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Friday, April 9, 2010

Dangerous Lover by Charlene Teglia

Dangerous Lover by Charlene Teglia
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (50 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

The heat is on…

Take Me, Lover, Book 4

Just a few more weeks and accounting student Cherry Harris will officially get her master’s degree and kiss her pink waitress uniform goodbye. There’s something else she’d like to make official, too—no more bad boys.

Tired of getting burned, she’s determined that from now on, it’s nice guys or nothing. What could be nicer than a firefighter rescuing a kitten from a tree? Joe Deluca looks like the perfect way to break her romantic destructive pattern.

Perfect melts like ice cream on a hot day when Cherry finds out that when Joe’s not in uniform, he rides a motorcycle and wears a leather jacket over his tattoos. Is he a nice guy, a bad boy, or the man who’s just right for her?

The five-alarm passion Joe inspires proves an irresistible temptation, but Cherry’s determined to guard her heart if not her body. Until a firebug leads them both into danger and Cherry is forced to admit her heart’s been in jeopardy from the beginning…

Dangerous Lover is a sensual and naughty novella that tingles in all the right places. Author Charlene Teglia’s newest addition to her Take Me Lover series is better than ever.

Cherry has had it with bad boys and swears off of them for good. Deciding it’s time for a change, she vows to go out with the first good guy she meets. And what do you know? He arrives in the form of luscious fire fighter Joe. Not only does he put out fires, he also rescues kittens in his spare time. How can you possibly get any sweeter than that? Too bad Joe is anything but sweet beneath the fireman’s suit. He owns a motorcycle, has a tattoo, and causes a hazardous combustion of his own in the bedroom. So the question becomes – how can she keep this casual? And more importantly, does she want to?

Holy-flame-thrower, Batman!! This one is hot! Cherry is a saucy vixen that you can’t help but love while Joe is absolutely irresistible. I loved their banter, the clever and oftentimes funny dialogue, and the intimate scenes that will make you melt. Much like the first two in the series, you get a strong feel for the characters in a very short period of time. I couldn’t wait to learn what happened next, and in true Teglia fashion, she adds a bit of suspense and tension toward the end to keep you on your toes.

A must read if you’re a fan of the series (and even if you’re not!) be sure to put Dangerous Lover on your TBR list.

Consuming the Darkness by Shiela Stewart

Consuming the Darkness by Shiela Stewart
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (157 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

In Jacob’s Cove, where death is as common as apple pie, a serial murderer is a first. Lieutenant Sienna Storm, the town’s newly minted homicide detective, is eager to prove she’s up to the job of tracking down the demon who rips out his victims’ still-beating hearts. Even if it means using her innate ability to connect with him through his blood.

Detective Nathan Powers lost his partner to the aptly named Heartless Killer, and the trail of bodies leads him straight to Jacob’s Cove. However, this is no typical small town. It’s a strange world populated with bloodthirsty demons and run by a vampire. Still, the leggy blonde Sienna is a pleasant distraction. Until he discovers she’s after the same killer—and she’s not sharing.

Minds clash as the hunt intensifies, but the more they run into each other, the harder it is to stay apart. Together they discover not only clues, but a searing need that rises higher by the day.

That need may be their downfall when Nathan becomes the killer’s next target, and Sienna must risk everything to get him back.

Hearts wanted for feast. Applicants need only offer their lives.

Sound scary? It’s a little disconcerting, but if you read The Darkness Series Book 7: Consuming the Darkness, everything will make sense and it’ll be worth the read.

Ms. Stewart’s Darkness Series captivated me immediately. I like the world of Jacob’s Cove and the cast of characters within it. I felt like I was right there with them going through the travesties of the post Darkness time.

Ms. Stewart’s heroines are awesome, independent, and memorable. Sienna doesn’t disappoint. She wants to be the best police lieutenant she can be. There were times when I was a bit put off by her bullheadedness. I thought she was a tad blunt to the point of putting me off. Still, I loved reading about her and wanted to see her get her heart’s desire—when she decided what it was.

As for the hero, you can’t get much better than Nathan. He’s a hunk and he’s forthright—no pulled punches, but lots of smooth lines to make me swoon. I liked that he didn’t totally get the idea of the demons and vampire. I got to go through his progression of getting used to the new characters of Jacob’s Cove and seeing life through new eyes.

The plot has lots of nice twists and turns and moves at a breakneck pace that kept me planted in my seat. This was one book I didn’t want to put down.

If you want a steamy book with characters you won’t soon forget, then you’ll want to read Consuming the Darkness. I give this book 4 cherries.

Spring Equinox by Eden Bradley

Celestial Seductions Book 1- Spring Equinox by Eden Bradley
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (66 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Toys, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Ambrosia

Once upon a time, two young lovers vowed to reunite…

Celestial Seductions, Book 2

After a bitter divorce, Isabel Asher returns to Isla de Margarita to find the only man she’s ever truly loved. Twelve years ago, on her eighteenth birthday, they made a pact to meet…if they both were free. Now she waits, wondering if Rafael Cruz will be her every fantasy come to life…or just a foolish dream.

Rafael never forgot their summer of love all those years ago. Since then, no other woman has measured up to the memory of Isabel in his arms. Their chemistry is still stunning, the sex is sizzling. The power of their memories is overwhelming. Yet it’s too soon to tell if she wants to be with him as much as he wants her.

