the dealer responsible. He never expected to have his ex, Callie Jensen show up and crash Becker’s wedding reception. But now that she has Nate risks blowing his cover as he and Callie flee the scene. When Callie jumped into the wedding cake of her ex who cheated on her, she only intended to cause a scene to get back at Becker. She never expected to see another of her ex-boyfriends, Nate, at the wedding nor did she expect to learn that Becker was a drug lord. Now, Nate and Callie are on the run from Becker’s gunmen as they flee the reception.

While I enjoyed this story, there were quite a few coincidences I found hard to believe, including the connection between Callie, Nate, and Becker. I also found it hard to believe that the couple would stop to have sex while fleeing the gunmen after them. And Callie was a bit too flighty for my tastes, but I did enjoy her relationship with Nate. They had chemistry that sizzled and I enjoyed watching them reconnect.

The story was a bit too short for my taste and I would have loved to know more about the couple and their lives. Despite this and the other things I mention I enjoyed the story and the action of the plot.

Windy City Love Affair by Jane Leopold Quinn

Windy City Love Affair by Jane Leopold Quinn
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short
Other: M/F, public sexual acts
Book Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Daisy

Rancher Jess CroftenÆs Chicago business trip turns into much more when he literally bumps into beautiful law student, Lorren Samples, and asks for directions to Michigan Avenue. You can't beat summer in Chicago for romance -- the sights, the lakefront, the food. And just when Lorren realizes Jess is someone special, he's gone.

Jess has kept his secrets from Lorren, but when he returns from the Middle East wounded in spirit and body, it's to reclaim the normalcy she represents and the way of life he fought for.

Jess is a very sexy cowboy/soldier visiting Chicago before he ships out to Afghanistan. He bumps into Lorren on the streets and there are immediate sparks between the two of them. There is a brief but passionate encounter that soon follows, one that Jess remembers well, and the memories keep him going during the two hard years they spend apart as he serves on the desert front. Desperate to reconnect with her, he seeks her out upon his return hoping she will feel the same.

Windy City Love Affair was surprisingly passionate. Jane Leopold Quinn is able to keep the sexual tension raw and real between her characters. I was surprised this was her debut book, because it was so very good.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

One Good Man

One Good Man by Shara Azod
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Violet

Elizabeth is a woman on a mission to find out who is smuggling drugs in weapons shipments. Instead of sending one of the investigators under her command, she goes undercover. This situation is personal and she plans to put a serious hurt on the scum who has disgraced the uniform and endangered lives.

Erik is a hardcore take charge Marine, who has spent years in the field as the commander of his Recon unit. He wants to know two things about the sexy Navy officer who crosses his path—what is she doing in his weapon’s depot and why is she pretending to be a ditzy debutante?

Someone has been smuggling drugs through weapons shipments and Elizabeth Pearson is determined to find out who. She could have sent anyone in to take care of the problem but to Elizabeth, it's very personal. Major Erik Dean Young is a highly decorated marine who is the head of his department and what Erik would like to know is--who is this woman who is trying to act ditzy and what does she want? Elizabeth is a multifacted woman who is damn good at her job. Erik is a stictly by the rules kind of man. The combination of the two is sure to be interesting. From the moment Elizabeth set one perfectly sculpted leg out of the vehicle and their eyes finally connected, Erik knew he was in trouble.

I fell in love with Erik's character the minute I read the first paragraph. I mean, who doesn't love a military man who is hard as nails in personality as well as physically? Elizabeth is Erik's perfect counterpart. She is petite, sassy and brilliant. Together, they brought a an extraordinary amount of sizzle to the story. I couldn't wait for the moment Elizabeth and Erik finally gave in to temptation and let me just tell you that it was HOT! I loved how protective Erik was of Elizabeth whenever he thought she could possibly be in danger or when another man was around. I loved that Elizabeth was enough of a woman that she could take care of herself.

I highly recommend it to anyone who loves an erotic, suspense filled book. I was sitting on the edge of my seat when they were going through the computer trying to find out more about the suspect. I was so wrapped up in the story, I kept thinking "get out of there before you get caught"!

One Good Man is an excellent read. Shara Azod did an exceptional job with these two characters and then again with bringing them together. She knows what the reader wants and I promise you, you will not be disappointed.

Fairy Kisses and Magical Dreams

Fairy Kisses and Magical Dreams by Raine Delight
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Lilac

Prince Aryan has searched his world for the one woman that is his destined mate but has just about given up when he is led to the human world. Even though it is forbidden to fall in love with a human, he finds Skye Andrews completely delectable and wonders if she is his chosen love.

Skye Andrews has had it with men. After another disastrous date, her aunt gives her a love potion to try. With a magic spell and a mysterious face haunting her waking days, will Skye find the love she is looking for?

