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Friday, August 27, 2010

Blood Curse by Mychael Black

Blood Curse by Mychael Black
Publisher: AudioMinx
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Novella (1 hour 11 minutes read time)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Jason Summerfield has finally found the man of his dreams — Greek vampire Julian Kristados, and together, they’re enjoying life in Julian’s mansion on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia. Jason’s still going strong with his metal band, Firestarter, and they’re developing a big following throughout the area. Along with the fame, though, Jason has also garnered the attention of a stalker.

When the stalker’s attentions turn mysterious and potentially deadly, Julian seeks the advice of a friend, fellow vampire Gabriel Walsh. They discover the truth behind the stalker, but will they get to Jason in time to save him from forced repayment of an ancestor’s debt?

Life’s never dull when you have the power of fire at your fingertips. Throw in the element of a vampire lover and you have the makings of a Mychael Black story. But this one? It’s also got a great little mystery woven into the plot. Now you indeed have a Mychael Black short story.

As soon as I got the choice, I had to have this audio book. I’ve followed the exploits of Jason, Julian, Jesse and Gabriel and needed to see the latest situation. I knew it would be a hot story and I wasn’t disappointed. I felt like I was right there in the throes of the crowd, dancing along with the roaring tunes, deafened by the music and practically blinded by the pyrotechnics. Being that this was an audio book, I could even feel the rumble of Julian’s voice each time he spoke to Jason. I loved it.

As this is told from Jason’s POV, I didn’t get much of a glimpse into Julian’s thought process, but I think it worked well. There were plot twists that too many POV changes might have complicated the story unnecessarily. I could still feel the tension in Jason as he dealt with the gifts from his mystery person and the passion for Julian when he and Jason made love.

Another thing that made this story stand out for me was the introduction of Gabriel. I loved him in other stories and was pleased to see how he fit into the little band of misfits. Plus, these are characters I don’t want to let go of.

If you want a story that will melt your speakers and leave you begging for more, then you need to get a copy of Blood Curse. I give this book 4.5 cherries.

Long Time Gone by Meg Benjamin

Long Time Gone (Konigsburg, Book 4) by Meg Benjamin
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full Length (229 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewer: Holly

A future with the woman of his dreams is within his grasp…if the past will stay that way.

Konigsburg, Book 4

Erik Toleffson wasn’t looking to become Chief of Police. He’s got enough trouble trying to rebuild his relationship with his three brothers who, until just recently, ran the other way when he approached. He’s not the bully they grew up with, but bad memories are tough to overcome.

Morgan Barrett is as worn out as a vat full of crushed grape skins. She never planned to run Cedar Creek Winery, but there’s no one else to shoulder the load as her father recovers from an injury. All she needs is a little sleep. Just a five-minute nap in the booth at the Dew Drop Inn…if that guy across the bar would stop staring at her as if putting her head down on the table is a crime.

After Morgan yawns in Erik’s face, there’s nowhere to go but up. With time, though, their relationship warms like a perfectly blended Bordeaux. Until the shady mayor digs into Erik’s past and dredges up information that could drive a permanent wedge between him and his brothers—and sour any chance of a future with Morgan.

Erik Toleffson is working hard to leave the past behind. The oldest of four brothers, Erik was the big bully who tormented his brothers without mercy, and now he needs to leave that reputation behind.

Morgan Barrett never wanted to run her father’s winery, but steps in when her dad is injured. Now if only he and his partner would only listen to her opinions and ideas instead of brushing her off, she would be much happier.

Something nasty, in the form of illegal dumping, is happening in Konigsburg, Texas, and it is affecting many around the town. When Erik is named temporary sheriff, it becomes his problem, along with several others. When he and Morgan meet, sparks fly, but they take things slow at first. Can Erik solve the riddle of who is dumping toxic waste in his town? When Morgan gets attacked, will he be distracted away from his main goal? Can these two find a life together, solve the crimes, and get what they really want?

I liked this book a lot. I wish I had read the first three in Meg Benjamin’s Konigsburg series, but this can be read as a stand-alone. It just would have given me more insight into the characters' personalities had I read them. Ms Benjamin creates wonderfully believable characters, in a very interesting world.

