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Friday, July 24, 2009

The Warlord’s Woman by Tracy L. Ranson

The Warlord’s Woman by Tracy L. Ranson
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (225 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Tiger Lily

Edward I summons his grandson, Alexander of Kent, to court for the purpose of orchestrating the kidnap of Princess Catherine of Scotland, the surviving heir to the throne, and marry her. An heir through her would give Edward both thrones.

Alexander takes on the task despite his hatred of the Scots. He ambushes the party and forces a surrender. Just as he's about to take the sword from the small lead knight, he's knocked to the ground by the knight. He gives chase and pulls the visor from the man's head to discover he's looking into the deep green eyes of a beautiful woman. Who has sent this golden angel into his arms?

The beautiful woman is Catherine.

He intends to wed her, but Catherine has other plans...

Two countries on the brink of war. A battle-scarred warrior. Will the love of one woman prevent one and save the other?

This title was previously published as a mainstream romance. It has been extensively edited and revised (now a Scorching-rated erotic romance).

She’s the heir to the Scottish throne. He’s bent on vengeance and punishment. Theirs is a marriage made quite a bit lower than heaven. Can Catherine handle the tough situation? Only if she’s willing to be The Warlord’s Woman.

Ms. Ranson writes a captivating novel. Her characters are full of spunk and drive. You can’t help but want them to succeed and find their heart’s delight. The scenes are rich, drawing the reader in from the first page and holding them captive until the end. The dialogue is crisp and punchy while still with an edge of passion.

I loved the character of Catherine. Her pluck and determination were refreshing. She wanted return to Scotland and did what she needed to make it happen. I wanted to see her get her happily ever after. I also liked Alexander. Formed by circumstances he didn’t orchestrate, Alex came across as hard with a soft interior. More men should follow his lead. He wanted his princess in order to fulfill another man’s wishes, but once he came against Catherine’s determination, he had to have her. Very sexy. The love scenes smoldered!

If you want a novel that will make you laugh, cry, squirm, and beg for more, then The Warlord’s Woman is the novel for you. I give this work 41/2 cherries.

Double Double Dare Me by Ellie Moonwater

Double Double Dare Me by Ellie Moonwater
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (60 Pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F/M, Spanking, Menage
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Review by Eglantine

"The Master of the Mansion doesn't exist."

Famous last words for Katie Anstruth, who believes in the Master of Wellington Mansion more than she cares to admit. She has no choice but to accept radio rat and ex-lover Derek Ottoman's challenge after declaring she doesn't believe in ghosts and was mistaken about an earlier encounter.

Coming home to escape a disastrous relationship, Katie knows the Master is real, just as she knows he is awaiting her return.

What the Master of Wellington Mansion will do when Derek also decides to tag along and spend the night with them is anyone's guess.

I find it happens again and again when I open a book to review: I ask myself what is it that we as erotica readers are looking for when we buy books in this genre?

It's clear that better and better writers are attracted to this genre for various reasons. The stories are becoming truly good reading in many cases. Sex is used not only for gratification, but as a tool to explore issues that we face in real life many times.

Yet we still want the sex. Erotica is also no doubt there primarily for relaxation, and we want it to be arousing. That is where my problem lies with Double Double Dare Me. It's a well written story and I really liked it, but I hesitate to classify it as erotica. Even so, the sex that it does contain is probably too much for it to be a hot romance. This story falls in between the two.

I loved the premise, and the characters were well rounded and believable. In all honesty, though, I felt the sexual tension between the main characters was simply too weak for this kind of story. There's some BDSM and some spanking, but though the labels are necessary, it's very mild.

The writing and editing are faultless, and that's a big kudos for those who worked hard on this lovely tale. I truly enjoyed reading Ms Moonwater's tale. It's perfect for those who enjoy a great story that's not shy of getting into detail when it's time for the sex, but isn't obsessed with it.

More Than Gold by Bonita

More Than Gold by Bonita
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (68 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Wisteria

A love-seeking man and a gold-thieving woman...

Oliver Nash is looking for a mistress. What interesting circumstances, to discover a ravishing thief trifling in his bedchamber. Her eyes arouse him, her passion ignites him, and her gall amuses him. Considering the circumstances, he gives her a bargain she cannot refuse, which unleashes her secret, and it's about to change everything.

Can love's glow surpass the glitter of gold?

Nash finds himself drawn to a beautiful woman. Frankie cannot control her body’s reactions to a stranger. Caught in a compromising position, wrapped in a powerful lust, they both discover something about themselves they never knew. Love can come in unexpected packages.

