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Friday, January 15, 2010

The Three Horsemen of the Black Forest by Scarlet Hyacinth

The Three Horsemen of the Black Forest by Scarlet Hyacinth
Publisher: Siren-BookStrand
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (65 pgs)
Other: M/M/M/M, Ménage
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Vassili's ailing mother gave him a toy soldier meant to help him during difficult times, and Vassili needs all the help he can get. When his father remarries, Vassili's new stepmother and brothers do their best to make his life miserable.

Determined to be rid of Vassili, his cruel step brothers send him into Baba Yaga's Black Forest. But with the help of his mother's gift, Vassili avoids death at the hands of an evil witch, and instead discovers love in the arms of three mysterious horsemen, Deni, Sonta, and Noci.

When Vassili's mortality keeps him from being with his otherworldly horsemen, can he find a way to stay with his lovers for all time?

The Three Horsemen of the Black Forest combines elements Cinderella with Hansel and Gretel and perhaps a few other well known fairy tales with a very naughty twist.

Vassili is the main character who has to deal with a less than ideal home life after his perfect and loving one falls apart. He has a secret that is his salvation and must guard it against all odds. His character is quite innocent and trusting for the most part, almost to the point of being naïve. However, that seemingly weak persona for a guy is actually his strength.

This story fleshes out the secondary characters only to the point of illustrating a point or element about Vassili. You get enough sense of who has a villainous intent which then helps the reader understand what happens next and Vassili’s subsequent reaction gives more depth to his character.

My only pause comes from the thought that Vassili was too easily accepting of the novel sexual sensation he found himself in. I never got the sense he was awakened sexually one way or the other and to jump right in one hundred percent in what has to be, even for that time and place, an extreme relationship dynamic, was a bit much for me to accept. On the other hand, this is a sensual fantasy fairy tale where magical and unusual happenings are to be expected. And, the man action is incredibly well written, so much so that it had me fanning myself from the heat of it.

The Three Horsemen of the Black Forest is sure to appeal to those readers who enjoy unique twists on well known fairy tales flavored with a bit of sauce, spice and hunky male loving. And for those who always felt that Cinderella’s step-siblings should have been made to toe the line at some point, readers will be in for a treat in this book. It’s pretty cool.

Physical Therapy by ZA Maxfield

Physical Therapy by Z.A. Maxfield
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (152 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by: Fern

When Jordan Jensen moves to St. Nacho’s he has one goal in mind: starting over. He wants to reconnect with best friends Cooper and Shawn yet is uncertain of his welcome. He has the skills to get a job, but isn’t sure any prospective employer can get past the time he spent in jail for alcohol-related vehicular homicide. He’s past the worst part of his life but knows it will haunt him forever. So Jordan plans a life of quiet service. One thing he knows for sure: finding love is entirely too much to ask.

On the first day of his new job, Jordan meets Ken Ashton. Ken has every reason to hate Jordan for his past and only one to seek him out: Ken's baseball career was shattered in a drunk-driving accident. But for some reason he can’t explain, Ken needs Jordan’s touch and finds healing within Jordan’s warmth and strength. Jordan wants to give Ken everything his new partner needs.

Without entirely understanding it, Ken and Jordan develop a powerful emotional and erotic connection, but Ken must help Jordan find the faith to trust it. Unexpected help comes from the people of Santo Ignacio--and the town itself--a place where Physical Therapy can be a path toward spiritual healing and powerful, passionate love.

Physical Therapy is a touching story about facing your past in order to start anew.

When the story begins, we meet Jordan. His life was once a wreck, but he’s trying to put the pieces back together. Out of jail after serving time for vehicular homicide, he’s removed the vices from his life that clouded his mind and blocked out the world. After moving to St. Nacho’s to reconnect with old friends, he lands a job at the local gym. Things seem to be falling into place until he meets Ken; a man whose life was changed when he was nearly killed in a car accident by an intoxicated driver.

When Jordan and Ken start up a friendship, and an attraction develops, they learn there are two sides to everything. The weight of guilt and despondency is something they share, but for totally different reasons. Jordan can’t move past the death he caused, even as it’s made him a better person, while Ken can’t accept the new, albeit markedly different, life he’s been given. That in itself is the beauty, and paradox, of Physical Therapy. Though different, both Jordan and Ken are the same in that they have been given a second chance to live.

I haven’t read the book preceding this (entitled St. Nacho’s), but fully intend to. Author Z.A. Maxfield writes emotional scenes beautifully, and by sharing experiences via the voice of Jordan, it’s as if he’s taking you on the journey with him. There is plenty of angst and heartache, and the characters are people you invest in and care about. I couldn’t stop reading this story, and didn’t put it down from start to finish.

If you love a love story full of heart, be sure to put Physical Therapy on your TBR list.

Doll by Juniper Bell

Doll by Juniper Bell
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (62 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Even a plaything can be pushed too far…


Chloe Barnes thought her marriage to a wealthy politician would be the stuff of fairy tales. Instead, he took advantage of her naiveté and used her as a plaything to fulfill his twisted sexual needs. Ten years is enough. She returns to Bellhaven Island to sell the summer cottage she inherited, hoping the money will buy her freedom—and custody of her daughters.


