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Friday, March 19, 2010

Beck and Call by Abby Gordon

Beck And Call by Abby Gordon
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (244 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Serena Traydon was tired of playing it safe. All her adult life, she’d done what was expected—worked hard, went to school, cared for her aging grandfather, and ignored her own needs. Just once, she wanted someone to take care of her and bring her passions to life. But those deeper, darker desires seemed so forbidden without the right partner.

Keith McLauren had spent years training for this moment. He was a Dom and a he’d finally found the perfect submissive. She might be his secretary but she’d never been at his beck and call. Could he make her his without ruining everything?

Beck And Call is a story that begins in a certain way, yet, takes you in an entirely unforeseen direction. There is so much more than the Dominant and submissive; far more than a man who lures the woman he wants into his life with promises of pleasure. Instead, you get an emotional journey that merges with unexpected twists and turns. The result is something that captures your attention and entertains throughout.

When Keith decides his assistant is everything he could possibly want following a fantasy he cannot shake, he puts a plan into motion to see if there is the possibility she might reciprocate the interest. Sending notes anonymously, he tempts her to explore the world of BDSM. Of course, Serena is captivated by the prospect, despite the mystery surrounding the identity of her admirer. As they enter into a relationship that begins via phone and messages, each learns the others wants and needs. Ultimately, their union is cemented when Serena ventures to Keith’s apartment, still unaware of his identity, and they share a weekend together. Upon her return to work the following week, a chain of events will shake the very foundation that Keith has laid. To say what that is would be to spoil, which I will not do, but I can say I was surprised at the shift and couldn’t wait to learn what happened next.

As a new author, Abby Gordon has managed to create something that readers will not only enjoy, but will remember her by. The characters are wonderfully developed, the story is intriguing, and the sex positively sizzles. Keith and Serena have a combustive chemistry and each new encounter is more intense than the one before. You’ll writhe and pant, wriggle and squirm, and before you know it, fall in love with both of them.

A definite must for the TBR list, especially for fans of the BDSM genre. Be sure not to miss Beck and Call.

The Favour by Crissy Smith

The Favour (Corporate Wolves series #1)by Crissy Smith
Publisher: Total E-bound
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (42 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/M, M/M/F, Ménage, Anal Play
Rating: Best Book
Review by: Peppermint

Book one in the Coporate Wolves Series

Doing a favour for her two bosses will turn out to be the most erotic experience of her life.

Annebelle Scott has lusted over her bosses for some time. When they ask a favour of her, she agrees. All she has to do is accompany them to their weekend house to work on a file that must be completed before Monday. Oh, and manage to hide her desire for them for a couple days. How hard can that be?

Matt McCoy and Trevor King have put their plan in motion to add Annabelle to their family. They concoct a story to get her to go away with them for the weekend. In the safety of their weekend house and family territory, they will not only claim her as a mate, but introduce her to the world of shape-shifters.

Two for the price of one. That is exactly what Annabelle got when she was asked by her bosses to work on a special project for them that required them to spend the weekend together. If only all of our bosses could be a sexy as Matt and Trevor.

This was the first story by this author I read. I liked it so much I immediately went out and bought another one of her werewolf stories. My only complaint about this story is it is too short. The storyline is so exciting I think it could have easily made a full-length novel. I mean who doesn't want to hear about two gorgeous men deciding to add a female to their already steamy love life?

I liked how in the world created by this author having multiple partners of both sexes was so accepted. The way that everyone in the community seemed to not only accept it, but many participated. For them it is common to have both same sex and opposite mates. I think that fact that they are shifters makes this more believable. The reality for us normal folks to have two, three and four partners/mates would be a difficult task to handle. Especially since these are long term, committed relationships. I could not imagine juggling this many people in one household.

The erotica scenes in this novel were not lacking in any way. One in particular sticks out for me. I will not ruin it for you, but when you read this story, I'm betting it will stick out for you also.

This story was so well written it actually had me thinking about it for the rest of the day. I can say it truly changed the way I will view werewolf books from now on. So please do yourself a favor and read this short story.

Top Men by G.A. Houser

Top Men (this is book 3 of the Heroes Series)by G.A. Hauser
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (225 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tuberose

LAPD cop Mickey Stanton knew the minute the new guy, Jeff Chandler, a transfer from Seattle PD ended up in his division, he was crazy about him. Ending up in the same patrol car working as partners, Mickey couldn't believe his luck when one late evening at the end of shift, they revealed to each other their sexual preference. From that moment, the two of them began a fiercely wild love affair which included risque sex on duty.

As the exhaustion and stress of the job compete with their volatile relationship, Mick and Jeff struggle to keep what they have alive as the battles between them are as passionate as the sexual bouts. Can the two big cats, the sworn officers of LAPD make it happen? Or will the job and the anger separate these top men? Sometimes the answer is sitting in a patrol car by your side.

Do you like HOT cops that can’t get enough of each other? If so, this is the book for you.

From the moment Mickey Stanton and Jeff Chandler learn they are both gay, they can’t keep their hands off each other, even while they are working. Both are LAPD cops that work in the same patrol car. It doesn’t take long for Mickey to fall in love with Jeff. Unfortunately, Jeff thinks that he just loves having sex with Mickey and doesn’t care about the location. In fact, nothing is off-limits, including the workplace.