With a hero like Nash, who seems cold and distant, you still can’t help but love the raw sexuality of him. The charming beauty and naivety of Frankie makes for an instantly likeable heroine. With each of them battling their own demons the story had an instant hook that drew me in and kept me there. With a good hook, steady line and a happy ending, it was all I could ask for and more. The author did a great job. The characters were believable as was the plot.

I have to say that I am thrilled I was able to review for this author and would gladly read other works she puts out.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rain at Midsummer by Teresa Noelle Roberts

Rain at Midsummer by Teresa Noelle Roberts
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (104 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Cholla

An escaped slave daunted by freedom. A nobleman fighting his destined birthright. Their love defies logic, but when the spirits of the land speak, you’d better listen.

Nikos curses the day his brother died and left him as Lord of Thermanae. What’s an educated man to do in a place so backward his tenants expect the Lord and Lady of the estate to bring rain through sex-magic? Jaenna, a runaway Kulchu slave, curses the fate that forced her to flee a murderous master to the neighboring Soranian Empire. Freedom means frightening choices for a woman whose entire life has been spent serving men’s sexual whims, and she can’t communicate with the spirits of the land enough to work the healing magic that might earn her a respectable place here.

The forbidden desire that burns between Nikos and Jaenna could save them both, if they see beyond what they think they know. But it takes desperate need—and advice from a madwoman who may be crazy like a fox—for Nikos to see that magic isn’t merely a metaphor and Jaenna to learn that love is the most powerful magic of all.

Note: Rain at Midsummer is set in the same world as Lady Sun Has Risen and is part of the Seasons of Sorania cycle.

Step into a world ruled by magic and the old ways where slavery is still a very real and frightening thing. In a world like this, anything can happen… but can an escaped slave find love with a nobleman?

Tired of being used and abused by her cruel master, Oraz, Jaenna runs for her life, escaping into land under the rule Soranians, the enemy of her own people. Desperate for a second chance, a new life, she throws herself at the feet of Nikos, Lord of Thermanae. Despite being an uneducated slave, she is an intelligent woman who adapts quickly to her new life among the Soranians. She is eager and willing to help and do all she can to keep her place in this new society, so much different from the one she was raised in.

Lord Nikos had never wanted to rule his family’s land but was left no choice after the death of his older brother. And now, with Midsummer fast approaching, he must find a mate for the ceremony and pray for the rain the land so desperately needs. Nikos suffers from the usual second-son syndrome – he doesn’t quite know what he wants to do with himself, fancies marrying a wealthy woman and living in the city. The one thing he does know is that he doesn’t want to take over where his brother left off, duty or not. Despite this waffling, he doesn’t whine or act immaturely in order to avoid his destiny. He approaches it with caution and contemplation, trying to make the best decision for all concerned.

When Jaenna and Nikos do finally come together, it is with passion and a real desire for one another. As a couple they fit together perfectly. He is proud and confident while she is insecure and a bit scared. They balance one another out well, bringing equilibrium to their relationship as well as stability.

A wonderful fantasy set in a world I’d love to learn more about, Rain at Midsummer is a magical and erotic story of finding love in the most unexpected of places.

Chasing Booty by Shannon Leigh

Chasing Booty by Shannon Leigh
Publisher: Amber Quill Press, LLC
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Futuristic
Length: Short Story (102 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Tiger Lily

When cops can’t catch the most-wanted criminals, they hire Gaelyn. She comes from a long line of bounty hunters, including her father, uncle, and grandfather. Extensive training in weaponry, hand-to-hand combat, and adverse conditions have seasoned her into a formidable opponent against any contracted hit, whether male, female, alien, or human. She has little fear of the unknown and thrives on adventure.

Only one other hunter matches her status—Reese, a Trøndite from the small planet of Sør-Trøndalag in the Capricornus Sector. And the man has a knack for stealing her contracts. Both cunning and gorgeous, the mix doesn’t seem quite fair. But attractiveness holds little power over money. Reese had beaten Gaelyn out of a half-year’s pay a scarce three months ago, and she will be damned if he outwits her again.

Thinking she’s duped Reese back onto Jupiter, Gaelyn isn’t too happy when she runs into him on Quaoar at the Blue Moon, an authentic hole-in-the-wall bar tucked at the end of a narrow alley in what would be considered the rough part of town; just the place to find her contracted hit. But Reese not only has the information she needs to find her mark, he also has a business proposal that’s too tempting to pass up. And a partnership with Reese just might prove rewarding in a way Gaelyn never expects...

She’s going to bring back the biggest booty of her bounty hunting life. So is he. What happens when his ship breaks and he needs to rely on her? He’s Chasing Booty.

Ms. Leigh writes a fast-paced short with compelling characters and really hot sex! The scenes are rich, making you feel like you’re roaming the intergalactic tunnels with Gaelyn and Reese. You feel their passion and their strife. You want them to see past their frustration and sort out the feelings that are so evident.