Fisherman Dustin McDougal never forgot the childhood crush he once had on the fairy-like Chloe. The woman she’s become has a haunted look that brings his feelings back, stronger than ever…with a mature edge. Along with all his protective instincts.

Sexual healing.

Their passion blows stronger than a Maine nor’easter, awakening Chloe to the joy of true love. Yet it may not be strong enough to free her from the past…

Doll is a thought-provoking story that stays with you long after you’ve finished. The theme of abuse, both physically and emotionally, runs deep.

Though it’s not an easy read, it’s an honest one, and for that I give props to author Juniper Bell. She’s managed to tackle controversial subject matter by introducing the reader to a victim who becomes her own savior. Although her flourishing relationship with hero creates the path, it is she who confronts and cages the demons that have enslaved her, and it’s an amazing sight to witness.

When we first meet Chloe, she’s all but broken. A lifetime of being coddled by over-protective parents kept her somewhat ignorant about life, to the extent that she didn’t flee her husband when she learned the extent of his depravity. Through recollections, you get a glimpse of the hell she’s endured as a consequence. I should warn sensitive readers that the flashback scenes hit like a sucker punch to the gut. The treatment Chloe endured is some heady stuff, even though you’re aware of it to some extent from the blurb. I’ve read my fair share of material that pushes the envelope, but I can honestly say I’ve never met an antagonist I’ve detested more than her husband, Andrew.

Fortunately, Ms. Bell has walked the line between darkness and hope by creating a hero to swoon for. Dustin isn’t some rich knight in shining armor – he’s a normal, average guy, which is exactly what Chloe needs. Although he doesn’t understand the extent of her damage, he recognizes her frailty, and caters to it. While this is Chloe’s story, he becomes the foundation, introducing her to the joys of living without fear or subservience.

Due to the subject matter, Doll might not suit the tastes of everyone. However, due to fantastic writing, memorable characters, and the provocative theme, I personally could not put the story down. Anything that makes you stop and think is worth a read, and this story definitely accomplishes that.

For His Eyes Only by Avery Beck

For His Eyes Only by Avery Beck
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Other: M/F
Length: Short Story (132 pgs)
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Jasmine

Beauty vs. power—a dangerous game with the heart as the prize…

Jacey Cass radiates confidence and sensuality just once a year, when she meets her rich and powerful lover for a night of anonymous sex. The rest of her calendar is filled with the daily struggle to survive. Her cashier job at Insomnia, Miami’s hottest lingerie shop, doesn’t go far toward college tuition, but she’s determined to rise above her mother’s freeloading legacy.

Alex Vaughn is one promotion away from realizing his life’s ambition. For years he’s been forced to stand by and watch his father systematically destroy the values that made Insomnia great. Now, with an expected vacancy in the summer catalog, he takes a chance. He’s never formally met the fascinating woman he takes to bed every year, but he knows a marketable body when he sees one. The last thing he expects is for her to turn the opportunity down flat.

Jacey won’t consider a handout—even from the man whose white-hot caress is the one bright spot of her life. Then a modeling competition’s prize money lures her from behind the register and into the blinding spotlight, unaware of what the cost could be to her heart…

Born to poverty…privilege…or disgrace…

For His Eyes Only is mesmerizing, intense, and at times made me want to weep and scream at the characters that truly came to life on the page. The connection between Jacey and Alex is almost surreal and as you follow their journey from fear to intimacy to hopefully trust and love, there are times you’ll want to cry at the injustices life has thrown their way.

Although For His Eyes Only is a fictional story, the trials and tribulations that Jacey and Alex endure are real, which makes the book a fantastic read. My hat goes off to Ms. Beck who knows how to create a story with a touch of reality that keeps the reader begging for more. In all honesty, I would love a follow-up to this story because Jacey and Alex now hold a special place in my heart.

If you’re looking for a book that will warm the heart, challenge your sense of right and wrong, and provide enough hot, scorching sex to set your soul on fire, then For His Eyes Only is the book to read. I will definitely recommend this one to my friends.

Bravo Ms. Beck! Bravo!

Daring To Dream by Grace Cox

Daring To Dream by Grace Cox
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (56 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Fern

They both want sex, they both have a secret...

Sarah has little experience with men, but when wealthy and attractive Jason hires her as a nanny, the attraction is instant and fierce. He’s completely unattainable, forcing Sarah to keep her growing passion a secret.

One fateful night reveals Jason feels the chemistry, but something -- or someone – holds him back. How long can he deny his desire?

Daring to Dream is a wonderful little novella chock-full of emotion. Grace Cox has written something that will tug at your heart while making it race.

I liked Sarah from the start. Her mother’s past has tainted her, and she’s determined not to make the same mistakes. Working for a brighter future as a nursing student, she babysits on the side for extra cash. However, her interactions with Jason and his daughter Emily are not normal working circumstances. She cares for the little girl, as well as her father, because she’s a born nurturer. I found this to be one of the most moving aspects of the story. Of everyone, she has the most to lose, yet she puts her heart out there time and again.

