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Friday, May 21, 2010

Dragon’s Grace by Nicole Dennis

Dragon’s Grace: McDrakken Warriors Book 1 by Nicole Dennis
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (60 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Can a battered dragon warrior overcome past mistakes?
After an attack by dark wraiths, exiled guardian Allauria Grace, treks up a mountain in the middle of a snowstorm to locate her dragon. Once there, she finds a reluctant Callum McDrakken. In fact, he wants nothing to do with her and refused to let her in his haven.

They battle through memories of a tangled past and a devastating injury that left Callum unable to transform into his dragon form.

With the looming threat of wraiths and the possibility of Allauria becoming one herself, they wonder if there is still a chance for this dragon to have his mate.

A wounded Allauria Grace is determined to make it up the mountain to the cabin of Callum McDrakken. Shot while escaping the wraiths pursuing her, she is determined to reach a safe have, even though she will get no warm welcome there. In the battle between the wraiths and the dragon warriors, Lauri is an exile from her home. Accused of causing the death of her twin brother, and the incapacitating injury to her mate, it has been five years since she has been in this land. Afraid she is becoming a wraith herself, she longs to see her dragon once more.

Battered and bloody, she makes it to the cabin that has been Callum’s home in exile for the same five years. Although unsure of the welcome, she needs to know one way or the other what the future holds. And if she is close to turning, she wants to die by Callum’s hand rather than succumb to a darker fate.

Can Callum accept Lauri as his destiny, his mate, in spite of their history? Together, can they find a way to stop the wraith attack and prevent an attack on the castle? Will Callum be strong enough to save Lauri from her fate?

Nicole Dennis is a new to me author, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. What I found was edge of the seat suspense, wonderfully complex characters, a fantastic, if slightly dark, world, and an engaging and passionate love story.

Lauri is a strong heroine, determined to see the dragon she was forced to leave five years ago. I was caught up in the feelings between Lauri and Callum: on the one hand, he hates her for what happened to his guardian and himself. But he still wants her with all of his heart as well. The conflict was intense and drew me into the story. I was anxious to see if these two could overcome the past and forge a new future together.

I recommend this one most highly, especially for the steaming hot shower scene, and the wonderful happy ever after.

Devil’s Man by Kira Stone

Devil’s Man (collection) by Kira Stone
Publisher: Changeling Press LLC
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (274 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/M, F/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Forced Seduction, Toys, Voyeurism, Spanking
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Peppermint

Research at Loveland College has never been quite so productive...

Devil's Man: Roman vows to have Carter, a reclusive professor, one way or another. Roman's devilish scheme to seduce Carter succeeds, to the great pleasure of all involved, but their tryst ends with dire consequences. To stay alive, Roman and Carter will have to face their deepest fears.

Between the Covers: Leah has to discover why Loveland College students are obsessed with having sex in her section of the college library. Leah turns to Sam, a Campus Security Detective, for expert advice. Together they seek the truth... Between the Covers.

Mayan Destiny: Professor Patrice Valez dreams of Mayan ruins and gods of old. When she wins a grant to study an obscure Mayan temple, she's stunned, and not entirely happy, to discover her Mayan obsession has a purpose -- and a price.

Bump in the Night -- "Department of Paranormal Research." Wade's colleagues laugh at the title on his office door. But if he can debunk the ghosts of the famed Hoag Mansion, he'll finally start getting the recognition he deserves. What he finds instead are things that go bump in the night...

What an exciting cast of characters! Each story in this collection had a great set of memorable characters. Whether I loved them or feared them I just couldn’t get enough.

Devil’s Man

This story is about Carter and Roman. I loved the fact that these two are such an unlikely pair. Roman does not believe in love and Carter’s unwillingness to accept the fact that he is gay makes for an exciting story. When Roman with the assistance of Petyr finally seduces Carter boy did things get interesting in a very good way. The secondary characters in this story are also exceptional, especially Petyr. His antics are truly entertaining.

Between the Covers

This story follows Leah and Sam. Although these two are human they are quickly dragged into the supernatural world when they discover that people keep having sex in a particular section of the library. When they investigate the cause, they are also drawn into the world of sex, sex and more sex. This story was just as exciting as the last I both plot and characterization. I do have to wonder how it is that Petyr keeps finding his way into everyone’s bed within the series, but I am not complaining about it one bit. I just hope in the future we will see a story featuring him and Drue as the lead characters.

Mayan Destiny

This was my least favorite story in this collection, but that doesn't mean it wasn't good! Alec and Bac are to die for and Patrice isn’t so bad herself. Although it has no relation to the two previous stories it was still part of the supernatural world. This one was based on Mayan history and the god of fertility and we all know you cannot have fertility without sex. Patrice gets to practice with two gorgeous gods. I just wished the story never ended.

