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Friday, February 19, 2010

A Mermaid's Ransom by Joey W. Hill

A Mermaid’s Ransom by Joey W. Hill
Publisher: Berkley
Length: Full Length (394 pgs)
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Other: BDSM, M/F, Forced Seduction
Book Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Viscaria

A story of two lovers who could not be more different.

Daughter to an angel and a mermaid, Alexis has grown up in peaceful waters. So when her nightmares begin, the mer-angel has little idea what to make of them. In her dream is the loneliest man Alexis has ever met-and she's strangely drawn to him. Until the night her dream comes true...

Born of a vampire and a Dark One, Dante only knows brutality. And although he's the leader of the underworld, he longs to escape it. How better than to hold for ransom the Prime Legion Commander's daughter? But there's one thing Dante never planned on-the way Alexis steals his heart.

Joey W. Hill does it again… and again… and again. I have to say that I have yet to be disappointed by a single one of her offerings, and this time was no different. A Mermaid’s Ransom is a definite must read for fans of Joey W. Hill.

From the first word we are drawn into the heat that is a Hill trademark. Alexis isn’t asking for the dreams that draw her into a world of fire and brimstone. Nor is she asking for the hold the man in her dreams has over her. But being the empath she is, she feels more than others would and is reluctantly intrigued by the dark man who enters her dreams and dominates her desires. And what’s worse, she thinks she might be able to save him. I loved Alexis and her determination to take care of herself. She has been the pampered daughter of one of the most overprotective fathers in the universe, and she’s ready to find her own way. The fact that she knew Dante was not a good man, but still found so much that was redeemable about him had me rooting for her. She handles a rather terrifying situation with grace and fortitude that I’m not sure I could have managed under the same circumstances. Alexis is a truly amazing heroine who I simply adored and admired.

Dante is more of an anti-hero than a hero. When he’s first introduced in this book I wasn’t sure if I could like him, much less love him as a hero. He doesn’t seem to have a lot of redeeming qualities, and yet I found I wanted him to redeem himself and get the girl. It was so moving to watch as he learned that not everything needed to be handled with blood and death. To see his wonder with a world of tenderness and joy as opposed to pain and death and destruction was truly heartbreaking. I love how Ms. Hill can make even the scariest “hero” into someone you want to love and protect. Despite how scary Dante could be, I also found him quite sexy and his single-minded pursuit of Alexis made me shiver on more than one occasion. He’s a great hero with amazing depth and beauty that I was glad to see again, and to see get his own HEA.

A Mermaid’s Ransom crossed two worlds that Ms. Hill has created bringing in characters from the previous Mermaid books as well as pulling some of her Vampires in as well. It was great fun to see old friends again and to watch how these two different worlds overlapped to make this a deep and textured tale of love and redemption.

Now, a warning, this tale, as so many of Ms. Hill’s tales, is not for the faint of heart. While not as sexually explicit as some of her others, it does deal with some rather intense and sometimes scary subject matter that will keep your heart pounding. If you’re a Hill fan, then I don’t think you’ll have a problem but for new Hill readers, be warned that this is not a light a fluffy romance.

Once again, Joey W. Hill has given us a masterpiece, and I’m so glad that I got the opportunity to read this one. Filled with deep introspection, amazing characters and beautiful descriptive phrases, A Mermaid’s Ransom is a definite recommend for all Hill fans and for anyone looking for an intense read that will stick with you long after you turn the last page. I can’t wait to see what else Ms. Hill has up her sleeve, and hope she doesn’t take too long to give me another fix of her amazing worlds.

Firefly by Madison Night

Firefly by Madison Night
Publisher: Noble Romance
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (64 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by: Fern

Libby Hill, a classically trained dancer whose dreams were dashed by chronic knee pain, runs a quaint coffee shop, The Bean, in Las Vegas. Although her days are filled with the aromas of Irish Cream and rich Columbian, her nights are filled with something much different – Libby transforms into Firefly, a seductive and confidant dancer at the infamous Tommy Rocker’s, a local topless strip club.

Desmond Carlisle is in Vegas for a week, desperate to get away from the daily pressures of his shattered home life and rock star celebrity. He’s keeping his presence in the city low key, opting to frequent quiet venues and cafés like The Bean. He needs a distraction, and he’s hoping one just might come his way in the form of a delicious topless dancer with his band’s logo tattooed on the small of her back.

