Beginning January 1, 2013

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Pure Silk by Maggi Sherwin

Pure Silk by Maggi Sherwin
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (70 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Stephanotis

How many Mr Wrongs does a girl have to go through to find Mr Right?

Documentary film maker Ellie Tobin has lost count, and in desperation has embarked on a Friends-with-Benefits relationship with animal welfare investigator Greg Hudson. He is not really her type, but he is such an imaginative sexual partner that she wonders if she will ever be able to give him up.

Greg knows exactly what he wants – the delightfully impulsive Ellie – but can he persuade her that she has been looking for love in all the wrong places, and that the man she thinks is Mr Wrong is actually her Mr Right?

Greg Hudson is an animal welfare investigator. Ellie Tobin is a documentary film maker who's working at the Humane Society to get a feel for what happens there, and to film footage. It's a short-term assignment. Besides being current 'co-workers' Greg and Ellie are also neighbors who one day decided to enter into a friends with benefits contract. Hot adventurous sex without commitment. They both know and accept that one day soon it will come to an end when Ellie moves on to her next documentary. Ellie's been with one too many love 'em and leave 'em guys. Greg's divorced but can they just be strictly friends with benefits? Or is something beyond their control at work here?

Let me start by saying that the title of this story should have been Pure Delight. It's a short story, just 70 pages and Ms. Sherwin wastes no time in getting you involved in the lives of these two characters. It opens with some very hot sex scenes and has you wondering who these two people actually are and how they got to this point in their lives. The ending of chapter one is great and draws you into the rest of the story. I loved both these characters.

As for the setting in the Humane Society - well, who doesn't love reading about people saving animals? You know these two people are perfect for each other and as you read the story you do find yourself on edge about how Ellie's going to overcome her fear of getting involved again. It has that wonderful push/pull feel that gets me hooked every time. While reading it I heard myself saying, "Greg's not the type of guy to hurt you, just go for it, Ellie."

The dialogue and how the backstory was woven into this short read were also handled very well. This is a sexy story with lots of substance, charming characters and one I recommend to you. And I'll be looking out for more of Maggi Sherwin's stories.

One Wicked Night by Heather Boyd

One Wicked Night by Heather Boyd
Publisher: Noble Romance
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (29 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Stephanotis

Benedict Abernathy, an untitled and wealthy gentleman visiting London, is heartily sick of his celibate existence. Determined to leave his shattered heart behind and move on with his life, he accepts an invitation for a night of debauchery in the arms of London’s infamous courtesan, Lottie Townsend.

. . . . she will indulge his every desire.

Lady Charlotte Goodchild has fallen far from privilege and longs for one night of pleasure with the man she loves. But Benedict must be spared the truth of her ruin at all costs. Posing as Lottie Townsend, a notoriously discriminating courtesan and old friend, she disguises her identity and invites Benedict to share the night of passion that fate denied them.

Benedict Abernathy is tired of being celibate and eagerly accepts an invitation for a night of pleasure with one of London's infamous courtesans, Lottie Townsend. However, it's not Lottie who attends to his needs, but her friend Lady Charlotte Goodchild who wants to give him the night of passion that fate denied them.

The author does a great job describing Lottie's house and its lavish furnishings. It's one of the pleasures of reading a Regency romance, and Ms. Boyd didn't disappoint. I hadn't realized this story was just 29 pages and my concern was how the author would handle this storyline in such a short time. She does so by drawing us right into the story and introducing the two characters in a vivid enough way we feel we've been reading about them for at least a couple of chapters.

By its plot description you know this is going to be a hot, sexy read - so the scene leading up to the first time they make love is very nicely drawn out. For me what added to the tension was knowing it's Charlotte and not Lottie and that these two people have a history. The dialogue is very natural sounding, especially for the period. They're likable characters, and secondary ones are used well in such a short story. Ms. Boyd packs lots of plot into these 29 pages. If you like a short, sexy Regency romp, or you're looking for a story that you can read in less than 30 minutes, I recommend this one.