As her time on the island grows short, their sensual play heats up, and includes a night with Rafael’s best friend. But they must decide if their passionate reunion is simply a celebration of the past…or a new beginning for lasting love.

This book is an awesome read! The characters are rich, sexy, and leapt off the pages. A definite seat-squirmer you won’t want to miss. Eden Bradley sure knows how to ply her trade. Tropical heat like you won’t believe melts your heart as romance burns up the pages.

Isabel Asher runs a gamut of emotions as she heads back in time to see if her first love will remember to meet her after twelve years. Fear, hope, and heartfelt wishes make you fear she will be left alone and sad without him. Her character is open-minded, loving, and ready to explore anything, as long as her hero wishes it.

When Raphael Cruz enters the story, you can practically smell his skin, his arousal, his heady fragrance. He makes you wish you were Isabel when he speaks in his Spanish accent, stirring the pot of sexual hunger.

Though both characters are afraid to tell one another their true thoughts and wishes, you practically ache to see them together. Man! If all men were such great lovers, not one woman would complain!

If you're looking for a well-written, interesting and hot-hot-hot story, this is the one for you. I highly recommend it.

Gia in Wonderland by Dominique Adair

Gia in Wonderland by Dominique Adair
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (89 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Spanking
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Gia Conti, ex-ballerina, was injured in a car accident caused by the man who’d been stalking her. Forced to leave the stage due to her injuries, she moves across the country to recuperate and begin a new life.

Responding to a personal ad that seemed written with her in mind, Gia makes a leap of faith and answers the ad to meet the handsome Drake Whelan. Just when she decides to take a chance with her heart, she finds shattering evidence that her lover might be the same man who’d ended her career.

Gia in Wonderland is a story with a captivating premise. A prima ballerina loses her ability to dance after a crazed stalker ends her career, and now she searches for comfort and love with a man who promises to give her all she needs. The catch? The man may or may not be the stalker responsible for her downfall.

The story begins with Gia. She’s a strong woman who has lost the ability to do the one thing she enjoys most – dance. Now, she wants to move forward in her life. A little bit of assistance from a friend paves the way, but it takes Drake – a Dom who has lusted for Gia from afar, to bring her fantasies to life. Their dialogue is hot, as are the scenes in which they engage in some heady phone sex. As the story unfolds, you learn more about Gia and Drake, as well as their connection. It somewhat dampens the mystery, but works if you’re looking for heat. Make no mistake, this one sizzles. The problem is the story, while hot, never allowed me to truly connect with the characters. Yes, you get what’s on the surface and at times are given glimpses into the tormented mind of Gia, but I couldn't help feeling something was missing.

Aside from this, however, you won’t hear me complain. Drake is super yummy as a Dom, and Gia is fantastic as the spunky and sensual vixen that brings him to his knees. Their chemistry is wonderful and I couldn’t wait for them to actually meet. The BDSM is rather tame, but offers enough kink to satisfy enthusiasts of the genre, as well as a few other surprises.

I’d recommend Gia in Wonderland to anyone that wants something short, yet hot. This is a wicked nibble that will titillate and excite and leave you hungry for more.

All Jacked Up by Lorelei James

All Jacked Up by Lorelei James
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (234 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Statice

Pulling off the ultimate con…if they can keep from pulling off their clothes.

Rough Riders, Book 8

Keely McKay knows Jack—and Jack Donohue is a certified pain in her Wranglers. The lone girl in the prolific McKay family, Keely needs another man giving her orders like she needs a hole in her boot. What she does need is a restoration specialist so she can open her physical therapy clinic—and prove she’s left her wild-child days behind. That means dealing with buttoned-down, uptight Jack.

Jack is this close to securing a career make-or-break project, until he learns his lack of marital status puts him out of contention. When the notoriously hot-tempered and hot-bodied Keely begs him for help, he proposes a crazy idea. He’ll oversee her project—if she acts the part of his loving fiancée.

Their sizzling lust makes it all too easy to go from butting heads to knocking boots—but outside the bedroom they’re as mismatched as ever. The McKays remind Jack of the humble upbringing he left behind, and cowgirl Keely feels she doesn’t measure up to Jack’s big-city lifestyle.

When the dust settles, Jack and Keely must face the fact they’re not fooling anyone but themselves—or they’ll risk losing the real deal.

Keely McKay is the wild child of the McKay family – well, the wild girl – her brothers are just as wild as she is in their own individual ways. She is used to dealing with men – heck who wouldn’t be with so many brothers and male cousins and a father who would rather wrap her in cotton wool? But she doesn’t know how to deal with Jack Donahue.

She has known him since she was sixteen years old – he is the best friend of her brother Carter and to complicate matters she once dated his brother and somehow thinks that the breakup in that particular relationship was due to Jack. Add to this an encounter at a family wedding, and Keely hates Jack with a vengeance. So how will this hatred turn into love – will it even get the chance or will the two kill each other before they discover the fireworks that explode so beautifully and sensually between them?

Keely meets Jack again because she needs a restoration specialist – she wants to leave her wild child days far behind her and so far she has done a good job of it – she graduated from college and she has become a physical therapist who wants to set up her own clinic in a century old building that requires a certified architectural restoration specialist to oversee the project – and Jack is the one and only. He holds her plans in the palm of his hand and Keely is so determined to see her plans succeed that she eventually considers Jacks crazy offer in return for him helping her with the building.