Bump in the Night

This story was the shortest of them all only being about 20 pages. It is about a man name Wade who is a ghost detective who has an interesting encounter with the couple Joshua and Karen who own the house. Because this story is so short you do not get the depth that you got with the previous stories. It is also not related any of the previous stories. It was highly erotic and was a nice sexy end to this collection.

The only thing I would have liked to have seen was for all the stories to tie into each other somehow, especially since the first two seemed to accomplish this so well. Each of these stories was extremely sensual and seductive. Not only did the characters find themselves being seduced but I as a reader felt the pull of sexual attraction. I would definitely recommend this collection to my friends.

Spirits of Abaddon: Sanctified by Mychael Black

Spirits of Abaddon: Sanctified by Mychael Black
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (44 pgs)
Other: M/M, M/M/M, Ménage, Anal Sex
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Jesse Eldridge and Gabriel Walsh have their work cut out for them the moment they step foot into Gabriel's home world of Abaddon. With the elemental ice mage Lazarus and his demon lover Semoriel, they uncover the unthinkable: a plot to overthrow the throne of Abaddon itself. When they discover what has become of the archdemon Ba'al, treason and betrayal soon rear their ugly heads. One of the four isn't quite who he seems, and it's going to change everyone's life when the truth comes out.

A demon, a mage, and a human went into the gates of Abaddon. Sounds like a joke? It’s not. It’s the gripping introduction to Spirits of Abaddon: Sanctified and let me tell you, when you start this book, you won’t want to put it down.

First off, I love Mychael Black’s books. I’m hooked. When I saw Sanctified came out, I had to grab a copy. I’m so glad I did. The end of the previous book had a cliffhanger in it and I needed to find out what happened next.

From the start, I loved Jesse and Gabriel. Gabriel comes off as gruff and a tad harsh, but it works. He’s a demon. But when he’s with Jesse, he becomes more—the gentle giant he might have been if human. And Jesse? Poor guy got a real shock at the end of the prior book, but I love how he took his change with grace and acceptance. Plus, he’s not hard on the eyes at all.

When I cracked this book, I knew I’d be in for a treat, but goodness. The action really never stopped and I caught myself holding my breath. Just when I thought the plot would go one way, it went the total opposite and it worked so well. And the ending! It was just as it needed to be and couldn’t have been better or unexpected.

If you want a story with steamy sex, horny demons, and plot twists galore, then you need to read Sanctified. I give it 5 cherries and can’t wait for the next installment.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Virtually By Chance by Amanda Grayson

Virtually By Chance by Amanda Grayson
Publisher: Cobblestone Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (52 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Derek Hawkins longed for a getaway. Being an accountant meant long hours and did not allow much time for relaxation. When an infomercial came across his watch during his lunch hour, he viewed it and was hooked by the idea.

Joshua Logan buried himself in his work. It took an emphatic shove out the door by his business partner for him to recognize that he needed a break. He’d been meaning to try the new Virtual Suites. But he had no idea that it would lead him to love.

One man wants to get away, to just rest, relax, and play pirate. The other man, the work-a-holic would rather slave away at the office, but he’s got to get away. What happens when the virtual worlds the two men collide and bring them release they’d only dreamt of?

Read Virtually By Chance.

I’m new to Amanda Grayson’s work, but thankfully I'm not any longer. I really love a good male/male story. Virtually By Chance fits the bill. The characters are realistic and drew me in. I liked the idea of the virtual world for a vacation—be whatever you want because it’s up to your imagination and the computer. Interesting.

My only complaint was early on. The back and forth points-of-view between the characters was a tad bothersome because it was jerky. I’d just get involved with one and then, boom! New scene. Still, it wasn’t enough to deter me.

Derek just wants away. He’s overworked and wants a vacation. I loved how he took control when he met Josh. The man knew who he wanted and didn’t waste time in getting him. I also liked the complexity of Josh, He’s the typical company man—all for the company. When he can loosen up on the boat in the midst of the virtual reality, he learns who he really is and it’s a beautiful read. Josh and Derek grow through the story and experiences.

Although this is a short story, I wanted more. I want to know what happens next. Still, the ending left me happy and satisfied. If you want a fun, short read, then you need to grab a copy of Virtually By Chance. I give it 4.5 cherries.

Sanctuary by Cassidy Hunter

Sanctuary by Cassidy Hunter
Publisher: Loose Id LLC
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal (shifters)
Length: Short Story (130 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M/M, F/F, M/M, F/M/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Anal Play, Forced Seduction, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Peppermint

Kimberlyn is a were at odds with herself. She longs to express her true nature, but she's not sure what that is. What she knows is that she needs lovers who can satisfy her needs for rough sex and submission. What she doesn't know is that as the only Healer of her kind, she's incredibly valuable to the pack that can claim her.

