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Friday, March 5, 2010

As You Are by Ethan Day

As You Are by Ethan Day
Publisher: Loose Id, LLC
Genre: Contemporary
Other: M/M
Length: Full Length (193 pgs)
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Jasmine

Operation Danny…that’s all bartender and recent college graduate, Julian Hallowell has had on his mind the past year. Julian may have no idea what he wants to do with his life, but he definitely knows he‘s in love with the boy next door: the next door down the hall to be exact, housing his roommate and used textbook store owner Danny Wallace.

While Julian has done his level best to make Danny fall for him, all his hard work has been in vain. Danny doesn’t seem to view Julian as anything other than a roommate and friend. So when new guy in town Andy Baker asks him out on a date, Julian can’t think of a good reason to say no.

Instead, he institutes a Reverse Operation Danny plan, which he’s positive will purge all thoughts of love and lust for his roomie out of his head. He’s ready to move on and start looking for his next Mr. Right, and Andy just might fit the bill. But has he given up too soon?

Some people never realize what a good thing they have until it is gone. Will that be the case for Julian and Danny? Or, will they stop hiding from what’s right in front of them?

Julian is the quintessence of the gay male in the 21st century and heaven help anyone that doesn’t see his point of view. Don’t get me wrong, he’s kind, loyal, and has a heart of gold, but he tends to struggle when it comes to looking at both sides of the coin. Boisterous, flamboyant at times, and all around adorable, you can’t help but fall in love with him, which is exactly what happens to his roommate Danny. There’s only one problem, fear of rejection and events from the past have prevented them from professing their love for one another. Will Julian wake up and smell the coffee before it’s too late? Will he learn to accept others as they are and stop making assumptions about why people do the things they do? Moreover, will he relinquish his wished-for fairy tale ending regarding how real relationships work and realize that it’s hard work and requires a reasonable amount of compromise on both sides?

Danny is the strong, silent, mysterious type, which makes it difficult at times to gauge his emotions. With the passing of his mother at an early age and being disowned by his father because he’s gay, Danny has some demons to exorcise. Could Julian, his polar opposite be the man to help him in his plight?

The ole saying opposites attract is an understatement when it comes to these two gentlemen. However, Danny and Julian have an ability to not only balance one another, but also make each other stronger. But, will they realize this before it’s too late? Do you know how to recognize a good thing when it’s standing right in front of you?

As You Are resonated something deep inside of me, and not because I’m fabulous, but because I could relate as a reader and human being to the fears, hopes, and desires that each character experienced as they learned how to communicate and compromise in their relationship. The fear of being rejected by the one you love is a stifling emotion and often leads people to do stupid things as you’ll see when you pick up your copy of As You Are if don’t already own it.

The story is written in first person from Julian’s perspective and I must admit that it’s a very refreshing read. I loved how Mr. Day allows the reader into the mindset of Julian, yet, left an air of mystery regarding Danny, his soul mate. There were times that Julian and Danny frustrated the heck out of me and I wanted to slap them both. But there were also times when they made me laugh and cry at how much they had experienced and survived as a couple. They truly do compliment one another and make each other strong as individuals.

With a lovely cast of secondary characters this book got better and better. Gabby, who is Julian’s best friend, is hilarious and their relationship is the epitome of a strong-willed, straight woman who's best friends with a fabulous and at times over the top gay man. Okay, most of the time is an understatement. Julian is fabulous and has no problem relishing that fact. He makes no apologies for his personality flaws and I love that about him because it helped bring his character to life.

Delilah, Julian’s mom, is absolutely amazing in this book. She's a no-nonsense, elegant, classic woman from Texas who loves her baby boy regardless of the fact that he's gay and has no problem putting others in their place when they make degrading comments about him or other gay men. She is freaking-fantastic. And although she loves her baby boy, she has no problem telling him when he's being an ass, which I found hilarious. The interaction between the characters made the plot realistic and brought the story to life. There was nothing in As You Are that made me question whether or not a gay man would do or say that. I have cousins who are gay and Ethan's portrayal of the overzealous gay male versus the strong-silent gay male is on the money. I loved all of the characters in As You Are.

If you’re looking for a heart-warming, humorous, drama-oriented story that is a breath of fresh air, then As You Are is the book to read. Two thumbs up to Mr. Day for providing us with a story that not only stresses the importance of compromise in any loving relationship, but also the importance of coming to terms with your fears so that you don’t risk losing what might be standing right in front of you. I would definitely recommend As You Are to my friends. Shoot! I need to buy both of my cousins a copy of As You Are because they will definitely enjoy it as much as I did. Bravo Mr. Day! Bravo!