Keely is a multifaceted character – vulnerable, tough and yet also willing to give anything a try – and if the boys can do it, then dang it she will attempt to do it even better! Her determination and love come through both in her words and in her actions – she is simple yet also complicated. Underneath everything Keely is also searching even though she won’t admit it – she is searching for the man who will complete her – could Jack be the one who can stand up to Keely, put up with all of her wisecracks and attitude and be the one who also sweeps her off her feet?

She cares deeply for her family and gives back to them whenever she can and however she can, but being the only girl in the family hasn’t been easy – especially with a father who would rather have seen her kept safe and sound, so Keely had to persuade the other males in her immediate and extended family to show her the ropes and believe me they did. She is also tough and feisty and she can definitely give as good as she gets! No wonder the sparks start to fly when she meets Jack again - and it is no surprise when those sparks turn into fully fledged flames!

Ms James has written another scorcher that shows not just the developing love the two characters have with each other, but also the love that comes from family and friends who care about each other. There is a HEA but it has to be worked for – it doesn’t come easy and the path that Keely and Jack take to their HEA is one that the reader follows gladly and with great interest and fascination.

I loved this latest installment in the Rough Rider series that Ms James has written that deal with the McKay family and the extended clans. She didn’t disappoint – we finally get to see Keely get her own book after being a secondary character in so many others in the series. Reading this was like going home – a home I would love to have – the tight knit community in Wyoming that Keely lives in and the loving if somewhat smothering family that she has and the hunky Jack complete the picture.

The sex sizzled and burnt up the sheets, but it was the rest of the story that brought it all together and made this such a compelling story to read. Ms James has definitely hit another home run with this book and I can only wait with impatience for the next installment!

Hollywood Lights by Tonya Ramagos

Hollywood Lights (The Heroes of Silver Springs 6) by Tonya Ramagos
Publisher: Siren Publishing, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (281 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Statice

Tess returned to Silver Springs leaving her heart and acting aspirations behind in Hollywood. Two years later, both have followed her. Now an officer with the SSPD, she's found the strong, in control, happy side of herself she always sought. But a single command from Devon Gerard's panty-wetting voice takes it all away, sending her spiraling down a path of wicked desire.

Devon never understood why Tess left. Still, he let her go without a fight, and it was the stupidest thing he ever did. When his latest role brings him to Silver Springs, he knows it's time to reclaim what is his. But a case she's working on collides with the film he's shooting, throwing them into a battle that rages with danger, deceit, and desire.

Theresa Keaton tried her hand at acting and, while she didn’t become famous she did end up having a relationship with a famous Hollywood actor, Devon Gerard. Determined to succeed on her own, she wouldn’t let Devon help her with his connections and they also kept their relationship under wraps. When the acting and the relationship weren’t working Theresa ran back home to Silver Springs with her tail between her legs.

Two years down the track and one deadly, demented family member later (events featured in Twin Games - The Heroes of Silver Springs 2), Theresa has become a respected member of the Silver Springs Police Department. She has left the lights of Hollywood behind, just as she left Devon Gerard behind – she thought for good, but life has a strange way of working out and Theresa is about to find out how strange things can get!

She ran from Devon because she loved him and also because she felt that all they had was the sex – and it was great sex! Theresa is also at odds with her submissive side and given that she is a police woman I can certainly see that there would be a dilemma there between the submissive and the dominant.

Devon was devastated when Theresa left. He was affected by her abrupt departure and as a result his career went downhill and he dropped out of the spotlight until he popped up again as the main lead in the film to be made in Silver Springs. It was the result of Theresa’s desertion that made him seem all the more human and likeable as a character, rather than some distant albeit handsome and sexy star who just pops into a story.

There is a lot happening in the story besides the development of the relationship between Theresa and Devon who are thrown together again on set – there is the thread continued from previous books in the series about the drug cartel, the drug dealers and liquid heroin, and there is also a relationship that develops between a fireman from the Silver Springs Fire Department, Thaddeus Carter,(also Mr. November in the calendar that was the focus of the previous book in the series) who also happens to be in the film and Adrien Bingham, an agent with the DEA in Silver Springs.

The main focus however is Theresa and Devon – can they work through the relationship problems and come out the other end together and whole? It is not going to be easy – Theresa is not an easy woman – despite her exterior, she is vulnerable and scared – scared of what submitting means and scared of her emotional reactions to Devon. Despite having had a relationship with her for a long time, Devon discovers that he really doesn’t know her and she doesn’t know him. He does however yearn to be with her and to know her, but Theresa is not going to make it easy. Add to this the fact that she is a cop – a very good one and the fact that there are drug dealers on set and that a sting catches the wrong guy, well, let’s just say that this relationship does not have an easy ‘restart’. It is up to both Devon and Theresa to work out their differences and see if what they feel for each other is something they can admit to each other and then move forward together.

I loved this story as it continued the story of a character who has been in the periphery of the Silver Springs series for a number of books – finally she got her own book and what a book! A hunky star with good looks and a multitude of skills in the bedroom for a leading man is what any girl would wish for. Added to that he is not just a hunk, he has an emotional depth to him that makes this story work. He is the one who helps Theresa to understand herself and in doing so, he also realizes that she is what he needs – they need each other and the hiccups on the way just make this one story that is interesting and just a little heart wrenching to read. I was rooting for both Devon and Theresa.