I loved that Gaelyn could kick serious behind if needed. She never took garbage from Reese, even when he dished it. I loved the repartee between them. He drove her nuts, and she never let him see her sweat. I also liked that he had to rely on her. Too many heroines fall weak-kneed into the arms of the hero. This story takes that idea and turns it on its ear.

Then there’s the love scenes... wow! Very hot. Reese is an unconventional lover, but the passion between him and Gaelyn is still strong.

If you want a sexy read for a warm summer night, then Chasing Booty is the novella for you! I give this novella 4 cherries.

Hotter Than Hell by Kathleen Scott

Hotter Than Hell by Kathleen Scott
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (143 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Wisteria

Fallen angels never have it easy. So it is with Damon Serif, who’s just landed the most difficult assignment possible—protecting his sexy neighbor, Ivy Hawthorne, from a hoard of water demons bent on making her their queen. Though keeping the smoking-hot costume designer out of evil’s clutches is something he’s trained centuries for, Damon knows the real challenge is having her close without tasting her charms and indulging in her rather unique perspectives.

Ivy’s luck is finally changing. After years of designing costumes for off-Broadway plays, she’s finally got a shot at the brass ring. But now, her sizzling neighbor is following her around the city, insisting she’s the target of a demonic conspiracy. What’s more, his mere touch causes her body to climax with an intensity of which she’d only dreamed.

When Damon and Ivy connect, even the demons feel the heat, because together they are...Hotter Than Hell.

Damon and Ivy are next door neighbors in New York City. Ivy is a costume designer and Damon, well, he’s a fallen angel sent to protect her from demons. What’s a girl to do when the sexy, nutty neighbor tells you that the man who could make all your dreams come true is a demon hell bent on making her his queen? Believe him or run for the hills. Maybe take him to bed and deal with the crazy accusations later?

An action packed plot with characters that you just love, steamy hot loving and hold on to your seats turns around every page. I enjoy a good paranormal that is cut from a different cloth than most, and I must say this is one. The reference to water demons was new to me and the author was able to make it all very believable. With clean editing and well written scenes I found the story well worth the time and would no doubt read it again.

My compliments to the author on a job well done.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Screwed by J. Hali Steele

Screwed by J. Hali Steele
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short (42 pages)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, M/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Spanking
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Review by: Tiger Lily

Purple P. Rose is a brash private investigator. Her latest case has her visiting the city's seediest nightspot, the Mons Venus, with partner and boyfriend, Richard E. Rection. Their new case is full of surprises. Dick discovers he's bisexual and is worried Purp won't like it.

They are both unaware there's a new and sinister being in town -- Peter Hard, a vampyre who enjoys the taste of women and men alike. He's chosen Purple to be his. Ready to claim her, he uses his powers to coerce Dick to bring him in as a partner.

Their lives will never be the same again.

He wants her and she wants him. But another man wants in on the deal... well, he’d rather take over the deal. What do you do when one partner can read minds? Well, you’re Screwed.

This is a funny take on the erotica genre, but there’s also a good story, too. J. Hali Steele uses names and characterizations typical to the genre, but the substance of the story makes this work worth the time.

Purple P. Rose works as an investigator with Richard E. Rection. They have an open relationship and they aren’t afraid to explore their fantasies. Readers can identify with their sense of adventure in and out of bed. When Peter Hard, the mind-reading vampire enters the picture, both Purp and Dick want to be with him. I liked that Purp remained a strong woman throughout. I want to read about a woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to kick behind to get it.

The sex scenes in this work are sizzling! You can feel the love and passion between Purp and Dick. They respect each other. Even when Peter shows up, Dick still wants to protect and care for Purp.

If you want a read that’ll make you laugh and squirm, this is the novella for you. I give Screwed 4 ½ cherries.

Seduced by Darkness by Lacey Savage

Seduced by Darkness by Lacey Savage
Publisher: Changeling Press LLC
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (250 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/F/F, M/M, Ménage, Spanking
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by Mistletoe

A girl can only take so much darkness before she succumbs to its seductive call...

When sexy magician Luke Howard yanks Heidi Cole on stage and names her his audience volunteer, dark desire wraps Heidi in tendrils of passion, as foreign to her as the shadowy world of magic. And then Luke is brutally torn from her arms.

Driven by haunting memories of losing him, she hopes to one day become strong enough to conduct a Summoning and rescue her lover from the depths of Hell. But magic makes no guarantees. When Heidi is finally able to open a portal into Hell, she brings back not only Luke but also his cellmate, a man whose raw sex appeal is only matched by the secrets he keeps.

The descent into darkness will demand Heidi's body, her heart, her humanity, and the one thing she refuses to sacrifice: her men.

