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Friday, August 6, 2010

Carnal Ecstasy by Lissa Matthews

Carnal Ecstasy by Lissa Matthews
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (67 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 Cherries
Reviewed by Sweet Pea

The minute Carrie meets tattooed, bad-boy bartender Dallon, her decision is made. He’s the one, her ticket to freedom and a new, independent life. She’s tired of dictates and zero dates and following the path laid out before her by her well-meaning-but-completely-out-of touch-with-her-reality religious parents.

Dallon sees the buttoned-up, full-of-curves woman outside the grocery store and feels the flames of hell licking at his heels. When she asks him for directions to the large, nearby university where she’s starting work, his gut-twisting lust for her doesn’t diminish, but those flames start to singe his tough-as-nails hide.

With Dallon’s promise of not sleeping with anyone associated with the university his father is the dean of about to go up in smoke, Carrie takes the first exit off the Heavenly Highway straight onto Sin Street. She wants Dallon to teach her all the things a good girl should never know, and she won’t take Hell no for an answer.

This book has the most interesting usage of bar utensils I have ever seen! Carrie is a 30-year-old sheltered woman who is looking to break loose. No longer wishing to live in her parents' forced lifestyle, she searches out Dallon, a tattooed bar owner. I would love to see the artwork for some of the tattoos on his body! But Dallon is far from who she thought he was. Once living the same lifestyle, he too escaped and helps Carrie along the way.

I fell in love with all the characters in this book. I personally have never led a sheltered life, but this author easily put me in the shoes of those who have. Carrie stuck her neck out even when she didn’t know the consequences, and that made her stronger in my eyes. It takes a lot of guts to leave a job without another one lined up. I admired her for strength and it made the story even that more enjoyable.

Dallon uses some pretty interesting things on innocent Carrie and she loves it. I have never read a story where a beer bottle is used in quite that way. It will definitely make me blush when I look at a Corona bottle from now on.

The fireworks between these two was definitely hot. I would highly recommend this book. Dallon was one bad boy I could not get enough of.

Crazed Hearts by Shiloh Walker

Crazed Hearts (Grimm Circle Book 3) by Shiloh Walker
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (102 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

He’s no fairy-tale prince. But he just may be the hero she needs.

Grimm’s Circle, Book 3

Ren has always danced along the fine line between being a little bit crazy and being overcome by a darkness that’s haunted him since his mortal days. As an empath, he prefers to live far from people who would leak their emotions all over him, so he’s not expecting the woman who drives right into the heart of his wood. She has a cursed book with her and demons hot on her heels. Even more surprising are her abilities and the reaction Ren has to her.

Aileas is on the run. She just isn’t certain if she’s running from something real or imagined. One thing is for sure, her brother is dead and she’s certain the book she found has something to do with his death. She really starts to doubt her sanity when she meets a hot but somewhat crazed man in the middle of nowhere.

He calls himself Ren, and although he doesn’t seem to be out to hurt her, he definitely seems to want something. She just doesn’t understand what. She does know what she wants though. She wants him, and the shadows and darkness she glimpses inside him don’t matter. At least, right up until he claims to be a guardian angel.
And she thought she was going crazy.

Let me say right off that Shiloh Walker’s Grimm series is not your childhood fairy tale kingdom. The world of the Grimm is a dark one, and the characters are all edgy and well defined.

I enjoyed this story, although it is not all sweetness and light. I enjoyed seeing all of the characters from the previous books unite against a common enemy here.

But make no mistake about it; this is definitely Ren’s story. I love Ren, and as always with the Grimm series, I was guessing along the way as to who his character was supposed to be. Ren is a wonderful character; dark, brooding, but sensual and sexy as well. He is a man who has suffered and hurt, and he sees things too clearly at times. I love that the animals in his woods are his friends, so he never is really alone.

Aileas is a complex character as well. An empath like Ren, she thinks she shouldn’t trust him, but knows deep inside he will not hurt her. She doesn’t understand what is happening, but she faces it all with spirit and sometimes a bit of sarcasm. When these two let down their shields and interact honestly with each other, the sparks fly and they are combustible. The inevitable occurs, and neither is prepared. The battle scene is absolutely necessary to the plot, and as a side story, we see a side of Will, the leader or boss of the Grimm, which he usually keeps hidden.

There are several very big surprises in this one, and I refuse to spoil your reading fun, other than to say Ren finally gets the happy ever after he deserves. But not the one I expected at all. I give it 4.5 cherries.