Once again Ms. Ramagos has hit the jackpot! While this is part of a series, these books can be read as stand alone books. Her characters are well rounded with emotional depth and they are grounded in reality – you could believe that they exist and that you might just see them walking down the street or even better know them personally. I, for one would love to personally know some of these hot heroes of Silver Springs. I certainly hope that the next installment of the series is as scorchingly hot as this one has been!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Talk Dirty to Me by Jack Greene

Talk Dirty to Me by Jack Greene
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (26 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Cholla

Adam's never called a gay phone sex line before, but he finally takes the plunge. Casey is more than happy to fulfill Adam's phone fantasies, but it's not long before he wants more than talk. When they meet, will it be as good as Adam's fantasy?

Impulsive decisions often lead to disaster… but sometimes, magically, they lead to something marvelous and unexpected. When Adam makes the impulsive decision to call a gay phone sex line – just once – he has no idea what he’s getting himself into. But he’s certainly not going to regret it.

Adam is half-heartedly struggling with his sexuality. He knows that he’s attracted to men, but he’s never done anything about it. Until in a moment of weakness, he calls a phone sex line… and gets more than he bargains for. He makes the call expecting to satisfy his curiosity and finds something more real. I really love Adam’s character – he knows what he likes and isn’t ashamed of it one bit. He’s not embarrassed or guilty about being attracted to men, he’s more stuck on just how to get the ball rolling and meet someone, which is refreshing. You don’t often come across a character like this – they’re usually either already experienced and enjoying life or they’re firmly locked in the closet, suffering from intense denial. Adam is none of these and that made him new and exciting to me.

Casey is more of your usual character, although not completely so. He’s been around a bit, but not a tremendous amount. So he knows how to go easy on the newbies and make them feel right at home. He’s the kind of guy you’d want by your side, holding your hand through all your toughest moments. And he’s exactly what Adam needs for his first time experiences. Together, they make a realistic and happy couple. They’re definitely a good match.

Talk Dirty to Me is a great example of putting yourself on the line, stepping out of your comfort zone and reaching out for what you really need in life. Filled with two very intriguing characters and a fun and sweet story, this is a winner on all counts.

Tamsin’s Choice by Mardi Ballou

Tamsin’s Choice by Mardi Ballou
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci/Fi Fantasy, Futuristic, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (55 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Duty forces Empress Designate Karloutria from Planet Nowemapo to find an Earthling mate in forty-eight hours. Prepared to sacrifice her chance for love to save her father and her planet from a monster, Karloutria never expected to fall for Luca.

Luca d’Alessandro needs a second chance. All he has to do to rule Nowemapo as the empress’s consort is beat out the hefty competition and make it through the ritual sex trials. Piece of cake, as long as he keeps his head on straight and his soul buttoned-up. But then he never expected to feel what Karloutria arouses in him.

Base your life on the wills of a cat? If you’re Tria and you need to escape the wrath of a lunatic alien tyrant, then here kitty, kitty.

Sound interesting? You need to read Tamsin’s Choice.

Ms. Ballou writes an intriguing story of a woman with a tough choice—marry a tyrant and free her father of his gambling debts or find a human who’ll do the same job. I really felt like I was there on the planet with Tria and Luca, surrounded by the sumptuousness of the mating/selection ritual.

Although I thought the story started a bit slow and was rather heavy with back story in the beginning, once it got going, I couldn’t put it down.

I liked Tria because even though she’s in a sticky situation, she only loses her pluck a few times and what woman can’t relate to that? Lots of people have to make do with what they have and that resonated with me. I found her resolve once she made her decision to move a tad fast, but that was the nature of the story and it works.

Luca is an interesting hero because he’s got his sights set on Tria even though he’s never really seen her. He subjects himself to lots of humiliation which tears his ego to pieces, but it’s because he’s doing it for the chance to be the man she loves. Talk about dedication! I liked his unwavering desire for her too. Once he set his mind to making her his, I rooted for him to get his wish.

The sex in this story sizzled, but I thought it went a bit quickly. I wanted to see more sensuality, but it still scorched my fingers.

If you want a story that’s guaranteed to heat up a cool night, then you need to read Tamsin’s Choice. I give this story 3.5 cherries.

Second to None by Rhyannon Byrd

Second to None by Rhyannon Byrd
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (103 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

For eight long years, Jason Hawkes has bided his time, waiting for the chance to snare Remy Frost for his own. When fate finally delivers a panting, wide-eyed Remy right into his arms, he intends to never let her go. His objective—to convince the wary redhead that he wants her forever. And lucky for Remy, this ex-soldier is ready to play “down and dirty” to get what he wants.

Second to None is, without a doubt, one of the hottest stories I have read in a very long time. Author Rhyannon Byrd has written something that tugs at your heart, yet, sizzles and burns.

The premise might seem simplistic on the surface but the emotions that drive the protagonists are anything but. Remy and Jason have wanted one another for eight long years, and now, finally able to explore their desires, there is so much sexual tension you can hardly breathe. Their chemistry is palpable, especially as Jason tries to prove he's ready for commitment while Remy tries to deny the attraction she fears is destined to leave her heartbroken. Ms. Byrd quite possibly writes some of the greatest inner dialogue I’ve ever read, allowing you to delve into the minds of the characters and experience exactly what they’re feeling. It’s heartbreaking at times, heartwarming at others, and guaranteed to make you wriggle and squirm as things get hot and out of control. I couldn’t decide if I should turn up the AC or get out my hanky. It’s a heady mixture of sex, need, and want that is impossible to turn away from.