Silver Bells by Hunter Raines

Silver Bells by Hunter Raines
Publisher: Loose ID LLC
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (76 pgs)
Other: M/M, Multiple Partners
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Cholla

Jud Hess has loved Derek Gentry since they were children. When they became lovers in college, he thought they were destined to be together forever. All that changed with Derek’s tragic death only four years later, on Christmas Day.

Now, more than a decade after that horrible event, Jud clings to a promise he made the night before Derek died. He vowed that he would never, ever, be with another man. And he’s clung to that vow with every bit of what’s left of his heart.

But Derek’s death brought an unlikely gift. After his lover died, Jud began to see spirits. And although ghosts have become his constant companions, the one spirit he longs to see only appears to him at Christmas. Or at least, he used to.

This year, Derek doesn’t come. But someone else does; a man who brings with him the kind of erotic temptation and a need of his own that Jud is helpless to resist.

To end a decade of loneliness, Jud will have to give in to the sultry seduction of a stranger… and betray the spirit of the man who should have been the love of his life.

Jud is stuck in the past. Since losing Derek, he’s refused to move forward and find happiness again. His inner turmoil haunts him, keeping everyone but his spirit-bound companions at bay, setting himself up for almost total isolation. He is intense and emotional, a truly devoted lover. I love that he can suddenly see spirits after Derek’s murder and, instead of ignoring them or something equally drastic, he helps them find justice and, eventually, peace. It’s a fitting occupation since his own soul is in such a state of turmoil. You hope that helping so many others would help him heal. However, he takes all the passion and drive he’d once put into his relationship with his former lover and pours it into the solving of mysteries instead.

Ty is Jud’s total opposite. He wants to move forward, but is being held at a standstill by a stubborn ghost. He’s tired of being alone and is eager for a friend, or a lover, to come into his life. I enjoyed the way he sticks to his guns and refuses to let Jud weasel his way out of helping him. He lets his desperation talk and Jud is no match for it. He’s just the kind of man that Jud needs in his life—stubborn, strong, and steadfast, able to weather the storm of Jud’s past tragedy. Also, all this frustration and annoyance on Ty’s part creates a lot of tension between the two men, making their meeting that much more enjoyable.

The passion between the two is explosive, full of pent-up emotion and pure animal lust. Jud and Ty make a sultry combination that is just ready to explode. Their struggle to find balance is a real one, one that we have either experienced ourselves or have witnessed in others. Moving on after the demise of a relationship—whether it was ended by death or just mutual separation—is one of the hardest things we’re ever faced with. Slowly, as all the pieces of the mystery fall into place, you’re treated to a real gem of a story. Hunter Raines outdoes herself in this heart-tugging story of acceptance, forgiveness and moving on.

Wild Rodeo Nights by Sandy Sullivan

Wild Rodeo Nights by Sandy Sullivan
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (165 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Carrie’s bitter. Losing her parents and finding out her teenage sister is pregnant with no father in sight, has just about left her without direction. Running her parent’s store dominates her days, until one hunky rodeo cowboy decides to help out. Will she let Cole become a permanent fixture in her life or will his temporary lifestyle become a wall she isn’t willing to climb? Can she convince him to stay?

Cole rides bulls. A temporary woman is right up his alley until he runs smack into one protective Carrie Marsh. When she sticks her claws into him at the bar, accusing him of getting her sister pregnant, he’s fascinated. Her hazel eyes snap fire as she pins him to his seat. Can he tame the hellcat with the tongue sharper than cheap tequila? Does he want to or will the call of the rodeo pull him away?

Wild Rodeo Nights is a romantic story that will capture your attention and steal your heart. Sandy Sullivan has taken one of my absolute favorite hero’s – the cowboy – and written something everyone is certain to enjoy.

Carrie has a bushel of problems. After her parents' untimely deaths, she was forced to return home and care for her seventeen-year old sister; a sister who after a night of passion found herself with a spot of pregnancy. Furious and determined to seek out the culprit, she lashes out at who she believes is the father only to learn she was wrong all along. Mortified beyond belief, she flees, only to come face to face with the gorgeous rodeo cowboy Cole the very next day. Sparks fly between the two, but Cole isn’t looking to settle and Carrie has too many responsibilities to get involved. However, the attraction that exists cannot be denied, and when Carrie and Cole allow desire to overcome logic, things are bound to get complicated.