This collection contains the previously released novellas Dark Desire, Summoning Darkness, Darkness Becomes Her, and Seduced by Darkness.

Who knew going to a magic show could help you find the love of your life? That is just what happened to Heidi Cole. One decision can change your life forever; Heidi’s decision to finally go out with her sister takes her to a whole other world that she never even knew existed. Seduced by Darkness was a great read full of love, lust, trust and sacrifice. The characters had a lot of depth and made many special bonds of trust and love.

Heidi and her sister get caught in a rain shower and decide to go to a magic show that they find as they are looking for shelter. As they are watching from backstage Heidi is suddenly pulled onstage as a volunteer for a special trick. Luke, the magician, ends up saving her from a demon and in turn is taken to Hell. Heidi vows to find him and bring him back.

The bonds of love and trust that develop between these characters throughout the story were a wonderful thing to see. Each learning from one another and trusting the others, even to the point of sacrificing oneself for the better of the others. This story was well written and had a nice flow to it. It moved quickly and fluidly always keeping the reader wanting more. Keeping one interested all the way to the very end and even making you want to know more about the other characters in the story. This story does contain some explicit sex and play so readers may want to be aware of that. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and defiantly will be looking for more of this authors work to read.

Unicorn Valley (A Collection) by Lena Austin

Unicorn Valley (Collection) by Lena Austin
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure
Length: Full Length (280 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/M, Ménage, Bisexual, F/F, Multisexual
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Holly

Lionel, one of the last Unicorn Valley Gryphons, is forced to choose his mate from among other shifters. What he doesn't count on is falling in love with the Werebitch Teema, who has a few needs and demands of her own. Lionel's foster brother Brolly falls for a shape -- and gender -- shifting Immortal, and Shadow, the future Unicorn herd stallion, loves an Elf. As if things couldn't get any stranger, their mercenary Unicorn uncle Jamir is falling in love with both Moontyger and the Dragon Li Chin -- at the same time.

Not everyone loves everybody in Unicorn Valley, but they try.

This collection includes the previously released novellas Gryphon's Heart, Stallion's Heart, Healer's Heart, and Moontyger's Quest.

Unicorn Valley is a mystical, magical, and sensual place. Its residents are supernatural creatures of all sorts, and they peacefully co-exist in their land. Each of the residents in Unicorn Valley has the ability to shift from human to animal, but they can also shift to other animals as well. This book tells the story of four of the multi-natured residents of the Valley, and their searches for the mates destined to complete their lives. Lena Austin imbues the stories with beauty and sensuous emotion. The stories of Lionel, Shadow, Brolly and Moontyger charm and enchant the reader, and provide a wonderful sense of fantasy and delight, along with some absolutely scorching romance.

Gryphon’s Heart is the story of Lionel, the last of the gryphons in the Valley. He needs to find a mate in order to continue his line, but there are no female gryphons left. He must choose someone outside of his species to mate with, and in typical male arrogance, announces his choice to all interested parties. He chooses Teema, a wolf shifter, and one of his best friends. This story becomes a relationship story, with all the mistakes and misunderstandings we all experience. It is a wonderful depiction of what we've all been through, both good and bad when we enter into a relationship with another. Teema has loved Lionel most of her life, but she is hurt by the way he just assumes she will be what he needs without any discussion. Their adventures, and misadventures, are an enjoyable look at what can go wrong on the way to “happily ever after”. But they do get there eventually, and with great passion and love along the way.

Stallion’s Heart is the story of Shadow, a Unicorn designated to be the next Herd Stallion, or leader of the Valley. This story starts sadly, with Shadow’s mother suffering a “brain storm” and being near death. Everyone knows that when she dies, her husband will follow her. A faction of the herd, led by Shadow’s brother Durham, don’t believe in peaceful co-existence, and feel there should be a fight to the death to determine the next Herd Stallion. There has been peace in the Unicorn Valley for over three hundred years under the leadership of Tanne Brae, Shadow’s adoptive father, but Durham would see that peace shattered and Unicorn’s as the supreme species as it was in older days. In order to avert any disaster, it is decided that someone will seek out a history of the Valley in order to find a precedent for a peaceful change in leadership. Because of his love of books and knowledge, Shadow is that one. The historian in charge of the archives is Chantrea, half Elf and Half Fairy, daughter of the Elf King. She is also quite beautiful, and Shadow falls deeply in love with her. This could pose a problem, as mixed mating is one of the things Durham so heavily protests. The more time they spend together, the deeper their love grows. When Shadow’s adoptive mother dies, her husband does indeed follow her, and Shadow must take the steps of leadership necessary. Again, Ms. Austin shows us a relationship that could go either way, depending on the choices made. The scenes in the archives, and at the bathing pool are especially hot, and just when you are sure what choices Shadow will make, she spins it off a bit. The happily ever after in this one is hard won, but again well worth the travel.