Dragon Mine by Joyee Flynn

Dragon Mine (North American Dragon Series) by Joyee Flynn
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (102 pgs)
Other: M/M, M/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Peppermint

Gabriel Panlong has seen a lot over the centuries but nothing prepares him for the sight of two gorgeous men having sex up against an alley wall in broad daylight. Instantly turned on by the men and the scene before him, he feels guilty for watching such an intimate act. Gabriel walks away, only to hear the sounds of a struggle and smell the sweet scent of blood.

Hurrying back, Gabriel hopes the two little hot men he saw are okay. Instead he walks into five large men beating the two men he longed to join. Dealing with his mounting desire is the least of Gabriel's problems. Learning that Neil and Ryan were part of an underground slavering and the abuse they suffered, it's no wonder they don't trust Gabriel. But can he help heal them as they heal him of centuries of loneliness?

This is Joyee Flynn’s first solo book and let me tell you she hit the ground running! I started reading this story and the next thing I knew, I was done it had me so enthralled.

Neil and Ryan thought they had lucked out by finding each other. They both suffered not only traumatic childhoods but everything about their lives was rough until they meet Gabriel. That does not mean Gabriel did not need them as much as they needed him. Gabriel had lived a life of solitude for a long time. Humans usually feared him since he was a dragon shifter and either ran for cover or tried to figure out a way to kill him. He was willing to take care of all of Ryan and Neil’s needs just so he would no longer be lonely.

This was definitely a unique story. There was an extremely creative idea on the authors’ part that had me re-reading to make sure I'd read it correctly. Very interesting and some things you won’t be able to find anywhere else other than a fictional story.

While the antagonist conflict did add something to the story I would have liked to have seen more scenes that included the actual bad guys. The climax and the resolution in regards to this antagonist directly were just too close together. They did however play a large part in who Neil and Ryan were. Both were not only forced into slavery, but at extremely young ages. This is what created many of their insecurities with not only themselves, but others as well.

The relationship between these three men developed fairly quickly. Ryan and Neil had already had an established relationship and they were willing to include Gabriel almost immediately. They did however, have a hard time accepting that Gabriel could really care about them. The pace of these relationships were written extremely well. Ryan and Neil’s background enabled me, as a reader, to understand why the relationship developed at the rate it did. This story was also a rollercoaster of sweet and sexy. One second the characters melted your heart and the next they sent your libido somersaulting.

Now to the hot parts, and let me tell you there were a lot. These guys had sex in any and every way imaginable. There was sex around every corner and sometimes you only made it half way around the corner before the sex began. For a girl like me, who loves her stories nice and dirty, it was lovely. All three men were capable of multiple orgasms and they sure did utilize their abilities and stamina. They couldn’t seem to get enough of each other and I, along with any other reader, will surely understand why.

Seeing as though this is the first installment of this series I am expecting big things from this author and I am sure she will not disappoint.

I Thought It Was You by Shiloh Walker

I Thought It Was You by Shiloh Walker
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (35 pgs)
Other: Ménage, M/F/M
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Grimm’s Circle, Book 2.5

The events of this free short story take place between the events of No Prince Charming and Ren’s story, Crazed Hearts. It turns out both Ren and Elle had some loose ends they needed to tie up…and that’s what this story is about. It’s not Ren’s happy ever after. That’s in Crazed Hearts.

The Grimm: a group of guardian angels here to protect mankind from the demons of the netherworld. Many are the basis for what the Brothers Grimm later recorded as fictional tales, but they actually lived, if not quite the way they were portrayed. These are not bright and shiny angels, they are darker and trained to do what needs doing in times of crisis. These are not your childhood fairy tales: they are much more fun.

Shiloh Walker has created a dark world where characters from our favorite tales are not quite what they seem. This short story is a bridge of sorts: it is a way for Elle (from No Prince Charming, book two of the Grimm series) to tie up loose ends and say her own goodbye to Ren and have her happy ever after with Michael. But her goodbye is one very hot ménage and worth the brief time it takes to read it. Ren is such a hot hero, but his fate is yet to be determined. Elle and Michael belong together, and this brings closure to all concerned.

If you like your fairy tales a bit dark, the Grimm series is for you, and this snippet of a short story is a great lead in to the next book in the series: Ren’s story. But I recommend that you get his along with the book that follows, for a fantastic reading experience.

