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Friday, January 8, 2010

Red Rio Blue by Marianna Lauren

Red Rio Blue by Marianna Lauren
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: paranormal
Length: Short Story (122 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Stephanotis

Aubrey Hunnisett, the owner of the successful nightclub the Rio Blue, is determined to buy out the Club Lunar, run by the dark and mysterious Michael Lennox. Michael is a vampire, and although he can feel intense mutual attraction arcing between them, he’s suspicious of Aubrey’s offer. Two tragic murders have thrown his club into rough financial waters.

Passionate sex fulfills her exhibitionist fantasies and gives Michael the chance to sift through Aubrey's memories to see if she’s working for his hated enemy, the vampire Richard Sands. Though he discovers she's not, his trip down her memory lane leads to its own batch of problems: he's halfway to falling in love with her.

Aubrey's a weakness his enemy can use, and does, dragging her into a vampiric conflict that's more than a century old. But he's underestimating Aubrey and her feelings for Michael.

Aubrey Hunnisett owns Rio Blue but like any successful business woman has her eyes set on acquiring a rival club, Club Lunar. Problem is Club Lunar is owned by a sexy guy named Michael Lennox who just happens to be a vampire. Does Aubrey really want Club Lunar or is she in cahoots with rival vampire, Richards Sands? It’s up to Michael to find out by any means he can.

I’ve been skipping over paranormals with the word vampire attached to them because it seemed every plot had been rehashed over and over again. However, this one caught my attention and I’m glad I chose to read it.

Not only is the plot original, I really liked the characters too. Ms. Lauren doesn’t rely on any of the clichés of vampire novels. Michael’s sexy but not moody and dark. She’s created a well rounded character in Michael who at times just seems like the guy next door. Aubrey is strong, knows what she wants but at the same time you know she’s falling for this sexy guy. You think there’s going to be a happy ever after, but then you remember, this guy’s a vampire and how can these two end up together? Her description of the characters and their surroundings, especially the nightclub setting is good. And her secondary character, Sands is the quintessential man to hate. I won’t give away the plot, but Lauren brings it to a satisfying and realistic (for a paranormal) conclusion.

If like me, you’ve been giving vampire novels a miss, try this one, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Daggertail by Kaitlin Maitland

Daggertail by Kaitlin Maitland
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Action/Adventure, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (136 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Sold into slavery after her family was brutally murdered, Tavish has spent all her life in a seedy brothel. Arousal is a commodity to be bought and sold, and falling in love always comes with a price tag attached. Those are the rules, until her world collides with a Bondsman named Xave.

Xavier Kovuchenko has made a career of tracking the deadliest criminals all over the known universe. His cold, methodical style leaves no room for relationships. But when Xave’s latest job lands him with Tavish for a partner, everything changes. His solitary existence is suddenly full to bursting with pleasure--from the hottest sex he’s ever experienced fueled by an insatiable lust that goes both ways.

Tavish is a walking contradiction, hot one minute and cold the next, and she's driving Xave crazy. But when their pasts collide and the dust settles, he's got to decide whether to let go and move on or grab the dagger by the tail and hang on for the ride.

Before you dive into the fantastical world of Daggertail, a word of warning – be sure to don fireproof clothing. Science fiction/fantasy erotica has never been so wicked…or so hot!

Tavish became a consort at the tender age of twelve after her planet was destroyed by cyborgs and she was sold into slavery. Selling her body is a means to survive, even if she detests all of the men who walk through the doors of Fat Louie’s eager for entertainment. That changes when the super-sexy Bondsman shows up, inquiring about a criminal he’s been paid to capture. Xavier is unlike any man she’s ever seen, and the idea of taking the oh-so delicious looking lawman to bed excites her as nothing ever has before. When she helps Xave by distracting the man he hopes to snare, she finds herself in the hot seat instead.

Xavier knows rescuing the hot little vixen from the brothel was the wrong thing to do. He not only missed his mark, but by saving her, is forced to bring Tavish with him until he sorts things out. Still, there is something captivating about the sultry minx, and try as he might, he just can’t seem to keep his hands to himself – or stay away.

Daggertail engaged my interest from the very first paragraph and held it all the way through. Tavish and Xave are fascinating characters, as is the world they exist in. Spaceships, vintage music, and holographic people abound, as do criminals, pirates, and droids. Adding to the richness of the material is the past that has placed Tavish in such a terrible predicament. It’s brutal when you learn of the circumstances that placed her in Fat Louie’s clutches, but ultimately, the dark undertones add to the story and create a unique twist you may or may not see coming.

This one is a must have on anyone’s TBR list, especially if you’re new to sci-fi and want to give the genre a taste.

What His Cowboys Want by Tonya Ramagos

What His Cowboys Want by Tonya Ramagos
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (84 pgs)
Other: M/M, M/M/M, Ménage
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Statice

Three cowboys. Three relationships. Three ideas of what truly gets them off. Can each learn to give what his cowboy wants?

Sam "Sly" Yates left Sunset, Tennessee, three years ago running from things he wanted and looking for things he couldn't find. When he turns around to find himself face-to-face with what he wanted most, he realizes he's run full circle, right back to Trace Tanner's arms.