I loved the suspense of this story, and couldn’t quite guess who was behind the dumping. The lead characters were such a lot of fun. Morgan is determined to prove her worth to her father, but she also tries to convince him that the winery needs more PR. She is tired of being seen as Daddy’s little girl, and she wants to be seen as an adult. I admired Morgan’s never give up attitude, and kept rooting for her to succeed.

Erik is the tall, handsome and sexy sheriff, who never really wanted the job, but is determined to do his best to keep it once he’s appointed. I liked that he had regrets about how he treated his brothers in the past, and was working toward mending fences with them. Erik is an honest man, and butts heads with the shifty mayor of the town over inconsequential issues. I love that Erik takes being a lawman seriously, and I’m delighted that he and I share one quirky addiction of sorts, our love of Dr. Pepper.

Ms. Benjamin did a fabulous job in letting the romance grow, and once our hero and heroine finally got together, the heat was definitely on.

Do these two manage to solve the mystery and find a happy ever after? With hot sex with mango sherbet, crooked politicians, yuppie bikers, Bored Ducks, and a Maine Coon Cat with attitude, they manage.

The Master’s Lover by Brenna Lyons

The Master’s Lover by Brenna Lyons
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (29 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Mages' Law states that a Star Mage must reproduce, if he is able. King's Law allows a mage any sexual partners he wishes. The life of a male mage who prefers the company of other men on the sheets is far from easy, but what starts as a hard lesson in survival, ends up as a hard lesson of another sort.

Some things are frowned upon. Other things are a part of life and should be dealt with. When you’re a mage and ostracized by your family, you learn to make do with what you have. Such is the story of The Master’s Lover.

Brenna Lyons always succeeds in creating a world the reader can lose themselves in for a few hours. This book is no different.

Once I opened the document and met Galon, I couldn’t put it down. I felt his helplessness and despair as if it were my own. The reader can identify with Galon’s struggle. I know how it feels to make decisions that aren’t exactly popular. It’s a hard row to hoe to live with those choices. But I loved how Ms. Lyons wrote him with a compassionate yet cautious nature. I could feel the need to be loved deep in his heart and rooted for him to get his happily ever after.

Anzel is an interesting character as well. He has the power to harm Galon. He has the power to show Galon what he can truly become. I liked how he channeled the burgeoning desire he felt for Galon into a shared trust which can evolve into something further.

The ending of this story is something I didn’t see coming, but it worked and worked well because it’s written in a tender fashion. I wanted to see it happen and cheered all the way.

If you want a story that’s a little off the beaten path but full of heart, you need to read The Master’s Lover. I give this story 4 cherries.

Summer Solstice by Eden Bradley

Summer Solstice (Celestial Seductions Book 3) by Eden Bradley
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (69 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/M, M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Sex/Play, Light BDSM, Spanking
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

This summer is going to be twice as hot…

The view from Leigh’s front porch was never this nice. In fact, her hunky new neighbor is sparking all kinds of naughty ideas about how to beat the heat. Much to her delight, the feeling is mutual—as long as they keep things light. Her divorce left her a little lonely, but far from needy.

Jared doesn’t plan to spend much time in his new place before jetting off on his next photojournalism assignment. Leigh’s classic, California blonde looks are any man’s fantasy. A little flirting, a little playful, neighborly car washing, and it isn’t long until their summer fling is in full swing.

Neither can imagine the sex being any hotter—until Jared’s sometime roommate and lover, Matteo, comes to town. In the arms of two men, Leigh brings her ultimate fantasy into scorching reality.

Jared revels in the chance to command his two lovers’ every move, but when he gets the call for his next overseas gig, he’s not so sure he’s ready for the fireworks to end. And even as Leigh gives her two lovers the most precious gift—their freedom—she wonders how she’ll find the strength to say goodbye.

Leigh is making some changes in her life. Newly divorced, she recently quit her job to start her own interior design business. Now if she can just survive the sweltering El Nino heat with out melting, she’ll be happy. When she spies her new neighbor, her libido jumps into overdrive, in spite of the soaring temperatures. Her showers are spent fantasizing about the things the hot hunk could do to her.