Feral Cravings by Jenika Snow

Feral Cravings by Jenika Snow
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (45 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Two shape-shifting brothers plus the one woman they both want, equals one night of erotic magic.

Alice has a deep, dark secret. When she agrees to stay the weekend with her friend Halle, Alice has no idea what the night really has in store for her. She is instantly drawn to Killian, but what she doesn’t know is that he has a dark secret of his own, a secret that will forever change their lives.

Mates aren’t chosen, they’re destined.

Cryptic and final statement, isn’t it? For the Luecross wolves, it’s not up for debate. But you know you want to read more, so grab a copy of Feral Cravings.

This is my first foray into the work of Jenika Snow, but it won’t be the last. I love the world she creates for the wolves, seamlessly putting them into society. I felt like I was right there at the lodge and wanted to nab a Killian or Kale for myself. Hey, I’m not big into shifters, but if they look like these two... I’m game.

One thing that makes a story good for me is when I’m emotionally invested in it. Feral Cravings doesn’t disappoint. Alice’s almost petulant attitude grated on me, but it also made me want to root for Killian to get under her skin. I wanted to see them get the happily ever after they deserved.

Killian and Kale are a lethal combo. Hot, hulking shifters ready and willing to make her scream. What more could a girl ask for?

There are a bunch of twists and turns in this story that added to the fun factor. I didn’t see some of the things coming and loved it. It wasn’t what I expected — it was more. Plus, the sex scenes are fan worthy. Yes, Alice gives in to her cravings for Killian a bit quick, but while I read, I did need a fan and a stiff drink to chill the temperature.

If you want a story with hot guys, a girl with attitude, and lots of scorching sex, then you need to read Feral Cravings. I give this story 4.5 cherries.

Dance for Three by Berengaria Brown

Dance for Three by Berengaria Brown
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (42 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/M/F, Ménage, Anal Play, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 cherries
Review by Tiger Lily

Talitha has separated from her unloving ex and attends line dancing classes to lose weight and acquire social skills. Jared and Nathan, loving partners, are there so Jared can learn to dance before his cousin’s wedding. When the men invite Talitha to join them for a sexy romp, what girl could resist these two hot, hard guys? The sex is scorching and the trio continues to dance not just at class…but also between the sheets.

She’s ready to get out of her staid world and try something new — line dancing! They need to learn a few smooth steps for his cousin’s wedding. What are they learning? Line dancing! Now put two hunky men in line with a slightly uncertain woman and you have the makings of a hot time. You have to go read Dance for Three to learn more!

I liked the concept of this story. She’s not what pop culture considers thin and beautiful. She’s what the rest of us call normal and healthy. Add in the two male elements — a pair of gay men who don’t need a woman in the relationship but can’t seem to keep their hands off her and it makes for a fun, breezy read.

Jared and Nathan were my favorite characters because they never once gave up in convincing Talitha to join them, be it for drinks, a vacation, or a romp between the sheets. Smooth operators your names are Nathan and Jared. Plus, they have some great lines that made me laugh. The scenes where they’re together and showing their affections for each other were simply divine as well. Gives me shivers thinking about it.

Talitha isn’t what I expected and she took some time to grow on me. She’s got enough backbone to put herself out there when it comes to dancing, but not men. I don’t think this is a product of her low self esteem as much as a product of the culture we live in. And that’s where the reader can relate. No one is perfect no matter how much we yearn to be. The idea that men who personify sex on a stick would be interested in her is tough to deal with — even if it’s yummy. I loved how she grew through the story and enjoyed following her on her journey to understand herself.

If you want a beach read that will leave you a bit hot and bothered, then you need to read Dance for Three. I give it 4 cherries.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Worth the Risk by Savannah Stuart

Worth the Risk (Book 2 of the Miami Scorcher Series)by Savannah Stuart
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (108 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Peppermint

Worth the Risk, book two in the Miami Scorcher series, can be read as a stand-alone.

Marisol has one goal in life—kill the man who murdered her pack. But when she meets alpha werewolf Stephan and realizes he’s her mate, all her carefully laid plans dissipate in seconds. By all accounts, she should hate Stephan and everything he stands for. Unfortunately, every time the dominating wolf gets close, she can’t deny her growing attraction for the last man in the world she expected to want.

Undercover DEA agent Stephan is about to make the biggest bust of his career, but everything that can go wrong does. He never expected to discover his mate while on the job. She saves his life and his cover when he almost shifts in the middle of a crowded Miami nightclub, but that doesn’t mean he trusts her. The clock is ticking and if he doesn’t figure out what secrets the sexy vixen is keeping from him, he might lose his job—and his life.