Power Unleashed by Savannah Stuart

Power Unleashed (Miami Scorcher Book 3) by Savannah Stuart
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (104 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Peppermint

Paz has a big secret that could harm her new pack and give The Council ammunition to kill her. When The Council sends their legendary enforcer to hunt a rogue werewolf, Paz makes a shocking discovery about the one man she’s supposed to be avoiding. He’s her mate and she’s terrified he’ll uncover her secret.

As enforcer and one of the oldest living werewolves on the planet, Adam never expected to meet his mate while on the job, but now that he’s found her, he won’t let her go. Paz denies their connection but can’t escape the sizzling heat between them. No matter what it takes, Adam plans to uncover the truth and bond her to him forever.

The scary enforcer is really a 5’ 10” teddy bear. While everyone seemed to be worried about what Adam had in store for Paz, what they had not expected was that he would want to make sweet passionate love to her. He was shocked, especially since he hadn’t made love to a woman in decades, but by his body's reaction all the parts still worked perfectly. What he really need to do was to turn his libido off so that he could do his job as the enforcer of the counsel, but that wass easier said than done.

If Paz had not shown her strength in the previous story, Worth the Risk, she certainly proved it in this story. Even when she was afraid of what the enforcer would do to her she was prepared to do what she could to protect those she has come to care for. This is evident when she deals with Adam in regards to Shea. It is also obvious in the way she seems to always want to protect her younger sister, even when her sister is trying to do the same for her.

I enjoyed that Adam and Paz both had a part of them they had not admitted, and could not admit to. Paz thought that her secret would bring death to not only herself, but also the pack that had taken her in. What she had not realized was that Adam harbored a similar secret. They both had very similar personalities, which allowed them to keep their secrets for so long. They both clearly had very strong willpower and I think it really helped them care for each other.

Adam’s jealous streak when it came to Richard was extremely amusing. As a reader I could see just as well as Adam had that Richard and Paz had a special relationship. Although it was not sexual, Richard cared for Paz just as much as his family. I think because Adam was this man that everyone feared it was fun to see him thrown off balance by his jealousy. It made you see his human side and see his flaws as well as his strengths.

The antagonistic conflict was a carryover from the previous story. I do think it worked because I had watched it unfold in the previous story, so I strongly recommend you read that prior to reading this story.

You will not regret reading the previous story or this one. I would recommend it to anyone who loves a great shifter story.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pack of Lies by Vanessa Vaughn

Pack of Lies by Vanessa Vaughn
Publisher: Ravenous Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (184 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/M, F/M/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Anal Play, Forced Seduction
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

When Jack is attacked by a powerful werewolf one moonlit night, his world is forever changed.

Marcus is that wolf, the strong leader of his pack, who never imagined a mere mortal could ever escape him, much less ever become one of his kind. And yet, as time passes, he can't deny the handsome human is slowly beginning to change.

No longer the civilized architect he used to be, Jack feels a new power coalescing inside of him. He barely even recognizes himself as he becomes more sexual, more impulsive, more wild in every way.

But as the bite transforms him, it also binds he and his attacker together forever. The two share a powerful unbreakable link, no matter how forcefully they may each try to deny it. Marcus is already hiding secrets from the other wolves, and his position as Alpha is threatened. Could Jack be the new ally Marcus needs to set things right, or will their desire for one another draw them away from all they know and alter the course of their lives forever?

This is the werewolf story to read if you are looking for grit, dark desires and a rough and tumble type of plot.

This book follows Marcus and Jack. Chapters take turns being in first person POV for each of them. I got to see that being the Alpha for Marcus is hard and he tries to enforce rules that were in place before him. He doesn’t like it but it’s all he’s known. Those very same rules reinforce his loneliness and I felt it wasn’t fair at all. Why should a man be denied love just because he doesn’t follow the status quo? Because I think they’d shred and eat the poor guy, alpha or no. How does a man fight against that?