While a few of the elements involved in the story seemed a trifle forced and bizarre, I did enjoy Wild Rodeo Nights. Carrie and Cole are developed just enough for you to care about what occurs in their flourishing relationship, while the obstacles and heartbreaks along the way keep the pace up and ensure you’ll flip through the pages from beginning to end. Although the paranormal elements were odd (I wasn’t expecting them in a cowboy romance), and there is a lot of tragedy that occurs to our protagonists along the journey (to the point you wonder how much more they can possibly bear), it is definitely something different, so I can attest that this isn’t something you’d expect by the cover or blurb.

Cowboy fans who like a lot of emotion and a dash of the paranormal, pencil Wild Rodeo Nights onto your TBR list. This is one of those stories that are more than what they seem, on the surface and inside the pages.

The Triple S Bride by Dee S Knight

The Triple S Bride by Dee S. Knight
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (104 pgs)
Other: M/F/M/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Mail order bride Sabina Volt wants a husband like she wants a hole in the head. She escapes the cruelty of her fiancé on Earth by running to the remote planet C8282 and a marriage contract with a stranger. When she seals the contract in a bout of wildly fulfilling sex, she thinks Walt Sheridan is the one man she might be able to trust.

Walt Sheridan has low expectations when he orders a bride for himself and his two brothers, but when Sabina steps off the shuttle he knows she is the woman for him--for all of them. His only reservation to offering his heart and soul to the sexy woman with the long legs and high-heeled boots is the secret she keeps from him. One thing is certain, the Sheridans will use any means to protect her from whatever put the fear in her eyes.

I was intrigued when I first read the description of this book: a science fiction, cowboy ménage a quatre tale of romance, passion and adventure. Sabina is determined to escape the abusive relationship she had with Groman, and being a mail order bride is the fastest way off planet. She changes her appearance, losing weight, and cutting and dying her hair, and hopes for the best. I loved that Sabina is a survivor, and just decides to do what it takes to continue.

Walt is a strong character that you just have to love, and so are Dan and Charlie. Each man is different and brought different traits to the story. Charlie is the youngest, the dreamer who wants to train to fly. Dan is the thinker, and loves to have deep conversations with Sabina. Each man is attracted to her and when she discovers she wants all three this surprises her a bit.

The love scenes are scorching and I couldn't turn away. There is one majorly hot scene, when Walt returns after being out on the range for a while. Charlie and Dan blindfold Sabina before she sees him, and the four of them have a passion filled night together. When danger threatens, in the guise of Kevin Groman, the Sheridan men unite to ensure that nothing will endanger their wife.

There is a wonderful happy ever after for the unconventional family, and I recommend this one for those who like a mix of suspense, science fiction and smoking hot cowboys (in space).

Dead, Undead or Somewhere in Between by JA Saare

Dead, Undead or Somewhere in Between by JA Saare
Publisher: Mundania Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (222 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, F/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

One bad corpse can ruin your whole day.

No one knows better than Rhiannon Murphy that one bad corpse can ruin your whole day.

She left behind the flash and sass of Miami for the no-nonsense groove of New York City, eager for a clean slate and a fresh start. A bartender by trade, a loud mouth by choice, and a necromancer by chance; she managed to keep her nifty talent hidden from those around her—until now.

The deliciously good-looking vampire, Disco, knows her secret. When he strolls into her bar to solicit help investigating the mysterious disappearances of his kind from the city, Rhiannon discovers he’s not the kind of person that appreciates the significance of the word no.

But in a world where vampires peddle their blood as the latest and greatest drug of choice, it’s only a matter of time before the next big thing hits the market. Someone or something is killing vampires to steal their hearts, and unlike Rhiannon, this isn’t their first stroll around the undead block.

Who knew one of the living dead could totally screw up your day? Then again, maybe dealing with the dead is easier than the ungrateful living.

You’re interested, I can tell. You should be. You should also want to read Dead, Undead or Somewhere in Between.

I’ll be the first to admit I love to read. I’ll also admit there are few books that I have read that I truly like and would pass on to my friends. This is one of those books. When you first step into the Black Panther club, you feel like you’ve traversed into a new world. And trust me, you won’t want to leave.

The characters which can come across as abrasive will grow on you, and fast. The story flows at a brisk pace. Once I started this story, I couldn’t put it down.