Firefly is a story that grabs hold of the reader and doesn’t let go, with characters that come to life on the page. She is a dancer whose only reprieve from a life slinging java is to take the stage behind a mask, while he is a famous rocker who wants a bit of normalcy. The dichotomy isn’t lost on the reader, and tweaks the interest. Can Libby and Des find a common ground? Will they each reveal themselves, and in the doing, open themselves to a world of desire?

There is one word that describes this story – hot! The sexual tension between Des and Libby is intense, and snares your attention right from the start. I couldn’t get enough of either of them, and felt they played off of one another perfectly. Theirs is an exotic dance of cat and mouse, and it’s impossible to turn away once the games begin.

The only thing that ruined the story for me was the ending. While I understood that they were strangers, I prefer more of a happily-ever-after versus a happily-ever-maybe. Des’s determination to get under Libby’s defenses, only to do so and fear her attachment after the fact, was kind of bothersome. I really liked him, and her, but the lack of connection seemed out of place.

Aside from this, however, this story is fantastic. The sex is hot, the characters are great, and the dialogue is snappy. The writing is wonderful, and the pace makes this a quick, steamy read erotic fans are sure to enjoy. If you’re in the mood for something sizzling that has you diving into the closest shower for a cool down, be sure not to miss Firefly.

Her Dark Dragon by Lillith Payne

Her Dark Dragon by Lillith Payne
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (179 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Heather

Danni Cirillo's heritage as she knew it was gone. The land and the wine label were sold. A collection of valuable family heirlooms is all that's left, and Danni proposes an arrangement with her friend, Nico Severino, in an effort to regain them.

Exchanging her birthright statues with nights in Nico's bed will have them both wondering if she's lost her mind. Danni's unorthodox approach to getting her statues back would end their friendship, but the memories they'd make together would stay with her forever. She knows she'll take away more than the small ivory carvings, she'll get an education only Nico can provide.

Now all she has to do is talk him into the deal.

When is a dragon not a dragon? This dragon book - has no dragons in it. But that being said, this was a HAWT book without crossing the line into out-of-my-Midwestern-comfort-zone. This was high sensuality that never lost the emotion. Both the hero and heroine own neighboring vineyards, and there's an interesting set of erotic statues that inspire all sorts of romantic liaisons.

Danni is the girl next door, who returns home to find her mother & slimy stepdad have run through the family fortune and her “inheritance” is a stack of debts up to her eyeballs. The boy next door is Nico, and she doesn't remember him being quite so hot -or so bossy. Turns out he owns her debt, and the only material possessions she has to pay him with are the not-your-everyday-statues. He proposes they re-enact each statue she turns over to him. A disconcerting…yet intriguing…proposition…

Sleeping together without falling in love - that's the tricky part.

This was a fun read with interesting characters. A stepdad, you REALLY love to hate. Nico, the hero, who was totally hot. I do have to say that I thought there could have been some tightening of the storyline. There were moments when the characters replayed the same emotional-angst scenes that it started to feel repetitive, almost obsessive. I hate filler-just-to-reach-word-count. If the story works better tighter, albeit shorter, then do it.

That being said, the chemistry was phenomenal. I really enjoyed the interactions between Nico and Danni and felt that the statues were a cool twist. While, I still don't get the dragon in the title I do recommend this book and give it a solid 4 cherries.

Jezebel’s Article by Kayden McLeod

Jezebel’s Article by Kayden McLeod
Publisher: Eternal Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (51 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F/M, Ménage
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Two sexy vampires want to fulfill Jezebel’s every desire. Good thing they don’t mind sharing.

Jezebel has a new job writing a sex column for a small specialty interest paper in Vancouver, British Columbia, and attends a very specialized party…a sex party, in fact, where she meets two of the most tempting men she could’ve ever imagined. And to make it that much more tempting, they are vampires, one curiosity Jezebel can’t shed. Adrian and Doros watch her with growing desire, craving to take a knowing human, from who they didn’t have to cut their true selves off from. One they could play with to their heart’s content. The moment they meet Jezebel, it’s already over. There’s no contest, and now only one question remains: Will she want them, as much as they want her?

An article on sex parties becomes so much more in Jezebel’s Article, a wickedly naughty novella that ignites the pages and heats the blood.