Author Savannah Stuart has such a gift with characterization and plot I looked for the third installment of this series as soon as I read the last word of this story.

The fact that these characters were so flawed made them that much more believable. Stephan could not tell or disclose to Marisol who he really was since he was deep undercover and didn’t know if she was an enemy. Marisol had seen Stephan as a means to an end in her mission to avenge her family’s deaths. You would think since their relationship was founded on deceit it would be destined to go bad, but they could not stop themselves from caring for one another, which gave them a glimpse of hope.

These werewolves were not just wolves in name. In many werewolf stories the author does not fully embrace the wolf within the characters. In this story the author clearly did her homework on wolf behavior and tried to incorporate as much of her research and knowledge into the story. I especially think this was clear in the fact that Marisol had to submit to Stephan during their bonding. I thought this was a great touch and made the werewolves a little more plausible.

The supporting cast of this story was nothing to be ignored. Whether it was Stephan’s brothers, or Paz, the secondary characters in this story popped as much as the main characters. One thing I do have to say is that the author should have mentioned somewhere that this is a sequel. As a reader I was eventually able to pick it up, especially since I am a serial series reader. There are a few conversations involving the secondary characters, mainly Stephan’s family, that had little inside comments based on the previous story. I did not read the previous story so these few comments didn’t necessarily make sense to me, but this story still stood on its own. I did not feel as if I was missing any of the plot or story because I had not read the previous one. It did however leave me feeling like I needed to go back and read the previous story for pure enjoyment, which I am sure the author will be happy to hear.

One scene that I felt I had to mention in my review is the bathroom scene. It had the right amount of danger, anger and eroticism. If I had to rate angry sex scenes in all of the stories I have read, this is number one. Stephan was angry at Marisol for lying to him, yet he still knew he had to protect her. This emotional combination created a wild aphrodisiac which even I felt. The emotions ran so high I thought I was a voyeur hiding in one of the bathroom stalls watching the scene play out in front of me.

Stories that have multiple antagonist/conflicts have a little more richness to them that many times can distinguish a good story from a great story. In real life there is not usually one individual villain so why should their only be one in a book. I felt this story was great and I gave it 5 cherries.

Acts of Passion by Sedonia Guillone

Acts of Passion by Sedonia Guillone
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (135 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Jack Cade is skeptical of the new criminal profiler he’s using. Michael seems so absent-minded and too neurotic to be effective. But he is brilliant and hot and Cade finds himself falling hard and fast, both in lust and in love. The attraction is mutual, although Michael’s past demons haunt him, keeping him from getting too close. Together, they begin to unravel Michael’s emotional knots even as they close in on a killer, another brilliant, wily person whose sights are now set on Michael.

When cop Jack meets profiler Michael, sparks fly with hot results.

A murder that appears as a suicide leaves homicide detective Jack confused and calling in expert profiler Michael. Their chemistry is immediate and they aren’t afraid to act on it. Yet getting hot and heavy isn’t their only goal as the murderer is at large and untangling the complicated network of clues to find their identity puts one of the men in grave danger.

Acts of Passion is an interesting story and one that has unique details and solid research. Here the Japanese culture is well researched and included in a variety of details. The interesting way the author has woven all the clues and information feels natural and intriguing, rather than boring or lecturing. This is a fine line when adding in so many unfamiliar elements but one here that works pretty well. In fact the plot regarding the killer and the police work to catch them is the most interesting part of the book. The killer is obvious as soon as they are introduced and there are several coincidences that will force the reader to suspend disbelief and just go with the story. If you can though, it’s interesting and the cultural aspects are compelling to read.

The characters themselves are fully three-dimensional and well-crafted. The chemistry and sex scenes between Jack and Michael make a nice pace and keep the erotic content high, as expected of the publisher, without overwhelming the book. There’s a nice balance of plot, characterization, and sex that works well considering the short length of the book.

The one downside to this is that Michael spends the entire book hung up on an ex that he broke up with 12 years ago. He calls out his ex’s name in his sleep, frequently moons over the ex, and basically shows no signs of ever moving on despite the lengthy time gap and the fact the ex has certainly moved on. This elephant in the room definitely hinders the romance of Michael and Jack, which readers are supposed to believe magically is okay at the end, and this abrupt, quick ending left me dissatisfied.