Jack is a human that gets bitten. He has to face losing who he was and try to fit into Marcus’s world. The thing is Jack has a lot more integrity and feelings than Marcus is used to. Jack is a man who always wanted to please a lover and this new ferocious passion within him threatens that consideration. He wants to survive because, in turning werewolf, he’s found something special to fight for. He has a lot to learn and I felt bad for him too. Once he got over his initial denial stage, he was willing to try. It takes a lot of courage to do that.

The conflict isn’t only about facing the change going from human to something other. It’s about betrayals and about staying true to oneself. It’s also about standing up for what’s right and being aware of someone else’s feelings and then sticking up for them, no matter the price. It’s a bad turn of events when a person Jack thought he could count on ended up not being what he thought. It was not only a shock for him but me too. I never saw that coming and it saddened me. It made for great drama and it packed a powerful punch but I still felt bad for Jack. Poor guy.

The secondary characters are, as far as I’m concerned, all jerks. I think they believe they are superior and righteous and therefore above humans. I personally believe all of them should become area rugs. I didn’t like them, I think they were all bad guys and I’m amazed Marcus had the ability to keep any form of decency or ability to recognize a higher moral plane after being with them as long as he had. It made me respect Marcus’ character more.

The romance between Marcus and Jack is rough, passionate and very hot. There are some other combinations of sex earlier on that read like just what they are, lustful primal urges with no emotional connection. It’s not that way with Marcus and Jack and that’s why it works so well. There is a clear delineation between the two. The author did an excellent job of that.

On the whole this book was intense. Pack of Lies is not for a reader looking for lighthearted fluff. It’s dark; it’s violent and has a very real feel to it. I liked Marcus and Jack and although the ending has them together, I have a feeling it won’t be an easy road. I hope Ms. Vaughn gives me a chance to revisit these two guys again because I want to read another installment with the hopes that there will be more reasons for both Marcus and Jack to smile. In this book, they’ve earned it. Now I want to see it. The writing was done well enough for me to care. I believe other readers would feel the same and I recommend reading it to find out.

Her Two Dads by Ariel Tachna

Her Two Dads by Ariel Tachna
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (192 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Sweet Pea

Srikkanth Bhattacharya is a quintessential gay bachelor and perfectly happy about it—until he gets a call from the local hospital telling him his best friend died in childbirth. Sri had agreed to provide the sperm to make Jill's dream of motherhood come true, but he'd never expected to have to make decisions for a baby girl. He intends to place her with an adoptive family, but once he sees her, Sri can’t bring himself to do it, so now he’s struggling to learn how to deal with a newborn.

His housemate and friend, Jaime Frias, volunteers to help, never guessing he’ll fall in love with both the baby and Sri. Everything seems perfect until a visit from Social Services sends Sri into a tailspin, feeling like he has to choose between his daughter and a relationship with the man he’s coming to love.

Srikkanth Bhattacharya is a gay man living in a straight world, trying to make his way. But one phone call from a social worker turns his world upside down. Now not only does he face a life of fatherhood he wasn’t expecting, he fights for the family that was pushed on him, but that he never wants to let go of.

Jamie Frais jumps into the fray to help his roommate. What he wasn’t expecting was the feeling of love for both Sri and his daughter Sophie. Though everything happened backwards he struggles to make this relationship the one that lasts forever. Because he can’t picture a world where both of them are not in it.

This book was one of the best I have read so far this year. It plays at your heartstrings with every word and uses a wide array of sadness, anger, and happiness. I was in tears when Sri was talking the first time with Sophie about her mom. As a mom I can imagine the range of emotions that are going through Sri. And I respect him for keeping her and raising her without any knowledge of what he was doing. I love the depth that this author went into to describe the process of bringing a baby home and how little new parents actually know about taking care of a baby.