When he interrupts one fantasy moment, arriving at her door to borrow a bottle opener, she is delighted to join him for a cold beer. Jared is even better up close and personal, and just the summer fling Leigh needs to pass the time. When she discovers that he, and his on-and-off lover Matteo are interested in fulfilling all of her erotic fantasies, she agrees with no reservations.

In lesser hands than Eden Bradley’s, Summer Solstice would have been an adequate summer romance, with heat and sexy hunks. But Ms. Bradley creates such wonderful scenarios, and strong, charismatic characters, that this became one of my favorites of the summer so far. When Ms. Bradley talks about the heat, I can feel what Leigh is experiencing right along with her.

I liked Leigh, a woman who is not afraid of her desires, and is willing to take a chance at a summer fling with Jared. She has no long-term plans, and she thinks she can head into this without involving her heart. Jared is such a completely delicious character, handsome, sexy and open about who and what he is. He could have hidden his relationship with Matteo, but instead was open and up front with Leigh from the start.

When Matteo arrives, it is a delight to see that he is just as open and honest as Jared, and that both of them want Leigh, at least for the summer. I love that Leigh was able to admit she was interested in all they offered her, without going all shy and silly about it. She is a sensuous woman with needs and desires, and she is willing to explore those desires with these two gorgeous men. I loved how both Leigh and Jared went into this thinking they could keep their hearts out of the mix, and the realization that both came to was wonderful.

I want to thank Ms Bradley for giving me one of the most erotic and romantic stories I’ve ever read, and I think this one will be read over and over for some time to come.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Del Fantasma: Chocolate Snake Bite by Selena Illyria

Del Fantasma: Chocolate Snake Bite by Selena Illyria
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (88 pgs)
Other: M/F, Ménage, M/M/M/F/M, BDSM, Spanking, Anal Sex/Play
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Every relationship has problems and for months now all Dale and Val have been doing is fighting. He wants it to stop. So drastic times call for drastic measures. Dale takes the Love’s Bane potion hoping that Val will be too busy lusting after him to fight with him, but sex can’t solve every problem.

Val doesn’t want part of her lover. She wants all of him, even the dark aspects of his sexual desire. She yearns for his brand but every time she brings up the subject he shuts her down. How can they communicate when he won’t open up?

Will the arrival of his brothers and a trip to the Demonic Snake court help their relationship or hurt it?

I have to admit that this is the first Del Fantasma story I have read, but if the rest are as hot as this one, I’m getting more of them.

It would seem that human males aren’t the only ones with commitment issues. Who knew demons were phobic too? Dale and Val are very much in love, but Dale refuses to take the final step, branding Val as his mate. Val wants all of Dale, but he is afraid she could be hurt, or even killed if he truly lets her see his true nature. Instead, he decides to take Love’s Bane potion, hoping it will help him stay in control.

Selena Illyria she has a knack for heating things up and keeping it hot. I love the characters in this story. Val is human, and determined to keep her man…er, demon, no matter what. She is smart, and single minded in her determination to have her way. She is also tired of the fighting and worrying, and I loved it when she got into a fight with the demoness next door over her man.

Dale is a wonderful character, the typical, not a clue male, who refuses to consider Val’s wishes and ends up having to eat his words. I loved the visit to the Demon world, and the resulting action between Dale, Val, and Dales three--count ‘em, three--hot and sexy brothers during the Sensuality Feast. The scene with Dale, Zander, Louis and Spencer all pleasuring Val is one of the hottest things I have ever read, with some very creative applications of chocolate as well.

The happy ever after is a long time coming, but yes, they do get there. If you want a super hot and sexy story to fire your imagination, this is the one for you. But be careful, these could be habit forming. I know I’m getting more Del Fantasma books, soon.

More Than Make-Believe by Tymber Dalton

More Than Make-Believe by Tymber Dalton
Publisher: Placida Publishing, LLC
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (107 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Toys, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Peppermint

When you fall for a fantasy, how do you know if it’s more than make-believe?

Travis, an unquestionably straight college student, finds himself in a financial bind. He’ll do anything legal—including going gay for pay—and spends a weekend as Craig Rocke, letting gay porn star Marston Cougar have his way with him on film. Marston tells him to remember it’s all just a fantasy for the camera, even though it sure feels like more.