Healer’s Heart is the story of Brolly, a wolf shifter, and the foremost healer in the Valley. He is also a man who is asked to battle Aahz, the current Alpha of the pack, because Aahz will not limit breeding, and it is endangering the lands. They choose Brolly, not because he is a great and powerful shifter (although he is) but because it appears that he prefers the love of other males. Since the pack lands are over crowded, they want a leader who will not seek to cover all of the unmated werebitches in order to perpetuate the species. To be Alpha, Brolly would have to give up being a healer, and he does not want to do that. The only other shifter considered safe is Brolly’s brother Kenalf, who prefers to love men as well. Unknown to any but himself, Brolly will accept either sex, but he finds that he is in love with a very old family friend, Le-An, a unique shifter that can not only change animal forms, but can also be either male or female at will. After rescuing Le-An from a trip into the human world, and fixing the wounds he got there, Brolly and Le-An have a passionate encounter in the room where Le-An is recovering. Afterwards, Brolly feels like he took advantage, and leaves the valley to go to the human realm to look for his brother. He ends up in France during the plague, and works at a monastery helping the sick. Le-An follows when he is well enough, and they are reunited there at the monastery. That is where things go bad quickly, because unlike in the Valley, two men together is wrong in this human world. They are caught and barely escape. Ms. Austin shows us the doubts both Brolly and Le-An experience in the beginning, and how they are able to solve the problems that arise. The question “what is Le-An” is answered and I will say that Ms Austin has a wicked sense of the absurd with this revelation. This one takes a bit to get to its conclusion, with many hitches along the road, but happily ever after once again wins out.

Moontyger’s Quest is the story of Moontyger and her quest to find the descendants of the original Kirinn clan. Moontyger is a white tiger shifter, and does not live in the Valley of the Unicorns, although she has many friends there and does visit occasionally. Along with Jamir, the mercenary from Unicorn Valley and Li chin, the dying Imperial Dragon, she sets out on a journey from her home in the Imperial Palace of the Enchanted Forest, determined to find these descendents in order to find males of the line to preserve the race left in her land. Li Chin is dying of old age and unhappy about it, and has his own reasons to accompany her on this quest. Jamir goes because he to is aging and has lost interest in his life since the death of his mate. This is a story of mature romance, as all of the main characters are older, and of discovering that you are never too old for some things. Moontyger has been in love with LI Chin for much of her existence, but believes she is not worthy of his notice, She doesn’t know that he has been in love with her for just as long, and his reason for going is more complicated than either Moontyger or Jamir realize. For Li Chin has a plan, and if it is successful, he will not become a Storm Bringer, which is what happens to his race instead of dying. They become spirits, with no memory or feeling, and live on to bring storms to the land. This story is different, in that there are no other characters other than the three main characters through most of the tale. There are several big surprises and one seriously hot three-way scene. The biggest surprise comes near the end of the quest, and I almost laughed out loud at the conclusion.

I enjoyed these four stories and loved my visit to Unicorn Valley. Ms Austin made me laugh, and cry and feel the fun with her creations. I would love to visit Unicorn Valley again to meet more of her fantastic, multi-natured friends. I would recommend this to anyone who loves romance, because at the heart of all four tales is a deep and sincere sense of love, along with some extremely hot romance.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Miss Firecracker by Lorelei James

Miss Firecracker by Lorelei James
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (113 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by Anthurium

She’s the match, he’s the fuse…an explosive combination

Wild West Boys, Book 2

One year ago Willow Gregory entered the Miss Firecracker contest on a dare—and ended up with the crown. As a working carpenter, she’s not exactly the tears-and-tiara type, and after a year of walking the straight and narrow she’s ready to cut loose.

Waking up in a sexy stranger’s bed with no memory of the havoc she wreaked the night before wasn’t quite what she had in mind. Nor was agreeing to his mandate—work for him at the tavern until she repays the damage. Or go to jail.

Blake West thinks he could possibly be the only man alive who could say no to a drunken, horny, naked beauty queen. There’s something about the former Miss Firecracker that makes him want to blow his Mr. Nice Guy persona all to hell.

It helps that Willow is ready to dive headfirst into a no-heartstrings-attached affair. Which fits in perfectly with Blake’s temporary gig managing his friend’s bar.

Every grinding kiss, every stolen touch leads to another…until a harmless little white lie becomes the detonator that could explode their chances at a happily ever after.

Warning: this light-hearted beach read features a hero hotter than the 4th of July and a feisty heroine who knows exactly how to pop his top.