The writing is fantastic, and the pace ensures you’ll speed through the pages. My only complaint is that I wanted more when I finished. It was just that good. You’ll fall in love with Remy and Jason, and by the time you’re finished, you might just start from the beginning and go back for round two.

A definite must read that is not to be missed, be sure to put Second to None on your TBR list. This is the first story I’ve enjoyed by Ms. Byrd, but it most certainly will not be the last.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dark Man by KyAnn Waters

Dark Man by KyAnn Waters
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (114 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Vance is determined to discover the secrets hidden in The Catacombs, an exclusive all-male fetish club. Someone there was the last person to see his ex-lover alive and he intends to seek revenge for the brutal murder. Once in, he meets Tac, the owner of the club. He’s secretive and hot as hell. The BDSM sex is unlike anything Vance has experienced. Tac is becoming an obsession and keeping him from the truth.

Nothing can endanger the vampires’ existence. Theron, known in the club as Tac, will destroy any who try. He is dominant and dangerous—in total control of his world. He lives only for sex and blood. He has never been emotionally involved with anyone. Now, a human has slipped into his life and under his skin, making him want more than meaningless sex with blood slaves. But Theron will never allow a mere mortal to bring him to his knees.

First, there was Ice Man. Then, we were given the Iron Man. Yet there was one story promised in the Blood Slaves series by KyAnn Waters I couldn’t wait for. For me, it all came down to the elusive and mysterious Theron, the most powerful vampire of them all. In the very first installment, Ice Man, he literally stole the show, and let me tell you, his story Dark Man was more than worth the wait.

In this, we get to know the vampire that exists behind the cool and aloof façade. Theron has never loved. Following a horrible past, he knows it is too painful to risk emotion in the face of loss. Still, there is something about Vance he cannot deny himself. Determined to make the handsome man his blood slave, he initiates him into The Catacombs, a sex club unlike any other. However, Vance has a secret of his own. He is investigating the murder of a close friend and is using his connection to solve the mystery of who killed him. When Vance learns that Tac, otherwise known as Theron, is not a man, but a vampire, things take a dark and unexpected turn.

Can their desire overcome fear, doubt, and uncertainty? Will Theron finally allow himself to love?

Talk about a story worth waiting for. Theron is as hot as I remembered and then some. I loved how his relationship with Vance advanced, as well as his development as a character along the journey. Vance is perfect as the mortal who will bring a powerful immortal to his knees. His no-holds-barred approach to Theron causes the pages to wilt and wither, to the point that you can literally feel the tension and desire between them. The sex scenes sizzle and the emotion is so prominent that oftentimes it’s difficult to breathe. I couldn’t wait to learn what happened next and was captivated by the dynamic. There is nothing better than an alpha hero learning that one’s heart doesn’t necessarily reside inside their chest, but rests entirely in the hands of another.

A must read for M/M vampire fans, as well as those who adore the series. I loved Dark Man and was thrilled to have the opportunity to read and review it. This is one is going on the keeper shelf!

House of the Cat by Shelley Munro

House of the Cat by Shelley Munro
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (199 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Two brothers slugging it out, an alien world and a hell-horse…

Jockey Camryn O’Sullivan is an alcoholic on a downward spiral after the death of her husband. When aliens kidnap her, she’s both terrified and reluctantly fascinated by Ryman Coppersmith. She’s positive the weird attraction is an anomaly. Something to ignore. She’ll train the alien’s horse and they’ll return her home. Simple. There’s no need for sex or a stubborn male kitty-cat to replace the precious memories of her husband.

Murder. Betrayal. Banishment. Feline shifter Ry has experienced them all. When his foster brother—the man who betrayed him—proposes a wager, the lure to clear his name is irresistible.

Camryn’s arrival triggers a jump in his already overactive sex drive. It’s a struggle to keep his hands off. Something in his mysterious feline background compels him to chase her and the passion firing between them soars out of control. Ry doesn’t understand the mechanics of their attraction but knows he can’t afford to lose Camryn…despite his promise to return her home.

This book pushed all my happy buttons because it has every one of my absolute favorite elements I look for in romance. There is not one wrong turn in the whole adventure.

First off, the female lead, Camryn, is a woman of deep passions and pain when I first met her. She was spiraling out of control to self destruction caused by the devastating loss of her husband. Ms. Munro captured the picture of a woman in despair with clarity. Throughout this story, I got to see her heal and find herself again. She’s plucky, determined and quite clever; at least once she gets over her shock of being with real live aliens. I love the part where she screamed. It was pretty funny. Not to those on the ship I bet, but honestly, I got a kick out of it. There were so many fun moments interspersed throughout House of the Cat. I cracked up every time she referred to the captain of the ship as ‘Kitty’. I thought her internal dialogue and her descriptions of the governor were wonderful windows into her personality. I would love to meet her for real, she’s amazing.

Ry is the hero and he’s a man on a mission to reclaim his family, his home and his happiness. He simply can’t understand why his brother betrayed him and for most of the story he just doesn’t get it. He really loved his brother so what did he ever do to deserve the treachery? That was a poignant conflict throughout the story. The other interesting fact is Ry is more than a man. And he has that super kitty mojo that even I would be hard pressed to resist. He has a sense of humor, honor and courage. And he has this little problem of not being able to resist Camryn. My hot button with any man who can shift into a cat is his ability to purr and his knowledge of sensual nibbles and bites and Ry has that down solid. Oh my!