Sri and Jamie make the perfect couple. Not only by their love do they overcome the hate of those ignorant of love no matter what, but they also make a great parental unit. When the social service people came and knocked on the door I felt empathy for Sri. And that is a great thing to feel when reading. That any author can put that down on paper is a great achievement in my book. This story had me hooked from the first chapter to the end and kept me on my toes in between. It is well worth the 4.5 cherries. I would recommend this to anyone who loves M/M with a good plot and even better love scenes.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Silver Kiss by Naomi Clark

Silver Kiss by Naomi Clark
Publisher: QueeredFiction
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (230 pgs)
Other: F/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Ayla Hammond has come home. After years as a lone wolf in a self-imposed exile she's rejoining the pack and trying to mend fences with her parents. She's convinced them to accept her girlfriend, but can a lone wolf change her ways? As if homecoming wasn't hard enough, Ayla also can't help getting involved in a missing person case. With pressure to solve the case mounting from the pack alphas, Ayla is starting to question where her loyalties lie - and if a return to the pack she left behind is really what she wants.

Are you in the mood for an urban fantasy novel with bite? Then look no further. Silver Kiss is a combination of action, emotion, mystery, and suspense.

Eight years ago Ayla left her pack and family behind. Years of living as a lone wolf have given her an independence she’s become accustomed to, as well as a thriving relationship with a woman she loves. Things couldn’t be better -- aside from her desire to reconnect with her parents. So hoping to reestablish a bond with her family and the pack, Ayla’s returned to the place she once resented. There are obstacles, as her human partner and lover, Shannon, has returned with her. Homosexuality isn’t something that’s embraced by the pack, as their birth rates are declining, and Ayla’s pairing with another woman means she won’t contribute to the population. Complicating matters further, Shannon doesn’t have friends or family in the area. If Shannon’s not welcomed, Ayla worries about how it will impact, not only her view of the pack, but Shannon’s job as private investigator as well.

Silver Kiss is a story that has an amazing world build, complex characters, and a whole lot of twists and turns that come together like a carefully crafted puzzle. The way that things are revealed is fantastic, and I lost myself completely in the environment Ms. Clark has created. At times gritty, there is also a lot of emotional tension as Ayla struggles to come to terms with being a part of a pack, balancing this with her relationship, and gaining her parents' acceptance of the way she’s chosen to live her life. It’s a slam-bam kind of tale, and pulls you in as you delve into Shannon’s investigation into a missing werewolf teen, the herbal drug, Silver Kiss, that is all the rage, and Ayla’s slow awareness of how the two are connected. There was just one issue I had with the story, involving the relationship between Ayla and Shannon, which stalled things.

The two women have been together for years and, having weathered tragic and dangerous events in the past, know each another extremely well. This was something I enjoyed, as their strong connection allowed them to read between the lines when Ayla had to interact with the pack while Shannon was forced to stay at home. This revealed the amount of trust shared between the two, and it made their commitment seem very real. So I was shocked when something that could have had dire consequences occurs, Shannon becomes upset, and the argument between the women is treated in a very immature manner. It’s impossible to divulge too much here, as doing so would only reveal spoilers, but suffice it to say I questioned this portion of the book and it caused me to question the realism and solidity of their relationship.

Aside from the above mentioned, the story is well written, fast-paced, and held my interest all the way through. Ms. Clark has developed an interesting secondary cast of characters, a vibrant and vivid world in which wolves and humans mingle, and even a villain that is more than an evil face on the page meant to progress things. The slow build is so worth it, and when the final quarter of the book arrives, you won’t be able to put Silver Kiss down.

I would recommend Silver Kiss to urban fantasy fans who want to dive into a world that is intense and dark, yet fascinating. The ending leaves an opening for a second installment, and I would definitely be interested in returning to see how things play out.

Twice As High by Elise Logan

Twice As High by Elise Logan
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (92 pgs)
Other: M/M/F, Ménage, M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Sweet Pea

Madeline Crane's life just got interesting. Within the span of a month, she turned her bosses in for money laundering and won the lottery. Now she's having strange erotic dreams about sexy men with wings. But it's just a dream, right?