Mickey and Jeff have sex, fight, then have what I would call “fighting” sex throughout the story. Mickey and Jeff both want to be the top man. Ms. Hauser had me feeling sorry for Mickey, as Jeff, the love of his life, goes on and on about wanting to have sex with other men. She also had me upset and frustrated with Mickey as he created a continuous cycle of leaving Jeff and then taking Jeff back in a blink of an eye, ergo “fighting” sex. Moreover, I wanted to wring Jeff’s neck every time he would talk to Mickey about his desires to have sex with other men.

Ms. Hauser also has old friends from previous stories visit. There is one very sizzling scene involving all six of the men from the three Heroes series. Each couple is only “with” their partner but it is more sizzling to me because she wrote it that way.

I had to keep reminding myself that Jeff was dealing with being burned in the not so distant past. She also had me wondering if Jeff would come to his senses before it was too late.

Ms. Hauser writes a sex-filled story that provides the reader with some insight about the fetish of “fighting” sex between two very strong-willed men who are in love with one another even if one seems to be oblivious to the feelings and sexual tension emanating between them. Top Men is the first book that I’ve read involving “fighting sex” and I must admit that I really enjoyed the story. If you’re looking for a book that’s guaranteed to heat up the home fires on a cold winter’s night, then Top Men is the book to read. I would definitely recommend it to my friends and others.

Once Bitten by Loribelle Hunt

Once Bitten by Loribelle Hunt
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (86 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/M, F/M/M, Ménage, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Liza is Paladin, third in power in the Redhawke pack. Half witch, half werewolf, but without the ability to change forms, she has an acrimonious history with Caleb, the Alpha’s heir. Then one explosive night, they explore her interest in submission, but he leaves the pack. And her. Five years later, the Alpha orders Liza to bring Caleb home. The years of distance have not dulled his anger at her, or the heat that once flared between them.

Caleb is biding time before returning to Redhawke. It's pleasurably spent with his lover Zach. When Liza shows up, once again at his father’s bidding, he's angry and hurt, but he still wants her. This time he isn’t letting her go. Zach takes one look at the woman and knows she’s the one for them. But can he accept that her delicious submission in bed goes no further than the bedroom door?

Claimed by two werewolves, Liza struggles to move forward from the past with Caleb while getting to know Zach. But they'll have to respect her devotion to the pack and her warrior spirit if they're going to win her heart.

Once Bitten is a paranormal erotica with a ménage flair. You get two werewolves, one witch, and a whole lot of loving in between. Of course, no story would be complete without a little heartbreak and betrayal, which is exactly how our tale begins.

Liza and Caleb were always meant to be mates, but as she’s a witch without powers and a wolf who cannot shift, she is an outcast. Years before, Caleb shunned her and turned his back on their pack. Now, she’s been asked to bring him home to assume his rightful place as alpha. When she tracks him down she’s unprepared for the way she feels, not only for him, but for his lover, Zach. It soon becomes apparent that Liza is the mate for both men, but they’ll have to overcome her hesitations and doubts if they want to take control of the pack, mark her as theirs, and create a future together.

While the sex is super-duper hot and the heroes will make you melt, I had a difficult time investing myself emotionally in Once Bitten. You get glimpses of the pain but as there is so much going on, the internal conflicts seem to take a back seat. From the moment Liza faces Caleb, it’s as if the pain of their past is forgotten. You gain glimpses of her heartache, but ultimately, I found myself wishing for more. Caleb and Zach, however, are extremely hot and captivating, and I enjoyed their quick wit and snappy dialogue. Lovers that are both dominant, they complement one another.

This is a fast-paced read that provides a lot of heat and steamy sex. I recommend Once Bitten to any werewolf fan who likes a bit of flavor and spice with their erotica.

Quinn Security: Saying I Do by Cameron Dane

Quinn Security: Saying I Do by Cameron Dane
Publisher: Loose Id, LLC
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense
Length: Short Story (140 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal play
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Anthurium

When Rhone Quinn caught Adam Reyes picking his pocket in Finding Home, he never dreamed the young man would become his best friend, his business partner, or that Adam was secretly gay and falling for him. What really knocked heterosexual Rhone on his ass was discovering Adam’s feelings, and realizing he felt an equally fierce attraction and love.

Fast forward two years. Rhone and Adam are engaged and headed to Vermont for their wedding. Nothing can mar this beautiful occasion. Right?

Wrong. A bride staying at the hotel fuels Adam’s fears of losing Rhone to a woman; a feuding couple that Adam and Rhone run into every time they turn around sparks disagreements between them; and a hotel employee’s strange behavior spurs Adam’s professional curiosity and later rouses his protective juices.

What was supposed to be a week of celebration and hot lovin’ quickly turns into a Quinn Security investigation. Now all Rhone and Adam need to do is get a bickering couple to admit they’re in love, help a sweet young man out of a terrible situation, and maybe, just maybe, Rhone can get his fella to the chapel on time to say “I do."

This is the third book in Cameron Dane's Quinn Security series. Adam and Rhone are getting married at a beautiful hotel in Vermont where it is legal for them to get married, their hope is a stress free week of celebration, followed by their nuptials surrounded by their friends. What they get is a couple of cases to solve in their quest to help the others around them.