This is a very fun contemporary romp. Willow wakes up hung over and basically naked in the bed of a man she doesn't know. She is informed that because of her behavior letting loose the night before, she has to pay off her debt for starting a bar fight by working as a waitress at LeRoy's Tavern. The snappy banter between Willow and Blake West draw the reader into the story quickly and keeps your attention through out the story.

The attraction between these two characters is immediately apparent. Blake admires Willow, not just for her hot body, but also for her quick brain and upbeat attitude. Willow is not used to being the center of attention of a sexy hot cowboy bartender. But her attraction to Blake is irresistible. The characters develop as their relationship does, and the fireworks promised by the title do not disappoint.

This book is well written with snappy dialogue and smoking hot sex. It is a great addition to Lorelei James' Wild West Boy's series. It is just plain fun, and highly recommended, get yourself a copy just as soon as you can, you won't regret it.

Goin' Down Book 1 by Mallory Hall, Renee Michaels, Shannon Robinson, Collette Thomas & Blaise Kilgallen

Goin' Down Book 1 by Mallory Hall, Renee Michaels, Shannon Robinson, Collette Thomas & Blaise Kilgallen
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Genre: Contemporary, Anthology
Length: Short Story (140 pgs)
Other: M/F, Multiple Partners, Ménage, Light Bondage
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Magnolia

A widow lives out an erotic dream inside a stalled elevator with a silk clad cowboy in Aft Shaft by Mallory Hall.

All work and no play makes Jenna a dull girl until she meets Dante, the hot Italian stud who has nothing but the business of teaching her pleasure on his mind in Renee Michaels' Descent into Pleasure.

Shannon Robinson relays the story of a fired secretary who releases her frustration on an ex-boss then discovers a mutual attraction that explodes into heated passion in Fired or Fired Up.

And Collette Thomas spins a story of two outrageous older women living out separate fantasies with a younger man inside a stuck elevator in The Elevator Man.

This is an anthology and the first story, Fired or Fired Up by Shannon Robinson is one hot, sexy read. Chirene has just been fired by her hunky boss of five years, Jacob. Chirene would never mix business with pleasure, but now she’s on her way out and she’s alone with Jacob in the elevator. She has never told him what she really thinks about him and now she has the perfect moment. After stopping the elevator, Chirene lets him have it, but her ranting and raving only serves to turn him on. The sex that follows is well written, full of lust and heat and you might just find that you need to fan yourself once or twice along the way. I really liked this short story and recommend that if you have only a few minutes to entertain yourself this is the way to do it!

I just love The Aft Shaft by Mallory Hall! This could also be called “Cougar In An Elevator” as 50-something Marietta gets stuck on an elevator with the oh-so-sexy cowboy, Cord. With an instant attraction, what else are two red-blooded American people going to do while they wait to be rescued? The sex is hot, the attraction between the older woman and younger man is believable, and I thought this was an awesome, written for the times we live in story that shouldn’t be missed!

The Elevator Man by Collette Thomas is a sexy, funny, delightful little tale that I thoroughly enjoyed. When Madeleine and Anna, both divorced and approaching fifty, discover they have been enticed and pleasured by the same man, they decide to play out a little fantasy of their own. The Elevator Man is about to get a ménage he hadn’t bargained for and these two ladies are about to live out a fantasy that even a lifetime of friendship couldn’t have prepared them for. Don’t miss this one!

I liked the maleness of Descent Into Pleasure by Renee Michaels. Dante is the type of man who knows what he wants and goes for, undeterred by words like “no” or “I don’t want to.” Jenna is a woman working in a nearly male-dominated environment and is determined to be valued for her work ethic and skill, not for being hot. She has barriers that keep her safe from men who come on to her, but they seem to be useless against Dante. The banter between Dante and Jenna is believable, but I found myself enamored by Dante and wishing Jenna would just drop trow and get on with what we all know she wants, as the author leads us along a path that puts both character into close situations. But of course, in this anthology, only an elevator will bring them together. Read at your leisure.

Dragon’s Kiss by Ally Blue

Dragon’s Kiss by Ally Blue
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Futuristic
Length: Short Story (30 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Review by Cactus

In a future ruled by superstition and fear, wanting the wrong man can be deadly.

A Mother Earth story.

The rules governing a Pack-Brother’s existence are simple. Love your Brothers. Protect each other and your Tribe with your life. Seek sex only within the bonds of Brotherhood, or your life is forfeit. The laws are harsh, but fair. Or so Bear has always thought. Then he and his Brother Lynx capture a stranger in the Carwin Tribe’s outlying lands—Dragon, a Brother from a distant Pack, banished from his Tribe for the crime of challenging things he shouldn’t.