When Sly walked away, Trace was certain he'd lost the only man he'd ever love. Then he met Cord DeMoss and learned a man can love twice, even while the heart still belongs to another. Now Sly is back, and to Trace's surprise, Cord sends him straight to Sam's arms.

Cord stopped gambling. But when he spots Sam at the bar and realizes he's the man who holds the other half of Trace's heart, he places one last bet. If he loses it could cost him his heart. But if he wins he will be able to give both his cowboys what they want.

Sam Yates (also known as Sly) comes back home to Tennessee for his sister’s wedding and runs into an old lover who he had never really forgotten. He had however left him behind while he ‘escaped’ to New York City. His years away hadn’t dimmed the feelings he had for Trace Neil Tanner – his own personal TNT. Sam had just up and left Trace. Trace had seemingly moved on into another relationship with Cord De Moss but something wasn’t quite right. It seemed that there was something missing in the relationship and Cord had hidden vital facts about a previous relationship from Trace.

When Trace sees Sam in the bar, Cord realizes that it is time for the old demons to be exorcised and does the magnanimous thing and pushes Trace back into the arms of Sam. If Cord is right then the reward for all of them will outweigh the risk he is taking. Trace still harbours feelings for Sam, but he also loves Cord and now he fears that everything he has will be blown up and that their pasts will destroy them all. Secrets kept are going to come out and either destroy all of them. Or would they be the glue that would bind them together and enable them to work past their previous difficulties and move on with each other?

Tonya Ramagos is a favorite author of mine. When I see her name on a book it is a must buy for me. I wasn’t disappointed with What His Cowboys Want, even though it was my first foray into M/M/M and Menage and I am really not into the slave and master language. Though the story was shorter than what I have come to expect from Ms. Ramagos, she did still manage to paint her characters in such a way that they felt real and fleshed out and there was a depth to them and the situation they found themselves in.

They were extremely hot, rugged, masculine and really good looking cowboys who also had their sensitive and loving sides and it was great to see them sacrifice things for their love for each other even knowing that the consequences could be disastrous.

I also felt the pain that each of the characters felt – Sam in having to leave Trace because of what he sees as his dark side – his need to be dominated and reluctance to force Trace to be something and someone he wasn’t. I did feel for Sam, but I also thought that he had really taken the easy way out and not dealt with the issues at hand and explained all of this to Trace and Ms Ramagos depicted his conflict with detail that added further depth to the story.

Cord was the one who had to deal with his own ghost of a former lover, who he still had feelings for, despite his love for Trace. Finally there was Trace, the one who had the most to lose if everything went pear-shaped. He would lose not one but two lovers and it was his torment that I most identified with as he tried to work out what his role was and how he fit in. Trace was neither dominant but also not really submissive and somewhere in between Cord and Sam.

I really felt connected to this story, and wanted everyone to find their happy endings. I definitely wasn't disappointed with this offering by Ms.Ramagos. She'll stay on my auto-buy list for a long time. If you like to read about gorgeous hunks and steamy sex, then this is the book for you.

Like a Queen Anthology

Like a Queen – An Anthology of Lesbian Fairy Tales edited by Cecila Tan and Rachel Kincaid
Publisher: Circlet Press
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (78 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, F/F, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Five lesbian fairytales that feature classic stories like "Cinderella" and "The Princess and the Pea" with a queer twist. What are the erotic possibilities of the enchanted princesses and forbidding queens that we learned about as children? Discover the love story between Gretel and the Witch and the intoxicating tale of Cinderella's seductively severe stepmother. It wasn't a pea in her mattress that kept the Princess up all night, and the story didn't end when the Prince found Snow White in the woods. Instead of competing for princes or beauty, the women in these stories are made more powerful by their desire for each other. Includes stories by ADR Forte, Michael M. Jones, Kaysee Renee Robichaud, Clarice Clique and Quatre Grey.

Fairy tales. We all grew up with them, but not these. You want to squirm while reading a tale of fancy, then you need to read Like a Queen.

Now there are some stories that need a second or third interpretation. I applaud these authors for taking stories we all know in directions we might not have guessed. But if the intention is to titillate and to scandalize, then these stories fit the bill. If you want soft and sensual, you might want to look elsewhere.

In Mirror, we have the story of Snow White if she was truly a witch and attracted to the evil witch. This is an interesting spin on the sweet story we know from childhood. I liked seeing Snow White for the woman she may have been and I liked seeing the HEA she ends up with.

In Queen’s Jewel, we meet a woman who’s about to be married, but she has to pass muster with her soon to be mother-in-law. If you want a story that’s sensual and erotic, then this is the one. But I wasn’t impressed with the relationship. The idea of reading about a woman who makes love with her future mother-in-law and then agrees to marry the man anyway isn’t my thing, but it may be yours.

Third, we have Gretel’s Dilemma. Imagine Hansel getting away from the witch only to find that his sister, Gretel is attracted to the green-skinned meanie? What impressed me about this story was the idea that you can go home and you can be happy in your own skin. Yes, she loved the witch, but she also loved her family. That made the story powerful.