Now remember, this is an urban fantasy. This story has a definite dark undertone, but don’t let it keep you from this novel. Rhiannon, for all her prickliness, is a wonderful heroine. Once you see why it is that she keeps the tough façade, you want to see her succeed all the more. And though some may find Disco not quite the hero they expect, to me, he made the story. Yup, I don’t tend to get emotionally involved with stories, but from his entrance, Disco had me right in his grasp.

Although the ending is something you won’t see coming, it’s totally worth the wait and... well, awesome.

If you want a story that will stay with you long after the last page, then you need to read Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between. I guarantee you won’t regret it. I give this book 5 cherries.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Intimate Persuasions by Nicole Morgan

Intimate Persuasions - Intimate Temptations 1 by Nicole Morgan
Publisher: Siren Publishing Inc.
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (181 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Ambrosia

Ann moved to Oakdale for a fresh start, and when she met Quinn, a sexy cowboy, she instantly fell for him. Unable to deny herself the need to have him, she gives in to a secret fantasy, only to fear their relationship will end before it truly starts.

Quinn soon realizes Ann means more to him than he ever could have imagined. He feels a connection with her that's much deeper than physical, but he has secret desires he keeps to himself, afraid to scare her with what he wants most.

Will they find a way to show each other their true selves and finally love each other completely? And if so, will Ann give him a part of herself she has given to no man before?

Heat, desire, delights unlimited. Author Nicole Morgan has created a story of unleashed desire in the face of uncertainty. Her characters are rich with flavor, vivid, and inspiring. Definitely, they have issues with trust and honesty which makes for the best of tales. From squirming on your chair to tears on your cheeks, you’ll enjoy this erotic romance between two lovers who learn how to overcome all obstacles to find true love and total devotion.

The plot is excellent, the story well thought out, and the characters wonderfully real. Unfortunately there is a lot of ‘head hopping’, the point of views switching back and forth so fast it’s hard to keep track of who is thinking or doing what. The repetitive words also detract from the story. The manuscript requires a lot of punctuation and checking for errors. However, I hope the author never gives up! Like a diamond in the rough, Nicole Morgan has what it takes to be an excellent writer.

This is a story that begs to be told. I give it 3.5 Cherries and the sincere hope that Nicole Morgan keeps on writing as she’ll be in the top ten someday soon.

No Matter What by Erin Nicholas

No Matter What by Erin Nicholas
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Other: M/F
Length: Full Length (167 pgs)
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Jasmine

The best doesn’t come cheap…and this time it could cost him his heart.

Adam Steele is good. Good at using his money to get his way. Money always works—until he realizes he can’t buy his daughter’s way out of her new wheelchair. Three private physical therapists later, he’s almost given up on Emily walking again. Then he meets Dr. Jaden Monroe. And his match.

Jaden doesn’t know the meaning of the word “quit”. But she knows a lot about “fired” after a public blowout with her ex jeopardizes the donation her hospital was counting on. Now the most tempting man she’s ever met has made her just the offer she needs to save the new children’s rehab wing—one million dollars to rehabilitate his daughter. In return she finds herself making Adam rash promises: that his daughter will walk in time to take the lead in the school play. And that he won’t entice her into his bed. No matter what.

But Jaden didn’t anticipate a teen whose injuries are more than physical. Or a man so passionate and devoted—and as tenacious as she is. As Adam wears down her defenses with kiss after kiss, the only thing harder than keeping her promise will be keeping a hold on her heart.

Is it true that money can buy anything…including happiness? What happens when all the money in the world doesn’t take away the pain, sorrow, and fear that’s buried deep inside your soul?

No Matter What is a captivating story, about love, loss, fear, heartache, and control, but more importantly, it’s about trust. Trust in yourself and trust in the people you love and care about. The powerful connection between Jaden and Adam is endearing, yet explosive as they struggle for control of the situation that surrounds each of their lives. Ms. Nicholas brings the characters to life as the reader witnesses the constant bantering between Jaden and Adam, as well as the love they try to hide for one another.

No Matter What isn’t your typical fairy tale because the trials and tribulations that Jaden, Adam, and Emily struggle with on a daily basis are realistic and to some extent make you feel humble. I love how there are no easy solutions to their problems, which is the way real life works. But more importantly, I enjoyed how Ms. Nicholas presented problems in the story that were complex and difficult to resolve. Moreover, it was refreshing when the characters admitted that they didn’t know what to do regarding the situation, which is realistic because we don’t always know how to solve the problems that life throws at us. In essence, bad things happen to good people and Ms. Nicholas does an excellent job of reiterating that when these bad things happen, we have to make a choice whether or not to fight or flee.