Wrong. When Julian and Kyle show up, they send Maddy into a tailspin. Suddenly, she's having psychic episodes that afford her glimpses of Julian and Kyle in situations much too personal for comfort. Then the pair reveal they are actually aliens banished from a distant planet, and Maddy has to wonder if she's losing her grip on reality. To make matters worse, someone has put a hit out on her.

Now Maddy has to stay safe, stay sane, and try to figure out where she fits between these two winged warriors.

This book was the right combination of good plot and even greater sex. Madeline Crane’s a woman with a great heart and an even better soul. Little did she know that by turning in her scheming bosses, she was about to throw her entire world off its axis. And with the loss of her job, and the substantial winnings from a lottery ticket, she is about to meet the men of her dreams. Literally!

Julian and Kyle are not of this world, and the mate they wish for is human. Maddy shares a connection that neither man can deny, nor do they want to. But the hard part in the whole scenario is convincing the headstrong woman that she needs them as much as they need her.

I absolutely adored this book. I am not a normal sci-fi fan but this book pulled me in from the very beginning. Not only does the author bring you into a new world she does an exemplary job in explaining the culture, that even my mind can grasp the concept. I love when an author can paint a world so vivid in your mind that you can see it as if you are there, and Elise Logan did a great job with that.

I fell in love with each character. Julian is the ultimate caring male, and his actions show it. Kyle is the ultimate Alpha; I love a really good Alpha male - one who will take control but also lose some in return. Madeline is a great female lead - both confident and caring. She completes the triangle in every way possible. I loved all three of them together!

This is a first read of Elise Logan's for me, but is absolutely not the last. I hope to hear more from these sexy men with wings. It’s a recommended read - my advice: Go get it!

Entropy by Viola Grace

Entropy: A Terran Times Novella by Viola Grace
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (81 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Alia Morgan is a geothermal specialist assigned to the ice planet Yana, but she experiences a disruption to her routine when her best friend's brother arrives to invite her to participate in Ember's wedding, in two days. They are halfway to the main city when Symon drops the bomb. For Ember to have a covenant marriage, the most binding and formal of arrangements, she needs a virgin to be deflowered on her wedding night. The problem is, Ember is pregnant and no longer qualifies. Alia was the only virgin she knows.

Symon then has to break the news that he is the one she will be coupling with, and despite her urge to jump into the snow and run for it, part of her is intrigued. Symon is tall, handsome, and has long fingers that she can't take her eyes from, how bad could the wedding night be?

The mind of Viola Grace must be a marvelous place. Just when I think she can’t surprise me, she comes up with a totally new angle to her Terran Times adventures.

The one thing Alia Morgan never expected was to be the virgin sacrifice at her best friend’s wedding. But the custom for a covenant marriage decrees that at least one surrogate virgin be deflowered the night of the wedding, and since Ember is already pregnant, she convinces her brother Symon to take her best friend’s innocence and satisfy the terms of the covenant.

But there are things happening behind the scenes that neither Alia nor Symon could have foreseen.

As with all of Ms. Grace’s stories, the characters in Entropy are finely crafted and delightful. I found Alia to be a strong and independent woman. Her only goal so far is to complete her contract with the Alliance and earn her freedom to be herself. I like the fact that Alia can roll with the changes thrown at her by her friend. After hearing what is expected of her, she could have refused, but she accepts, and it opens up a whole new world to her.

It doesn’t hurt that Symon is tall, green and sexier than all get out. I liked the way Symon is portrayed, as a loving brother first of all, and as the anointed next avatar of the planet Tana second.

The family ties in this story are strong, and important to the overall outcome to this one. The heat level continuously rises as Symon and Alia continue to flirt and play, everything but the final act. I love the subtle way that Tana shows that it is already awakening, and the surprise twist at the end is fantastic.

I recommend this for anyone who likes their romance mixed with science fiction and humor.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Copping a Feel by Lexxie Couper

Copping a Feel by Lexxie Couper
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (92 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by: Sweet Pea

Darci-Rae Whitlam doesn’t know which is more disturbing, receiving scads of obscene phone calls—or getting so turned-on by said phone calls. Then there’s the email from her American friend, Rachel, taunting Darci with something called a Cougar Challenge. Just the thought of seducing a younger man is enough to permanently soak her knickers. No wonder her ever-disapproving sister thinks she’s oversexed!