The secondary characters in this story are well drawn and easy to like. One couple that Rhone and Quinn try to help is a bickering couple who are trying so hard to outdo one another before they get married, that they are completely missing the fact that they are in love. The other is a sweet guy who is in a terrible situation and needs some assistance in getting himself out of trouble. While these plot lines were nice, I have to admit to wishing more time was spent with our main characters because I like them so much!

Adam and Rhone have some issues of their own that need straightening out. The sex between these two is frequent and very descriptive. For those that like lusty uninhibited m/m sex, this book is a keeper. If you have read the previous books in this series then you will love and appreciate this peek into the lives of the characters that you already know. I sure hope that we have more visits with the Quinn Security characters in the future.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Five Rings by Destiny Blaine

Five Rings by Destiny Blaine
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (90 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/M, Multiple partners, anal play
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Peppermint

Members of Jason Lory's original pride coalition warned of the shifter-mates remaining--some were thought to be man-eaters.

Others, the nomads, were considered very volatile and unable to shift successfully without the stimulation of five rings, only no one knew with absolute certainty what these rings were or where to find them. Jason Lory figured out the mystery.

Hot, Hot, Hot. What a girl would do to be in Lauren Duran’s shoes. While Jason was figuring out the mystery behind the five rings Lauren was definitely enjoying being his case study.

I really enjoyed the fact that Lauren knew exactly what she wanted. She did not adhere the normal notion that a woman should only have one partner. She knew her needs could not be sustained in a monogamous relationship so instead of deluding herself she figured out a way to make sure all her needs where meet.

After reading the first few pages I started to get a little concerned that this novel would be like some other erotica stories I have read based on sex with a little plot thrown in the middle. I soon realize that was not the case though. Although the novel did contain many graphic sex scenes they did not take away from the plot but instead added to the story. I know it sounds crazy but it is true. You find out that the different sexual escapades of Lauren and the men involved is very important in the progression of the novel. It is truly a work of art the way this author was able to intertwine so many erotic scenes in the novella and continue the story line steadily.

Unlike many stories you do not feel as if the conflict is what is keeping the story moving forward. As you read this story the main focus is the relationship and the sexual experiences. It is almost as if the conflict is riding along subliminally the entire time. Then once you get to the end the author sneaks up and shocks you with it. This is not human vs. human conflict so there is no villain to focus on, making it easier for the author to pull this off. This would leave me feeling a bit unfulfilled with most novellas but that was not the case in this story. I did not even notice the lack of villain until I was almost to the end of the story. So as soon as I began to ask myself exactly what was the conflict it jumped up and bit me in the behind.

This is a novella that will really make you think. There were moments when I had to go back and read a paragraph to make sure I understood exactly what was going on and I liked it. The concept of the story is very unique. The synopsis the author provided did not do it justice. So please do not let it turn you way from this great story.

If you are looking for your traditional mushy sweet romance story this is not for you. If you want a hot exciting stimulating story this will definitely be a must read.

A Perfect Fit for Three by Sydney Holiday

A Perfect Fit For Three by Sydney Holiday
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (146 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F/M, Ménage, Spanking
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Lena Morgan moves to a small town in the beautiful Texas Hill Country with big plans to run her own bed and breakfast. Little does she know, Liebling is menageamous, where every woman marries multiple men. Lena doesn't think she has time for one man, let alone two.

However, her self control is tested after meeting two sexy brothers whose family owns an award-winning local vineyard. Once Brock and Wes Stone lay eyes and hands on Lena, they will do all they can to show her a little Southern hospitality as they initiate her into their town's unique customs.

But when her business struggles and her new lifestyle puts her life in danger, Lena thinks ending her budding relationship could be her only solution. Can her men convince her otherwise and protect her even as she pushes them away?

When Lena moves to Liebling, Texas with her best friend to start a bed and breakfast, she has no idea that their new town is menageamous – meaning there is one woman to multiple men in a relationship. It’s not until she meets the local doctor, Brock, and his brother Wes, that she learns the truth. Here, the women are the center and foundation of the household, and Brock and Wes both want her to be the woman to complete their family.

It takes trust, some steamy interaction, and some contemplation for Lena to decide what she wants and where she wants to be. Although she aches for Wes and Brock, she’s not entirely ready to commit to such a lifestyle. Her upbringing doesn’t exactly endorse such a partnership and she remains uncertain of her feelings on the matter. Not to mention, someone seems determined to ruin Lena’s chance of happiness with the brothers who are determined to show her just how good things can be between the three of them.

While there were portions of A Perfect Fit For Three that I enjoyed, the beginning of the story focused on sex versus plot. Lena meets Brock and then in a turn of events meets Wes, which builds the tension. Yet instead of exploring the beginnings of their courtship, you are told weeks have lapsed and that they’ve went on multiple dates in order to get to know one another. The result is a sudden move into a sexual relationship in which you get oodles of heat, yet, lack the emotional connection that is so important.

Fortunately, the mystery of who is attempting to harm Lena does add a bit of intrigue and suspense, as does Lena’s inner battle to decide if a relationship with two men is morally acceptable. The struggle she faces added to the story and provided necessary momentum. Can she love the two brothers and stand above what is considered a social unacceptable taboo? Can their perfect circle of three bring them all happiness and fulfillment?