When Jezebel visits a sex party, she has no idea what’s in store for her. For inside await not just men and women, but vampires. She, too, has a trace of the blood in her veins, but has not been allowed to mingle with those her vampiric grandmother views as less than appealing. Now, two sexy vampires with a penchant for sharing have claimed her as their prize. The night has only just begun, and as Jezebel lowers her inhibitions, she’s taken on a wild and unforgettable ride. But will it be for the duration of one night, or will these lovers discover something that is meant to last an eternity?

Jezebel’s Article is a funky and fresh erotica that hits all the right spots. Kayden McLeod has managed to write something in the vampire genre that stands apart from the rest, using a first person narrative that engages the interest and pulls the reader into Jezebel’s world. Through her, you’ll fall head over lust for Adrian and Doros. When the three come together, the pages positively sizzle.

If you’re looking for something to read that is hot enough to make you break a sweat, but short enough that it doesn’t take up too much time, Jezebel’s Article is just the ticket.

Sugar Rush by Lissa Matthews

Sugar Rush by Lissa Matthews
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (106 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Graham Hall is twenty-six and has a dream job as a travel writer. He's come to Colorado for work and a little personal down time. With his article done and the six-month lease up on the small cabin in the valley, he's stayed around until his next assignment. In a downtown Denver bar, Graham meets Edward and after a short conversation agrees to a blind date with Edward's business partner, Jane. After all, what could it hurt?

Jane is completely oblivious to the machinations of Edward and Graham and shows up at Graham's cabin to deliver a box of handmade chocolate truffles. From the minute Graham opens the door, Jane falls head over heels in lust. A plus size, mid-thirties woman, Jane isn't sure what Cowboy Surfer, as she's dubbed him, sees in her or why he's so tenacious in his pursuit and tries throwing him off at every turn.

The inability to say continue saying 'No' leads to hot, scorching sex and a lot of follow-up phone calls opening Jane's eyes to the realization that maybe life doesn’t have to revolve around chocolate truffles, but rather around a delicious, well traveled younger man.

Sugar Rush is exactly as the name implies, wickedly sweet and oh-so intense. Author Lissa Matthews has tackled several relatable themes, and in the doing, created characters readers will fall in love with.

Jane is a woman who doesn’t see her beauty or appreciate her worth. A failed relationship has her viewing her body and age in a negative light, and despite numerous attempts by her roommate to pull her out of her mindset, she refuses to bend. Several of her insecurities are easy to identify with. After all, who hasn’t wished they were thinner or younger? Society today doesn’t embrace curves. Thin is in, and young never goes out of style. When she meets Graham, a gorgeous and sultry Texan, she can’t help but fall victim to his charms. He’s everything a woman could want and more. As much as she wants to believe what he tells her -- that she’s beautiful and desirable -- she cannot allow herself the freedom to believe.

Graham falls hard and fast for the luscious candy-maker Jane and makes no qualms of his intentions. At first, he wants her in his bed, but after a sultry night between the sheets, he wants her in his life. She’s both sexy and adorable, hiding behind a wall to protect her from the opinions of others. His determination allows him to carve a place in her life, but ultimately, it is her decision that will allow them to find happiness.

I absolutely loved Sugar Rush. The characters were wonderful, the writing was tight, the pace was fast, and the story pulled me in and kept my attention from start to finish. Jane and Graham have an explosive chemistry, and when they come together, the pages ignite. The sexual aspect occurs rather quickly, but is rounded out by an extended courtship and a believable amount of tension and doubt. Graham knows what he wants, which is sexier than all get out, while Jane eventually flourishes into a full-figured older woman who isn’t ashamed to grab the bull by the horns.

A definite must read for those who love an erotic romance with a BBW heroine theme, be sure not to miss Sugar Rush.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Laid Bare by Cherise Deland

Laid Bare by Cerise Deland
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (134 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Tate Ryder has spent his life savoring plenty of women—until luscious Anna Stevens comes along, who doesn’t seem to know he’s alive. Then, inexplicably, Anna is attacked outside his condo. Tate keeps her safe by whisking her to his yacht, where he vows to enchant her sleek body with pleasures she’d only imagined.

Anna answers his intimate kisses with scorching caresses and wild revelations. She’s been on the run from thugs for years. She’s not who she claims. But one thing is real—her deep craving for Tate.

Enthralled, Tate lays bare her body…and is equally determined to lay bare her nameless enemy.

Exciting, exhilarating, and sultry – those are just three words that describe Laid Bare, a tantalizing story with tons of heat, heart, and suspense.