Gary, also known as Marston Cougar, has a respectable day job. A straight guy, he started out making gay porn to pay his way through college. After getting his heart broken he has a no-dating rule. Now paired with “virgin” Craig Rocke, he finds it hard to keep it make-believe when he’s losing his heart.

Gary’s young niece needs surgery, and he almost has enough money to quit for good. But now that he feels a true connection with his fantasy co-star, will he be able to find a happily ever after with him when it’s more than make-believe?

Contains a modern fairy tale, hot manlove, movie magic, flipped perceptions, and a cranky three year-old who really wants her pizza.

What do you do when make-believe is what you want? You make it More Than Make-Believe.

Tymber Dalton did an exquisite job creating a story around these two characters. Between their personalities and the interesting plot line there really was no room for error in this story.

Travis, aka Craig, was a sweet guy who couldn’t help but care for the man who was his first male lover. I think Travis' naivete and willing-to-try-anything attitude was great, especially for this role. That was the reason why, as a straight man, he was willing to do gay porn just to earn extra money to pay his bills while in school. As long as he took his co-star Marston’s advice and remembered it was make-believe Travis knew he could do just about anything.

Gary, aka Marston, just exudes sexuality and confidence. It is probably why he was the number one performer for the porn company. He always remained professional and remembered that it was all make-believe. That was until he met Travis. He knew he should remain distant, especially since the guy looked like his jerk ex, Billie, but for some reason he couldn’t stop thinking about his new co-star.

The motivation both men had behind doing porn was heart-wrenching. Travis needed money to support himself through school and Gary was saving for a surgical procedure for his niece. I think in these types of industries you probably have a lot of that, people who feel as if they have no other option turning to a less than desirable job. They have good intentions even if misguided. It also made for a great plot concept that the author took full advantage of.

I did find it confusing to keep up with the names since Travis was going by Craig Rocke and Gary was using Marston Cougar. The author interchanged the names frequently and I would sometimes have to go back and re-read a paragraph just to remember who was saying or doing what. After a while I did get used to it. The author does make it clear in the beginning which stage name each man is using to try to avoid some confusion, but for me, it still just seemed a little hard to follow at first.

Since this story was based around Gary and Travis being co-stars in gay porn there was sex, sex... then more sex. The only time they had privacy and were not having sex was when they were sleeping for an entire weekend. If that is not hot, well I don’t know what is, but this did not take away from the plot. The author was still able to clearly show the emotional progression between these characters as well as the physical relationship.

I absolutely loved the relationship development in this story. I think that the pace of the storyline was perfect. In many romance stories I normally get the feeling that at some point the relationship is rushed, but I did not get that in this story one bit. Because the plot seemed dead on it really made this story remember able. I will remember the characters but it will be because of their relationship as a whole and how well it turned out.

This story stayed with me far longer than I would have imagined. For days, if I had a spare moment it was as if the characters where stalking me (or me stalking them)... my mind would turn to them. Wondering what would happen next or replaying a scene in the book. I even found myself comparing other m/m stories to this one to see if they came anywhere close to this story's greatness. For that alone I would definitely read this story again and would recommend it to anyone who loves hot m/m action.

Strokes by Ashlyn Chase and Dalton Diaz

Strokes by Ashlyn Chase and Dalton Diaz
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (43 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Book reviewer Darcy Dennison wants to wring her neighbor’s neck. That’s a crying shame considering how gorgeous the artist is, but she needs peace and quiet to get her work done. Models throwing fits in his apartment don’t help.

On a temporary work visa, Paolo Santori has little time to paint his nudes before returning to Italy to marry a woman he doesn’t love. Then Darcy bursts into his life. The solution to her noise complaints is simple—she’ll model his favorite subject while she works.

Making her glisten thrills them both, but falling in love could mean losing everything he’s ever known.

Who’d have thought a little bit of noise would lead to a potential muse? And who knew it would be so hot to read about!

I’ve read other works my Ms. Chase and loved it so when this one became available, I had to nab it. I’m glad I did. I enjoyed the introduction to Dalton Diaz’s work and feel the combination of the two authors is great. From page one I felt like I was right there with Darcy and Paolo trying to find a happy medium in what could’ve been a sticky situation. I loved the modeling sessions and would’ve loved to have been a fly on the wall. Seeing Paolo and Darcy making love was palpable. The passion and the desire were thick enough to cut with a knife.