Pack Alpha Logan and his partner Andrew need a third to solidify their pack and protect it from the Bears who want to take over. They know Kimberlyn's their girl from the moment they lay eyes on her. Now they just need to convince her they can fulfill her darkest desires. And to keep her away from the Bears.

What woman doesn't dream of find a man that can handle her in the bedroom? This is even more important for werewolf Kimberlyn. All her life she has looked for a place to fit in and hopefully find a man who can tame the wild beast within her. So when she moves to a rural area in Kentucky she's thrilled to not only find one man who is up for the task but two.

The entire character lineup was likable in this story, especially the three main characters. I would have to say although I am usually a sucker for an alpha male so instinctively I thought Logan would have been my favorite. However I kept finding myself swaying in Andrew’s direction. Although he was not the alpha of the pack you could tell he definitely was a leader in many ways. And where Logan sometimes ruled with an iron fist, Andrew used his power of persuasion more often. Also I feel like he handled high stress situations even better than Logan seemed to. This in no way means that I disliked Logan, I just found it interesting. A secondary character I also really liked was Elijah. I especially enjoyed the way he and Kimberlyn bantered back and forth. I hope to see much more of all of these characters in the future.

The one thing I found unique about this plot was that the wolves had an ongoing battle/war with the Bears. I've seen many stories concerning wolves vs. wolves but haven't really see different species of were’s battling, although it makes sense since both are extremely territorial. Because of this I really enjoyed this conflict within the story. This conflict also contributed to numerous other problems within the separate groups so it definitely added more depth to the storyline.

The relationship did leave me with a few questions. Like why Logan seemed to be so harsh toward Andrew and Kimberlyn at certain moments when they where only doing what they felt was right. I also did not understand the way Andrew and Logan interacted in the bedroom. I mean Logan was the extreme alpha in public but Andrew came off a little more domineering in private.

This story was definitely spicy. I mean it had every type of sexual partner match up you can think of m/m, f/f, and f/m/m/m ... it really had it all. For someone like me who can really go for about anything sexually in stories, it made it a very interesting read. This is only the first installment of a series so it will definitely be interesting to see what happens next.

Too Good to be True by Penelope Friday

Too Good to be True by Penelope Friday
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (49 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Toys
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Mandy thinks her love life, not to mention her sex life, is over for good when her husband leaves her—for an older woman. A chance encounter with a gorgeous man begins to change her mind. Scarcely daring to believe her luck when Jon asks her to meet him again, she agrees. One dizzyingly fantastic night of lust later, Mandy is in heaven.

But Jon has a secret. Has Mandy moved from a cheating husband to a man with an even more sinister past? Will she get the chance to explore the range of sexual possibilities Jon is introducing her to, or is her new life too good to be true?

Who says reaching forty years of age means you can’t have any fun? For the heroine of this story, it’s just the beginning of what turns out to be a wonderful romance.

Mandy sounds just like anyone I know. I don’t have the trio of good friends that she does but I sure liked hers. They were great secondary characters because they played off of Mandy, allowing a reader to get to know her by her interactions with them. They provided the reason for the internal conflict by revealing the external conflict.

I found that the first person POV worked really well in this story. She is the character with the most growth and change. A reader watches her rise up from despair to new heights of personal and sensual empowerment the likes of which she never imagined. The story never gets mired down with bitterness or too much self-flagellation. It’s upbeat, positive and at times, funny.

I enjoyed her exploration of her own sexuality. It was done with style and adventurous enthusiasm. I liked her ability to say the wrong thing because both her reaction and Jon’s, the hero, were so real and life like, it made the story come alive for me.

This story has heart. It has a sweet and promising happily ever after, sort of. By that I mean, that by the time the book ends, I realized she’s finding real love for the first time and that epiphany brings joy to not only Mandy but to the reader too. She’s been through a lot; had her beliefs tested and her trust in Jon tested as well and she persevered. It took guts to stand up for what she wanted, what she believed was possible. And that makes for a book well worth the time to read. I’d recommend this book for anyone who wants a quick story that reaffirms that love happens when you least expect it. And it’s a marvelous thing to read about when it does. I was very happy for Mandy and Jon. What a great couple.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Baron’s Right by Eryn Blackwell

Baron’s Right by Eryn Blackwell
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (108 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Acelwyn is an independent healer, a woman with her own mind who swears she’ll never be at any man’s mercy. Roidan, a great warrior, appreciates his new land, granted to him by the king—but nothing fires his blood, his passion, as does the sensual healer he vows will be his.