When Anna finds herself in a spot of danger, there is none better to protect her than her super-sexy employer Tate. He’s everything women want and more, only for her, he’s been strictly off limits. Being involved in her life means you are never completely safe, and because of this, she keeps her relationships strictly about business. After Tate rescues Anna from a mad-man in a SUV, she has no choice but to put her safety and well-being into his very capable hands. Lucky for her, he’s got the resources to keep her safe and sound – while partaking in the pleasures he’s long denied himself.

One thing can be said for Laid Bare – keep the AC on high. Tate and Anna positively scorch in the bedroom, and their intimate scenes are mind-numbingly squirm worthy. The progression into intimacy is a stifle rushed, but you can forgive it as you’re riveted by their desire and passion for one another. Two people with fantasies two-years in the making have a lot of loving to catch up on, and man-oh-man, do they ever make up for lost time!

The suspense is woven carefully around the flourishing romance, and adds a bit of tension. Due to excellent timing, you get what you need, when you need it. Although the dialogue had me giggling at times, I found the interplay between Tate to be both sultry and endearing. All of the elements are here – blistering sexual encounters, intrigue, and enough romance to satisfy those with a yen for an emotional connection.

If you’re in the market for an erotic story that kicks up the heat, you don’t want to miss Laid Bare.

Believe In Me by Crystal Jordan

Believe In Me by Crystal Jordan
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (49 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Love might need a little push…or a good, swift kick.

Unbelievable, Book 2

Tori Chambers. Old biddy, gossip, busybody and meddler. Except in reality she’s none of those things—she’s a guardian angel who specializes in helping people find their soul mates. Her latest assignment has had her tearing her hair out for over a year. She’s holding up her end for the fireman who’s her current client, but his soul mate’s guardian angel is dropping the ball big time. And when a replacement steps in, it’s enough to curl what’s left of Tori’s hair.

Jericho. The one man who broke her heart—and made her determined to never fail her clients like her own guardian angel failed her.

A hundred years ago, while fighting for Texas independence, Jericho made a mistake that accidentally cost her life. Now that she’s forced to make nice and work with him, he’s determined not to lose her again. Even if he has to tie her to the bed and make love to her until she’s willing to see reason.

Because unknown to Tori, she is his assignment. And if he can’t find a way to convince her they’re soul mates, they face an eternity of consequences…

In the mood for an erotic romance that is short, sweet, and oh-so hot? Then you don’t want to miss Believe in Me, a thoroughly enjoyable novella with just the right blend of naughty and nice.

Once upon a time, Victoria and Jericho were soul mates. But when their guardians fell short of procuring their happily ever after, they ended up dead as a consequence, and as a result took the places of those who are fated to bring soul mates together. Now, a hundred years later, Victoria and Jericho have to work together if they want to make sure another couple doesn’t meet the same fate. Their reunion is both happy and sad, and as memories resurface and Victoria attempts to forget the past, Jericho will have to convince her to give their love a second chance.

Talk about a story that tingles in all the right places. Author Crystal Jordan was created something unique and intriguing, using guardian angels in an unexpected and delightful twist. Although I haven’t read the first story in this series, I fully intend to. The characters are wonderful, and even with the short length of the work, provide just enough insight and emotion to satisfy the craving for romance.

While I was slightly disappointed when I learned about the transgressions that ended in tragedy and separated the protagonists (it seemed rather odd that Jericho never attempted to locate Victoria, all things considered), I realized with the length of the work an in-depth perusal of the situation just wasn’t plausible. This isn’t a story about the past, but rather, the future, and it comes at you hard and fast. The chemistry between Victoria and Jericho is so scorching it will burn your finger tips, and the emotional scenes balance out the romantic aspects nicely.

I recommend Believe In Me for anyone who wants something to enjoy when time is short and you need instant impact. The characters are wonderful, the sex is sizzling, and the ending will leave you with a smile on your face.

The Morning After by JK Coi

The Morning After by J.K. Coi
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (55 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Waking up naked in bed with a man’s arms holding you close wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing…except when that man is your husband.

Leslie has tried so hard to put Leo’s betrayal behind her—the ink was almost dry on the divorce papers. But when circumstances throw her in bed with her estranged husband one last explosive time, Leslie learns how quickly anger can turn to passion and hurt can turn to need, even while she knows there’s no way she can ever trust him again.