After the Hunt shows that a platonic love between a man and a woman can be enough if the woman and another woman are in love. I liked the mind games and physicality of this story. The alpha is the woman and it’s interesting and different. I think this was my favorite of the collection.

The final story, The Stepmother’s Girl made me squirm in many ways and most of them weren’t good. I understand the idea of a Dom/sub. It’s exciting. But, I’m not a fan of intense pain and harm coming to the sub. Yes, she proved her devotion, but it didn’t come across as sexy or sensual to me. It seemed degrading with no love behind it. But if you want to be titillated, then this story is for you.

Like a Queen is not for the faint of heart. It’s fairy tales for big kids. You want sex and sin, then this is the collection for you. I give it 3 cherries.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Christmas Wish by Ember Case

My Christmas Wish by Ember Case
Publisher: Samhain
Genre: Contemporary, holiday
Length: Short Story (58 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Stephanotis

Putting the past to rest has never been this much fun.

Tara Walsh has come a long way from paying her dues in a smoky New Orleans club. Her albums sell millions, her tours sell out and she has a hit DVD. Her name is known around the world. Now she’s back home for a holiday charity concert—and to say a proper goodbye to the past. A past named Duncan Rousse.

Five years ago, Duncan pushed Tara away for one reason: to force her to reach for the stars. She deserves the life she’s earned, even though it left him with a broken heart that’s never healed. Having her back in his arms only makes the pain worse, yet the last thing he can do is beg her to stay.

One wild, passion-filled night in the sexy Cajun’s bed has Tara’s body singing with pleasure. But can they both get what they want this Christmas?

Tara Walsh seems to have it all, a successful career in the music business, legions of fans, or so she thinks. She foolishly or maybe not so foolishly returns to New Orleans. There she runs into her past love, a sexy Cajun named Duncan Rousse, the man she loved but didn’t seem to return her feelings. She’s got two nights in her home town before she returns to LA. Can she and Duncan rekindle old flames?

I’ll admit I’m partial to books where old lovers meet up and take a stroll down memory lane. Stories with second chances as their major plot line always make me smile and My Christmas Wish didn’t disappoint me. It’s fun to see Tara and Duncan reconnect and take their relationship to a new level. And what better place to set a sexy read than the French Quarter. The author does a top rate job at not only describing in painstaking detail Tara and Duncan, but also the surroundings. I felt I was there, I felt like I was watching instead of reading and that’s what made this an enjoyable read. Case’s knack with description also added to the heat and steaminess of the book.

If you like a short sexy read or looking for something to read over the holidays, I’d recommend this one.

Kate’s Crew by Jayne Rylon

Kate’s Crew by Jayne Rylon
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (50 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, M/M, F/M/M, M/M/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by: Fern

Nothing’s sexier than a man, or five, with power tools.

Sultry summer heat has nothing on the five-man crew renovating the house next door. No one could blame Kate for leaning out the window for a better view of the manscape. The nasty fall that follows isn’t part of her fantasy—but the man who saves her from splattering the sidewalk is definitely the star.

When Mike personally attends to her injuries, she realizes her white knight in a hard hat has a tender side, giving her no choice but to surrender to the lust that’s been arcing between them since day one. In the aftermath of the best sex of her life, she whispers her most secret desire: to be ravaged by his crew.

She never expected Mike would dare her to take what she wants—or that the freedom to make her most decadent desires come true could be the foundation for something lasting…

If you asked me to provide three words to describe Jayne Rylon’s scorching hot novella, Kate’s Crew, I would tell you this – Holy-Hotness-Batman! One desirable woman, five mouthwatering men, mind-boggling sex that will make you sizzle and burn… need I say more?

Kate has burned for Mike and his crew for weeks. Denying what she wants most, she is forced to reevaluate her stance when an accident places Mike right where she wants him – in her bed. However, while surrendering to Mike is one thing, confessing her darkest desires is another all together. When he discovers her secret fantasy – to have all of them at once – she’s shocked to learn he’s more than happy to oblige. And really, with men as hot as these, how can a girl possibly say no?

Kate’s Crew is a well written, fast paced, and oh-so-delicious erotic novella fans are sure to enjoy. It’s definitely a naughty nibble, and is something that can be devoured when time is short, yet you want something to satisfy your most devious cravings. I loved the characters, and felt the time I spent with them, while short, left a most lasting impression.

If you like your erotica wickedly hot, be sure to put Kate’s Crew on your TBR list.

Str8te Boys by Evangeline Anderson

Str8te Boys by Evangeline Anderson
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (80 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by: Ambrosia

How far would you dare to go…to win it all?

Maverick Holms and Duke Warren share almost everything—a college soccer team, an apartment and the same extremely competitive nature. Thanks to that never-back-down spirit, they’re about to share more than they bargained for.

The game is “gay chicken”. The rule: get as close as possible without kissing, and the one that pulls away first is the loser. The problem: neither of them likes to lose. It isn’t long before the game becomes an excuse to touch and kiss in every possible forbidden way. And after they pose for a gay website to earn extra money, things really heat up.