Though Acelwyn is attracted to the new baron, she’s more interested in keeping him alive and staying out of another man’s clutches. Roidan vows to protect her from all harm; he wants no other to have her. A man of hearty appetites, he initiates her into sexual pleasure. But will passion be enough to keep Acelwyn tied to him? If not, he’ll keep her anyway—as is the baron’s right.

I love stories of independent maidens rescued by conquering barons who find themselves conquered instead. Such is the fast-paced tale of romance in Baron’s Right.

Acelwyn is who I met first. She’s a healer and a woman on borrowed time. Her skills are valuable and her heart unclaimed. She is clever, determined, stubborn and surprisingly innocent despite her profession. She has a higher tolerance for pain than I do, that’s for sure. Good thing because if she didn’t her life’s path would have been a poor one indeed. My favorite aspect of her character was her pragmatic view of her relationship with the Wolf – the new baron of her land. Once she accepted the security of her choice, Acelwyn didn’t play shy, coy or use manipulative games. She was honest, enthusiastic and open with her feelings. It was quite refreshing. In fact, there was a delightful sense of fun and camaraderie between her and the baron.

The baron, also known as Roidan, is a man’s man, a warrior and a man who really just wants to stop warring and killing. He’s had enough and only wants to make a go of his new home. First he has to claim it from the old baron and that skirmish presents him with more than he bargained for. He’s no fool and recognizes a good thing when he sees it. It’s what he did from that moment on that had me flipping the pages with eagerness and anticipation. I also totally enjoyed how he fell under Acelywyn’s charm but being a guy, he doesn’t think about the obvious solution until it’s almost too late to do anything about it. Made for some good suspense.

What made the conflict so dire, was the villain. No matter the century there will always be a person who believes might makes right. Thanks goodness there’s also a balance. It’s a barbaric time and barbaric justice is common and expected. I thought Ms. Blackwell did a great job of showing readers the grit of the time with her choices of what she revealed and what she left out. It was enough to get the feel for the drama and the conflict without overshadowing the beauty and simplicity of a very sweet and sensual romance. I completely enjoyed Acelywn’s learning curve too – hot stuff.

I would recommend Baron’s right to any reader who likes a story focused on a blossoming romance with all the fireworks and complications that come from a relationship between two strong medieval characters. I think Acelywn and Roidan were a perfect couple. I only have one caveat about this story – how do I pronounce their names? I enjoy the unique flavor olden names give a story but it gives my brain whiplash sometimes trying to figure out just how to say them in my head. Other than that, I would absolutely share what I liked about this book with my friends. It thoroughly entertained me and made time fly. I even liked Cyrus, a secondary character and Roidan’s right hand man. He is a man who I think deserves a second look. And that’s another mark of a well told story – I want to visit Draco’s Isle again.

Child Of Joy by Andrew Grey

Child Of Joy – A Children Of Bacchus Story by Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (210 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Ambrosia

Graduating from college would be a highlight of any man's life, but Arthur Kraus is different. He’s just reached satyr maturity, and he’s going out of his mind as he's swamped with sexual urges. In a desperate moment, he invites his roommate to a Bacchanal and asks him to be his first. But after hearing the first-time stories at the Bacchanal, Arthur decides to wait for more than physical satiation—not knowing that someone has overheard his decision.

That someone, Gaelen, is special in his own way: he's the last remaining Fey, a creature of the light, innocent and pure, the protector of the remaining joy the Fey bring to the world. Though attracted to Arthur, Gaelen is afraid to trust. He knows he's being hunted for his power by a force that wants to overthrow Bacchus himself, and Gaelen will have to allow Arthur into his life if he wants to survive.

Satyrs, and one Fae, blend magic and love to build a world of contemporary fantasy that will bring tears to your eyes, as two males explore their heartfelt feelings for each other. On a farm where satyrs live in harmony with the earth and show their affection without fear of reprisal, our hero finds that he’s unique and meant for something special in life.

Arthur is just about to finish university to become a vet, and has decided to offer his virginity to his best friend and roommate. After a monthly celebration to the God Bacchus, he realizes that he must save himself for someone even more special and not give in to the urge to have sex. His friend not only understands, but agrees and wants the same thing.

The mix of mythology and modern day life make for an interesting tale, as a banished satyr seeks revenge and power through the Fae, Gaelen who is the last of his kind on earth. After centuries of hiding from satyrs for fear of capture and abuse, Gaelen sees something in Arthur that stirs his heart, and his hopes for companionship and love. Living in an invisible treehouse, he watches over the satyr community in hopes that Arthur will prove to be true.

When they meet, the magic begins and the trouble starts as the bitter satyr strives to take over Bacchus’ position and change the satyr world, removing homosexuality forever. This is a story that speaks to those who want equality in life, no matter what the differences. The message behind the story speaks loud and clear how important loving one another is no matter your sexual preferences.