What Leslie considers goodbye, Leo insists is only the beginning. But the damage between them runs too deep, and sometimes, the only thing more devastating than the night before, is the morning after...

Misunderstandings occur all the time in relationships. But what do you do when you still love the man who has broken your heart?

Les is trying to move on with her life, having kicked her husband Leo out of the house and obtaining a lawyer to begin the painful task of ending her marriage. A night on the town becomes something more when she sees her husband in the accompaniment of another woman. In an attempt to get even, she throws herself in to the arms of the nearest man, and nearly finds herself in a spot of trouble when her drink is spiked. Fortunately, Leo isn’t as naïve or as vengeful. He brings his wife to his home, to the place she belongs – in his bed – and decides it’s time to get down to the reasons she’s kicked him out of her life while reminding her that she is, and always will be, his wife.

The Morning After is a sizzling hot erotica with enough heart to tug at your emotions. Leo and Les are fantastic as a couple who have been schemed against, only to uncover the truth that has torn them apart. He loves her, she loves him, but until there is an understanding, there is no future. The story is hot, yet sweet, and maintains the interest and attention throughout with the unforeseen twists that keep you guessing.

If you’re in the mood for something you can read in one sitting, that offers a bit of heart with a heated slathering of intensity, be sure to place The Morning After on your TBR list. J.K. Coi fans will relish this wickedly naughty little gem which leaves you clamoring for more.

Caribbean Wild by McKenna Chase

Caribbean Wild by McKenna Chase
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (44 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

After a month of hot, seductive emails and sexually charged chat room trysts, Miranda Mitchell is convinced she's met the man of her dreams and accepts an invitation to his island in the Caribbean. But when the private seaplane makes an emergency landing on the shore of a deserted island, Miranda finds herself alone with the very irritating, yet very sexy pilot who seems hell-bent on making her deepest sexual fantasies come true.

Aidan Landon agrees to field his womanizing brother’s business emails while Andrew’s out of town, but when Miranda’s personal email arrives, he can't stop himself from replying in his brother’s place. What starts off as a sexual game soon becomes an oasis of addictive pleasure. So when Andrew invites Miranda to his vacation resort, Aidan takes matters into his own hands--by taking Miranda to his own private island in the Caribbean.

Now Miranda has to decide which brother is meant to be her Caribbean Wild.

Ever put yourself out there—you know, really out there? And you know it could lead to the best night of your life, or the worst embarrassment in the world, but you do it. Now imagine this scenario on a Caribbean island. Are you ready to face your apprehension and possibly meet the man of your dreams? Then you need to read Caribbean Wild to see what Miranda does. You won’t want to miss it.

I like a good escape story. Ms. Chase’s story doesn’t disappoint. Her characters are lively and intriguing. The plot is a bit quick, but engaging. Because this is a short story, it was a bit hard to get a handle on the beauty of the island. I wanted more details! If I had any other complaints, I think I’d like a longer story to see what happens after the story, but I can wait for the sequel.

Miranda’s been seeing a guy online. Now I realize this isn’t a new plot line, but Ms. Chase keeps it fresh. Early on, you come to respect Miranda’s decision. She’s been through a lot in life and she wants someone who wants her for who she is. The reader can relate. I liked how she grew through the story and became more of her own person.

The hero, whose ID I can’t reveal, is a nice little plot twist. At first, I didn’t like him much, but as the story unfolded, I accepted him more and wanted to see him get his rewards. His motives may be ulterior, but it’s for her best interest and what reader can stay immune to a hunky hero bent on pleasure?

Now if you want a story with a sexy hero, a perky heroine, and lots of plot twists, then you need to read Caribbean Wild. I give this story 4 cherries.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Entwined by Viola Grace

Entwined by Viola Grace
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (87 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Thea has risen to the top of her field in data accumulation. She knows that her soul is incomplete and has come to grips with all that it means to her. Hathir is a gladiator at the top of his game who has the same problem. When they meet, sparks fly and souls are made whole. Hathir wants more than half his soul back, he wants to convince Thea that they are meant to be together, even if it means that he has to participate in a wedding where she is the maid of honour. Doing ritual battle with his soul mate at the wedding is a foreign idea to Hathir, but with her instincts marked by carrying half his soul for most of her life, the battle is on. Let the best woman win.