Dragon intrigues Bear from the start, and not just because of his exotic beauty. Interest in the decadent old world is discouraged in this post-Change society. Dragon is the first person Bear’s ever known, other than himself, who’s curious about the vanished past. That kinship sparks a forbidden attraction between them. An attraction which is, if they give in to it, punishable by death.

In the space of a day, everything Bear was raised to believe is called into question, and he must make a life-changing decision—follow the law, or follow his heart.

This story was previously available, but has been expanded and re-edited for Samhain Publishing.

Warning: This book contains ropes, oil, primitive post-apocalyptic cultures and gay sex in the dirt.

In a post-apocalyptic world, two men must decide if their newfound passion is enough to go against years of ingrained rules. Bear has always been curious about the world before the big disaster but since such thoughts are forbidden and punishable by death or exile, he’s ignored his thoughts. Those questions and wonders are resurrected when he meets Dragon, a brother from another Pack who was exiled for daring to question his elders. Together, the two men find passion and shared curiosity just might be their downfall.

This is a fascinating and interesting world created where a natural disaster has regressed humanity back to early pre-technology days. The fear of repercussions from Mother Earth has many Packs outlawing anything relating to the way the world used to be. The hope is that by not indulging in the same behaviors, this time humanity won’t ruin the Earth and raise Her ire. This idea is a very interesting premise and is sketched briefly but the story is simply too short to really fill in all the details of the world suggested. There are several questions and holes left in regards to the Pack dynamics, rules, the elders and so on that are sacrificed in favor of the hot sex and connection between the men. This leaves the world as an enticing glimpse into possibility, which hopefully will be better, fleshed out in future sequels.

As for the men, Dragon and Bear are also only given brief sketches of their personality and characters. They are intriguing and their chemistry is instant and smoking hot. The sex in this book is often and scorching so the dynamics of the men and the world building is sacrificed for the sex scenes. These scenes certainly turn up the heat and in such a short space; it’s surprising how well the erotica is written. This certainly shows the strength of the author, who knows her way around great sex. The ending is abrupt and unfinished, which leads me to believe there will be more of the men and setting in the future.

I liked this introduction and although a lot of the plot, characters, and world were ignored for the sex, it was an intriguing enough beginning to make me want to read more. Fans of the author’s writing will enjoy this short story and those new to Blue should check this out. It’s a decent short story that introduces an idea without delving too deeply into the details, yet. There are a few hints from the title and ending that suggest more stories in this world will be coming and I can’t wait. I’m very interested to see where the author goes from here and I highly suggest getting in on the series now at the beginning.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Dark Immortal by J.K. Coi

Dark Immortal by J.K. Coi
Publisher: Linden Bay Romance, LLC
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (263 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Magnolia

Loving an Immortal was never easy...without her memories it might be impossible.

Immortals, Book 3

Five years of happiness, erased in one vicious act of violence.

Diana freed Alric from his prison and the insanity of his own mind, offering him the kind of love only a fool would deny. Now she lies broken and comatose from a vampire attack, locked deep inside herself where he cannot reach her.

Awakening in a strange bed, Diana has no memory of how she got there. The huge, muscled man leaning over her is straight out of nightmares full of blood and pain. Married to him? It can’t be true…even if her body craves his touch, and the anguish in his eyes shatters something deep inside her.

Alric has no intention of giving up on the woman who never stopped fighting for him. His one hope is that time will heal her mind. But with a demon god poised to tip the balance of power, time is not on their side…

Warning: Contains plenty action, demons from within and without, not to mention toe-curling sex between a strong woman who doesn’t quite know her own mind and a damn hot immortal warrior who’s got the tortured hero thing down to an artform.

Dark Immortal is a fantastic story that I just loved! I haven’t read the first two in this series, but I’m going to now. The characters are wonderful, the vampires, demons, shape shifters are all so believable. The action is awesome; the sex is thrilling; and I just fell in love with the entire story!

Alric has all the requirements of hunkiness and ferocity an immortal should have, as well as all the requirements a lover and devoted husband should have. Diana is strong, tough and she’s the kind of woman who is determined to get through whatever comes her way, no matter how she has to do it. She has lived through some pretty tragic events and found herself staring at the bottom of a liquor bottle trying to cope. Both of these characters had issues to deal with, but when they fall in love, it’s the real deal and that’s what saves them both.

I can’t say enough about this wonderful tale that ventures into a dark world unlike any I’ve ever read before. This is definitely worth putting down your current read for!

Empire: Burning Desires by Cat Marsters

Empire: Burning Desires by Cat Marsters
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Paranormal, Futuristic, Action/Adventure
Length: Short Story (118 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, M/M, Anal Sex, Menage
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Holly

No one hides from the Empire. They see everything, they know everything.