Jason is also memorable as a single-father who’s placed his special needs child over all else. He’s admirable, and even as he pushes Sarah away, you’ll ache for him. He’s not perfect, but accepts and recognizes his flaws. It takes time for him to break free of the shell he’s built to protect himself and his daughter, but when he does, you’ll love him all the more.

Due to tight writing and a brisk pace throughout, this is an incredibly fast read, so you’ll fly through the pages. I’d recommend this delightful story to those looking for a tasty nibble that contains a ton of heart and a pinch of spice. Be sure not to miss Daring to Dream.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Prince of Servitude by GA Hauser

Prince of Servitude by G.A. Hauser
Publisher: G. A. Hauser
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (256 pgs)
Other: M/M, F/M/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Spanking, BDSM
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Phlox

Prince of Servitude takes place in a mythical kingdom where a beautiful prince named Tristen finds he is attracted to his best friend Dinas. Unfortunately in the land of Brandywine men having sex with other men is illegal. Not only does Tristen love men, he loves to be bound and helpless during the act. Tristen lets go his inhibitions when he is held captive by an enemy army.

Can his beloved Dinas save Tristen from being held prisoner, preventing Tristen from inheriting the throne? Or will the sexual freedom Tristen has discovered stop him from living his legacy. Through love and loyalty Tristen just might find he can have his crown and his true love as well.

This novel is a "fractured" fairy tale, yet it echoes the reality of our own country’s inequality of laws regarding same sex couples from state to state. There is an intentional underlying irony to this work of fiction.

A young Prince in distress is certainly a different take on the fairy tale. Tristen the Fair does have plenty of distress thrown his way, from his dysfunctional parents to his captivity in the hands of a non-too-stable neighboring King. His beloved childhood friend, Dinas, fills the traditional hero role here quite well, the one usually reserved for the handsome Prince, as he tries to save Tristen from everyone around him and from his own tortured thoughts.

I’m a fan of Hauser’s contemporary novels. The plot and dialogue flow naturally and the characters are nearly always engaging. The writing style Ms. Hauser has adopted here is obviously meant to evoke the fairy tale and its more formal cadences. Unfortunately, much of the interaction between characters struck me as stiff and kept me at a distance. I found myself unable to reach that point of suspension of disbelief necessary for immersion in a fantasy story. Small inconsistencies of character here and there caused some distraction as well. Tristen has been so sheltered, has remained so sexually innocent, he is unable to imagine masturbation, and yet, a few pages before, he had fantasies of being ravished by his mother’s door guard.

The story is at its best during the scenes between Tristen and Dinas, some achingly sweet, some vividly heated. Dinas’ devotion, even though he is certain Tristen can never truly be his, is a poignant note in an otherwise surface level tale. The scenes between Tristen and his guards are blazing hot in a purely carnal way, but are written with imagination and some interesting twists.

All told, this is a light, fun read, enjoyed best if not taken too seriously. It is a fairy tale, after all.

Redline Lover by Charlene Teglia

Redline Lover by Charlene Teglia
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (64 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Riding the edge…

Take Me, Lover, Book 1

When it comes to cars, former race driver Adam Richards knows how to maximize performance. Love? It doesn’t come with a maintenance manual, and it’s just as well. The secrets he’s hiding behind his partnership in a racing garage don’t lend themselves to lasting relationships. Now that Maggie Parker is back in town, though, he’s got a few ideas to make her purr like a finely tuned engine.

Life taught Maggie that men don’t stay. Leaving Adam before he got bored was supposed to protect her from heartbreak…only it didn’t work. If helping her sister was the only reason for coming home, she might have got away unscathed. But the story she’s been assigned to write is going to bring her within scorching distance of her old flame.

Adam is as irresistible as ever—and just as stubborn. He won’t give her a story, but his offer of a no-strings fling is one she can’t refuse. Passion pushes them to the limit, sparking Maggie’s belief that loving Adam is worth the risk.

Until she digs deeper and discovers some things just don’t add up…

Like the purr of an old Chevy big block engine, Redline Lover will get your blood pumping while creating delicious tingles under the skin.

From the minute Adam and Maggie reunite, you’ll begin the melting process. The two are like TNT and a match – harmless when apart but damned combustive when placed together. The sexual chemistry and attraction is so heady, you’ll swim in it. Of course, no story would be complete without a little angst and heartache, and you’ll get that as well. He wants her. She wants him. Six-months apart haven’t nullified their desires, yet neither can confess to their feelings. You’ll wonder where things are going, especially as you teeter-totter between them. Then, Maggie learns the truth about Adam’s racing career and makes the decision to ride the redline with the man she loves – no matter the cost.

If you’re in the mood for a short story that is sizzling hot, with characters who engage you from beginning to end, be sure to put Redline Lover on your TBR list.