Ménage fans that enjoy a taste of the sinful and devious will enjoy A Perfect Fit For Three. The sex is definitely hot, the pacing is fast, and the Stone brothers will make you melt.

Beyond Curious by Paisely Smith

Beyond Curious by Paisley Smith
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (58 pgs)
Other: F/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

Annie’s dreading the piano lessons that her grandmother’s will demanded she take…until she meets her teacher, Emily. Far from the elderly cat lady Annie had envisioned, Emily is sexy, blonde and completely irresistible.

Emily has never been with a woman, but Annie attracts her in a way that no one else has. Despite Emily’s initial misgivings, it doesn’t take long for their relationship to move from teacher and student to something much more than either of them expected—something that might lead to the love of a lifetime.

A love sweeter than song.

Annie Prescott is baggy jeans, work shirts, and sturdy boots. If it wasn’t for a deathbed promise to her dying Gram she would continue to appreciate beautiful piano music…from a distance. Annie has no interest in spending even one day a week with the old widow Granger who, Annie imagines, wears brightly colored muumuu dresses and has a house full of cats. You can just imagine her surprise when instead she was greeted by talented, young, and breathtakingly beautiful Emily Granger. Suddenly, learning to “tickle the ivories” sounds a lot more fun and personal.

Emily is used to beginners being nervous. She even expects it. She wasn’t expecting to be attracted to her newest student, the tall and tomboyish Annie. Despite the way she dresses, Annie is obviously female and that is a direction the recently widowed piano teacher has not considered her life taking.

When Emily and Annie finally give into their desires the sex is incredibly erotic and emotionally intense. Annie is experienced and quickly assumes the role of teacher in the bedroom…and the living room…and across the piano.

Ms. Smith’s writing is so vivid, I could easily feel the sexual tension and awareness between Annie and Emily as they sat on the piano bench working through the primer. Annie’s self conscious shyness is every bit as endearing as Emily’s natural kindness. Don’t get me wrong, these women each have a powerful inner strength that is called on when their non-traditional relationship is questioned by Emily’s ex-inlaws.

F/F is not my normal choice of reads but, like Emily, I, too, was curious and I’m very glad I chose this novella to satisfy my piqued interest. Well worth the read. I look forward to reading Ms. Smith’s next installment.

Hawkins Ranch: Becoming Three by Cameron Dane

Hawkins Ranch: Becoming Three by Cameron Dane
Publisher: Loose Id, LLC
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense
Length: Full Length (210 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/M, M/M/F, Anal play, Menage
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Anthurium

Deputy Jace Maxwell looks out for Sarah Tennison, and wants her. Although the fiery feisty woman is a friend, he knows he can’t have her. Because as much as he craves Sarah, he also lives with a secret, fierce attraction for men. And Sarah just won't understand.

Sarah has suppressed her love for Jace, knowing he only sees her as a chore. Enter cowboy Jasper Simmons. Jasper is as sweet and gentle as Jace is hard. Sarah tries to keep both men separate in her mind, but can’t stop fantasizing about being tangled and sweaty in bed with both of them.

When Jasper finds a dead woman nailed to a tree, he is thrown into contact with Jace. The proximity unearths an attraction neither of them had felt before. Seeing Jace with Jasper in an emotion-filled situation gets Sarah wondering if her roommate is keeping secrets. Then Jasper admits to Sarah he once had a crush on another man, Jace suddenly kisses her in a shocking lapse of control, and suddenly Sarah's fantasies are taking on a vivid reality.

Will sweet, awkward Jasper be the key to two becoming three?

Let me just say that I loved this book! I have not read the other books in this series, (I believe this is book 5), but I will definitely look for the previous books and read them because this story rocked.

Sarah is in love with 2 men, there is Jace, her brother's best friend who lives with her and looks out for her, he considers Sarah off limits although he secretly fantasizes about her. She has loved him forever , but up until now, he has remained distant. Then there is her “best friend” Jasper, the cowboy who she has recently become intimate with. All three characters have a secret. Sarah loves both men, Jace is bisexual and Jasper has had secret fantasies about men as well as women.

The three lovers forge a tight bond and the emotions of love, passion and sensitivity that Jace, Sara and Jasper have for each other give a sense of completeness and commitment to the story. The suspense element of the story is great. There are many twists and turns that were unexpected and welcome. The mystery elements were very cleverly woven together. The mystery will keep the reader in suspense until the end of the story.

The sex scenes are very well put together and are very hot. There are lots of delightful encounters between all the the characters together as a menage, as well as each couple, Sarah and Jasper, Sara and Jace and Jasper and Jace. There is a lot of scorching hot sex, and the book is not for the faint of heart. Cameron Dane is a very skilled author and she does a great job of presenting a sizzling hot story that is suspenseful and unforgettable. I recommend this story, if you have read the other books in the series, you will love this one too, and if you have not read them, I bet you will after you finish this book.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Demon Lover by Bonnie Dee and Marie Treanor

Demon Lover by Bonnie Dee and Marie Treanor
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (154 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Rumplestiltskin is not his name and this hunk’s no gnarled old goblin.