If you’re looking for a story that will send you on an emotional rollercoaster ride that entails crying, laughter, anger, fear, passion, stubbornness, and the inability to communicate, but also embraces the sensual side of both characters as they struggle to find love during a difficult situation, then No Matter What is the book to read. Bravo to Ms. Nicholas for providing us with a story that warms the heart and puts a smile on your face, but more importantly, makes you believe in the impossible if you’re willing to give up control and risk it all on love and trust. I would definitely recommend No Matter What to my friends.

No Prince Charming by Shiloh Walker

No Prince Charming by Shiloh Walker
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (121 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Her Happy-Ever-After has been a long time coming…

Elle spent years trying to get over her so-called Prince Charming, and she’s finally getting the hang of it. A Grimm—a guardian angel with unique gifts—she spends her nights trolling for demons and kicking ass, and lately, her days have been spent with her on-and-off-again lover, Ren, a fellow Grimm. But fate has other plans in store for Elle, plans that include Michael, the prince from her youth who broke her heart.

“What do you choose…live for her? Or would you rather die?” That was the choice Michael was given all those years ago. Although he knew she’d never forgive him, when Michael was given the chance to become a Grimm, he took it. Still, he isn’t so sure Elle needs him in her life. With a lover at her side and a mission before her, Elle looks like she’s doing just fine without him.

But the not-so-charming prince isn’t going to back off that easily…not if there’s a chance she might need him again. He’d do anything to save her. Kill for her, live for her, die for her…

No Prince Charming is a unique and captivating romance that spans the course of several lifetimes. Using a new concept and the shift from a first to a third person narrative, author extraordinaire Shiloh Walker manages to create fascinating characters and a story fans are sure to enjoy.

Elle and Michael are Grimms; those chosen to protect the innocent from harm. In order to become one, you have to die, and considering the scars of the past, their memories during the living years are understandably bittersweet. You see, Elle and Michael were once lovers, until Elle learned Michael was betrothed to her sister. Her untimely death came about as a consequence, and Michael has waited three-hundred years to right the wrong he committed. Working together on a case, Elle soon discovers she is not immune to the man she has never forgotten. As they relive the past and begin stepping into the future, hearts will mend, destinies will forge, and they will find what they’ve always longed for most – each other.

While the first person and third person narratives threw me off at first, I quickly settled in to this fantastic story that offers tons of heart and oodles of heat. Shiloh Walker delivers yet again, with an interesting story that tingles all of those places you want a romance to. Her characters are fantastic, and I couldn’t wait for Elle and Michael to give in to their feelings.

If you’re looking for something that is easy to read, with tight writing and pacing, look no further. No Prince Charming has everything you could possibly desire, and more. Be sure to pencil this one down on your TBR list.

Cougar by Beverly Rae

Cougar Wild Things Book 1 by Beverly Rae
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (98 pgs)
Other: M/F/M, Ménage, BDSM, Anal play/sex, Spanking
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Holly

She likes her men rough, tough…and two at a time.

Wild Things, Book 1

Shannon Tally’s heart has been broken one too many times, but it hasn’t put a damper on her sex drive. If guys can play the field, so can she. And the two hot, sweaty ranch hands she spots “in the field” at her cousin’s ranch will do nicely to play out her wildest fantasy: to tame not just one hunky cowboy, but two. At the same time.

Humans are a mystery to cougar shifter Chase Reya. They invade his home, threatening the animals and his solitude. That’s why his leader sent him to the Tally ranch, to learn how to get along with humans. Or at least not to slice and dice them.

He never expected Shannon to stir a whirlwind of heat. And when the alluring female shares her affections with a werewolf, the combined sexual desire erupts even hotter. Only one person can generate this kind of passion—but can his lifelong mate be a human? For Shannon, a self-proclaimed lady “cougar”, fidelity could be a tall order. Not to mention accepting his true nature…

Beverly Rae has written one of the hottest books I have read in a while. I love Shannon, with her take no prisoners sexual freedom. Shannon will take what she wants when and where she wants it.