The Janitor by Jan Irving

The Janitor by Jan Irving
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (171 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

I’m a naturally optimistic type of person, you know? Yeah, I think good things will happen, only they usually don’t. Take Noel: even though he’s educated and rich and he don’t think he’s even gay, I want to belong to him. I want him to take me completely---Dane Connelly

Dane Connelly is a gay janitor and boxer with a soft heart and a simple outlook--he wants to meet the right man, someone who will look past his macho sport and put him in the place of a submissive. He wants to fall in love and belong to his partner.

On the surface, Noel Atherton, an intellectual, shy, and sexually repressed university graduate student with a crippled leg, could not be the dominant lover that Dane longs for. But after their first meeting, when Dane disables the fire alarm in the library and lights a cigarette, Noel is drawn from his shell. Soon, Noel needs to touch Dane, exploring his sexuality for the first time. And both learn that looks can be deceiving.

However, Noel's controlling father is appalled by the relationship and quietly arranges to get Dane out of the way and punish him for daring to love a man so far above his station.

The Janitor is a story that sticks with you long after you’ve finished. Author Jan Irving has crafted a poignant tale about accepting who – and what – you are, while challenging the preconceived perceptions we have about those around us.

It should be stated that this story is not an easy read. The hero Dane – to put it as kindly as possible – isn’t very bright, and at times, came across as eerily childlike. Though it is never addressed, I wondered if he didn’t suffer from some sort of mental handicap. With that in mind, and considering the sexual content and nature of the material, I found myself squirming uncomfortably during more than one of the intimate love scenes. To be sure, Dane is lovable, as is his love interest, Noel. However, I couldn’t help but feel that Dane was in need of someone to care for him as a parent would a child versus a lover. As Dane and Noel enter into a D/s relationship, it felt as if Dane were being taken advantage of in some way, and when he refers to Noel as Daddy during sexual play, I could only stifle a wince.

Yet, even with these portions that bristled beneath the skin and weighted the gut, there is something equally powerful in the storytelling and characters. Dane, for all his brawn and strength, is incredibly fragile. While his physically crippled lover, Nole, possesses the inner strength of will that provides the foundation to bring them happiness. Neither are what they seem, and that is the beauty of the story. You have the rich man who detests his life and the poor one who manages to bask in the splendor of the most simple of things. A juxtapose if ever there was, and it makes the material all the more indelible for it.

Heartbreaking at times, uplifting at others, you’re emotions will be taken on a roller-coaster ride when you read The Janitor.

Though not for everyone, I would recommend still recommend this story. The dark subject matter is impossible to turn away from as you’re experiencing the journey – and impossible to forget once you step off the train.

Unnecessary Roughness by GA Hauser

Unnecessary Roughness by G.A. Hauser
Publisher: The G.A. Hauser Collection
Genre: Contemporary
Other: M/M
Length: Full Length (238 pgs)
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewer: Jasmine

Fear regarding his sexuality was not new to Connor. Connor played the 'straight' act as long as he could. But it was taking its toll on him. Kyle recently transferred from the University of Oregon to UCLA. But what Kyle never expected was to fall head over heels for a long-haired athlete named Connor. The two men instantly grew inseparable, on and off the field. Lusting after his roommate distracted Kyle from his studies and practice. But Kyle had a hunch. A hunch that Connor may be in the closet as well.

And he was right.

Problem solved?

Their problems had just begun.

Unnecessary Roughness…You be the judge…

Even as a child, Connor Worthington knew the importance of hiding his sexuality not only from his parents, but also from the rest of the world. His parents had made it crystal clear during his youth that they hated hippie freaks, bible waving radicals, and homosexuals. Considering he’s chosen math and physics over law and refuses to cut his long hair, he’s lucky his father continues to pay the tuition bill. Even so, Connor feels defiant and wants to start living his own life instead of the lie he’s been living for over twenty years. Therefore, when Kyle Baker transfers from the University of Oregon and joins his lacrosse team, the façade of being a heterosexual male in an unforgiving world begins to take its toll. Connor is exhausted and lonely from the game of denial he’s been playing with his family, friends, and most of all himself. Once he and Kyle moves in with each other and become best friends, he’s no longer lonely or alone in the world. Finally, there is someone who accepts him truly for himself.

Although it takes some time, their friendship blossoms from unrequited lust to love. However, when the rumors continue to spread around campus regarding Connor’s sexuality, his teammates begin pressuring him into quitting the team. The only person Connor can turn to and lean on is his best friend Kyle. As things begin to heat up on and off the field, Connor is forced to come out of the closet, which not only renders the two men undesirables on the lacrosse team, but also creates a bond that makes them inseparable from one another. Moreover, being together seems to be the only thing that makes their situation regarding their hostile teammates and gossip mongers on campus bearable. My heart goes out to Connor and Kyle for the ignorance and bigotry they endure from Connor’s family and their teammates. There were times I wanted to weep for them, do physical harm to those who threatened them, and comfort them so that they would know everything would eventually be okay. Connor and Kyle will capture a special place in your heart as they did in each other’s hearts.