Once again, Viola Grace has created new and unusual worlds to visit. The characters of Thea and Hathir are very different in many ways. Thea is an innocent, believing that since she will never meet her soul mate, she will pursue her career and find fulfillment in work. Hathir, for the same reason, surrounds himself with female companions and enjoys the life of someone very much in the spotlight. Both are shocked to find themselves together, and I loved that Thea decided that Hathir needed to prove himself to her before she would consider being with him.

Ms. Grace has a talent for combining romance, humor and steaming hot sex and making it all work. I enjoyed the competition that Thea and Hathir had to endure as part of the wedding of Sillohoran and Stavin, as part of the traditional Mer-thaka wedding. I loved the fact that Hathir was determined to woo and win Thea at all costs, and that their happy ever after actually came before their friend’s wedding.

This one is highly recommend for the adventurous reader who loves to meet new people and explore new worlds.

Chasing Her Tail by Katie Allen

Chasing Her Tail by Katie Allen
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary Paranormal
Length: Short Story (155 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/M, F/M/M, Ménage, spanking, anal play
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

As a first-grade teacher, Bridget thinks she’s prepared for anything a classroom of six-year-olds can throw at her. So it’s a bit of a shock when she’s bitten by a were-puppy and transformed into a dog.

As if peeing outside, excessive furriness and squirrel-chasing urges aren’t enough, it seems as if everyone is after Bridget—including a billionaire with an unhealthy interest in the paranormal, and Micah, the smoking-hot uncle of her were-puppy student.

When she takes refuge with Hammer, a kind stranger who has the body of a god and feeds her hamburgers, Bridget thinks she’s safe. Micah’s hot on her trail, however, and the crazy billionaire isn’t about to let a were-dog slip through his fingers. Meanwhile, Hammer is determined to discover the truth about the mysterious woman who visits his bedroom at night—wearing nothing but a black leather collar.

Ever wonder what life is like as a dog and wonder what it would be like to be privy to a man’s secrets because he thinks you’re a dog? Then get ready for an exciting, hot and hysterical story of a woman who finds more than puppy love.

Bridget is cute as a human and positively endearing as a newly made dog. The perspective of a human female coming to grips with the instincts of the canine world made for lots of laughs, very hot observations and excitement and made this book a fast read. Ms. Allen has given Bridget a unique voice and I chuckled at her reactions to petting, eating hamburgers and getting her ears scratched. I enjoyed the push-pull of her thoughts when her doggie self wanted one thing and her human self was affronted by the very thought of it.

Micah is one of the men in her life, both as a human and as a dog. He’s quite yummy and acts like an alpha with her. He is also very worried for her safety because he knows something that Bridget doesn’t and he’s not too sure how to protect her. Good thing Bridget found an owner.

Hammer is one alpha dude with whole lot of attitude and history. He has a scary and intimidating personality because he’s ex-military. But one look at Bridget the dog and he’s a big cream puff. I enjoyed the aspect of him being so open and communicative when she’s just a dog. A reader gets a good idea about Hammer because it’s told through Bridget’s observation of him. She gets to see the unvarnished truth without all the usual macho stuff that men do to impress women. He is what he is and she likes what she sees and hears. The fun comes in when he catches Bridget back in human form. No wait, it’s also extremely funny when he has to come to terms with the fact that shifters exist. In fact there are many parts that are amusing with Hammer – he’s a terrific guy.

Speaking of fun - there is a lot of that going on. First, Hammer thought she was a dream. And because of that dream assumption, Bridget does things that are typically out of character for her. Personally, I think she’s finally getting in touch with her inner vixen. It’s also pretty nifty to be able to disappear into the form of a dog because it’s a failsafe way of having her fun without the morning after issues. The romance starts building when she starts realizing that she wants more than steak on a plate; she wants Hammer. Then there is the delicious development when Micah turns out to be more beta when he is in the presence of Hammer. Get ready for some hot and heavy man loving. If that wasn’t enough to get me salivating, it’s spiced up when Bridget joins in. Then the pages positively steam and scorch from the passion that erupts between the three of them. I think lovers of erotic romance are going to be pretty happy with the well written and inventive scenes in this book. I think Hammer is perfect as the dominant. I liked Bridget’s heightened sexual courage and Micah’s push-pull of command and submission.