Cybercrime Detective Jarrod St. James is investigating a case of stolen identity. He quickly learns the fiery redhead claiming to be Darci-Rae Whitlam is the real deal (his shoulder trapped in the jaws of her gargantuan dog might have sped that decision along). He really should go back to Sydney, continue tracking the imposter who’s operating a phone-sex business in Darci’s name…but the woman proves too tempting. Job be damned, he has to have her. The fact she’s got a titillating challenge to complete only helps his case.

Darci just may be the fastest cougar to snag her cub yet. Being the victim of a crime has never been more fun!

What do you get when you cross a cyber cop and a forty-year-old English teacher? One heck of an erotic romance story. Darci-Rae Whitlam is an undersexed English teacher, but after an email from a close friend Darci decides that sometimes age is just a number and can be ignored. And when it comes to sexy cyber “cub” cop Jarrod St. James, age is so not a factor.

Jarrod St. James is first and foremost a cop. When he started his career he never thought he would end up in cyber crimes, but the end result was the best thing that happened to him. After setting eyes on Darci he knew that not only was she the victim, she was also meant to be his. The only problem with his theory is that she's so hung up on their age difference.

This story turned out to be one of my favorites. Not only does Lexxie Couper pull you into the story, but she makes you not want to stop until the very last word. I loved how she made her heroine so attractive. And I loved the heart stopping description of the sexy man that takes Darci’s heart.

This books had some of the most well written sex scenes I have ever read. Not only are they vivid enough you are practically in the room with the characters, you also need a fan to cool down afterwards. This book is well worth purchase and a great addition to the Cougar Challenge series. I am in lust with this book as well as the line of books. Who says sex has to die at thirty? I sure hope when I reach this age I will be as energetic as the characters in this book.

Call Me Sir, Too by Stormy Glenn

Call Me Sir, Too by Stormy Glenn
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (143 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Anal Play, Forced Seduction, Toys, Spanking
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Peppermint

Dante knew Daniel was the man for him the minute he said his first curse word. He was everything Dante could ever want in a sub: gorgeous, spunky, and totally into the lifestyle Dante enjoyed most. But nothing is ever as simple as it should be. When Dante gets called away on business he expects to be gone for a couple of weeks. He figures to claim Daniel when he comes home, but two weeks quickly turn into six months.

When Dante finally returns, everything he'd been looking for in a mate is gone. Daniel's been assaulted and beaten by a Dom out of control. He no longer trusts anyone—including Dante.

Determined to find the man he knows Daniel can be, Dante moves Daniel into his home and his life. But along with Daniel's insecurities and lack of trust, Dante has to fight the Dom that assaulted Daniel in the first place and a host of other misunderstandings before he can prove to Daniel that what they have is worth fighting for.

Author Stormy Glenn has officially made it as one of my must read authors. I was completely and utterly blown away by this story. She actually left me speechless. Speechless, people!

Dante and Daniel's ability to believe and trust one another is awe-inspiring. Living in the BDSM scene requires an extreme amount of trust in your partner, but this couple takes trust even a step further. After Daniel's traumatic experience it would take almost a miracle for him to learn to love and trust in anyone. Luckily Dante is willing to stick by his side and do whatever it takes to make Daniel whole again. The author did a great job building the relationship both characters needed, which ensures they will be memorable characters.

The closeness of all of the characters in this story was admirable. Not only did Dante and Daniel seem to have a great relationship and learn to depend on each other, they could also depend on Joey, Logan and eventually Jack as well. Because of the circumstances surround Daniel and Dante it was extremely important that they have this outside support system. I think that their continuous presence in this story really added richness to it. I have not read Call Me Sir, but reading this story definitely has me thinking I need to go back and see what it is about.