Paolo cracked me up. When he got flustered, he returned to his native tongue and spoke too fast for Darcy to even begin to understand. Readers can relate. I know when I get flustered, I stumble over myself to explain whatever it is I’m talking about. I also liked that he was an artist. His affection for her feminine parts was sweet, because he wanted to glorify, not demean. His confliction was easy for the reader to relate to as well. He wanted to follow his heart but at what cost?

Darcy was interesting, but if I had any complaints it was wanting to know more about her. Although the story comes from her POV, I wanted to know more about her — what did she write reviews for? What books did she read? It was alluded to, but I’m nosy. I wanted to know more. Still, it wasn’t enough to deter me or keep me from loving this story.

If you want a story that’s steamy and soul-filled, then you need to read Strokes. I’m recommending it to all my friends. I give this book a 4.5 cherry rating.

Bad Medicine: Wishing Moon by B.J. McCall

Bad Medicine: Wishing Moon by B.J. McCall
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (47 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Beneath the Wishing Moon, Avana Vasson made two wishes. The first was granted, a kiss that forever changed her relationship with Trace Canaan. The second wish must wait until he returns from active duty.

But be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

He's back and he wants forever. She loves him, but not the conditions that come with being his alpha mate. She loves her life in the city and her job with WishLabz, a cutting-edge, wish-granting firm.

Wishes can be purchased if one has the coin, but be careful, wishes are powerful magic.

Be careful what you wish for. Never has that old adage been more true than it is for Avana Vasson.

As a teenager, she made two wishes, both involving Trace Canaan. One was for a kiss, and that kiss changed both their lives. Trace spent eight long years away from the pack, trying to prove he was worthy of being alpha, but more important, proving his worth as Avana’s mate. Now, Trace wants it all: alpha of the pack, with Avana by his side, a forever love. But Avana left and made a life of her own away from the pack, a life she loves, with a job she adores. Yes, she loves Trace with all her heart, but not on his terms. Can two stubborn people find a way to be together, or are they doomed to both be alone? Can there be a middle ground for these two "all or nothing" people? Is there a way to get a happy ever after for them?

B.J. McCall does wolves like no one else can. I love her wolves; they are all strong, determined and fiercely independent.

At eighteen, all Avana wanted was Trace, but he left, first to college, then the military. As a strong alpha female, Avana is determined and unwilling to sacrifice her hard-earned freedom. She is smart, and uses those smarts to be the best at what she does. She is determined not to let love get in the way of her life, no matter how she feels about the alpha in question. Trace does everything he can to prove he is worthy - both of taking over as alpha of the pack, and of claiming Avana as his mate.

I love Avana’s attitude. She takes her job seriously, and knows she is good at it, and isn’t about to become some alpha mate, just to please family and friends. She is even resigned to losing Trace if it comes to that. I love Trace’s determination as well. He does what he has to, to prove his worth, and more important, to prove his love.

There were two wonderful twists in this that I didn’t see coming, and they absolutely made this story so much more amusing. If you like your happy ever after with a few surprises, this one’s for you.

Good Cop, Bad Girl by Paige Tyler

Good Cop, Bad Girl by Paige Tyler
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (39 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking
Rating: 3 cherries
Review by Tiger Lily

When a hunky guy shows up at Julie Hanson’s apartment to tell her the police received a complaint about the noise from her birthday party, she assumes he’s a male stripper her girlfriends hired. Upon discovering the gorgeous Kirk Chandler really is a police officer, she’s completely mortified, especially since she teased him about giving her a birthday spanking.

Kirk appears at her door for a second time later that night, bearing gifts and asking if she got her birthday spanking. Julie not only gets her bottom nicely warmed, but is treated to a night of pleasure that qualifies as the best birthday present any girl could ask for.

Birthdays can be so much fun. Add a paddle and a neat little ducky that’s not for the faint of heart, and it’s going to be an even better time. Oh, but you want more? Add a pinch of bad girl wanting a little excitement and a cop sent to write a ticket. Then you have Good Cop, Bad Girl.