When her aunt gives her a love potion to try, Skye Andrews is reluctant, but takes it not believing it will work. However, a mysterious face soon haunts Skye’s dreams and days and she wonders if he could be the one. Fae Prince Aryan must find his destined mate or he will be forced into marriage. He has come to earth to find his mate even though mating with humans is forbidden. He finds himself drawn to Skye and suspects that she may be his mate, but knows that this may cause difficulty as she is human. But the connection between the two is hard for them to resist.

This was an interesting tale of fairies, magic, and romance. I really enjoyed the story and the passion that the two main characters shared. The concept of the story was fascinating and I would have loved to know more about Aryan’s world and how Skye and Aryan handle everything beyond the end of the story.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wish Upon A Djinn

Wish Upon A Djinn by Sammie Jo Moresca
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Menage, Multiple Partners
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Violet

Years of wedded bliss have denigrated into mundane routines for frumpy housewife Kim and her hunky firefighter husband, Roger. With another holiday season in full swing, Kim is feeling overwhelmed, unattractive, and jealous of his sexy coworker, a female firefighter who knows how to have fun. What this couple needs is some time away from the kids, and when two djinns come to visit one stormy night, they rediscover their cooling embers can be reignited into a love inferno.

Kim was a run of the mill stay at home mom. She was bored with her life and knew there had to be something more out there. Roger was a firefighter who did the same thing day after day. They had run into a wall in their relationship, sexually. Things were okay but not great. When their children go to their grandparents house for Christmas, Kim and Roger are left alone to do whatever they want. On their way home from a walk, they find a lantern and take it home. From the moment that a Djinn apears from the lantern, their lives become very stimulating. They each get three wishes and they are definitely not what the other thinks.

I could honestly say that I related to the relationship between Roger and Kim. I loved how humor played a major part in this story and what they thought were deficiencies in themselves were actually what attracted them to each other. As the story went on, it got so hot I actually wondered what a fire extinguisher might do to my computer. I think my monitor actually steamed up a little. Okay, a LOT! This was a very erotic story but written in a very humorous and sexy way.

I recommend this book to anyone who is into sexy reads. This one is definitely hot and you will walk away with a new vision of the "mundane" relationship. I would definitely read more from Sammie Jo Moresca.

Mary and the Bear

Mary and the Bear by Zena Wynn
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Hibiscus

Mary Elizabeth's life is spiraling out of control. Her twin sister, Babs, was killed in an automobile accident. Her bereaved brother-in- law has decided now is a good time to renew their college romance, and her healthy, domineering mother is demanding that she move back home and slave, ah, make that care for her. What's a woman to do? Get the heck out of Dodge! She jumps on the promotion offered by best friend, Kiesha Morgan, and moves to Refuge, NC. The last thing she wants or needs is
a man. She's got enough going on in her life.

Hugh Mosely owns and operates Refuge's only eating establishment. As a favor to Alex Morgan, good friend and alpha of the Raven Pack, he agrees to rent the empty apartment above his diner to Mary Elizabeth and keep an eye on her. Hugh is also a were-bear who's actively searching for a mate, a she-bear he can breed with and continue his nearly extinct species. Despite his nearly overwhelming, instant attraction to Mary Elizabeth, he has no interest in human females.

Unfortunately (or is that fortunately?) for them, the true mate bond doesn't care about personal agendas. Watch as they both get caught up in the Mating Fever and try to fight their way out.

I enjoyed this tale of shape-shifters and their mates. It put a new twist on what has become a standard story.

Mary Elizabeth is the supposed ugly duckling daughter whose twin sister, Babs, gets everything: their parents' love, friends, beauty, attention and even Mary Elizabeth's fiancé. When Babs died, I felt so sorry for Mary Elizabeth. When I read how her own parents wished she had been taken instead of the beautiful twin, it devastated me. I was glad that Mary Elizabeth moved away from everyone to be with her boss on the new store venture. I liked the idea that she left all her furniture and things behind to be sold and was starting fresh in Refuge, North Carolina. I got the impression that she is a strong, capable woman as her family always leaned on her to get things done and it took real strength to leave behind all that was familiar and start off in a new place by herself.

Hugh Mosley is Mary Elizabeth's landlord. He owns the town's only diner and only apartment. He retired from the military after 20 of service and is taking life easier. I got the impression that Hugh would love to settle down with a mate and have a family but he is resigned to the fact that it may never happen as there are few were-bears around. I loved Hugh's reactions to Mary Elizabeth. It was as if he didn't want to want her but he didn't want anyone else to sniff around her either. His growls at the party had me in stitches.

When Hugh realized that Mary Elizabeth was his mate, it was precious. I could see how he cared for her, not only when she was sick but how he fed her all the time and held her night and day. Mary Elizabeth didn't want to get into a relationship but was willing to be with Hugh for the time being. Watching Hugh wear away her defenses without her even knowing what he was about just made me smile. The sexual scenes between Hugh and Mary Elizabeth burned the pages on the computer. Watching Hugh try to restrain his beast while having intimate relations with Mary Elizabeth was a feat to be applauded, especially since Mary Elizabeth wanted his inner beast to come out and she didn't even realize it.