Suddenly Duke is talking lifetime commitment, and Mav is backpedaling as hard as he can, not sure if he’s ready to accept all his best friend is offering him. Or the truth about what he is.

A str8te shooting hetero finds true love with his best friend, a man who hides his true passion and heart’s desires while living together for four years. How hard can it be to live lusting and learning while at college for two soccer jocks?

Over the years Maverick becomes comfortable with Duke as the man constantly touches him and hugs him, lying cradled in each other’s arms at night as they sleep together, though still not lovers. Thinking he’s gone nuts, Mav begins having erotic thoughts about his best friend after playing ‘gay chicken’ and doing a photo shoot for a gay website.

When lips meet and body parts are explored, Mav panics telling himself that there is no way he’s gay. Once lips touch, he is shocked to feel the desire for more than a simple kiss from his long-time friend and begins to play games of his own, wanting to explore further.

How can a man tell he’s gay when he’s dated women his whole life and finds his brawny room mate more alluring than any woman? The story is a journey of the soul for a man who refuses to believe he’s capable of being a homosexual while being drawn like a magnet to another man.

For those who crave a romantic story of male/male love, this is a must read. Short, sweet, and to the point, you’ll adore the characters. This story deserves 4 Cherries. It’s well written, draws out emotions from friendship, to love, to pain, and follows a trail of the heart where two men come to terms with themselves and the world around them.

Endicott Rex: Kings of Wands by Lee Benoit

Endicott Rex: Kings of Wands by Lee Benoit
Publisher: Torquere Press Arcana
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (37 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Endi's life changed forever when he learned how to call forth the hidden dragon natures in the dogs of his hometown, and even more when his talent threw him together with his longtime crush. Now, Endi and his Chief are back!

Endi's trying to learn how to be a sub and not just a slutty bottom, and Chief's working on balancing being Endi's boss with topping the irrepressible Dragonwalker. When the dragon-dogs of Endicott begin disappearing, Endi and Chief step into a world of trouble where the threat of failure could tear them apart. Will they be able to tell fact from fiction, friend from enemy, in time to figure out the mystery of the dragon-dogs and save their love? The first Dragonwalker story appeared in the anthology Another Fine Mess.

You have a gift, but you can’t fully use it. You have a lover, but you can’t admit it freely. What do you do? If you’re Endicott Rex: King of Wands, you have a couple of big problems.

The premise of this story is interesting. Two people who are lovers have to learn to work together and keep the relationship alive despite turmoil that neither can control. I like that Chief is the Dom not only in his job, but in the relationship. He personified the alpha male. At the same time, Endicott is supposed to be a Lord High Wrangler, but sometimes he comes across as very wimpy and not likable. My favorite characters are the dragon dogs. Lomi has the most caring attitude and she never utters a word.

The quick style of the story keeps the reader’s attention. You want to know what is going to happen next and if the relationship between Chief and Endi will survive. Plus you want to be sure the dragon dogs will be safe!

What really saved this story for me was the description by Chief as to what he plans to do with Endi. Keep in mind, the things don’t happen until after the story. But that being said, the description was so in-depth you felt like it was happening to you! It stays with you way after the last page.

If you want a story with a mix of action, heart, and spice, then you need to read Endicott Rex: King of Wands. I give this story 3.5 cherries.

Moon Kissed by JA Saare

Moon Kissed by J. A. Saare
Publisher: Amira Press
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (21 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Ambrosia

When Kassia Lambert wakes in a warm bed, alive and intact, she can’t believe her good fortune. She should be dead, considering she was sent head first into brick and mortar. So why isn’t she?

Lycae Adam Trevlian has waited three long years to claim his mate, a human that battles for the Thymeria vampires. After he saves her life, he brings her with him, intent on doing just that. But betrayal and heartbreak is hard to overcome, and even with the kiss of the moon on his side, Adam knows Kassia may or may not forgive his past actions.

Whoa! Talk about jumping from the frying pan into the fire. This story will heat you up faster than a walk on the sun! Our heroine makes you want to drop to your knees at the alpha male’s feet without a care of pride as she follows unquenched desire while recalling his cruel rejection years before. Though the hero seemed cruel, he has his reasons and definitely makes it up to her with his untamed passion.

When chosen to battle an evil force that follows the darkness, destroying the innocent and populating the world with his dark fledglings, Kassia loses the battle and finds herself bitten and bound by her true mate, a Lycae male named Adam. His towering six and a half foot frame stirs more than flames in her as she begins to follow his lure.

There’s nothing like an empowered Lycan to keep you enthralled as our author does in this story with his character. Talk about your heart throbs! If you could bottle this guy, you’d make a billion—no, make that a trillion dollars! What a yummy heartthrob. The heroine just can’t be faulted for falling for his stimulating presence. After all, he’s a wolf!

The story is filled with sensual smells and feelings as all your senses come into play. You can almost smell his very essence through the author’s words that are woven into a silken fabric. He is at once tender and commanding as he brings her into the world of love and sex. Every time she backs away, wanting nothing more than to become his, you feel the pull, the tide of the inevitable surrender.