Fairytale Fantasies, Book 2

In his quest to land her a rich husband, Gwyneth’s father has gone one step too far and bragged to the king’s steward. Now she faces an impossible task: spin a room full of straw into gold by morning, or their lives are forfeit. She despairs, until a black-garbed figure offers to solve her problem for a price. One kiss.

He returns the second night, and the third. With each sensual encounter, the stakes escalate along with her attraction to her mysterious visitor. Then he claims the ultimate price—her child—and she realizes too late she’s made a deal with the king of the Underworld.

From the moment he kisses her, Ragnorak knows Gwyneth’s child will be a worthy heir for his kingdom. But with each touch, he wants more. He wants her to be queen of his strangely beautiful world—and for her to want to stay. But that will mean giving her the ultimate weapon—the power of his name.

Gwyneth has only three chances to drive her demon lover over the edge of bliss. But when the stakes suddenly shift, it’s Ragnorak who stands to lose everything…

Gwyneth wants what every young woman of her station wants: a home, a husband and children. Her father, however, has higher goals for his beautiful daughter. He boasts of her beauty, her manners, and whatever he can to catch attention for her. But when he tells messengers to King Midas that Gwyneth can spin straw into gold, all the trouble begins.

Midas is not a bad king, just greedy and lazy. He has her brought to the castle to work her magic for him. When Gwyneth is locked away in Midas’s castle to perform the impossible, she cries out in desperation, and is answered by a demon. He helps her, and asks as his reward one kiss. Of course, as with all good fairy tales, Midas wants more, and so the stage is set. Gwyneth becomes queen, but all is not happy ever after in this kingdom. Can Gwyneth find a way to keep the demon from taking his reward for the final act of magic? Will the handsome and sexy demon win Gwyneth’s heart? Will Gwyneth ever really be free of Midas and able to love freely whom she will?

Fairy tales can be so much more when written for grown-ups. In the hands of Bonnie Dee and Marie Treanor, we get gold. This story is rich in imagery and detail. I love the world these two ladies have created under our own world. It is a place I would like to spend time in.

Gwyneth is a strong woman, who knows what she wants. Her father’s misguided attempts to have her settled and comfortable are not necessarily her goals, but she goes along to keep him safe. When Ragnorak, King of the Underworld, aids Gwyneth, he sees in her the truth; that she is kind, loving and generous. He is attracted instantly, and over the three days helps Gwyneth to save her father and herself. Of course, Ragnorak is handsome and sexy, and everything any woman could want. Gwyneth realizes what a mistake marrying Midas was, but until Ragnorak appears to claim the child, she is content to help the kingdom behind the scenes. Ragnorak and his people are marvelously detailed, and the contrast between the two cultures becomes evident.

I loved the happy ever after, with all that it entailed. There could be no other ending that would work as well as this, and I recommend this to all of those who miss the fairy tales of their younger days.

Ignited by Amber Skyze

Ignited by Amber Skyze
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (60 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 Cherries
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Got Fantasies? Nikaya does. She longs to be loved by two men.

Nikaya is celebrating her birthday with a new Mustang. As she’s climbing the mountain in her shiny new car, a police officer comes out of nowhere. He pulls her over and treats her to a birthday spanking. With a sore butt and a burning need to orgasm, she’s whisked away to a cabin.

Braden and his best friend Hank have a few surprises up their sleeve for the birthday girl. They include whips, floggers, chains, blindfolds and more. They hope to make all her fantasies reality.

Three hot bodies, sex toys and a spanking machine are only the beginning for Nikaya.

Nikaya is turning 30 on her next birthday and her husband Braden wants to give her the best gift that he can. Braden wants to fulfill Nikaya’s fantasies, especially the one that she thinks will never happen. He and his best friend Hank have laid their plans and now it is time to make it all happen. Little does she know but Nikaya is going to have a birthday night that she will not soon forget. Will she enjoy herself and let the men fulfill her wildest fantasy or will Nikaya get scared and use her safe word?

The reader can see just how much Braden and Nikaya love each other. It was nice to see two people so in love and secure with their relationship that they could and did fulfill all of their fantasies including bringing in a third person. Although the love shows through in this story it would have been nice to read a bit more character development. It was hard to really enjoy the scenes without knowing much about Nikaya, Braden and Hank. I would have loved to hear the conversation where Braden asks Hank to join them or the conversation involving Hanks playroom. I am sure those would have been very interesting indeed.

This story is fast-paced and very hot. The reader can see how much the husband and wife cherish each other and their friendship with Hank. How many of us can say they know that kind of love? This book was a nice short to get introduced to a new author.

Dark Harmony by Lilly Cain

Dark Harmony by Lilly Cain
Publisher: Red Sage
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (204 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Multiple Partners
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by: Fern

Running from a lover that has twisted her very nature, Lena Townsend hunts on her own.

Lena has been the object of many desires. Now she is all too aware that being an obsession can be deadly. Her mildly adventurous sexual life reached its pinnacle, and its end, when she met sexually dominant vampire Darien. He stole her life, and used her sensual nature to bend her to his will. In making her his own, he placed her in a position where she must constantly submit to him, yet be dominant to his pack. It’s a conflict that pulls her apart.