However, except for this, the story is interesting and well written. So, if you’re looking for something different and a fascinating glimpse into another culture, I’d still easily recommend this story.

Stray by Ash Penn

Stray by Ash Penn
Publisher: Loose Id, LLC
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (191 pgs)
Other: M/M, Multiple Partners, Anal Play
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Rosemary

Bar worker and serial slut Terry Seymour is hardly charm personified when it comes to romance. In fact, he doesn’t believe in love at all despite his latent desire for his best friend of fourteen years, builder Marc Pierce.

Dan Hutchinson is a young, homeless man living in a derelict house Marc’s halfway to renovating. When Marc announces Dan’s moving in for a while, Terry is understandably miffed. After all, it hasn’t been that long since Marc spilt with his boyfriend of a year, so why is he intent on bringing a total stranger into their home?

It seems to Terry there’s more to this arrangement than meets the eye. Marc must be providing Dan with food and lodgings in exchange for sex. And with the lusty vibes Dan sends his way, it’s not long before Terry succumbs to the boy’s talents between the sheets. But carrying on with Dan behind his best friend’s back is not easy. Or desirable. And when Terry’s plans to oust Dan fail, he’s the one who finds himself out in the cold.

Stray is the compelling journey of three men who discover that love can help them heal the wounds of their past. It is, at times, difficult to like Terry, Marc, and Dan, but it is impossible to not be touched by their struggles to overcome the dysfunction in their lives.

Terry Seymour and Marc Pierce have been friends since their early teenage years, and they are living together as platonic roommates. Terry has been in love with Marc since they were teenagers, and he is hoping now Marc is free that their relationship might become more serious than friendship. Marc is dealing with the dual loss of his brother and his lover when he meets Dan and brings him home. Terry promptly sees Marc’s interest in Dan, and he tries everything possible to remove him from their lives.

Stray is written in first person from Terry’s perspective but it is very difficult to glean many insights into his character. In Terry’s case, actions speak louder than words or thoughts. While he has frequent one night stands, he has never had a serious relationship. Sex is about pleasure, not love or affection. I was convinced he had no redeeming traits whatsoever, but when tested, he ultimately rose to the occasion, and his good qualities began to shine through.

Dan is younger than Marc and Terry, and he is grappling with parent issues. He is attracted to Terry from their first meeting, and he pursues him relentlessly. Terry uses his pursuit to his advantage in trying to oust Dan from their home. It is amazing to see Dan transform himself from needy and clingy to the strong man who helps Terry find his way when his world is turned upside down.

Surprisingly enough, Marc plays a rather minor role in all of this even if it is his actions that set everything in motion. In spite of all the turmoil going on, he is a rather likeable and sympathetic player in the novel.

Stray takes some interesting twists and turns, and I honestly had no idea how the novel would end. Ms. Penn had me hooked, and I could not wait to find out what she had in store for Terry, Dan, and Marc. I absolutely loved their emotional growth, and Ms. Penn was spot on with the ending of the book.

Ash Penn has written a powerful first novel. Stray is not always an easy read, but the outstanding ending is so emotionally satisfying that you will be glad you read it. I am definitely looking forward to Ms. Penn’s next book.

The Scandalous Tale of Agnes Biggenbotten by Christopher Newman

The Scandalous Tale of Agnes Biggenbotten by Christopher Newman
Publisher: Eternal Press
Length: Short Story (101 pgs)
Genre: Historical
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Bittersweet

A Journey of Innocence, Love, Tragedy and Justice—and an ample derriere.

Toiling away at Horseweed’s Tavern is Agnes Biggenbotten, whose name is more like a description. The poor thing, innocent as the day is long, is totally unaware of the stir she causes while she goes about her chores. The men-folk crowd into the pub every night to be mesmerized by her famous and—well—plump attribute. But alas, one man cannot simply watch the show and soon attempts to seduce the naïve Agnes. His death is discovered by a minister already convinced of her guilt, due to her absence in his church, and soon our heroine is accused of witchcraft, a crime she did not commit.

If you’re looking for wild, ardent, passionate sex, then The Scandalous Tale of Agnes Biggenbotten is not the book for you. If, however, you are in the mood to read something hilarious, sweet, and sensual, with moments of sadness, tenderness, tragedy, anger, danger… then you must definitely read The Scandalous Tale of Agnes Biggenbotten.