This story can only be rated with 5 Cherries as you can’t help but be turned on and be Moon Kissed. Girls, a man-wolf like him would be worthy to grace anyone’s bedroom doorstep. I’ll buy the book and keep it for re-reads for life! Yum…

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

First Date by Lynne Roberts

First Date by Lynne Roberts
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press (Scarlet Rose)
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (41 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

The real estate market is about to heat up.

When Bret Jacob walks into Jill's real estate office, she attempts to maintain a professional demeanor, but memories of accidental voyeurism in high school, years of what-if's, and Bret's drop-dead sexy grin only serve to ignite her fantasies.

Bret needs a farm for his growing landscape business. When he sees Jill Daniels' picture in a real estate ad, he can't believe his eyes: The shy girl from high school has blossomed into a desirable woman. Ten years ago, she didn't stir his blood and drive away all rational thought; now, he's fighting the urge to take her in his arms long enough to ask her on a first date.

What happens when you mix an old flame with a new set of circumstances? How about one moment of pleasure and one moment of emotional pain? Now add in one red-hot landscaper. What have you got? A First Date.

Lynne Roberts writes an intriguing novella. What would happen if the object of your desire, the one you never told that you liked, came back into your life? And what if they felt the same way about you? I like how the questions find answers in this book. From page one, I wanted to see Jill and Bret come together. I wasn’t disappointed.

I like a story with a strong heroine and an equally strong hero. I like the tension between them. Although at times, I wondered what kept Jill from just telling Bret how she felt, the tension worked. I also thought there were more than a few times when his desire for her was more than obvious, but she’s focused on doing the job and making the sale. I can’t blame her for not seeing every one of his inadvertent advances.

When they come together, it’s intense and it sizzles. Ms. Roberts writes scorching love scenes where you feel the passion as if it were your own. What could come across as tawdry, Ms. Roberts writes tenderly, drawing the reader into the scene and showing the love between Jill and Bret.

If you want a quick, but heated read, then you need to read First Date. You won’t want to miss it. I give this book 4.5 cherries.

Trinity by Lauren Dane

Trinity by Lauren Dane
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (169 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, M/M, Menage, Anal Sex
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

One witch, one cat shifter. Add one wolf. Blend. Safety glasses recommended.

Renee Parcell loves her life. Her smoothie/coffee cart business is successful, and she’s deeply in love with her boyfriend, Galen. He makes her laugh, he’s gainfully employed, and he satisfies her as only a sexy cat shifter can. He even puts the toilet seat down.

Yet they both sense something in the air. An anticipation that leaves them both unsettled.

Tall, blond and gorgeous Jack Meyers, Enforcer of National Pack and one of the most beautiful men Renee and Galen have ever seen, stumbles into Renee’s life and the riddle of their expectation is solved—Renee is Jack’s mate. What surprises them all is when the three of them touch, magick creates an unexpected triple bond of witch, cat and wolf.

Even as they learn to navigate the steamy intricacies of their bond, a threat looms over Renee. First in the form of resurrected memories, then in the shape of darker magicks someone is aiming at her. Set on stealing her inherent powers—even her life.

Renee can stand to lose almost anything, except her mates. But there seems to be no talking them out of laying everything on the line for her…

Warning: All kinds of alpha maleness going on up in here and the woman responsible for keeping them in line. Sexin in many varied settings and positions, including sexy times between dudes. Bad words. Tight butts in worn denim. Some violence here and there.

Trinity is all about the strength of love between people, unifying them against a threat that seeks to destroy the heart and center of their relationship.

Renee is the heroine and the central point of the story. We meet her at a moment in time when her world both falls apart and is renewed. Her character is written in such a way that I vacillated between liking her or being annoyed by her, sometimes in the same scene. She’s mouthy, loyal, opinionated and emotional. By the same token, she’s open to being in a relationship with a shifter and that includes all the perks and pains that come with it. She never says no to her man and that joie du vivre is very present. When she gets suspicious that things aren’t what they appear, that those she’s supposed to have trusted all her life may have been the total opposite, the reader gets to see a stubborn and very sad part of Renee’s personality. The need, the hurt and the rejection are very well described and felt not only by the character but by the reader as well.

There is a lot of loving in Trinity. I’m not talking about the sex, although there are quite a lot of well written and hot scenes to satisfy any erotic romance reader. I’m talking about the romance, the caring gestures, the emotional connections, the touching and the respect. Add in the guys doing typical stupid guy things and the girl training her men not to be so danged Neanderthal, even if they are Alpha, and you have some humor to liven things up as well.

Galen is the first guy to go nuts over Renee. He’s smooth, confident and so in touch with Renee, it’s beautiful. Then there is Jack. Jack is the rough and ready one. He has to make some mental shifts about what he wants out of a relationship. His dreams and hopes get a bit skewed by Fate and he has to adjust fast. He’s more than man enough for the challenge which is good because his Enforcer background ends up coming in handy.