The story isn’t all wagging tails and sensual hi-jinks. There is an external conflict which, excuse the pun, dogs Bridget’s steps throughout the book. A freaky mad scientist is determined to exploit the paranormal aspect of Bridget’s very existence and uses Micah’s family member to flush her out. He’s diabolical, demented and warped – a very convincing villain. Out of that fiasco is an interesting black wolf. I’m never really sure if he’s a real wolf or something more. I think more and if so, Ms. Allen certainly has left a carrot dangling for this reader because even in wolf form I sense a being with attitude. One I’d love for her to explore a bit more.

Chasing Her Tail gets the high marks from me for the sheer inventive point of view from a woman gone to the dogs. I experienced a gamut of emotions while reading this book - from amazement, joyful laughter, worry, suspense, sappy happiness, fast breathing from all those bedroom antics (and other rooms) and outrage on behalf of little Sam, the puppy who started all. It has a happy HEA and is a book worth reading but I’d recommend having something nearby to cool down with because this story isn’t stingy on the lovin’.

The Cajun by Dominique Adair

The Cajun by Dominique Adair
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (78 pgs)
Other: M/F, Spanking, BDSM
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Cherry Blossom

During a storm in the marshes of Southern Louisiana, Rachel Thierry finds herself seeking shelter in an old cabin, never dreaming a childhood friend now resides there.

Etienne Broussard’s trip into New Orleans was curtailed and he returns home to find Rachel sound asleep in front of the fireplace. All softness and curves, and with a sexual hunger as deep as his own, Rachel is everything he ever wanted in a woman.

Outside the storm rages as Rachel and Etienne push the boundaries of friendship and their passions erupt into a fiery inferno that will forever change their lives.

A storm rages over the bayou and waters rise, cutting off access to a lonely cabin. But neither Rachel Thierry nor Etienne Broussard complain about their enforced isolation, or the inescapable intimacy.

Dominique Adair turns a classic story of childhood friends rediscovering each other and redefining their relationship into a delightfully entertaining erotic encounter.

Two strong characters who know what they want, can reassure each other about the inevitable changes that adulthood brings, and yet explore the exciting novelty of a budding romance, create an atmosphere as charged as the lightning-laden weather outside the cabin.

Even though the text itself could have benefited from a more rigorous editing (the sentence structure needed more work both in its occasional monotony and in the mistakes the editing process let slip through), The Cajun is an interesting, very hot quick read. I suggest snuggling by a fire with a nice drink or--even more perfect, with your lover--to savor it better.

Spring Rites by Violetta Caprice

Spring Rites by Violetta Caprice
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (94 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Left behind by her human expatriates, Nere Aditi is caught in the sensual upheaval of the Komentani spring celebration. When Akosh Feltiruakh rescues her from the uninhibited crowd and hides in them in his house, they both become prisoners of their passion. But there are other powers fascinated by the telepathic abilities of the Komentani and seeking to profit from a tie between a human female and a half-alien hybrid. Once the marsh winds die down, Akosh and Nere will have to fight for their lives, and the fate of their union may herald the future of a whole race.

Imagine you’re a foreigner in a foreign land. You know you should hide or flee, but something draws you. You can’t seem to walk away. And then you see him—you mate. But he’s not human. Do you accept fate, or do you run as dictated by those in power? If you’re Nere, you stay and enjoy the ride.

What am I referring to? Read Spring Rites and find out.

Ms. Caprice’s tale of fantasy is unique. Her characters, Nere and Akosh are total opposites, yet they find common ground in matters of the heart. Although I felt the setting lacked a bit of detail, the story kept my attention for the most part. I wanted to see more of the world and feel like I was there on the alien planet with them. That said, you want to see Nere and Akosh get together and make a time of it.

Nere is an interesting heroine. She’s a stranger in a strange land, a free spirit, and she does what she chooses to. I liked seeing her grow through the story to become a strong woman.

Akosh is a strong Komentani man. He’s got the best of both the human and Komentani worlds – compassion and a wicked set of fangs. Oh and he’s got fur. Although I found it hard to picture him, I respected his warrior spirit. When he set his mind to mate with Nere, he let nothing distract him.

There is a baddie in this story, but he’s not who you think and the twist is great. Readers can identify with the struggle to belong in the alien nation as well as the need to be with the one he or she loves.

If you want a story that is a break from the norm and has some sizzling love scenes, then you need to read Spring Rites. I give this book 3.5 cherries.

Rough Cut by Mari Carr

Rough Cut by Mari Carr
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (75 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

When the screen fades to black, all that remains is love.