I loved the confusion when everyone kept describing Shannon as a “cougar” and Chase didn’t understand the reference. The interplay between Chase and Dirk is so much fun, as “cat-man” and “dog-boy” vie for Shannon’s attention. She has no idea what they are talking about, as only Bob knows what these two are. The two men are each hot in their own way, but Chase is the one who may just be able to steal Shannon’s heart and make it whole again. But not before one of the hottest ménages I have ever read.

There is some very inventive use of bullwhips and stirrups that I guarantee will burn an image into your brain. There isn’t anything Shannon refuses to try with these two, and it makes for a very interesting story. Of course, danger pops its head in the door, in the form of an enraged grizzly bear that attacks Shannon, and the lengths these two men will go to in order to save her is so life altering for all of them. There is a happy ever after with this one, but here is a scorching hot ride getting there.

All I can say is Yeehaw, ride ‘em cowboy!

Holiday Howlz: Her Feral Pack by Ruth D Kerce

Holiday Howlz: Her Feral Pack by Ruth D. Kerce
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Holiday
Length: Short Story (23 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F/M, M/M/M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed Tiger Lily

Ever since Janie Merlot mated with two shapeshifting wolves, she hasn't been the same. Now she's back to prove that Dall and Cavan are indeed real.

After trudging into the woods -- instead of finding the arctic wolves -- she finds a man. Sawyer. Mysterious and sexy, she becomes trapped with him during a snowstorm. But who is he?

After waking from a deep sleep, the two arctic wolves she'd sought greet her, along with one large, black wolf. Sawyer's a shifter too! And their Alpha Leader.

Together, the three men take Janie through a decadent and erotic journey she'll never forget.

When do you just let things slide and when do you follow your heart? What if your heart’s desire is a couple of wolf-shifters? Then you have a problem—a sexy, handsome, double trouble problem.

And you need to read Holiday Howlz: Her Feral Pack.

I like this series, whether the stories match up or stand alone, it will keep you entertained and in your seat for some red-hot lovin’.

In this story, Janie can’t explain why she needs to go back to the woods, but she does. Dall and Cavan hold some sort of power over her that she doesn’t understand. When she runs into Sawyer, all bets are off as to whether she’s going to leave the woods happy.

Each man is handsome and hunky in his own way and that adds to the sensuality of the story. I liked the aura of the unknown in this tale as well. Janie doesn’t know why she succumbed to Dall and Cavan and she’s not totally sure why she had to come back, but the fact that she does—on Christmas, no less—is a fun way to celebrate their connection.

The reader is drawn in immediately and the power of the four people in this novella holds you until way past the last page.

If you want a holiday tale that’s guaranteed to make you sigh, squirm, and grin, then you need to read Holiday Howlz: Her Feral Pack. I give this fun story 4 cherries.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Life Sentence by Jennifer Dunne

Life Sentence by Jennifer Dunne
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Paranormal
Length: Short Story (94 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Samantha Taylor expected the erotic art book to offer her an escape, not release Master Giacomo. Italian, hunky and a skilled Master, Giacomo is a triple-threat devoted to giving Sam the ultimate pleasure as his submissive.

Having let one man control her life, Sam will be damned if she’d let another do it, no matter how much he makes her body burn. But Giacomo is damned—and if he fails to dominate Sam, he really will go to Hell.

Jennifer Dunne writes a sweetly romantic yet smoking hot story about finding love in the strangest ways.

I enjoyed reading this story and watching as the bond grew between Samantha and Master Giacomo. Samantha is a strong woman who clearly recognizes her past mistakes and vows not to do them again, so doesn't want to submit control to any man, no matter how sexy. And, although he is a master, Giacomo is strong in the bedroom but vulnerable in other ways, something Samantha slowly comes to realize. It was nice to see Samantha recognize his pain and help Giacomo through it.

This book illustrates how one can find love even when you are not looking for it and in the last place you look. A good read.

Another Dream, Another Reality by Mechele Armstrong

Another Dream, Another Reality by Mechele Armstrong
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (109 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/M, Ménage, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Cassie never intended to let them get to her. Her relationship with Aden and Leo was supposed to be strictly “fun.” But even as she hides from them making demands on her heart and her life, they start to mean too much. Then she's threatened with the loss of her job if she keeps the relationship going. They talk her into a trip to the mountains to try to work things out, but once she's there she has a change of heart and wants to leave them. For good.

Only the car won’t start. So now, she’s trapped at a gorgeous cabin in the mountains with two delicious men who want to win her heart.