This story is captivating and held my interest from beginning to end. There were times I found myself biting my nails anxious to see what would happen next and then thrown for a loop because I didn’t see it coming. This book is wonderful, intense, unpredictable, and will keep you begging for more. Ms. Hauser has done an excellent job of portraying the trials and tribulations that homosexual men must endure as a result of ignorance and bigotry. Like Connor, I kept wonder why it was so important for people to judge what occurred in their bedroom. In addition, Ms. Hauser’s characters came to life in that I could feel the heartache Connor experiences as he struggles not only to be accepted by his father, to be treated like a man and respected for working hard and making his own decisions, but also to be loved for himself. Perhaps if humanity focused less on what separates us from one another and more on what we can learn from our differences, we would stop destroying one another with our ignorance and prejudices? This is a book I will definitely re-read and recommend to anyone who is struggle with their sexuality and feels alone in this world. Bravo Ms. Hauser for providing us with a wonderful book that addresses some important issues in a world that is not always forgiving.

Wicked Night Before Christmas by Tierney O'Malley

Wicked Night Before Christmas by Tierney O’Malley
Publisher: Extasy Books
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (97 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

He tried to make her his…

Lucas McLeod fell in love with his sister’s best friend who enjoys bantering with him. He is fightiung the urge,temptation to cross the fine line between friendship and lovers. But Lucas lost. When he succumbs to passion and makes love with her, he knows she iis the one he wants to grow old with. Before he leaves for Florida, he gives her his promise. He will be back.

She tried to ignore him…

Cara Saint Regis is devastated when Lucas, her best friend’s brother and the man she believes will come back for her arrives in the cabin with his high school sweetheart instead. Worse, she catches them French kissing. A few days before Christmas, Cara’s heartache turns into a blinding jealousy and anger—but deep inside her heart, her love and desire remains strong and true.

Will love, passion, and the spirit of holidays help them reunite in time to celebrate Christmas?

Being around Cara is a test.. Her nearness inflames his desire. Their closeness reminds him of what he’s been missing—her touch, smile, and her kisses. He misses her. Lucas wonders if his burning need to be with her again can wait until Christmas Eve to answer the wish she wrote on the paper and hung on the Christmas tree—a wicked night before Christmas.

Wicked Night Before Christmas is a story that combines sexual heart, emotion, and a dash of suspense.

Close friends, Lucas and Cara, made love a month ago. Lucas left their bed for a DEA assignment in Florida with the promise to contact Cara afterward. When he never calls, and she learns he is dating a well-known beauty queen, she is heartbroken. Now, he’s back home for Christmas, and he’s got the beautiful woman draped on his arm. What’s a girl to do? She’s got her pride. Who cares if she loves the guy?

Lucas fell in love with Cara a long time ago, and after making love to her, knows she’s the one woman for him. Being called away on assignment comes at a terrible time, but he plans to tell Cara how he feels as soon as the mission is complete. Hurt doesn’t even begin to describe what he experiences when he discovers she’s not only moved on, but she began seeing someone else shortly after his departure. When he arrives home, he’s dumbfounded by her behavior and attitude. What does she have to be angry about? He’s the one that with the broken heart.

From the start, you’ll feel Cara’s pain. The man she loves has returned with another woman, and to make matters worse, he’s openly affectionate with her. Through flashbacks, she relives their shared moments together, and in the doing, you’ll experience her love for Lucas and misery at his blatant rejection. What she doesn’t know is Lucas isn’t telling her everything. When perspectives are reversed, and you learn how Lucas was equally misinformed, you’ll ache for him equally as much.

Though this premise has been used before, it works nonetheless. Betrayal from outside forces is always a great catalyst to separate, and consequently reunite, protagonists. Ms. O’Malley writes the emotional scenes beautifully, and really allows the reader to get into the mind of her characters. A minor criticism would be that a large portion of Lucas and Cara’s relationship is shared via flashback, and I would have liked to have had more time with them in the present. But even still, it works, and helps you understand – and relate – to them on a deeper level.

This is the kind of story you’ll enjoy if you’re looking for something hot, yet endearing, to read on a cold winter’s night. Settle in with a piping mug of cocoa, a snuggly blanket, and you’ll be set.

Eve Aizawa 1: Eve Of Seduction by Lizzie Lynn Lee

Eve Aizawa 1: Eve Of Seduction by Lizzie Lynn Lee
Publisher: Changeling Press LLC
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (104 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Ambrosia

Meet Eve Aizawa.

Soldier. Seductress. Super spy. Assassin. Gun for hire.

And oh, did you know she's also a digital inmate?

When the rumor hits Central Command that an infamous terrorist named Adrian Black had murdered and impersonated a tycoon named Jean-Val Cédolin, they send Eve to confirm this suspicion. Centcom fears that if a man as dangerous as Black has control over Cedolin's unlimited funds, Black will start a revolution against the Imperial.