In leaving the pack, Lena strives for independence, but her vampire instincts push her to find more – to find a new pack, a new family. Alone, she cannot share what makes her vampire, and she cannot find a lover she can trust enough to reveal her submissive nature.

In her escape Lena discovers a power that could save her – the ability to read and influence emotion. With this talent she might survive the loneliness.

Unfortunately, her old pack wants her back, no matter what.

Richard Heron has given up everything for his daughter since the murder of his wife, but what he misses most is the chance to explore his deeply sensual side once again. Once the owner of a popular S&M club, and its favored dom, he left everything he was to shelter his family. Lena could offer him more than he ever expected, a level of sensuality he never knew existed and a love that could never die, but he must reconcile the danger she brings with his need to shield his family – especially when what killed his wife was certainly not human.

In a flight that leads her thousands of miles from her territory and into the province of a dragon, independence is not what Lena expected. But if she can finally learn to trust, she can find harmony with her submissive and vampiric natures, and join with Richard into a new blend of family – a Dark Harmony.

Dark Harmony is a dark, gritty, and emotional story that lures the reader in and doesn’t let go. From the first scene in which our heroine, Helena, is changed, you get a feel of the dangerous world created by author Lily Cain. It’s sexy, it’s lethal, and it’s impossible to turn away from.

Helena left her vampire pack due to the treatment of their alpha and her maker, Darien. Being the leader of a pack, yet, reduced to the role of a slave, was simply too much to bear. On the run now, she is determined to live a life that doesn’t involve killing. One night, she meets a human who calls to her in ways she’s never experienced. A quick encounter with Richard becomes more when their paths cross for a second time – over the body of a dead girl in an alley. Their chemistry is combustive, and after a night of passion, Richard awakes to discover exactly what the woman of his dreams is – a vampire – the very creature responsible for murdering his wife a year before. Even still, he cannot forget the sexy Lena, and despite the danger, allows himself to become involved when she follows him to his home.

What happens next is a domino effect. Darien doesn’t want to let Helena go, while she would rather die than return to a murdering and subservient way of life. Danger looms around every corner, and when Darien learns that she is falling for Richard, he homes in on the one thing that means the most to the mortal man – his young daughter.

Dark Harmony has various subplots which are twined together nicely. I enjoyed the action, the romance, and the dark tones of the story. Lena is fantastic as a woman who became something else, yet, longs for something more, while Richard is memorable as a father who wants to protect his daughter and the woman he is falling in love with.

Vampire fans are certain to enjoy Dark Harmony. Be sure to pencil this one down on the TBR list. It’s hot, it’s sexy, and it’s sure to entertain.

Christmas Angel by Opal Carew

Christmas Angel by Opal Carew
Publisher: Sinful Moments Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (54 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Anthurium

Nick Berringer’s life is turned upside down when a very sexy angel stumbles into his life – and his bed – to make this the most memorable Christmas of his life.

Angelique has been alone for one hundred and fifty years. The closest to heaven she has ever been is in Nick’s arms. How can she sacrifice Nick’s happiness – and his life – for her own freedom?

This short Christmas story was very enchanting. Angelique was turned into the Christmas Angel by a centuries old curse. Her only hope to break the curse is to make Nick Berringer fall in love with her, and she only has two days. Both characters in this story are likable and you want both of them to win, but that seems unlikely because to break the curse, one of them will have to return to be the Christmas Angel.

The passion between these two characters as they fall in love is wonderful. The story is very sexy and the emotion will make you laugh and cry. It is tightly written and a very enjoyable way to spend the afternoon.

This tale invokes just the right cross of Holiday Paranormal with a very sexy love story and makes you want to read more. I will definitely be looking for more stories from this author.

Bedknobs and Beanstalks by E.M. Lynley

Bedknobs and Beanstalks by E M Lynley, editor
Publisher: Ravenous Romance
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy (Anthology)
Length: Full Length (207 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Phlox

Once upon a time. As children, those four words told us we were about to enter a brand-new world: scarier, happier, more enchanted than our everyday life. No matter our own particular expectations and experience with fairy tales, we knew we were in for a wild ride. Handsome princes would save beautiful damsels in distress and the ogres never got the girl.

Perhaps in our own stories, or in our own lives, we aren't quite satisfied with those happily-ever-afters. What sound-minded prince would choose any of those airheaded bosomy blondes that populate familiar animated versions of the original, much darker, and more ominous tales made famous by the Brothers Grimm?

Not to mention, fairy tales were often used as bedtime stories.

Well, put all that behind you and prepare for a new type of fairy tale. Not only are they guaranteed to get you into bed. though not for sleep, you won't find a single of those old-fashioned stereotypical characters.

Instead enter a world where a magic cock ring can grow into a mighty peenstalk, or an unhappy shepherd can meet the sexiest wolf imaginable. A Japanese youth with the strength of a bear finds himself weak in the face of a beautiful samurai, and a young man in a ball gown can charm a prince to distraction. These are but a few of the adventures that await you, once upon a time!