Aden and Leo have their own issues with the relationship they’ve moved into, and they know that Cassie has been trying to avoid getting deeper with them. They use their time stuck at the cabin to work through it all.

What starts serious turns into fun, but as life sets in, will they find their relationship a dream or a reality?

Another Dream, Another Reality is a story that explores the complexities of a newly formed ménage relationship. While the fun in the bedroom might be exciting, it’s not always so easy to commit to what some people consider “outside the norm”. Not to mention, when life gets in the way, obstacles are bound to trip you up here and there.

Cassie got involved with Leo and Aden after a birthday party went awry and they wound up together in an elevator – trapped with nothing but their bodies, minds, and a game of truth-or-dare to pass the time. A full-figured woman, Cass couldn’t believe that the sexy stripper, Aden, found her attractive. Or that his body guard associate and lover, Leo, did as well. An intense experience bloomed into something that is more than sex, but isn’t entirely a relationship. While Leo and Aden appear to want more, she is uncertain, and hasn’t figured out where she belongs in their lives. Her job requires her to be utterly discreet, and a relationship with a stripper is bad enough without throwing in a little three-way-romance.

Leo and Aden want more from Cassie that a passing fling, but they have their own issues to sort out. Aden is stressed over the final classes necessary to complete his degree, and is steadily falling behind due to his “nightly” activities. If he wants to graduate, he has to get serious and get to work, and that means less time for fun. Leo, on the other hand, is the man who wants the relationship to become something permanent and committed, and attempts to sway his lovers to see the beauty of what exists between them – but has issues in revealing his own emotions.

Their getaway allows them to own up to their insecurities and doubts, while rekindling the flame that exists. As the passion heats up and they are forced to come face to face with their demons, their triad will take on heights they never imagined were possible.

This is a fast paced read with memorable characters, some tension, and a whole lot of heat. Mechele Armstrong excels at crafting stories that move and shake you, and Another Dream, Another Reality is no exception. While Cassie is a bit abrasive at times and I struggled to understand her motives, Leo and Aden managed to keep me vested in the relationship.

Fans of ménage, especially those who enjoyed the preceding story Another Night, Another Dream, will love Another Dream, Another Reality.

Morning Star by Roslyn Hardy Holcomb

Morning Star by Roslyn Hardy Holcomb
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (200 pgs)
Other: M/F/M
Rating: 3 Cherries
Reviewed by Anthurium

Driven and ambitious, Andi McFadden has wanted to be a television producer for as long as she can remember. She was fortunate enough to be mentored by one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood, and after paying her dues she’s now the producer of her own show. Just before accepting the new position she had what she thought would be a one-night stand with Harley Joseph, one of the hottest actors in town. Now she discovers there’s been a last-minute change and he’s been cast as the star of her new show.

Harley uses his considerable sensual talents to seduce Andi back into his bed, but because of their working relationship she insists that they keep their relationship a secret. However, it’s almost impossible to keep their passion concealed in the close confines of a busy production studio, and they have several close calls. Meanwhile Andi discovers that she’s not Harley’s only secret.

Can their fragile relationship with stand the business, or it will it crumble...along with her career?

Andi McFadden is a workaholic, she doesn't have time for anything else. She had one night of passion with Harley that came back to haunt her, but in a good way and she has never forgotten it. Suddenly he shows up again as the star of the new TV show that she is producing. How will she keep their relationship strictly business and not end up a cliché, with her heart broken at the end of it?

Harley Joseph is a very dedicated actor who is also a little bit of a daredevil and adventurer. He believes that Andi could be the one for him, and sets out to win her over. Mixed into this are secrets and lies, and some fun adventures. Andi's mother is hilarious as the aging actress turned businesswoman with her own secrets, who really makes the story fun.

This is not your typical romance but one that shows us the behind-the-scenes production of a TV series. I loved that Harley sometimes was serious in his acting but took on dangerous adventures. And Andi is definitely a woman who needs a little romance in her life. This story is a fun adventure and I will definitely look for more stories from this author.

Holiday Howlz: Suspicious Surprises by Camille Anthony

Holiday Howlz: Suspicious Surprises by Camille Anthony
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (27 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

There's a suspicious man in town, asking questions no one wants to answer.

Puppy suspects Carly is keeping something from him. When she's not avoiding him, she's busy emptying the contents of her stomach. She can't be pregnant, so her symptoms have Quentin fearing for her health.