The only thing about the story that I found difficult was how Arthur, and Gaelen took turns being innocent one moment, then aggressive the next. Arthur ends up coming into his own, yet Gaelen still shows moments of such a lack of self confidence, even after he and Arthur are together for a time, that it’s difficult to accept. Yet, the story is rich with strong characters and relationships, and it makes up for the minor issues. There were few women in the story yet children were born of joy between the characters which added to the beauty of the story.

This story is a good read for those who love both myths made real, together with modern life, as the characters lead you along a path of acceptance of male/male relationships. If only the rest of the world thought as author Andrew Grey does. Well done. This story deserves 4.0 Cherries.

Heart of Gold by Riley Ashford

Heart of Gold by Riley Ashford
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (42 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Local “history” says Gilmore Tucker sold Paradise, the beautiful slave he loved, and murdered his wife. So why is Gilmore trapped in his old plantation house, lamenting his lost love and fending off the evil bitch he married?

Enter Kylie Goldheart, looking for a place to belong and hoping the abandoned Tucker’s Plantation will be it. After cracking her noggin by a push from a not-so-friendly ghost, she’s rescued by Gil Baker, Gilmore’s descendent, who has returned to honor his ancestors by reuniting Paradise with her soul mate…if sprinkling her ashes on Gilmore’s grave can be considered an appropriate reunion.

The attraction between Kylie and very sexy Gil is intense, but their instant romance riles the evil lingering among the crumbling ruins of the magnificent old house.

Back in the 19th century in the south, interracial relationships happened, but not out in the open. Now add in two lovers, an insane person, and misunderstanding.

But wait, there’s more. Jump to the 21st century. What if the love from the past carried over to the present? For Kylie and Gil it means finding that one Heart of Gold.

I like Riley Ashford’s work. Ms. Ashford writes with a sincerity missing in many stories as of late. Her characters have tender hearts and come alive on the pages. Once I started this story, I couldn’t put it down.

I loved the dual love stories. I couldn’t wait to see which one worked out and how. The ending I got was fabulous and totally fit, but wasn’t predictable. The plot twists drove the story for me.

In the 21st century, Kylie decides she must own Tucker’s Ridge to turn it into a B&B. She throws all caution to the wind, and her heart totally into the project. Her determination is astounding. Enter Gil. His ancestors are the original owners of Tucker’s Ridge. But the plot twist from Gil and Kylie to Paradise and Tucker isn’t what I expected. It’s better. Love brews between Paradise and Tucker, but it’s more prevalent between Gil and Kylie—even when they don’t realize it. And the sex! Whoa, baby does it sizzle.

If you want a story that’s quick, but saucy and will make you think, then you need to read Heart of Gold. I give it 4 cherries.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The One That Got Away by Rhianne Aile and Madeleine Urban

The One That Got Away by Rhianne Aile and Madeleine Urban
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (220 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Tuberose

When David Carmichael suffers a migraine and a broken shoulder, Trace Jackson, his best friend, simply moves in to take care of him. Their easy camaraderie is threatened when David discovers an undercurrent of heat and tension flowing between them. Despite knowing his best friend is straight, David is not-so-slowly falling in love.

Trace has never desired another man. He's a ladies' man with quite the reputation, considered a top prize around town. But his close, treasured friendship with David is intensified by the emotion and arousal, and the lure of having David so close is irresistible. Soon Trace makes it clear to David that he wants to know if they can make it work between them. Because Trace is sure he won't ever want anyone else—he already loves David.

If you are looking for a sweet M/M read, this is the book for you. David Carmichael and Trace Jackson grab your attention from the very beginning.

I love friends to lovers and gay-for-you books and this is one of the best I have read to date.

David and Trace have been best friends for five years and when David suffers a horrible migraine, he calls Trace. When Trace arrives and sees how bad of shape David is in, Trace stays with David to make sure he is okay. After David takes the medicine for his migraine and rest for awhile, he decides to take a shower and falls and breaks his shoulder so Trace decides to stay with David until he is healed.

Even though the two are best friends, David and Trace find out more about each other as they spend more time together. One of the things that Trace learns about David is that he’s gay. In contrast, Trace is a ladies man, but spending so much time with David and sleeping in the same bed every night, has Trace thinking of David in a new light. Ms. Aile and Ms. Urban do a wonderful job of showing the growing friendship and more between David and Trace. The readers get swept along in the caring the two men have for each other and the gradual build to so much more. We see the jealousy when David has friends over and one of the friends flirts with Trace, which Trace being a typical ladies man seems to enjoy. The reader is there when David finally seduces Trace and it’s wonderful.