Paige Tyler writes steamy stories, no doubt. The element of heat is always high and the storyline plausible. I knew when I opened this story, it was a no-holds-barred roll in the hay. I felt like I was right there with Julie, laughing along to her party and drooling over the cop. I loved the scene where she shows her complete embarrassment, because the reader can identify with the foot-in-mouth syndrome. I even liked Kirk, although I wanted to get more into his head. He seemed like a nice enough guy, but his motivations were a tad hard to believe.

I like a good spanking story, and in that respect, this one delivered. It’s hot, and the characters are completely into what they are doing. What I wanted to see more of, was the character development. Though this is a short story and page constraints limit what the author can do sometimes, things happened really fast and it seemed almost too quick. I wanted to know if they fell for each other on more of an emotional level. While I like a well-written sex scene, I want some romance involved as well. Though it’s completely plausible for a guy and a girl to fall into mad, passionate, abandon after only a few moments together, I wanted to know what happened afterwards and really get to know them.

If you’re looking for a story that delivers heat and is great for a quick beach read, this may be the book for you. I give Good Cop, Bad Girl 3 cherries.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Men of CCD: Help Wanted by Marie Rochelle

The Men of CCD: Help Wanted by Marie Rochelle
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (167 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 Cherries
Reviewed by Rosemary

Jim Russell didn't care the rest of his buddies from CCD had found their true loves and had gotten married. He was done with the whole dating scene. Wellà.he thought he was until he saw her at the airport and secretly he began to change his mind.

Keira Winters had always been known as strong, outspoken and very independent but after an accident something changed in her and she wasn't the woman she once was. She wants to get back to her old self. Will she be able to with the help of a man she "hated" at first sight?

Will Jim and Keira be able to overcome their battle of wills to find everlasting love in the final book of The Men of CCD Seriesàà.Help Wanted?

Tempers flare and passions ignite whenever Jim and Keira are together.

From their first tempestuous meeting, Jim Russell and Keira Winters find themselves fighting one another and their mutual attraction. Keira is reeling from the recent loss of her father and struggling to overcome the after effects of a plane crash. When she finds out her dad sold the family motorcycle repair business to Jim, she is determined to convince Jim to sell it back to her. Jim is equally determined to make his new business a success despite his understanding of Keira’s emotional attachment to the business. He tries to keep his distance from her, but when their mutual friends approach him with their concerns about Keira’s emotional well-being, he agrees to date her. With a bitter divorce and child custody case behind him, marriage is nowhere in Jim’s plans. He is concentrating on getting his business up and running and raising his son, Trevor.

The Men of CCD: Help Wanted by Marie Rochelle is written in third person from both Keira’s and Jim’s perspectives and their characters are well-developed. Jim and Keira have strong personalities, and they frequently butt heads. They harbored many misconceptions about each other, and it did not take either of them long to work through them. I did find Jim to be a little overbearing on occasion, but overall, I liked him. And if the first half of the novel was a little slow, the second half picked up and moved at a brisk pace. I thoroughly enjoyed Keira’s transformation back to the tough, confident woman she was before the plane crash. Since this the fourth book in the Men of CCD series, we get to catch up with the cast from the other novels as well. Their interactions with Keira and Jim are uplifting and heartfelt.

The Men of CCD: Help Wanted by Marie Rochelle is a satisfying conclusion to the Men of CCD series. While you can read The Men of CCD: Help Wanted as a standalone novel, it is helpful to read the other books in the series to gain a better understanding of the supporting characters. I am looking forward to Ms. Rochelle’s next series!

Power Struggle by Kelly Jamieson

Power Struggle by Kelly Jamieson
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (157 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Tori is the vice president of her company. Her career is all about being in charge, solving problems, making decisions. But in the bedroom she likes to give up control. She likes to be taken to the edge, likes the heady pleasure of pain, likes how it sets her free.

Dev is a physician. In his career, he has sworn to do no harm and was taught that raising a hand to a woman is wrong. And he is nearly a decade younger than Tori.