To Eve, this mission looks like a cakewalk. But she isn't prepared for how it unfolds when her hot partner, Raul Mason, burns with jealousy when the alpha tycoon tries to take Eve for himself. Just when she thinks she's in control of the situation, Mason and Cédolin collide in a final dangerous game of sex and power, with Eve trapped deliciously in between.

Double seduction is only the beginning.

Raunchy, hot, and as raw as you can get it, Eve Of Seduction tugs at all the right strings. From ripping off clothing to pounding, pulsing, powerful orgasms, this gal makes you wish you were her. She’s got everything but her own body as she seeks out a possible mass murderer while enjoying the ‘benefits’ of the job.

Forced to work for a secret squad called the Vipers, while her captive body is ‘cryoed’ and her mind virtually placed into a new ‘vessel’, she is ordered to seduce and lure her target into proving he is hiding in another body himself.

Paired up with a partner she doesn’t want, she utilizes her sexually enhanced body to entice, tantalize, and tease her way into getting what she wants. Under cover of being exotic entertainers, she and Raul Mason find a powerful attraction to each other that simply must be tested.

When meeting the target, Jean-Val Cèdolin, Eve finds herself the object of both men’s lusty interests which she accepts with relish. All she has to do is prove that one man is the murderer, kill both his body and his ‘neuras’ then head back to the maximum security prison to finish off her three-hundred year sentence so she can access the money she stole from the government and live happily ever after.

With two men fighting over her body, Eve decides to play the most delicious games while accomplishing her mission. This story has more twists and turns than a sprinkler on full blast as she swings from one end of the spectrum of delectable delights to danger and deception. There wasn’t much about this story not to like, but prepare to squirm in your seat for days afterwards as the echoes of ecstasy linger.

This is a 5 cherry story for sure, one that will prove delightful, intriguing, and oh, so naughty.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Up On The Housetop by Suzanne Rock

Up On The Housetop by Suzanne Rock
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Holiday
Length: Short Story (85 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Fern

Desperate to escape her controlling family, Chloe Bradford scrambles up to the housetop of her Texas home on Christmas Eve. There she discovers a sexy stranger cloaked in shadow. He convinces her to shed her good-girl image and give into her most secret desires. The man's low, raspy voice tugs at her memory as much as it awakens her passion. Is he a Christmas miracle, or some figment of her imagination? When he tries to leave, she follows him, eager to learn his identity.

Zach can't stop thinking about Chloe, or their reunion on the roof. His wolf-half urges him to reveal his identity and claim her, but he doesn't dare. For both their sakes, he must remain in the shadows until he can control his inner beast's bursts of rage. After a decade of struggle he thought he could handle his curse, but Chloe's presence causes his control to slip. As the moon-rages become more frequent, he knows he's slipping toward the insanity that claims many of his kind. Only Chloe can save him, but he broke her heart over a decade ago. Her forgiveness would be the real Christmas miracle.

After wrapping up Suzanne Rock’s sultry erotic story, Up On The Housetop, three things came to mind – hot, hot, and did I mention hot?

Chloe lost her brother as well as her fiancée in a horrific attack eleven-years ago. Even still, she continues to yearn for the love of her life, Zach. One night following dinner, she takes refuge on the rooftop. When a mysterious stranger appears who claims to know her, she gives into her repressed wicked side and takes him on a test-ride. From then on in, it’s a race against the clock. You know Chloe will eventually discover the mystery man is her long-lost Zach. But how will she react when she learns that Zach didn’t leave her willingly, but rather, was forced to stay away due to the curse that has placed a wolf beneath his skin?

Aside from a bit of danger that forces Zach to make a decision regarding a future with Chloe, there aren’t many twists and turns along this journey. Rather, the catalyst is the betrayal Chloe experiences upon discovering Zach’s identity. Obviously, she’s wounded to learn he’s been alive all this time and never contacted her. As he tries to carve out a place in her life, he’ll also have to prove that he’s worth the risk of hurt Chloe will face by loving again. I do wish more time had been devoted to his experiences following Zach’s change, his life in the pack, and what it truly means to mark someone. If Chloe remains human but is marked by Zach – who is now an immortal – will he die along with her when she goes? And what will her life be like among the pack that she’s been warned won’t welcome her with open arms? It’s alluded to but never fully explained, and because of that the ending falls a bit flat. I kept waiting for the dangerous mating that could potentially kill her, but was disappointed when it never happened.

Nevertheless, I did enjoy this naughty little romp, and I’m certain paranormal/erotica fans will as well. The sex scenes are scorching, and Zach is someone you’ll wish you could sink your teeth into. I loved the opening when the lovers reunite in shadow, and couldn’t wait until Zach revealed his true identity. As the ending is left open, I’m sure there is more to come, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Werewolf/shifter fans, you don’t want to miss Up On The Housetop.

Naughty for Christmas by Selene Noreen

Naughty for Christmas by Selene Noreen
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Christmas
Length: Short Story (23 pgs)
Other: M/F, BDSM
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Snowdrop

For years, Trisha has searched for the perfect man. One who is taller than her and who would dominate her in the bedroom as well as sharing his heart with her.