Original from beginning to end, the tale is told in a sort of troubadour style that reminded me of the old English “Canterbury Tales”. Structured as if the narrator was speaking to the reader, various lessons are taught.

The first one is on the importance of education. People with the proper instruments can become much more than what initially meets the eye.

Another lesson that the narrator seems to highlight is that though the characters go throughout many difficulties in life, true love can be found, maybe even more than once.

The main character, Agnes is definitely not a perfect protagonist. She’s so naïve at first that it’s annoyingly not credible. However, this innocence along with the narrator’s outrageous commentaries is a primordial part of what makes the story so special.

My laughter did not die down and my affection for Agnes grew as she acquired her education. An education versed not only in lovemaking, but also in literature, music, court etiquette, and of course, true love.

The Scandalous Tale of Agnes Biggenbotten is a delightful and entertaining read for any moment.

A Risk Worth Taking by Carolyn LeVine Topol

A Risk Worth Taking by Carolyn LeVine Topol
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (87 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Rosemary

After meeting at a health club and starting a relationship, Jack Randall and Rick Monroe face big challenges as they forge a future together. Rick is in the process of divorcing his resentful wife and must decide when to come out so he and Jack can enjoy a complete and honest relationship, and Jack needs to learn to be truthful with Rick, no matter what the consequences may bring. It will mean a lot of compromise, life changes, and some heartbreak, but Rick and Jack are determined to be together, despite the risks to their personal and professional lives.

Jack Randall and Rick Monroe are about to discover if their fragile newfound relationship is up for the challenges ahead of them. Will the obstacles in their path bring them closer together or tear them apart?

A Risk Worth Taking by Carolyn LeVine Topol picks up the morning after Healthy Obsession ends. Jack and Rick are committed to one another but both have doubts about the other. Jack is worried that Rick is not ready to come out of the closet and risk losing his kids while Rick is afraid that Jack is not prepared to leave his playboy past behind him.

Ms. Topol does not hesitate to tackle some serious issues in A Risk Worth Taking. The path she sets for Jack and Rick is strewn with obstacles to overcome, but I like how she manages to use every opportunity to bring them closer together. Jack and Rick fall in love at first sight, but then Ms. Topol gives enough of a back story to make their story completely believable. The friendship between Jack, Steve, and Tom, Steve’s husband, is so much fun to read about, and I love how they open their arms to welcome Rick into the fold. Rick doesn’t hesitate to reciprocate and bring Jack, Steve, and Tom into his world as well.

A Risk Worth Taking is a superb conclusion to the beginning of Jack and Rick’s new-found relationship. Ms. Topol neatly wraps up A Risk Worth Taking with a heart-warming happily ever after ending that will make you believe in the power of love at first sight.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Escape the Night by Desiree Holt

Escape the Night by Desiree Holt
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (82 pgs)
Other: M/F, Anal Play
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Sweet Pea

When Anya Kane escaped the darkness Virgil Branson was selling her into, she sought help from her boss, Gus D’Amato, a hot and hunky FBI agent. Six months later she is out of his office and in his bed, enjoying the most erotic sex imaginable and forging a bond with the man who makes every muscle in her body quiver. But things go dramatically wrong, and between bouts of thermonuclear sex that set them both on fire, Gus finds himself struggling to keep them both safe.

FBI investigators never sounded so good. Anya Kane is a shy woman with almost no family and friends. Those she does have she trusts, almost to much. After a bad experience with a man who seemed sweet on the outside but was dark on the inside, she is leery of any man. Gus was the only one she could turn to and as it turns out the best thing for her. Gus is an FBI agent who takes his job seriously. While working on a case he couldn’t quite get settled, his key witness falls into his lap. And Gus does everything and anything to keep this amazing woman alive and in his life. Even if it means calling upon the family he hasn’t talked to in years.

This was a great fast paced story, filled with steaming sex scenes and even better plot lines. I really loved Anya because she was a strong woman who made sure that she took care of not only herself but her friends as well. It takes some serious courage to stand up in court against someone who has done a lot of very bad things.

My favorite part had to be when they reunited with Gus’s family and how welcome they made Anya after such a short time. I loved how Desiree showed love by actions and not just the words coming out. So often I read a story about love but they don’t show the actual emotions behind it thinking “I love you” is enough. And the sex scenes in this book are hot enough you might need to sit in front of a fan or take a cold shower. This is the first of Ms. Holt's work that I have ever read but definitely not my last. Great Job. Keep the stories coming because I just can’t get enough!