If you want a story full of conflict and sex, this is not the story for you. If you want a wonderful story full of romance, love, friendship, and humor, you’ll want to grab this book as quick as you can and find out which one is The One That Got Away. This is a love story that you’ll be going back to over and over again. I’m hoping Ms. Aile and Ms. Urban write a sequel that involves one of the friends so that we can see how David and Trace are doing. Or, better yet, just write a follow-up story for David and Trace. The One That Got Away is a heartfelt story and I would definitely recommend it to my friends.

Must Love Music by Jennifer Dunne

Must Love Music by Jennifer Dunne
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (111 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Fetish, Toys, Fisting, Spanking
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Possessing perfect pitch, a penchant for leather and a predilection for gourmet cooking, Master Rikard is a sub’s dream.

After answering his compelling personal ad, Gayle begins a relationship with the mysterious masked Dom. His hypnotic voice spins wicked erotic fantasies as he takes her to sexual heights she’d never believed possible, while glimpses of his tortured soul awaken her desire for more than just sex.

Their mutual love of music could be the beginning of much more, but his tragic past presents a barrier. Then Gayle’s innocent discovery forces them to face the truth.

While reading the newspaper during her regular morning routine Gayle comes across a personal ad that intrigues her. It just happens to be an ad from a Dom looking for a sub. Gayle is rather curious so she answers the ad. When Rikard calls her back they agree to meet for coffee and from there Rikard and Gayle begin a relationship. Will she be the one sub he is looking for or will she run when she finds out his secrets?

This was an interesting story about one woman’s interest in and the beginning of her journey into the lifestyle of submission. Gayle is a smart woman who seems to fall under the spell of Master Rikard from the very first phone call. Master Rikard is a good Dom but he is in pain and hiding secrets. Gayle and Master Rikard make a good couple they seem to play off of each other very well.

Although these two had a good relationship I do think that Gayle seemed to jump into things too quickly and is doing things totally opposite than she would normally do. It was good to see the author have Gayle and her best friend question this but it seems to be glossed over. As you read this story you wonder what is going on with Rikard and all his strange behavior, which Gayle seems to always quickly dismiss. I found it this difficult to believe, and it seemed that there was little real depth to Gayle and Rikard, and these things affected my ability to really bond with the characters.

This is a story of BDSM, with flogging and fisting involved, so there may be a scene or two that offends readers by its harshness. All in all, though, this story had a good plot and while I may not have enjoyed "Must Love Music" as much as other works by this author it is still a well-written book. Not every character will appeal to every reader and this will not deter me from looking for more from this author especially since I have enjoyed other works by Jennifer Dunne.

The Goddess’ Girdle Goddess Revealed Book 3 by Marisa Chenery

The Goddess’ Girdle Goddess Revealed Book 3 by Marisa Chenery
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (51 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

When Cayden picks up the girdle he finds in the basement of the Royal Ontario Museum, his head is filled with images of a beautiful woman. She becomes all he can think about, and he’s convinced he’s losing his mind—until she appears in his apartment, pushes him to the floor and has wild, hot sex with him.

Shesmetet is an Egyptian goddess who lives in the immortal realm, but as soon as she sees Cayden, she knows that he’s her mate, the one who will make her complete. But for them to be together, Shesmetet will have to learn to live in the mortal realm…and Cayden will have to give up his life as he knows it.

Graphic designer Cayden Granger gets more than lunch with a friend when he meets up with his friend Neil. Both work at the Royal Ontario Museum, and so spend lots of time together. Neil is an Egyptologist, and Cayden is always trying to bring Neil out of his geek zone. But this time, it is Cayden who gets snared by ancient artifacts.

As he waits for Neil, his gaze falls on a beaded “girdle” and a woman’s image flashes into his mind: the most beautiful and alluring woman he has ever seen. Haunted by the vision, he returns to the museum to once again touch the girdle, to see if it was a fluke. Nothing happens then, imagine his shock when he returns home later to be greeted by the woman, who pushes him to the floor and has screaming hot sex with him. She is Shesmetet, an ancient Egyptian goddess, and Cayden is her mate.

Can she give up the immortal realm to be with Cayden? Will Cayden be able to accept the changes she offers to be with her for eternity? Can a goddess and a mortal make the relationship work?

This was a fun read. I love the character development in this story. When Shesmetet has to experience the modern mortal world, she is by turns confused, alarmed and frightened. Cayden’s car makes her extremely nervous at first, but the strength she shows in deciding she will face whatever she has to in order to stay by Cayden’s side. She is spirited and determined, and everything that Cayden wants in a woman.