But what they don't know is that a very rare female dragon is living in the slums of the floating city of Carnalis, keeping quiet, staying hidden. They don't know that under the deep, dark seas that cover most of the world, an entire civilization of Mer is thriving. And they definitely don't know that when the two meet, sparks will fly.

Libby is seeking revenge against the Empire for the death of her best friend. Swann is still healing from wounds the Empire inflicted on him seven years ago.

When fire meets water, burning desires will set the world alight.

The setting is future Earth, devastated by a war of epic proportions. Libby is one of the rarest of the rare, a female dragon, hiding in the city slums of Carnalis. When her friend and former lover is killed in the streets by Imperial troops, she shifts to dragon form and kills the squad, then heads to the throne room to kill the Emperor. Instead, she finds the Empress enjoying some carnal delight on the throne with one of her harem. Libby expects her to call the guard, but is shocked when the Empress urges her to escape, rather than be captured and turned into a breeder, or worse. Swann is captain of a pirate ship, the only straight male on a ship of gay men. He is another of the Empress’s escapees and she tells him to be on the lookout for a dragon.

Once again, we get a look at a futuristic Earth after a hostile takeover of sorts. The court intrigues are but a minor part of this story of vengeance, love and desire. Cat Marsters writes some of the hottest sex I have read in a while, and yet it fits into the storyline. Nothing is gratuitous in this story, and there are some surprises along the way to liven things up.

This book can be read by itself, but it gains clarity when you have read the first book in the series. I recommend that you make sure that your air conditioner is set on high, and that you have a big glass of ice water on hand when you read this.

Chasing Smoke by K.A. Mitchell

Chasing Smoke by KA Mitchell
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (180 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex, Suspense/Mystery
Rating: 3 Cherries
Review by Cactus

An old mystery brought them together. Solving it could tear them apart.

In the best of times, Daniel Gardner hates visiting his family. With his boyfriend pressuring him for a mortgage-serious commitment, Christmas in Easton, PA sounds, for once, like a welcome escape. His old house holds more than memories of a miserable adolescence, though. It has Trey Eriksson.

At seventeen, Trey was taken in by the wealthy Gardner family after his father was jailed for his mother’s murder. Until he left for the Army, he fought a double-edged battle—for proof of his father’s innocence and against his attraction to Daniel.

Fifteen years later, things haven’t changed. Trey is still looking for the real killer. And Daniel has never forgotten how Trey used to sneak into his room at night.

Now new clues to the murder are resurfacing—and so is Trey and Daniel’s sexual chemistry. Except this time, Trey has come to terms with his orientation.

But their connection may not be enough to overcome the mistakes of the past. Not while a murderer still walks free…

Warning: Anyone who would rather not read about hooking back up with someone who broke your heart, minor suspense, hot guys who can handle guns and each other, and lots of steamy gay sex probably isn’t reading this warning anyway, but if you are, back away slowly and keep your hands where I can see them.

New light is about to be shed on a mystery lingering for fifteen years and causes old lovers to reconnect and experience a passion that never died. In this book, dual storylines of unsolved mystery and unrequited romance bring old lovers Trey and Danny together again as they work to find answers to both questions. However, these answers may not be what either man want to hear and each much face personal demons in order to find happiness.

The story revolves around the unsolved mystery of Trey’s parents. Fifteen years ago his mother was killed and his father was shot and blamed for the murder. Trey never believed his father was responsible and has been trying to prove his theory ever since. Now that his former lover and best friend has returned, the two join forces to prove the impossible. However, in my opinion, this mystery plot was poorly written and weak enough that it distracts from the story of the men’s relationship. The mystery is supposed to be the catalyst for why Trey and Danny reunite and resume their relationship. Unfortunately due to the poor quality of the mystery, this reason seemed a bit anemic and flat.

The characters of Trey and Danny show great promise and the writing becomes clear, engaging and interesting when focused on their connection outside of any bad mystery sleuthing. Their reunion is mostly comprised of hot sex scenes and numerous variations on that theme. However the dialogue and supporting characters are vibrant and show the real strength of the book and writing. I wish the author would have focused on that and produced a wonderful story of angst and reconnection instead of on the mystery.

Fans of the author are likely to forgive this surprising anomaly of a story. Given the author’s proven track record of strong writing and great characters, the misstep into mystery will hopefully not happen again. The strengths of the writing and story come too briefly in this book to make it a success but are shown within the dialogue and connections in various relationships. The secondary character of Ginny is a scene stealing and vibrant character, injecting much needed life and warmth into the story, even if the reason she’s there is never explained. While I didn’t love this story due to the problems above, the few great scenes showed the energy and vitality which the author is usually known for combined with the great premise are enough that most fans will likely want to read this story; even if it’s not one of the author’s best efforts.