Anytime E M Lynley appears as the editor of an anthology, the reader is assured of two things: a well-balanced collection and short stories that won’t disappoint. This collection is no exception. A good mix of humor and tenderness seed this collection of M/M fairy tales, mostly re-workings of familiar standards but all with the necessary elements of the fairy tale – romance, conflict and magic. Since there are nine, stories (a good, strong magic number) it’s an easy task to touch on all of them:

Jack and the Peenstalk: While I often smile when I read funny stories, it’s rare to find one that has me audibly laughing. This Clancy Nacht gem had me in stitches with its satirical take on the evils and ennui of modern life. It’s not merely a bit of humor, though. There’s a sweet love story here as well, giving us hope for the possibility of redemption for even the most selfish slacker.

The Rebelliously Single Prince: While this piece has some dark humor running through it, this is a more serious story dealing with expectations and intolerance. There are familiar elements, but Lenore Black has constructed an original fairy tale here, with no direct folk/fairytale parallel and it packs a bit of a punch, both poignant and ultimately triumphant.

Cry Wolf: A pookah story? I thought. Hooray! The pookah (or pooka or pucca) is one of my favorite Celtic folk denizens. One didn’t used to see many pookahs in romance or erotic fiction, but they have begun to crop up in delightful variety. Unfortunately, this is one of the weaker stories in the collection. While it’s well-written and an interesting take on the Boy Who Cried Wolf, the ending is a bit scattered and not entirely satisfying with the sudden introduction of new elements.

Kintaro: A rethinking of several Japanese fairy tales (ah, variety!) especially the Peach Boy, S. J. Frost does a lovely job with setting and character for a short piece. Sweet and sensual, detailed and well paced, this is perhaps the most romantic (in a traditional romance sense) tale in the group. Touching and beautiful, I loved this one.

Ashes and Crystal: A marvelously inventive retelling of the Cinderella story, Jason Rubis dares us to think differently about the traditional fairytale heroine. To say too much more would be giving it all away – this story alone is worth the price of admission.

Handsome and Grateful: Kilt Kilpatrick always writes with a wicked sense of humor. This tale is no exception. Before anyone bristles about children in erotic stories, this Hansel and Gretel are innocent but quite definitely of age. Hilarious, with a good portion of pop culture thrown in.

Swan Made: Gorgeous, gorgeous story, set against a backdrop of modern despair. A man living a grey life of quiet desperation finds passion in the most unlikely place. His inability to face what his visitor truly is nearly costs him the love of a lifetime. Of the serious stories, this one, along with the Merman’s Tale, was the most emotionally engaging and heart-wrenching.

King’s Honor: A nice take on the Twelve Dancing Princesses, it resolves a nagging fairytale question. I’ve often wondered myself why anyone would be interested in such selfish princesses, only interested in their own pleasure. Since it’s a M/M story, of course our hero couldn’t be less interested in the princesses, but his motives are more complicated and there is a bit of a surprise at the end.

The Merman’s Tale: Since this evokes the Little Mermaid, I had some trepidation over reading this one. After all, Andersen fairytales are often tragic rather than happily-ever. Never fear, gentle readers, all will be well. Jay Di Meo tells his haunting merfolk tale with pathos and sympathy, a story of overcoming cultural fears and ingrained biases in a search for love in a cruel world. A good choice as a last story to leave readers with. This strong, poignant piece would have been hard to follow at any rate.

E M Lynley has done it again, putting together an anthology of intelligent, well-selected pieces from authors of widely ranging voices. It might have been nice to see a more widely ranging cultural mélange as well but the balancing of humor and sensitive love story, of the erotic with the romantic, more than makes up for it. This is an exploration into human sensuality and longing well worth the trip.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Last Call: Europe - Devil's Advocate by Belinda McBride

Last Call: Europe - Devil’s Advocate by Belinda McBride
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (71 pgs)
Other: M/F/M, Ménage
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Tiger shifters Mya and David have a problem. Every time Mya gets aroused, it wakens a beast within her that threatens to overpower her tiger. Unable to consummate their marriage with a proper mating, they turn in desperation to the Last Call, looking for a demon to undo the curse that afflicts her.

Jedidiah Wormwood Worth is a powerful demon and at the top of his field. He's not only a devious trickster who will rob you of your soul, he's also a successful attorney for the underworld -- the real underworld. When he sees the straitlaced shifters at the Specialty Bar, he knows that they'll be his. What he doesn't realize is that by the time the night ends, his heart will belong to them.

Last Call is the pub in London where those in the know go for help that can only come from supernatural beings. It is also where these same supernaturals go to relax and be whatever they are for just a while.

Mya and David Sullivan are very much in love. In fact they are relatively newly married. They are also rare tiger shifters with a serious problem. Mya is cursed, or rather her family is. When she tries to be intimate with her husband, a second, violent beast tries to take over. They have come to Last Call as their last resort, to find a solution they can live, and love, with. Their drink of choice: Devil’s Advocate: Sex for a service, damnation not included. Answering the call is Jedidiah Wormwood Worth, powerful demon, and attorney for Satan himself. Can he find the answer to breaking the curse once and for all? After a night with the two tigers, will Jedidiah be able to walk away, or will he lose his heart to these two big cats?

Last Call Europe is a fantastic series. The stories are always captivating and hot, filled with passion and unbelievable amounts of sex. Belinda McBride has given us a mystery of sorts with this episode. What is the beast sharing space with Mya’s tiger, and how can it be tamed? I found the answer to this one fascinating, and Jedidiah’s solution was fantastic.