Ty Ransome. Reigning king of Hollywood, producer, actor, Look Magazine’s Hottest Man Alive. He has it all—until he reads a book of short stories that touches him in places kept carefully hidden from the tabloid gossip mill. There’s only one way to meet the introverted writer—invite her to Tinseltown to work on a script. The moment he sees her, he realizes why her work haunts him. There’s something missing in his life, and it’s her.

Gwen steps off the plane with reservations. For one thing, her darkly sexual stories are hardly movie material. Then there’s Ty’s reputation as a ladies’ man. Yet she’s won over by his charm and agrees to stay on for a week to get to know him before making her decision. And as the days go by, she discovers there’s far more to Ty than a handsome face.

They eat, drink and breathe the characters in their screenplay, re-enacting scenes that delve into the BDSM realm, setting Ty free to unleash his powerful cravings and exposing Gwen’s deepest needs. Needs she set free on paper…but is not sure she’s ready to make a reality.

Four erotic stories, all acted out, each one hotter and more dangerous than the other. If this sounds like something you’d like to venture into, be sure to snag a copy of Rough Cut, a titillating and exhilarating erotica that redefines exploring your darkest fantasies.

Ty and Gwen are characters who share desires and needs that they’ve only dreamed of. He’s a dominant by nature, in need of a submissive, but has yet to discover what he most wants in the bedroom. She’s a closet submissive, yearning for something she can never have, and uses an alias to write about her wildest fantasies on the down low. Meeting to write a screenplay is only a catalyst to bring the two together in an explosive and sexually charged frenzy. As they cave to their yearnings, embrace what they want most, and accept the comfort and release provided in letting go, you’ll writhe, pant, squirm and, when it’s all said and done, ache to do it all over again. This isn’t a sugary-sweet story of boy meets girl, but rather, a full-blown assault on the senses that can only occur when a man claims a woman in her entirety.

The BDSM themes provide something deeper as both Ty and Gwen are forced to come to terms with their sexual identities. The result is a journey to submission, acceptance, and love. Mari Carr has tackled histories of ridicule and self doubt and turned them around, creating acceptance, understanding, and most importantly, peace with one’s self. Ty is fantastic as Dom, but Gwen is unforgettable as submissive. Their intimate scenes are both sexy and tense, and it makes for some hellacious reading.

Fans of BDSM, with a slathering of a tortured heroine, will love Rough Cut. You get the heat, you get the emotion, and you get a story you won’t put down from start to finish.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shifters: Scarlett's Wolf by CL Casey

Shifters: Scarlett's Wolf by CL Casey
Publisher: Cobblestone Pres
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (92 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Heather

Ashling Scarlett hates werewolves. She also has a secret. She uses this secret to find the victims of sadistic werewolf Lynette Barber, so she can perform a ritual to reverse their curse. When she meets a handsome guitar player, her secret becomes a curse of its own.

Blake de Marco is a waiter, guitar player and a werewolf. Hating his curse and Lynette, he sets out to find a way to stop her only to find he is drawn by the scent of a beautiful woman.

Can their love withstand the truth or will Lynette's destructive plan separate them forever?

Guardians come in all shapes and sizes. What draws me as a reader to them is the size of their heart. Ashling is an assassin with a heart. She has the unenviable task of stopping a werewolf victim from becoming a werewolf, and does it with courage, grace and compassion. She's a lovely character to spend time with.

Hero Blake is a waiter by day and a werewolf by night. Now here's a guy who likes to live dangerously - flirting with someone who hates his kind, kills his kind. How to get around that little technicality? Just don't tell her - and pray to God she never finds out. Easier said than done.

There's another werewolf out there who would like nothing better than to destroy them both. Setting them up to destroy each other - that's just a bonus. And so the dance begins, between truth and lie, trust and distrust. The attraction and chemistry are electric. There's no keeping them apart. But how long can two characters who pride themselves on integrity keep up the charade?

The book was a short, quick read. The main characters were engaging and believable. I had a hard time with opening the book in the POV of a victim. Since readers tend to latch onto the first character they set eyes on in a book, killing him off on page two set me aback. I had to adjust to the “Whose story is this?” all over again. The weakness was in the editing. I think it could have used some tightening, some spots that would have worked better with less telling, more active tense. I wish it could have been longer. It wrapped up awfully fast.

But I enjoyed it overall. I liked spending time with Ashling and Blake, and I liked the pro-truthfulness theme. Lying to each other in a relationship never works out. Glad these two learned that.