The villain is not so clear cut. I suspect because this will be a bit of a reoccurring arc which will flavor a few stories beyond this one. Oh, the main bad guy gets dealt with, but it brings more questions than answers. Sure kept my interest in this story and it already has me primed for the next book because it has the makings for some very dastardly conflicts in the future. No reader can get to the end of this book and not wonder and want to know the reasons why. It’s so sinister!

Trinity embraces what a romantic relationship amongst three equally strong people should be, and uses metaphysical magic to tie it all together. The passion alternates between volcanic and truly sweet, the journey of forging a family unit of three makes for interesting reading and the element of extended family spiced things up quite a bit. If you’ve been lucky enough to have read some of Ms. Dane’s other Cascadia Wolves series then the meeting between Renee and Grace is sure to be even more entertaining.

I would recommend Trinity to any paranormal romance fan who loves stories with bite, passion and heart. Ms. Dane has a history of writing stories that touch your emotions while making you sweat from the heat in the bedroom…or living room. This book continues that fine tradition.

With This Ring by TA Chase

With This Ring by T.A. Chase
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (51 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: Best Book
Review by Tuberose

The end of the year is the start of a whole new beginning…

A Tabloid Star story.

Josh Bauer and Ryan Kellar sweated through a turbulent start to their relationship. Now that they’ve embarked on a life together, filled with family friends—and each other—Ryan’s suffering sweaty palms again. For an entirely different reason.

It’s not the heat they generate every time they’re alone together. It’s not even the crush of people at Josh’s jam-packed birthday party. It’s the birthday present Ryan’s carrying in his jeans pocket. The one that could make him the happiest man in the world, come New Year’s Eve.

If Josh says “yes”…

Warning: Hot guy on guy sex. A happily married couple and a rocking New Year’s Eve party guaranteed to keep you up all night.

Josh Bauer and Ryan Kellar from Tabloid Star are back and as HOT as ever. Ryan has a very important question for Josh. Will he say “yes”?

Josh and Ryan went through a lot to be together at the beginning of their relationship. They are very happy together and Ryan decides to take the next step and ask Josh a very important question for his birthday. This is an awesome story about a love so strong between two very wonderful men that it will warm your heart and soothe your soul.

At the gathering to help Josh and Ryan celebrate, we reunite with a lot of friends from Mr. Chase’s previous books and gain a little insight into how their lives are progressing. We’re also introduced to some family members like Ryan’s feisty ninety year old Great Aunt Edna, who is someone everyone would love to have in their own family. We also see that Josh and Ryan still cannot keep their hands off of each other, so you guessed it, the sex scenes are sizzling HOT.

Mr. Chase draws you in from the very beginning of this book. He has a way of writing that makes you feel as though you’re there with his characters celebrating their joy. They literally come to life on the page and invite the reader to become part of their lives. You can read and enjoy this book without having to read Tabloid Star first, but why would you want to? This story is so yummy that I’ve already read it 3 times in the last couple of days and I’m sure I will be reading it several more times in the future, which is the reason I feel it deserved a BEST BOOK. Bravo, Mr. Chase, I would definitely recommend this book to my friends!

Like a Prince Anthology

Like a Prince – An Anthology of Gay Fairy Tales edited by Cecilia Tan and Rachel Kincaid
Publisher: Circlet Press, Inc.
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (77 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Five gay fairy tales that feature classic stories like "The Beauty and the Beast" and "Cinderella" with a queer twist. What are the erotic possibilities of the dashing princes and dark forbidden forests that we learned about as children? Stories range from the charming tale of a mischievous Cinderella to the deliciously dark story of a modern-day Little Red Riding Hood complete with a real-life wolf. A mysterious young prince needs help from a beautiful young king in "The Goose Boy," and Beauty and the Beast gets a sexy retelling in "Captivated." Includes stories by Elizabeth Schechter, Julie Cox, Kiernan Kelly, Alexandra Erin, and Monique Poirier.

Some stories are meant for children. Others are meant for adults to enjoy with pleasure. This is a collection of those stories. Like a Prince is one collection you won’t want to miss.

This is indeed one of those collections that isn’t for the faint of heart. The passion sizzles and the sex, well, it’s hot.

In Captivated, we meet Tyr and Bruin. Now this story is the tale of a man who needs acceptance, not only from his mate, but from himself. Some scars are easily healed and others, the ones you can’t see, are harder to deal with. I liked how Tyr and Bruin worked together to mend more than just their hearts.

In Two Balls, we find that Cinderella had two balls. Now that may sound strange, but this is the story of a man abused by some not so nice women. Although I wished that the Cinderella character had a bit more chutzpah, I liked the premise and how the story followed the well-known version of the tale. My favorite part is the acceptance on the part of the prince. I wish more people had such open minds.

Le Petit String Rogue (The Little Red G-string) was my least favorite. The idea of a wolf-shifter preying on exotic male dancers was interesting, but if you want a HEA, then this one isn’t the story for you. This version came across as more sex with a bit of plot rather than a story. If you want hot sex, then this story is for you.

The Goose Boy captivated me. How one man can deal with so many kicks in the butt is beyond me, but I loved how Giles took each problem with grace and dignity. The ending made me smile and warmed my heart. If you want a love story that bursts with love, passion, hot sex and a meanie that totally gets what is deserved, then this story is for you.