Reading the scenes where he finally seduces her burned up the pages with scorching results. Ms. Munro has an exemplary understanding of how to balance the story with their inevitable need to mate, numerous times. And every time gets better and better because unbeknownst to either character, something is happening and it explains the weird things that eventually occur to both of them. It was a pleasure to read the first time and it’s going to be just as good when I read it the second, and third. They are that much fun.

The entire book isn’t happy-go-lucky however. There are some gruesome parts because after all, they are on a different planet with a different culture and very weird creatures. Blew my mind that Ms. Munro could at first horrify me with the descriptions of their behaviors and then make me want to go out and pet one. Luke was adorable. What a twist of writing that was! And the races? Yikes, what a melee. It reminded me of the pod racing scene in the second Star Wars series – fast, furious and vicious. The villain and the sub-villain were written dastardly enough to be convincing bad guys. The main villain had a lot of normal human vices that took over and destroyed whatever good was in him, very convincing. The other guy was just slimy. He should have had more comeuppance coming to him after the way he treated his own daughter. I was miffed on her behalf.

The other secondary characters, his crew, are vital and well fleshed out. They were not cardboard caricatures of people but had personalities and affect. Mogens is an alien I’d like to know more about. I found him to be unique, interesting and a really cool concept. I wonder what his story is? On top of that thought is my hope that there’s another installment in the future because I’d jump at the chance to read about Camryn’s brother’s reaction should he ever meet Ry and his gang. Just thinking about it puts a huge grin on my face.

House of the Cat is an amazing thrill ride of adventure, quests, lost heritage and found love. Extremely well written love scenes spice up a solid and exciting plot line. I was gripped from the first chapter and entertained non-stop until the final and very satisfying happily-ever-after. Ms. Munro knows romance and she’s proved it again with this engaging and fast paced story. Not only am I putting this book on my keeper shelf, I can’t wait to tell all my friends. It rocks!

Moonlight Ménage by Stephanie Julian

Moonlight Ménage by Stephanie Julian
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (162 pgs)
Other: Ménage, M/F/M, Voyeurism, Anal Play
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

For eight years, Etruscan witch Tira Belludi has longed to give herself, body and soul, to the two shifter men who hold her heart. But visions of death and fears for her sanity have forced her to keep her distance.

Nic Rocca and Duke Ducati are brothers in every way but blood and partners who have each other’s backs. They share a home, a job and had planned to share their life with Tira between them…until the night she saw their future and built a fortress around her heart.

Danger and death stalk Nic and Duke. And Tira must make a choice—grab love while she has the chance, or watch Nic die from afar and lose Duke forever.

Intensity thy name is Moonlight Ménage!

Have you ever found yourself a part of a situation that seemed like there was no possible way to have a positive outcome only to realize later that a little communication would have went a long way?

That basically describes the relationship between Tira, Nic and Duke in Stephanie Julian’s second installment of the Lucani Lovers series. Since they can’t foresee an outcome that works for three the two that could/should be happy refuse to even try. Irritating, but real…or at least as real as you get with witches and wolves involved.

Books that require me to keep returning to the glossary for name/place/word definition typically lose my interest within a few chapters. I can’t say that for Moonlight Ménage. Ms. Julian has created a very compelling world in her Lucani Lovers series. There is so much more than just an erotic romance to her stories. There is nail biting suspense and tons of action as well.

Despite the fact that the story is set in a fictitious town that is inhabited by witches and wolf shifters, Tira’s character remains easy to relate to. She has real world problems such as a sick mother and intense self confidence issues. Nic and Duke are almost polar opposites in character but together they are everything Tira needs. As couples and as a threesome the sex is smokin’ hot!

I held my breath through much of the story wondering how they would ever find their HEA with the incredible obstacles thrown in their paths. Ms. Julian’s solution, while satisfying, was a little anti-climatic. None the less, I still enjoyed their story and will be watching for book three, that is sure to be just as exciting.

DragonKin: Siren’s Seduction by Mina Carter

DragonKin: Siren’s Seduction by Mina Carter
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (60 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Edan is a loner, pure and simple. A loner with one goal in life, to avenge the twin killed in an illegal cage fight four years ago. With no body to mourn, Edan takes his twin's place in the ring to save as many paranormals as he can from the brutal sport.

Paranormals like Dualla's aunt Melody, saved from a rich human's "collection." Restored to her tribe, the older mermaid tells tales of her handsome and enigmatic rescuer, tales that have the younger women of the Romani mer-tribe in flutters.

Everyone except Dualla. Half mer, half... something else, she's always been the odd one out. A healer like her mother, she's had the same dream for years -- dreams of a man who is more than a man, and a dragon with purple scales who sets the sea on fire. A warrior to her mystic. A man with a broken heart... one Dualla knows she was born to heal.

Dragonkin: Siren’s Seduction is a comical, sexy, and fantastical novella with dragons, mermaids, gargoyles, magic, and just about everything you could possibly ask for.

Edan is a dragon shifter who moonlights as a prize fighter. He’s a loner, unable to relate to anyone because of the scars that mar his skin, yet longs for his souler – the woman who will complete him and make him whole. One day while on the dock, he comes across a scuffle around a beautiful woman trapped in a fisherman’s net. When the noble portion of him demands he protect and assist her, he rushes to her rescue. A passionate kiss, a tender embrace, and a misunderstanding when he believes she views his physical deformities as horrific cause him to leave her behind. But he can’t forget the luscious female with curves to die for and a face that could launch a thousand ships.