The conflict caused by the antagonist, while difficult to read, was really necessary in the plot and development in this story. Although Daniel and Dante’s relationship would have still developed without it the story would not have been as enjoyable. It definitely made Dante look at what he had and helped him realize he needed to do all he could to keep Daniel. It also really helped to demonstrate the depth of emotions each of these characters felt for one another.

It is worth mentioning that I marked this story as forced seduction because, although the scene is not actually in the story, it is discussed numerous times in the story in enough detail to be mentioned. It is the cause of the conflict as well as an important part of Dante and Daniel's relationship. The forced seduction is not between Dante and Daniel, but between Daniel and another Dom.

Dante and Daniel's relationship was definitely not based on sex. Although they did enjoy their sexual relations, they had so much more than a physical relationship. The happiness, respect and trust the had with and for each other was really what took center stage. They had the type of emotional attachment to one another that all couples strive to achieve. It definitely made me fall in love with the characters and showed me what an excellent author Stormy Glenn is by allowing me to experience the feelings along with the characters.

I am a critical person by nature and I could not find one thing to criticize in this story. Less than halfway through, I knew it would be one of my favorites. After completing the story I could not believe that I had finished it so quickly without even realizing it. I think I may have even pouted at the end because I wasn’t ready to leave Dante and Daniel. It was obvious that Stormy Glenn fell in love with her characters and in turn made me fall in love with them.

The only thing I have left to say is: All hail the chief of M/M storytelling: Stormy Glenn.

Icarus by Sherri L King

Icarus by Sherri L. King
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (73 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Forced Seduction
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

He comes to her in dreams, when she is most vulnerable to his stirring touches and burning kisses. He drinks her blood and binds her to him in ways no mortal lover ever could…but Morrigan doesn’t want to believe that her water-dwelling blood drinker is anything more than a figment of her deprived imagination. Morrigan wants to be free of her addiction to the highly sexual creature she knows only as Az. But Az has other plans…and soon he hopes Morrigan will be too deeply under his spell to care that he wants to take her back to his homeworld…to be his mate for all eternity.

If a reader is looking for a different romance concept then this book is it, and it may also explain about the Loch Ness Monster.

Not that this book is about Nessie - it’s not. But the revelation about what goes on with some of the lochs in Scotland surely got me to thinking it’d be a cool explanation for its sightings. As it is, Scottish waterways are a key ingredient to understanding how this romance comes to be.

Morrigan is afraid that fame and the highlife are finally getting to her. She’s hearing things, seeing things in her dreams and she’s finding them way too real for her liking. She’s scared but determined to face it in her own way. She’s stubborn and courageous because she tries to confront it instead of running away. But the truth is so wild she runs anyway. I think her reaction is realistic. It’s a wild concept that stretches a person’s belief systems. She tries to rationalize it away but the physical proof is too obvious to discount. The conflict is mostly her learning to trust that what she knows of her reality is not the only truth. She’s a person of imagination and she’s gifted but it halts her growth because I think she believes that her current fantasy is a form of sickness – an overactive imagination if you will. A reader watches as Morrigan slowly comes to the realization that it is as it appears and there is nothing to fear except change. And we humans certainly don’t like change especially when we feel like we have no control over it. I think that’s one of her biggest stumbling blocks. It certainly would be mine. No one likes to feel helpless and that’s a huge hurdle.

Az is a bit of a steamroller. He knows who he wants and he’s doing everything he can to get her. His problem is that he’s restricted on how much and how long he can woo Morrigan. He’s lonely and lovesick and really wants to show Morrigan that she can trust him. He is extremely gifted in the sexual gratification department and those scenes more than satisfy any erotic romance reader’s wish. They are hot, well written and quite seductive. Too bad Morrigan is so skittish. I guess I’d be too all things considered. But Az sure puts his all into finding ways to get her to accept his suit. He has a secret that I never expected and I was pretty happy with his disclosure of who he was. I loved Ms. King’s descriptions of him. He sounded absolutely yummy and quite unique.