I loved Mya; her strength of character in the face of terrible odds is admirable. She is determined to do whatever it takes to be with the love of her life. David is a strong hero as well, wanting to be with Mya to the exclusion of everyone else. This is evident when it is shown that they have yet to consummate their marriage until Mya can be an active partner. David is not willing to give Mya up, even if it means they will never be truly married. Thus the trip to Last Call, their final hope for a solution. When Jedidiah discovers the truth about the problem, he gives them an alternate solution to the problem, one that finally unites the two tigers.

Ms. McBride has written a story of love and passion, with lots of very steamy sex between all three of our main characters. At one point, she brought me to tears with the pain and suffering of our tigers and our demon as well. But she also brought a smile and a chuckle with her unique solution to the problems, and the redemptive happy ever after is well worth the wait.

Wicked Wraith's: Tori's Secret by Mina Carter

Wicked Wraith’s: Tori’s Secret by Mina Carter
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (51 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Tori's trying to find Mr. Right. So far all she's found are Mr. Arrogant, Mr. Self-Obsessed and Mr. Downright Scary. When her latest date ends in her dumping her drink in her date's crotch, a frustrated Tori takes matters into her own hands. One quick spell later and her very own Mr. Right is standing in her bedroom. So what if he's a wraith, a magical construct. She doesn't care. He'll do the job far better than any of her buzzing friends.

However, the ghostly hunk standing by her bed is hiding more than one secret: like the fact he's not a wraith at all, but a sorcerer looking for a way back to the land of the living. Jacob needs an in, a chink in some mortal woman's armour. He needs to hear the words "I love you."

Trouble is he doesn't plan to lose his own heart along the way...

Victoria “Tori” Bennett is under pressure from her beloved mother to find Mr. Right. So far, that hasn’t happened, and Tori’s last date was so far from right it wasn’t funny. If she can’t find the man of her dreams, and wants more than her B.O.B. for satisfaction, she will take matters into her own hands and create one. What is the good of being part fae and not using her talents? She summons a wraith to satisfy her needs, but what she gets instead is Jacob, with the body of a Greek god and plenty of talent for satisfying Tori. But Jacob has a secret-he is really a sorcerer looking for a loophole to bring him back to the land of the living. Will Tori be able to remember how to call Jacob back for more? Can Jacob win Tori’s heart, without losing his? Can these two find some way to have a happy ever after that satisfies everyone?

Mina Carter has written a fun and engaging heroine in Tori. She’s bold and brash, but she also has a vulnerable side too. I loved when she poured her drink down her date’s pants after overhearing his plans for her. She isn’t ready to settle for less than what she wants. I laughed out loud when she tells him off, and I enjoyed her frustration when she couldn’t remember the name she needed to call to bring Jacob back for an encore.

Jacob is just what he needs to be; hot and sexy to the max. He is determined to find a way to get Tori to say those words that will free him from the half-life he is living. But when he gets “demoted” from pleasure servant to domestic duty, it is just one more hurdle to overcome. When Tori decides the house needs cleaning, Jacob sees to it that he is on the cleaning crew. Does Tori say the words Jacob needs to free him? And once he has spent time with Tori, does he want to be free? You will have to read this fun and sexy book to find out. I loved it, and bet that you will too.

Crossroads Showdown by Keta Diablo

Crossroads Showdown by Keta Diablo
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (66 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Phlox

Tough PI, Frank McGuire, attempts to help the FBI locate three abducted children from a small town in West Virginia. While channeling his inner spirt for assistance, he mistakenly calls forth a ghost. As Frank races against time to locate the missing girls, he receives help from the most unlikely of sources. To complicate matters, Rand has decided its time Frank commit to their relationship -- or run the risk of Rand being gone when he returns.

The paranormal aspect of this Crossroads installment takes a number of intriguing turns as Frank pushes at the envelope of his knowledge and his gifts to try to deal with an elusive child haunting him. The suspense ramp-up is so well done, giving the readers shivers and heart-clenching moments in turn. In fact, the set up, as Frank does his investigative work, is so well done, therein lies the major issue with this story.

One almost gets the feeling that the author ran out of time. Frank proceeds slowly, both in his methodical detective work and in his coaxing out his reclusive visitor, with the slow reveals and bits of information a suspense reader needs. Suddenly the brakes go on hard enough for whiplash. Solution and resolution come suddenly, out of nowhere, and really have little to do with Frank’s careful work. This is a shame since Ms. Diablo’s writing is marvelous, her descriptions and dialogue painting clear pictures of character and setting.

As a hero, Frank is likable and flawed, as a good suspense hero should be, with his professional instincts firmly in place and his personal instincts sometimes lost at sea. The first three quarters of this story worked for me, even the issue of not having Frank’s love interest actually present for most of the story is handled well, but the ending is rushed and does not, unfortunately, fulfill its promise. A little more time in the creative slow-cooker, and I think this could have been a truly astonishing work.

Ms. Diablo is a writer of imposing imagination, creating characters the reader connects to and situations that are intriguing and fresh. I have the feeling we’ve been set up for more from Frank and Rand in the future and I, for one, am eager to see what’s next for these two.