The attraction between Tori and Dev is more than just physical—they both feel a connection of spirit. They begin a relationship that seems to work despite their age difference. But when Tori reveals what she really wants in bed, Dev’s not sure if he has it in him to give it to her. And Tori isn’t sure she can have a relationship with someone who can’t accept her for who she is. It’s a power struggle.

A young doctor, the older woman he cannot deny, and her desire for pain with her pleasure. Power Struggle is a book with a fascinating premise I couldn’t pass up. As a fan of erotic romance, I had to see how author Kelly Jamieson would bring the concept to life.

The beginning of the story doesn’t disappoint. From the moment Dev and Tori meet, sparks fly. Their chemistry is incredible, and you can sense their attraction to each other in cleverly written dialogue and steamy scenes. As they become comfortable in their relationship, the D/s power exchange and Tori’s need to experience pain with her sex comes into play. It’s not always easy, but Ms. Jamieson does a fantastic job of developing her characters so that the progression, as well as the uncertainty and doubt Dev experiences, feels very real. I was swept into the romance on multiple levels and was impressed by her ability to delve into the issues of their age differences and goals in life equally as much as their sexual desires.

Unfortunately, for as much as I loved Power Struggle, I had a difficult time with one critical scene. A tragic event occurs, and an important secondary character is hospitalized. It is touch and go, and Dev and Tori are not sure what will happen. So it goes without saying that their decision to engage in a very heavy sexual scene immediately following felt out of place. I can understand the need to connect with someone in the wake of something horrific and heartbreaking, especially given Dev and Tori’s circumstances. However, all things considered, I didn’t buy into it and their playtime/lovemaking made what should have been a very profound moment rather hollow for me.

Still, fans of BDSM romance that provide a lot of emotion, story, and conflict with their erotica will certainly love Power Struggle. Up until the scene I mentioned, I was enthralled and fell in love with Tori and Dev. Kelly Jamieson is an author I always keep an eye out for. If you’re a fan of her work, this is a book that you should definitely check out. There is plenty of heat, conflict, and even a few twists and turns along the way. I’m looking forward to more of her offerings in the future.

Truly Scrumptious by R.G. Alexander

Truly Scrumptious by R. G. Alexander
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (62 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/M/F/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Anal Sex/Play, Spanking
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Scrumptious as a cherry peach parfait…or a sinfully kinky foursome.

The popular cooking show, Brunch with Laura, is T.S. Larkin’s brainchild. Rather, it was. Because her boss couldn’t keep it in his pants, Truly’s unemployed and not sure what to do with herself. When a juicy tip leads her to the best-kept secret in Denver—three mouthwatering chefs whose restaurant image needs a makeover—her PR instincts start tingling. And her imagination simmers with private fantasies.

Ever since the last woman he, Clay and Louis shared nearly ruined everything, Nate has worked hard to get things back in order. Truly’s ideas could rescue their business, but her non-stop curves, luscious lips and cherry-on-top hair are a sure-fire recipe for another disaster.

But when the ingredients are right, the reaction is inevitable. A kiss in the walk-in explodes into a wild night of indulging Truly’s every sweet and spicy whim. She is the missing ingredient for the perfect foursome. Except Nate is suddenly not so sure he’s willing to let the others lick the spoon, much less share.

This is a fun story from R. G. Alexander, with lots of her trademark hot and delicious sex and fun.

It’s said that when one door closes, another opens. No one hopes this is true more than TS Larkin, newly unemployed P. R. person for popular cooking show, Brunch with Laura. When her assistant takes her to Denver’s best-kept secret, she sees a way to start over. The secret? Three extremely talented and delightfully hot chefs, with a restaurant sadly in need of publicity and a bit of a makeover.

It doesn’t hurt that Nate, Clay and Louis are as talented in the kitchen as they are gorgeous. These three also awaken dangerous desires in TS., desires featuring all three men pleasuring her at the same time. The guys have shared women before, but can they all get through this one with hearts, and friendships, intact?

Ms. Alexander has a way of introducing you to characters you really want to get to know, and in these guys case, you want in on the action. TS is a delight. A professional woman, she is determined to make these three men a success if she has to drag them, kicking and screaming, into the public eye. She is smart, business savvy, and determined to prove her worth. She is not going to let her creep of a former boss ruin her outlook or her future, and I applaud her efforts in that.