Most of this story is told via Morrigan’s POV but there are a few hops into Az’s POV. I liked the dialogue, for the most part, but his calling her ‘babe’ sort of didn’t ring true once I knew who he was. It’s not that big of a deal, but it did jolt me. I found the ending to be too short a wrap up. I guess I expected more of a flourish than it had. There is no doubt as to the happily ever after but I would have liked a short exploration of the sensations leading to their final ‘trip’. The concept was fascinating and totally hooked me and I wanted to experience it myself through Morrigan. Alas, that’s not what the author decided. I guess I’m nosy. The external conflict was foreshadowed in a scene and I knew it would come to haunt the heroine and I was right. It was interesting and the author did a great job of showing readers why the bad guy ended up the way he did. I guess no matter where you move to there will always be jerks.

Icarus is a really wonderful little erotic romance with a twist, a surprise and a lot of very hot loving utilizing some very romantic places. I actually liked Az, understood Morrigan’s trepidation in the beginning, which made her capitulation into love all the sweeter, and enjoyed the light drama because it spiced things up a bit to showcase Morrigan’s inner strength and fortitude. And she’s got attitude in spades when it comes to defending her man. That was pretty cool. I was entertained while reading this book and it kept my interest throughout. I’m glad I read this story because of its unique and titillating concept. It’s not your typical romance and for that it gets a recommend from me. I like the unusual and I love the description of Az’s eyes. It’s details like that which make this book special and worth reading.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Colters' Lady by Maya Banks

Colters’ Lady by Maya Banks
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (214 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Anal Play
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Can their love give her the strength to overcome the tragedy in her past?

Colters’ Legacy, Book 2

When police officer Seth Colter sees the delicate, shabbily dressed beauty in line at the soup kitchen where he’s serving, he’s gut shot over the idea of her being on the streets cold and alone. More baffling is the dark, possessive instinct that tells him she belongs to him.

For Lily Weston, home is a secluded nook in a back alley—until Seth offers her a place to stay. She’s wary of his offer, but even one night out of the cold is too much temptation to resist.

Seth is convinced Lily is his. The problem is, when his brothers lay eyes on her, the same primitive instinct comes roaring to the surface. The Colters never imagined they’d follow the unconventional path of their fathers, but they can’t ignore their mutual need to offer Lily their protection—and their love. But before Lily and the brothers can forge a future together, they must heal the deep wounds of her past.

Lily walks into the soup kitchen on the day that Seth is serving. Seth cannot deny the instant attraction he feels towards her. Chasing after her, Seth finds her in an alleyway living in a cardboard box. All Seth knows is that he needs to save and protect her. Will Lily trust in Seth and go with him or will she continue to run?

In this day and age where a woman has a hard enough time finding a one true love, Lily has hit the jackpot and found not only one but three wonderful men who adore her. With such intense emotions from the characters I was hooked from the very beginning of this story.

Lily is a strong and brave woman. She endures a lot and keeps going, it may be day to day but she keeps on living. Each of the Colter brothers has a strong personality as well. Seth is a strong man willing to let Lily have her space but intent on protecting her. Dillon is a fiercely loyal man and Michael is a sweet and understanding man. Each brother has the same instant feelings for Lily and is ready and willing to fight for her love. Watching Lily blossom under the love and trust given to her from not only the brothers but also the rest of the Colter family was a great read. Every character in this story endears themselves to the readers making it hard to pick a favorite. I know that just like Lily I could not pick one brother over the others. From the family bond to the feelings that the brothers have for Lily the love and trust that is shown in this book are a wonderful read.

Once again Maya Banks brings the reader a wondrous book full of emotion and depth. As with all of the other works by this author this book pulls the reader in, letting them loose themselves in another world. Although this is the second story in this series it can be read as a stand-alone. I think that if you have not read the first installment, this story will make you go in search of it. I know that I am eagerly awaiting the third book in this series myself. This was a wonderful read that should not be missed. Maya Banks is one of the few automatic buys for this reader.