Dualla was brought to the surface after she attempted to rescue a wayward mermaid from a net. Now, trapped among humans, she is frightened and, with the exception of the lobster caught in the net with her, alone. Then, help arrives in the form of Edan, a brute of a man who captures her attention and snares her heart. She can feel his hurt, and follows him when he leaves her, knowing she must ease his pain somehow. When she sees him in dragon form, she realizes his scars mean he cannot fly, and understands his injuries are not only physical.

Together, a dragon will learn you don’t need wings to fly and a mermaid will learn it’s not always bad to venture out of the water. It’s sizzling at times, while comical at others. Edan is wonderful as a brawler with a heart of gold, while Dualla suits him perfectly as a mermaid who sees beneath the surface to the man that yearns for acceptance and love. There is heart contained within the pages, as well as a whole lot of chemistry and heat.

The writing is wonderful, the dialogue is sharp, and the supporting cast provide a bit of depth to the story, as well as a deeper understanding of the characters. I devoured this naughty nibble in no time at all, and enjoyed myself immensely while doing so. Mina Carter excels at creating characters you care for, and those shared in Dragonkin: Siren’s Seduction are no exception.

Biting Me Softly by Mary Hughes

Biting Me Softly by Mary Hughes
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (246 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

He’s a candy box of sex appeal wrapped with a golden bow. She’s on a diet.

Blood, sex, violence. Blood, okay, but computer geek Liese Schmetterling had enough S&V when her cheating ex fired her. Now security expert—and lip-smacking gorgeous—Logan Steel saunters into her Blood Center, setting fire to her libido. And threatening her job.

Visions of pink slips dancing in her head, Liese tries to push Logan away without touching his jutting pecs…or ridged abs. Or petting the Vesuvius in his jeans. He’s hiding something, but it doesn’t seem to matter when his smiles stun her, his kisses crank her to broiling and his bites rocket her to heaven. Fangy bites which, if she weren’t grounded in science, would make her think ampire-Vay.

Centuries old and tragedy-scarred, Logan’s mission is to fortify the Blood Center’s electronic defenses against his nemesis, the leader of a rogue vampire gang. He’s ready for battle but not for Liese, who slips under his skin, laughs at his awful puns, charges beside him into dark, scary places—and tastes like his true love.

No matter how often Logan declares his love, Liese can’t bring herself to trust him. But when his archenemy comes after her, not trusting him may cost her life…

There’s trouble coming to Meiers Corners. When Liese Schmetterling loses her job as a computer specialist in Chicago, she comes back to her hometown. She takes the job as the computer expert at the Blood Center, because, quite honestly, she needs the money and benefits, since her mom is battling cancer, and Liese is the only one who can take care of her.

When tall, handsome and sexy Logan Steel comes to the Blood Center to tell her about the security system he has been hired to install, she doesn’t understand. She believes Logan is there to put her out of a job, just like her cheating ex-fiancé at her last job. Logan doesn’t understand why Liese is acting the way she is, and it just keeps getting more and more confusing as each of them keeps misconstruing the others intent.

Can Liese ever accept that she is not the geek she thinks she is? Will Logan convince her that he truly is interested in the real Liese? Most important, will Liese completely freak when she discovers that, not only are vampires real, but Logan and several of her friends are all vampires?

I love Meiers Corners. Mary Hughes has created a cast of characters that delight and entertain. I absolutely love the humor and the glorious sense of absurdity that is inherent in these stories.

Liese is a joy to read. She is a “real” woman, not some cookie cutter ideal. Liese has brains she isn’t afraid to use, along with a quick and ready wit and a raging sarcastic tongue. But Liese is emotionally scarred, by comments her ex-fiancé and former boss heaped upon her when Liese caught him with his bimbo. With her logical, scientific mind, Liese is still slow on the uptake about what Logan is.

Logan, on the other hand, is stunned to find that Liese is unaware of her beauty and worth. He also is confused when he can’t control her mind. Logan has his own issues, also from his past. When the Chicago vampires come to tiny Meiers Corners, it is with the intent of taking control of the Blood Center. And there are a couple of surprise twists involving Liese’s newly recovered mom and an old flame that are delicious, as well as hilarious.

This story had me smiling throughout; it was such a fun reading experience. The comedy of errors that kept Liese thinking the worst of every move Logan made was such fun, and Logan’s determination to show Liese her true self was priceless.

Of course, this being a Mary Hughes story, it wouldn’t be complete without hot, biting vampire sex. I recommend that this be read in front of the fan, on high, with plenty of cold drinks.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jamie’s Revenge by Jenny Penn

Jamie’s Revenge by Jenny Penn
Publisher: Siren Publishing, Inc
Genre: Historical
Pages: Full Length (189 pgs)
Other: Menage, M/F/M, Light BDSM, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism, Forced Seduction
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewer: Honeysuckle

Jamie Traynor has come for her revenge.

Brodie and Caelen MacAuley made only one mistake. When Jamie rides back into town, the MacAuley brothers don't intend to make the same mistake twice. Intent on corralling the one woman they've ever loved, neither brother takes well to her resistance.