Hood is clan leader of his planet's military. His father, king of Zion, is a very dominate man, so it’s no wonder Hood does his father's bidding and helps St. Nick deliver Christmas presents to Earth.

However, when Hood's mother poses as a sales clerk and convinces Trisha to buy a huge green dildo, Christmas takes on a whole new meaning. Trisha finds her lover, Hood gets his mate, and Christmas night turns into one full of erotic screams and sexy demands.

Who would've thought a giant green dildo could bring Trisha the man of her dreams?

Ms Noreen writes a sexy short Christmas story. Naughty for Christmas is definitely a hot read.

Hood is sent to Earth to help Santa deliver toys. A military man from another planet, he's the right guy for the job. You have to respect a man who knows what needs to be done and steps up for the job. While the story was unique, this left me with one question about this story--is Santa an alien? Yes, it's off topic and it has no real bearing on the story, but I found myself wondering it none the less.

I liked Trisha and actually felt a little bad for her at first. She's had a rough time finding someone special for herself. Who wants to spend their time with a toy instead of a real life man? Then Hood showed up. He was everything she needed and more and I had to love how they came together. Ms Noreen writes some hot, like jump in a snow bank after reading, sex scenes and this had a satisfying ending for everyone. I'd definitely recommend this unique holiday tale.

Shifter’s Captive by Bonnie Dee

Shifter’s Captive by Bonnie Dee
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (121 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Fern

Animal attraction is the essence of their power…

Magical Ménages, Book 1

Waitress Sherrie Stolz never thought she’d need her chatting-up skills to play along with a hot, sexy kidnapper who rants about were-animals and psychic possession. Then he proves his story by changing into a wolf before her eyes.

Human contact never interested John Walker, but his mission is desperate. The pack seer insists Sherrie is the only one who can save his people from a rash of mysterious comas. His connection with Sherrie is instant, powerful and beyond rational explanation. And then a third piece of the puzzle enters the picture.

Grant Perron follows his instincts only to find his prize in the hands of his rival. He’s poised for battle—until he learns his panther shifter clan suffers the same fate as John’s pack. But there’s more. When the three of them touch, the primal, erotic power surge swells like the waves of an earthquake.

Sherrie’s hands—and bed—are suddenly full, figuring out how to manage two snarling alpha males without giving in to the urge to knock their heads together. And channel her new-found power before a villain uses it to destroy them all…

Shifter’s Captive combines sex, intrigue, suspense, shifters, and magic to create a unique paranormal erotic story.

The story starts out with a bang – with Sherrie Stolz being kidnapped by a somewhat sympathetic and gorgeous John Walker. He’s a wolf shifter who needs her help to save his people; something the pack seer has proclaimed. However, he never expects this intense attraction to the human female and tries to fight it. It goes without saying that Sherrie and John soon find common ground between the sheets (as well as power hidden within Sherrie that is unlocked), but it’s complicated when Grant Perron shows up. He’s a panther shifter who needs Sherrie’s help as well. From this point on, they’ll have to love, not hate, if they want to capture the person responsible for sickening the shifters in the area. That means things get hot, naughty, and oh-so wicked. Regular sex is great, but astral projection sex is even better. And the sky is the limit.

While I did enjoy Shifter’s Captive, a majority of the material seemed to be centered on sex versus plot. It’s somewhat understandable, as the protagonists share power and energy via sex. However, when someone is in danger of being killed, it’s not really the time to get your freak on. Even still, the idea and premise is novel and, in true Bonnie Dee fashion, a joy to read. I loved John and Grant, the tension that exists between them, and the woman determined to make it all come together.

If you want something hot, Shifter’s Captive definitely blisters. Make sure to have some ice water handy when giving this sizzler a read.

Cat’s Eye by Will Belegon

Cat’s Eye by Will Belegon
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (39 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Life is not a pleasant thing. It is something you survive, not enjoy. This is what Bonnie knows and what she has lived. Hope is something for politicians, preachers and salespeople. That's what life has taught her. Reality is pain.

When Todd Lundquist extended his hand and offered something else, Bonnie reacted the way life had taught her. By defending what she had and ignoring the hope of something better. But she never forgot what he did and she never forgave herself for saying no. And she most certainly never forgot what she saw…

In the blink of an eye, everything that Bonnie knew about life changed.

Five years have passed. And now, beyond hope, she has another chance to take that outstretched hand. But why is Todd back? What is so special about her? And most important of all…what is so special about him?

Cat’s Eye is a different take on paranormal shifters that is quite intriguing.

The story follows Bonnie and her journey of self discovery. The character is well developed from the perspective of a woman gathering the courage to free herself from a destructive life pattern. One that had been modeled for her while she was growing up. The author showed a remarkable insight into what that must feel like and what it must sound like inside a person’s head who’s going through that kind of stuff.

This short story is more about Bonnie and what happens to lead her to what ends up as a very twisted tale. The story gives hints of what is to come but until you are in the thick of the revelation, it keeps you in suspense and wonder.