Cayden goes through several stages in the journey to acceptance. At first there is disbelief-he thinks he is losing his mind. Then delight at the passion, and finally determination to do what it takes to keep his love. Of course the sex is delicious, and frequent, and I loved the learning process that Shesmetet experiences in the modern world.

This is a fun short read and lots of laughs are included, at no extra cost to the reader.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Spy Who Snagged Me by Dakota Cassidy

The Spy Who Snagged Me by Dakota Cassidy
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (249 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Cholla

Take a peek inside for super spies (okay, so there's some bumbling involved), super villains (think realllly evil), and one super ghost hunter (with gadgets and stuff, oh, my) plus some super, smokin' hot romance!

James Bondage: An abandoned warehouse, some fancy spy gadgets and two spies vying for the same spy coup. Oh, and a pair of handcuffs...

Blunder Woman: Deep in the heart of the city, evil lurks -- and it wishes Captain Daring dead. One woman alone can save him. Err, right after she graduates from Hero Bootcamp...

Jane's Blonde: When her sister Cindy goes missing, retired -- and newly divorced -- washed-up ex-international spy Jane Blonde gets a call from her old boss. But there's a catch. Alejandro Estes wants back into her bed. And her life.

Who Ya Gonna Call?: What's a guy to do when a hot babe has a ghost that needs busting? Yep -- you guessed it. Gustavo's going in and taking no prisoners... except maybe Devon Masters...

Who knew spies, superheroes and the like could be so amusing? Apparently Dakota Cassidy had a darn good idea. This collection of short and hysterical stories will change the way you look at them all while making you ever more curious about what they do during their down time. The Spy Who Snagged Me is a collection of short stories involving spies, superheroes and ghost busters and a whole lotta laughs. So, sit back and prepare to giggle.

James Bondage starts off this great collection of stories by Dakota Cassidy. When veteran agent Cindy Crisco discovers that the new agent on the block is after her job, she decides it’s time to step up her game by getting a jump on the next mission. Little does she expect that her competition has the same idea. This was a bang-up start to the collection. Fun, steamy and laugh a minute for sure. I love that Agent Crisco is an ex-beauty queen with cellulite. Not something you’d normally find in a spy. And her competition, James Bonde, is sexy, determined, and just as sassy as she is.

Following hot on the heels of James Bondage we get the longer and even steamier story, Blunder Woman. Kennedy is whisked away from her mediocre day job in the mailroom and coerced into being OOMPH’s next big thing. Unsure of herself and even less sure of her abilities, Kennedy has a long way to go before becoming Thunder Woman. I loved Kennedy’s personality – once she was convinced that this was what she needed to do, she refused to let anything or anyone – not even the hot and intimidating Captain Daring – stand in her way. She’s a master at picking herself up, pulling her act together, and pushing forward. It was also nice to have a semi-insecure hero as well in Captain Daring. He wasn’t completely incapacitated by his past, but he was hindered by it in a way, and that was refreshing for me. All too often, the heroine is the only one carrying any sort of baggage. This was definitely a step up in the steam-o-meter as well, as it was packed full of intense and sexy love scenes. Blunder Woman is a definite home run.

We return to No Stone Unturned, the agency that employs Cindy Crisco, in this third story, Jane’s Blonde. Cindy and her new partner, James Bonde, have gone missing and it’s up to Cindy’s sister, Jane, to find them. Jane is older and wiser than her sister, Cindy from the first story. She’s also a retired agent. So, when she returns for this one last mission to find her sister, she discovers a lot about herself that she’d much rather leave a mystery. And more than the simple fact that she’s gotten older and out of shape – she’s forced to confront the man that ran out on her seven years prior. Jane really has it together, recovering from her past mistakes and moving on with her life, even when that entails making more mistakes. Of the four stories, Jane’s was my favorite. It was a much more well-rounded story with a ton more action – both the regular and the steamy variety. I also loved the whole setting of a beauty pageant for the second half of the action. It made for a lot of fun and a different setting than I’m used to seeing.

We wrap up this fun collection of stories with Who Ya Gonna Call. Devon Masters has a problem – a kinky ghost with a penchant for sexy underwear is inhabiting her apartment. She calls the first ghost buster she finds in the yellow pages and invites him in… and invites more than she had planned. I think the best part of this story has to be Gus’ internal dialogue. He’s always talking to himself and it cracks me up. I guess if you have to talk yourself out of something you might as well be amusing while you do it, right? I also love the idea of a well-meaning, meddling ghost playing matchmaker. It’s a fun idea sure to instigate many many giggles and a whole lot of hot loving. Who Ya Gonna Call has simply the best ending of all four of these stories, it made me giggle and say, “Aww,” at the same time. And not only is it the perfect way to end a story, it’s a great end to the collection as well, bringing it to a happily satisfying end.