We have the very bad guy in the character of Charles Remington. He is Mary Elizabeth's ex-fiancé and now grieving brother-in-law. Unfortunately, Charles wants to be back in Mary Elizabeth's life and pesters he continuously. He is very rich and he even involves her parents in his campaign.

The only bad part to this great story is the editing. There are many grammatical errors and tense errors. It's not as bad as it could have been but it does make reading difficult in parts. I know this is not the fault of the author but I would have ranked this story higher if it did not have these errors. If you are able to ignore these types of errors, then I recommend Mary and the Bear. It is a very detailed story with a new slant on shape-shifters and their mates and takes a wicked twist at the end that I did not see coming.

I look forward to reading more about Refuge, North Carolina.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mating Claire (Sea Island Wolves: Book 1)

Mating Claire (Sea Island Wolves: Book 1) by Jenny Penn
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense
Length: Full
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Lilac

Following the trail of a serial killer and a demon, Claire Hallowell arrives in Wilsonville, SC. As difficult as her case is, it is the small town police chief with his easy smiles and blatant sexuality that threatens Claire’s highly structured world.

Arrogant and cocky, Derek Jacob knows his mate when he meets her. As the Alpha of the Narian Pack, Derek is not about to let anything stop him from claiming Claire.

Claire might fight it, but there is no denying the instantaneous heat between them. Sex comes easy while trust comes harder for the couple with secrets to hide. Follow Claire and Derek’s journey to overcome the obsessive attention of a demon and killer to find love.

Working undercover as a secretary named “Dorothy,” Claire Hallowell continuously butts heads with the local sheriff, Derek Jacob. Claire is working to solve a series of murders and has no time for the arrogant sheriff. A werewolf, Derek is intrigued by “Dorothy” and believes he has finally found his mate. Now all he has to do is convince her. But Claire shares a psychic connection to a demon who isn’t too happy about her growing relationship with Derek.

This paranormal romance has a little bit of everything…demons, ghosts, weres, dragons, vampires, and more. I was intrigued by the premise of the story and enjoyed each new discovery that was revealed about the colorful characters that inhabit this fictional world. The author brought the characters to life and I look forward to reading more about them all.

As for the relationship between Derek and Claire, I felt it was well-done. Their relationship faces many complications from a serial killer to demons to an angry ex-lover. But together they are able to persevere and protect and care for one another. Derek is incorrigible and I enjoyed watching as he made Claire blush. The banter between the two was very enjoyable.

Another fascinating character is Kate, the ghost that haunts and assists Claire as she works to solve the mystery of the serial killer. I was intrigued by Kate and would love to learn more about her and her life before she became a ghost.

Mating Claire is the start to what promises to be an intriguing series.

Desired Hearts

Desired Hearts by Tonya Ramagos
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Menage
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Lilac

It's custom in the goddess land for a mating celebration to be held when a royal heir comes of age. Aithne is the first of the three demigoddess heirs to reach her joining night, the night she will meet her destined heart. She knows not whom he might be, only that she will feel a pervasive tremor—the sign of destined love—in her heart and body when their eyes meet.

When Aithne spots Dustin, everything inside her quivers with desire so intense it leaves her breathless. She has found her true mate in the tall, blond, muscular Fae warrior. But when Hakan, heir to the throne of Tolynn, steps in, her desire spreads to him like a creamy wave. Is it possible to have two fated loves? If not, how will she choose between them?

A demigoddess, Aithne has come of age and must find her true mate. However, when Aithne’s mother defied her own mother and married a half-breed, Aithne’s grandmother cursed Aithne and her sisters. Cursed to suffer desire so great that it brings her death, Aithne is fearful to find her mate, but knows it is her duty and fate. At the mating celebration she is shocked to discover that not one, but two males seem destined to be hers. Dustin, a fae warrior, was reluctant to attend the celebration with his future king, Tolynn, but once he lays eyes on Aithne he feels the attraction between them. Tolynn also feels an attraction to the lovely demigoddess, but is it possible that the Guardians have chosen two mates for Aithne? As Aithne struggles with her attraction for the two men, she must also worry about the curse that shadows her every move.

This was a fascinating story and a bit different from what I expected, but I really enjoyed it. Aithne is conflicted over her feelings for both men. Once she accompanies them to their homeland, she struggles with her decision between the two and also faces threats to her safety. Tolynn and Dustin also struggle as they face jealousy over sharing Aithne. I felt for these characters as they dealt with the complications that arose from their attraction.

The unexpected ending of the story was an interesting surprise that I didn’t see coming, but it was handled nicely. I enjoyed this story and I look forward to learning about Aithne’s sisters as they deal with the curse that haunts them.