Carly's sure she has a touch of flu, but to appease her lover, she takes time off from planning the Library's First Annual Christmas Eve party to see the doctor. Shocked at his diagnosis, she stumbles away, only to come face-to-face with her ex-boyfriend, suspiciously here in Barkus to surprise her. Suddenly, she's keeping more than one secret from Quentin.

Only trust born of true love will guide these two lovers through this Christmas minefield of suspicious surprises.

Sometimes the unexpected is the best surprise of them all. But what do you do when your past comes back to bite your buns? I guess you need to read Holiday Howlz: Suspicious Surprises to find out more.

I like a short story that pulls you in from the get-go with a red-hot sex scene. Whew! When you begin this one, you know the characters are in love—deep love. I liked the twists and turns in the story that kept me right in my seat for the duration.

The plot of this tale is a little hard to follow at the beginning, but quickly evens out and makes for fun reading. Although I thought the issues worked out a tad smoother than should be, I realize this is a shorter story and a breezy read. Even the baddie is totally a character you want to see get his/her just desserts.

Quentin makes a pleasant hero because he’s ready and willing to protect his mate. He’s a sexy guy and his assertiveness endears him to the reader. Carly is a great heroine because she doesn’t back down from a fight. I wanted her to be a bit more forward, but when she is around Quentin, she sizzles.

If you want a quick read for a chilly night, then you need to read Holiday Howlz: Suspicious Surprises. I give this story 4 cherries.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Interlude by Madeline Oh

Interlude by Madeline Oh
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (96 pgs)
Other: M/F, BDSM
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Anthurium

A borrowed cottage, an ancient magic spring, wild erotic dreams and the mysterious Dai Hughes all lure Alex to the wildest side of wild Wales.

As one of the queens of BDSM stories, Madeline Oh has done it again! This story will definitely provide an interlude that is full of paranormal fun and adventure.

Alex did not expect much when she agreed to house sit for her distant aunt while she was on vacation. She did not know that she would find a magical underground spring, encounter a dream lover that leaves her satisfied as no real lover ever has, and meet the Dominant man of her dreams.

Alex finds herself going off on an adventure, traveling to Wales from America to take care of her Aunt's cottage in the Highlands. She is looking forward to a break from her existing Dom; the sex is good but he is just too whiny and self-centered.

The cottage starts working it's magic on her the very first night, and her dreams are just too good to be true, and then there is Dai Hughes, the delicious caretaker who seems to return her interest and has all the right attributes. There is a bit of mis-communication between the characters that provides the conflict in the story, and lots of hot steamy sex. This story is a winner and a recommend for anyone that enjoys their men dominate and in charge.

Off Limits by Lia Slater

Off Limits by Lia Slater
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (38 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

How does a woman who usually follows the straight and narrow end up handcuffed to a chair by her ex-husband’s younger brother, a wickedly delicious man who just happens to be a cop? And the star of her most forbidden fantasies. Kara Reynolds has spent the past thirty-eight years being a good girl, but there’s something about Austin that makes her want to be really bad. Now, she’s caught in a situation that could either humiliate her...or set her free.

Off Limits is one wickedly exciting novella that erotica fans don’t want to miss. The indelible Lia Slater has created a story romantics everywhere will swoon for while kicking up the passion and turning up the heat.

Austin has wanted Kara ever since she married his cheating brother ten years before. A young twenty-year old at the time, he professed his feelings to the woman of his dreams only to watch her walk down the aisle and into the life of a man he knew didn’t deserve her. Now, her divorce is settled, and he’s determined to lay claim to the only person he’s ever wanted so much it hurts.

Kara was shocked when her fiancée’s younger brother professed his feelings on her wedding day ten-years before. It was as if he was looking into her soul, seeing all of her fears and doubts. Despite the temptation of his offer, she married the man who turned out to be a cheat. It took a lot of pain and many years for the marriage to crumble, but one person remained steadfast throughout – her notably younger, and now ex-brother-in-law, Austin.

A break-in, a misunderstanding, and two heartfelt confessions will bring these two together, and when that happens, the pages positively sizzle. Austin and Kara snake their way into your heart, and given the length of the work, that’s no easy feat. This is the kind of story you enjoy like a decadent piece of chocolate, savoring the lingering deliciousness as it soaks in. There is so much power packed into such a small package, and I absolutely loved every second of it.

Be sure to pencil Off Limits onto your TBR list. This is one wickedly sinful treat you do not want to miss.