If you’re in the mood for some fun with your intensely gratifying love scenes, then Dakota Cassidy is the woman for you. And if you happen to want a little suspense and action to go along with all that steam and humor, then The Spy Who Snagged Me is the perfect collection. Filled with fun stories about spies, superheroes and more, it’s sure to bring a laugh to your life and a sigh to your lips. Absolutely one of the funniest, zaniest, and sexiest series of stories I’ve read in a long time. You can’t miss with this!

Impure by Viola Grace

Impure by Viola Grace
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (74 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Ardel Sak was strong, confident and a stranger to herself. Her mind wiped of all but her name, she is given to a Vimpyr by the name of Sorcal. At first he wants nothing more than her blood, but after fighting for possession of her, his appetites take a decidedly carnal turn. In his arms, she finds the answer to a question she didn't know she should ask. What happens when an Impure Vimpyr and an Impure Terran join forces to fight the new exotic weapons dealers? It is a tale written in flesh and blood.

Imagine not knowing anything about yourself other than your name. That is Ardel Sak’s dilemma. She is given to a Vimpyr named Sorcal after undergoing a mind wipe that removed her identity completely. Sorcal fights to keep her and, although his initial interest is in her blood, his interest soon becomes quite sexual.

But all is not as it would seem, and when an Alliance strike force raids Blood and Flesh, the most corrupt den of iniquity around, Ardel and Sorcal are taken aboard an Alliance warship. As the prisoners are segregated from each other, and Ardel’s true purpose is revealed, so is Sorcal’s true identity. Can an Impure Terran and an Impure Vimpyr make a perfect match? Will the attraction remain once Ardel regains her memory? And most importantly, what does it mean to be Impure?

Viola Grace’s Terran stories are marvelous. She has created characters rich in detail and with wonderful dimension.

Ardel holds the rank of Hunter with the Alliance, but can’t rise any higher due to her status as Impure. She is strong-willed, determined, smart and sarcastic. When they return her memories, she must take the painful with the good, in order to get her life back. She isn’t sure how she feels about Master Hunter Hallor Matias, except that he makes her body hum with anticipation whenever he is near. He can tell her what being an Impure means, and she genuinely wants to know.

Hallor recognizes in Ardel his perfect match, the one female who can complete him. He is handsome, strong and determined to win her to his side. Can he convince her that they belong together?

I love the interaction between the two main characters, and at times it looks like Ardel will let her mouth get her into trouble. I also liked that, just when it looked like everything would run smoothly, an earlier enemy makes a reappearance to cause more trouble.

I would love to see more in this world, and as prolific as Ms. Grace is, I look forward to many more trips into her special worlds. If you want adventure, romance and new worlds to conquer, this one is for you.

Betrayed by Rhianne Aile

Betrayed by Rhianne Aile
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (265 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by: Peppermint

Will Northland's brother, Tristan, went to America to break a centuries-old curse and found love in the most unexpected of places: within the heart of a werewolf. When Will goes to visit, he meets not only Tristan's mate, Benjamin, but their friend Raul, who receives a plea for help from his old werepack: his twin brother, Richard, has gone missing and is possibly under the influence of a witch.

Raul leaves to find his brother, and Will goes with him, offering to use his magic to both locate Richard and protect them all from the threat of dark magic. But when they find him, a totally unexpected passion explodes between Richard and Will, stunning them both. Suddenly, discovering who betrayed Raul and Richard isn't the only challenge. It's now a struggle to solve the mystery so Will can claim Richard's heart just as the wolf has claimed Will as his mate.

Not only did I fall in love with Will and Richard I also fell in love with all of the supporting characters as well. One of the reason I enjoy reading longer stories is because you get to learn so much more about not only the main couple but also the people surrounding them. I just hope the author continues to add more books to this series since she has so many great characters she can give stories of their own. There is not one character in this book that I would not like to see more of.

The one thing I loved about majority of the characters was the fact that they were so caring and dedicated to one another. Because of most of them are werewolves they had a loyalty to not only their mate but also their pack. I also love a strong male character and this story was oozing with them.

I think the entire plot was brilliant. I would have liked to understand more about Sienna’s story and why she did the things she did, but this is a sequel so I have a feeling a lot of what I was missing may have been in the first story. The relationship between Will and Richard is just amazing from beginning to end. I think the best part of the relationship was the paradox between Richards’s human side and his wolf side. I found it interesting that, even though Sienna was able to control Richard’s human side, no one could control his wolf -- a wolf who knew that Will was his mate and would do anything to be with him.

Needless to say I will definitely be going back to read Cursed, the first story in this series, and I truly hope the author will write more books in this series. If so, I'll be first in line for my copy!