Not about to give into their desires, Jamie's got a plan of her own. To make the MacAuley brothers pay for breaking her heart, she intends to beat them at their own game and bring the men to their knees with lust.

Trapped in a battle of wills with too much pride to call defeat, Jamie is about to learn that revenge comes at a price.

Just when you thought it was safe to return home for a bit of sexual revenge on a pair of childhood crushes, they somehow turn the table on your plans.

All Jaime Traynor had to do was get two grown men all hot and bothered enough to have sex with her, lose her virginity, and then hightail it back East to her parlor house. Sounds easy enough, right? Yeah, that played out about as well as might be expected.

I just loved Jamie’s character. She was spunky and so sure of herself and her plan. She was totally blindsided when she couldn’t resist twins Brodey and Caelen MacAuley. Likewise, Brodey and Caelen had some old-fashioned, preconceived notions about how they would “handle” their woman. It was fun to watch Jamie bring them to their knees.

Ms. Penn made the entire journey a sensual and engaging ride from start to finish. I honestly didn’t want to stop reading until Jamie, Brodey and Caelen got their HEA. There were some editing blips along the way but not enough to take away from the book as a whole. I’m looking forward to the next installment in the Jenny Penn Collection.

This Side Of Heaven by Fallon Blake

This Side Of Heaven by Fallon Blake
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (87 pgs)
Other: M/F, Spanking
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Samara Hale has learned to keep everyone at arm’s length, with good reason. Abandoned by a father she’s never known, she’ll do anything to not become her mother and waste her love on a man who will only end up leaving. A powerful empath, she’s grown comfortable hiding behind her self-imposed walls. On the heels of her uncle’s death, a stranger shows up claiming to be a Telal, a half-demon, half-angel. She’s sure he’s out of his mind—unbelievably hot, but still, out of his mind. When she’s attacked by demons, he’s the only one who can save her. Samara will have to trust him with her life. She’s just not sure she can trust him with her heart.

With a forbidden love, an ancient prophecy, and demons on the hunt, Nathaniel knows this would be the worst time to act on his feelings for his mortal charge. But with Samara’s life in danger, he must not only come face-to-face with temptation, but with an old rival whose ambitions include claiming Samara for Lucifer himself. Nathaniel will risk it all to save the woman he loves and he can only hope Samara will take a risk of her own.

This Side Of Heaven is an exciting, sexy, and unforgettable story that offers unexpected twists and turns. Fallon Blake has written something that is unique in the paranormal genre and to lures you in with the promise of an adventure, desire, and the unknown.

After Samara’s uncle dies, she is heartbroken. He was the one person she could turn to and the only one who understood her curse – empathy. Then Nathaniel shows up, claiming to be a part of the very sect that she once believed to be a myth. He is a Telal, part man, part demon, and he’s come to protect her from the demons that would use her to take control of the world. As they travel to a place Nathaniel can keep her safe, they cannot deny their intense attraction to one another – despite the laws that state they can never be together.

This is the kind of story that hits the ground running. From the moment Samara and Nathaniel meet, the sparks fly. Their chemistry is fantastic, and even as danger lingers around every corner, you can’t help but wait with baited breath until they cave to their desires. I loved the concept of demons, archangels, and the duel-realms Ms. Blake has created, as well as the world building she manages to create in a few short, cleverly crafted paragraphs. The love scenes sizzle and the action will keep you on the edge of your seat. Her approach to the material, as well as the mystery of exactly who and what Samara is, is spot-on and advances the story at a nice pace and ensures you don’t get distracted as the plot progresses.

A definite must for fans of demons, angels, and the paranormal things that are usually overshadowed by vampires and shifters. Be sure to place This Side Of Heaven onto your TBR list. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and cannot wait for more from Ms. Blake.

By The Numbers: More Than by Riley Ashford

By The Numbers: More Than by Riley Ashford
Publisher: Changeling Press LLC
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (24 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Mistletoe

After an abusive Master nearly beat her to death, submissive Lora Nelson turned her back on the lifestyle and escaped into a mundane existence. She works the night shift at a grocery store and lives in a run-down apartment, but she has her freedom and, more importantly, her dignity.

And then he shows up.

The mysterious stranger catches her unaware in her own apartment, and offers her a tantalizing choice -- let him reintroduce her to the world of BDSM on her terms. Now, Lora just has to decide if she has the courage to submit to a new Master, one who promises to chase away her shadows, and give her more than she could ever imagine.

Lora Nelson has been working at a shabby grocery store ever since she escaped from an abusive master. Not making much and living in a run down neighborhood. She begins to feel as if she is in a rut and never going to bring herself up and out of it. Then one day after work a stranger surprises her in her apartment. The stranger asks her if she would like to return to the world she ran away from. Will Lora let the stranger be her master or will she tell him to go away and never come back?

The author brings the reader into an interesting world with this story. Lora is a strong woman who has taken a big step in her life and in need of something more at this time. The reader feels for Lora as she goes through the short list of who she thinks could be her sexy stranger. She may have escaped from a dangerous relationship but she is stuck in a bad neighborhood and surrounded by the dregs of life.

When Lora finally finds out whom her stranger is you hope that she will agree to be mastered by him. Even though this story was short I enjoyed the sexual buildup between Lora and her hero.

This story was a strong introduction for me to this author. Riley Ashford has a good writing style and I will be on the look out for longer books by this author so that I may read more in depth of their characters and emotions.