Todd ends up the hero of the story, sort of. Bonnie makes a choice to find out something about herself and Todd’s role, if any, in her future. The common phrase is, “Be careful what you do, your past can come back and bite you in the butt”, and it’s applicable to Cat’s Eye because never in my wildest imagination would I have envisioned what Bonnie ended up finding out.

The forest scene was pretty cool and kind of hot, well written and perfectly balanced.

The ending leads me to believe that this is a series and indeed this story convinced me – I want to follow and find out what happens next. It’s a hopefully ever after more than anything and it’s sounding like a guaranteed wild ride. The fact that it ended on such a funny and hilarious twist totally hooked me. I enjoy an eye-popping revelation every now and again and Cat’s Eye delivers. I enjoyed this book.

Nightingale by LE Bryce

Nightingale by L. E. Bryce
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (93 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by: Phlox

When Aranion, prince of Yshan and officer in the Queen's Navy, is given a singer for the winter solstice, he neither needs nor wants the young man. But when circumstances throw them together, Aranion finds himself attracted to the shyly charming Melan. And when a disaster at sea threatens to drive them apart, Aranion may have to sacrifice all to get his nightingale back.

This story has a short paragraph before the story begins, describing where it fits chronologically in relation to other Bryce stories. I read this paragraph and thought ‘Ah, so this is during the time of Shivarian expansion’ and then had to chuckle at myself. Ms. Bryce has crafted such a thoroughly realized world that those familiar with her works are tempted into thinking in terms of actual history, as if these countries, dynasties and islands truly existed. The writer’s love of history is obvious in her ongoing construction, the royal lineages, the inevitability of conflict and conquest, but these things are never tossed at the reader wholesale. Rather, she works them into the fabric of the tale, showing us how the grand scale affects the lives of individuals.

So many of these individuals, the protagonists in Bryce’s stories, are genteel and refined, submissive either by nature or training. Aranion is a refreshing change of pace in that regard. A Prince of Yshan, loyal to his mother the Queen to a fault, he is far from genteel. A rough military man, an Alpha to the extreme, his language is direct, brusque and often coarse, as befits a man who spent most of his life among soldiers. Subtle nuances of behavior, cues to the unspoken that others see, elude him at times, rendering his navigation of his blossoming relationship with the young slave, Melan, both endearing and laden with dramatic irony. The reader often understands far before Aranion does. I wanted to shake him at times, but I adored his ferocious protectiveness and the tenderness that lay underneath.

This is a single point of view narrative, so often the case with Bryce’s shorter works, so Melan remains something of a cipher throughout the story. Obviously abused since an early age, Melan still maintains a sweetness and a hungry curiosity about the world which point to a character stronger than his physical appearance would imply. The decision to keep him somewhat distant from the reader, I believe, was the right one, only allowing us to see him and his slow transformation through Aranion’s eyes. The only issue I had with the narrative was that the story arc does bog down just a bit towards the end. Our frustration mirrors Aranion’s, but I think, perhaps, it went on a bit too long.

With such an engaging, consistent main character and such a well-drawn supporting cast, Nightingale is a must read for Bryce fans and a thoroughly enjoyable one for any lover of homoerotic fantasy. It is so complete, though, that we will most likely never see another Aranion story—a sad thought, indeed.

Demons are Forever by Wynne Hayworth

Demons are Forever by Wynne Hayworth
Publisher: Samhain
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (110 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Snowdrop

Evolution got an astronomical kick in the pants. Now it’s kicking back…

Afterglow. Our world is changed. Mutated. Now home to humans who possess DNA belonging to creatures once thought to be only the stuff of legends. So what if the neighbor howls at the moon every month? No big deal as long as he mows his lawn.

A savage killer munching on helpless victims, however, is a big deal to Detective Buck Shand.

Buck is thinking less legend and more nightmare as he surveys the most recent in a series of brutal slayings. It’s beyond even his special talents, and he’s going to need help with this one. It arrives in the shapely form of Dr. Lian Herrick, a woman with her own form of Afterglow mutation—a demon that will shake Buck’s everyday world to its foundations and turn his brain inside out.

Will their combined skills be enough to track and stop a savage killer? Possibly. If they can keep their minds on business and their hands off each other long enough to lure a beast who feeds on sex—then kills for pleasure.

Demons are Forever is a creative, edge-of-your-seat read.

Ms Hayworth has created an original world with imaginative characters. Buck has the still waters run deep thing down pat. He seems at first to be your typical cop, until he gets home or with Lian and you see a completely different side of him. Lian also has her secrets,but she lets Buck in surprisingly easily.

Although the love story is a little overwhelmed by the mystery, it doesn't take away from the story. I really didn't mind. Ms Hayworth manages to throw in some very intense lovemaking scenes that seemed to transcend to another level for the characters. Ms Hayworth also adds quite a bit of humor to her work which offsets the suspense wonderfully.

With a twist at the end, and a satisfying happy-for-now ending, I couldn't ask for more. If you like suspense with your romance then definitely give this book a shot.