The final contribution, To Market, is a perplexing story of a man dealing with his emotions and his needs while trying to find his place in society. I liked that the goblins in this story were sexy, not gross looking. It made the pairing more realistic and understandable. I liked Conn’s noble idea of sacrificing himself to save his friend. Again, this story blisters with red-hot sex.

If you want a collection of stories guaranteed to make you hot under the collar, squirm in your seat, and most of all think, then you need to read Like a Prince. I give this collection 3 cherries.

Picture This by Tonya Ramagos

Picture This - The Heroes of Silver Springs 5 by Tonya Ramagos
Publisher: Siren Publishing, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (306 pgs)
Other: F/M/M, M/M, Ménage
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Statice

Six months ago, Hurricane Emilio left a path of destruction through Silver Springs and Billings. Like many of the city residents, Rayne Jacobs' sole focus has centered on rebuilding her life and helping those around her. How can a freelance photographer come to the rescue of the people in the city she loves? The question is heavy on her mind when she finds herself staring into an intoxicating pair of whisky brown eyes. The answer comes when she's asked to take pictures for a Men of the Silver Springs Fire Department B shift charity calendar.

Detective Ford Harris has a sharp eye for detail and keenly developed senses. Right now his eye is on Rayne. When he discovers the deadly surprise caught on film, he fears he'll need all his senses to bring the threat down before it gets to her.

It's been years since a woman caught EMT Cory Nox's heart, but Rayne Jacobs manages to do it on sight. The discovery that she's also the woman his roommate has fallen for spells pleasure with a capital P. But will it be his EMT skills that are needed most when danger comes down on their heads?

When moving after a hurricane, the last thing Rayne Jacobs wanted or needed was a speeding ticket, but that was what she got and that was her first introduction to Detective Ford Harris. She was bowled over by the detective and he by her as well, while all the while remaining an utter professional; something I had to admire about him.

Rayne lost her house in Hurricane Emilio and after living with a friend for a while, decided to go and live with her brother Max who just happens to be a lieutenant in the Silver Springs fire department. While moving the last of her boxes into her brother’s apartment she meets Cory Nox who is an EMT with the SSFD.

As a freelance photographer who wants to help the people affected in Hurricane Emilio, she has decided to put her talents to good use. Rayne is going to take photos of the SSFD B Shift for a calendar, the proceeds of which would go to help those in need. Rayne finds herself attracted to both Ford and Cory and at first is not sure how to go about having a relationship with either of them, but the fact that they are roommates quickly solves part of the problem for her and she thinks that by having a relationship with both of them, then she won’t fall hard for either of them.

How wrong she turns out to be! The relationship and the work on the calendar aren’t the only things going on in Silver Springs – there are other things that end up putting Rayne into danger like drug lords and insurance fraud but at least there are two guys who will save her if the need arises and it does!

I love the Heroes of Silver Springs. This book is part of a series, but it can be read as a stand-alone. Characters from the previous books do crop up, but you do not need to know their back stories to read and enjoy this book. Reading them really makes me wish there was a place like Silver Springs, or that whatever is in the water there could be found elsewhere. All of the male characters Ms. Ramagos writes about are definitely alpha males, but they also have their soft sides and their particular vulnerabilities, as both Cory and Ford did and this is what just makes them real and convincing.

One little irritant was the fact that whenever ménage a trois came up in the story it was misspelled as ménage a trios. Apart from this and a few other slight proofreading errors, Picture This was a great continuation of the Heroes of Silver Springs series and I for one can’t wait for the next installment! So, if you like alpha males with heart and gorgeous bodies to boot and a bit of action both in and out of bed thrown in, then this book – this series is the one for you!

Iron Man by KyAnn Waters

Iron Man by KyAnn Waters
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Holiday
Length: Short Story (96 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, M/M/M/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Rafe is a vampire and Adam is his human blood slave. But Rafe wants more—a blood bond. Adam, not willing to join the vampire world, leaves it all behind and heads for DC and a new life.

Back in town for the holidays, Adam and Rafe rekindle their romance and head to the local fetish club, The Catacombs, where Adam is known as Iron Man because of his hardware—a steel cock plug and chain harness. They spend the week having wild, aggressive, kinky-as-hell sex. Anything goes.

When it’s time to return to the real world, Adam is torn. Rafe is more than a vampire, more than his lover. He’s his partner. Adam isn’t sure he can give up his humanity, even for the man he loves. He has to decide—a vampire blood bond or his lonely human life in DC?

Sexy vampires, hunky blood slaves, and a whole lot of sizzling hot sex await you in Iron Man, the second in the Blood Slaves series by KyAnn Waters. This time around, the story revolves around the oh-so delectable vampire, Rafe, and Adam, the human he wants for eternity.

The beginning of the novella begins in true Waters fashion–with oodles of mind-numbing sex that will leave you panting. However, it’s the intense yearning Rafe and Adam have for one another that provides the foundation. Rafe knows what he wants, and that’s a blood bond. Nothing less than an eternity is acceptable when it comes to the man he cherishes above all others. Adam, on the other hand, fears his ability to keep a vampiric lifestyle secret from his family and is unwilling to take the risk. The emotional tension is so thick at times, it’s suffocating. Will our heroes get their happily ever after? Can they find common ground?

Fans of the first story, Ice Man, will be delighted to know that Rowan and Theron make an appearance, as do other memorable secondary characters–including the Catacombs. The vampire club is an entity of its own, and each time I visit, I don’t want to leave. The world Ms. Waters has created is a fascinating one, and I can’t wait for the next in the series. It’s hot, it’s dark, and it’s oh so naughty. When I finished, I was already foaming at the mouth for more.

That’s what these stories do–leave you hungry. Iron Man is not to be missed. Make sure you bump this story to the top of your TBR pile.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Paratrooper in a Pear Tree by Jianne Carlo

A Paratrooper in a Pear Tree by Jianne Carlo
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (208 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Destiny Driven hasn’t used her real name in forever. It doesn’t exactly inspire professional confidence if you sound like a stripper. When she's ordered to “sex up” former bestselling author Angel Robinson’s latest manuscript, armed with whips, cuffs, “classic” (who knew?) porn DVDs, that hits a little close to home. So Destiny heads to a remote cabin in Healey, Alaska.

Deployed to fight an inferno, Master Parachutist Lincoln Chapman’s veers off course, his chute fails, and his reserve opens at the 10,000 mark. The paratrooper lands in the pear tree adjacent to Destiny’s cabin.

The man’s massive and unconscious. The cabin’s cold and isolated, and Destiny’s no girl scout. Then Linc wakes to Destiny’s Madonna features, stripper body, sex toys, and 70’s porn DVDs. Just as they're trying to leave, electricity fizzles. There's only one way to stay warm. Luckily they have all the supplies they need.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable.

A Paratrooper in a Pear Tree…the title alone is enough to capture your attention. Yet, it’s the snarky dialogue, sexy characters, and wickedly delicious humor that make this a journey worth taking.

From the moment Destiny Driven (yes, that’s her name, folks) rescues the unconscious paratrooper Lincoln Chapman from a pear tree (and yes, the title is derived from an event in the story) you’ll chuckle, groan, and squirm. Be it from Destiny’s tendency to voice her thoughts aloud, Linc’s desire to dominate and control, or the explosive sex scenes that occur when they decide to keep warm via the sharing of body heat. Sex toys and 70’s porn DVD’s aside, Ms. Carlo knows how to write some of the hottest sex scenes you’ll ever read and, as always, her heroes are oh-so-yummy. Of course, no story would be complete without a bit of drama, and thanks to some snotty secondary characters and a bit of intrigue, there is just enough tension to keep you cheering for Destiny and Linc.

If you’ve never read anything by the uber-fantabulous Jianne Carlo, this is an excellent story to start with. She has a wonderful voice and a talent for combining scorching hot sex with gut-busting humor that will have you panting one moment and snorting the next. Read one, and you’ll be hooked.

Be sure to put A Paratrooper in a Pear Tree on your Christmas wish list.

Burnt Amethyst by Melody Knight

Burnt Amethyst by Melody Knight
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (56 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Soleil is from a world of darkness and thunder, where the cruel, clawed Krexyslatch rules, slaughtering Soleil's people, and driving them to near-extinction. Today is Soleil's birthday, and he desperately wants a female companion. There are few women remaining on his planet, so he ventures to Earth to see whether he can lure one away. It is only when he is delayed that he realizes the woman he has captured may well have gone to her death.

Soleil's regrets can do nothing to help Terra survive when she is suddenly, shockingly transported to a world filled with predators. Going from an unchallenging job on Earth to the greatest challenges she has ever faced changes her, and she discovers she has a few rare talents that may just make all the difference to Soleil and his people. Will she embrace this new destiny? Yes—but only if it includes embracing Soleil as well.

Mix an alien being having his birthday with a self-conscious woman who isn’t sure of her place in the world. For spice, add a couple of glowing stones. What do you have? Burnt Amethyst.

Although this story’s back and forth points of view can be confusing, this is an interesting read. I like the idea that the action is so intense you need to have it from both the hero and heroine’s viewpoints at nearly the same time. That said, I almost wanted more in-depth internal reactions.

I like that Terra is so easy to identify with. She’s in a job she hates, but it pays the bills. She knows she can be more, but has no idea how. When she sees the glowing stones, she finds her purpose. I like that the reader goes through the transformation with Terra and sees her frame of mind as she realizes her new powers. You feel for her as she changes and root for her in the end.

Soleil makes an interesting hero. He’s from another planet, but he knows Terra is the woman for him. She can help him be more than a simple soldier. She can make his birthday more exciting. But, I found his almost limp-wristed attitude about his birthday rather annoying. If he can’t get his way when he wants it, he pouts. Not that pouting because he doesn’t get what he wants makes him any different from regular humans. So you do root for him to have a great day, even if it doesn’t happen in the manner he prefers.

If you want an interesting read that will keep you guessing, then you need to read Burnt Amethyst. I give this book 3.5 cherries.