I love that the three men are perfect complements to each other, different yet compatible. Nate is handsome, stubborn and pragmatic, resisting change. Louis, light to Nate’s dark, is laid back and just a little mischievous, and Clay is the gentle giant, hating to see anyone hurt. When these three men decide to make TS theirs, it is one of the hottest things I have ever read. I will never think of a kitchen island in the same way again, believe me.

This story made me laugh, it made me cry and it made me wish I had three hot men of my own. I also loved the delightful play-on-words that was TS’s name, but you need to read this one to find that out. Is there a happy ever after? Oh, yes, and such a wonderful, surprising one at that.

Submit with Me by Amber Skyze

Submit with Me by Amber Skyze
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (36 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking, Anal Sex, Toys
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Rena is on a quest to get laid and she’s willing to go to any length to fulfill her need.

Marc has a thirst for a submissive. He longs to find someone he can bring to the edge of ecstasy and rein back in before an orgasm. He wants to tie, tease and torture his submissive, pushing the limits of sexual awareness.

When he offers Rena five hundred dollars to be his sub for the night, he gets more than he bargained for. This spitfire is about to show him a thing or two about submitting.

What seems simple can become really complicated with the shuffle of a couple hundred dollar bills. Then again, what seems complicated can be a whole lot of fun to unravel as well. Do I have your attention?

This is my first Amber Skyze story but it won’t be my last. From page one, I was hooked by the characters and before I knew it, I was well into their tale. The hero and heroine are realistic and comical. She won’t back down and he’s concerned he’ll push too far. I loved it. I felt like I was in the room watching them, and then needed a cool shower afterwards. Yes, it’s that steamy.

The characters are so memorable, I was thinking about them long after I closed the document. Rena has chutzpah. She knows what she wants, but getting it is another question. Each time she’s pushed to her boundaries, the little nudge to go past it seems enough to help her over the edge.

I think my favorite part of the story was Marc. He’s a dom, yes, but he’s not all he seems. As much as he needs to dominate her, he needs to be tender—as thought it’s ingrained in his system. I liked that about him. So many times authors write dominants that get off on pain and causing harm to the sub. Not so in this case. Marc, though he needs to be in control, needs to cherish. It’s beautiful to read.

And then there are the white-hot sex scenes. Each time she gives in to his demands, I shivered. It was some of the hottest writing I’ve had the honor of reading and reviewing. But, it doesn’t stop there, no, the ending is something I never saw coming and I loved it.

If you want a story that’s hot, and will stick with you long after the last page, then you need to read Submit with Me. I give it 4.5 cherries.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Life, Over Easy by KA Mitchell

Life, Over Easy by K.A. Mitchell
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (179 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, BDSM
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Rosemary

Watch that first step. It could turn your life upside down.

Fragments, Book 1

Until a fall ended his Olympic diving career, John Andrews lived for the seconds he spent in the air. Now he’s adrift on a college campus, grounded by paralyzing vertigo and double vision. Worse, he sees shimmering colors over everyone’s heads.

The last is hardest to ignore, and impossible when it comes to Mason. While sex with the hot, moody computer major gives John a rush as heady as diving, Mason’s the only person John’s ever seen surrounded by two distinct colors.

Mason feels like a stranger in his own life. His lover is dead, and he drowns his guilt in bourbon and sex—until John’s innocence reawakens the man he used to be. After Mason gives the young virgin a proper introduction to sex, he plans to send him on his way. But John sees too much to make things that easy.

For John, their connection is more than just sizzling sex, it’s something worth fighting for. The more he learns about the colors, though, the more he realizes the free-spirited Mason isn’t free at all. John doesn’t take second place to anyone—even the dead.

Will the ghost of Mason’s dead lover pull Mason and John together or tear them apart? The presence of Alex’s ghost came as a surprise to me (not to mention Mason and John), but I totally enjoyed the paranormal aspect of Life, Over Easy by K.A. Mitchell.

Both of our heroes have tragic pasts they are attempting to overcome. John is a past Olympic gold winning medalist whose diving career has come to an end following a diving accident. Along with the paralyzing vertigo and double vision comes synesthesia-the ability to “hear” colors and “see” shimmering colors which represent people’s auras. And for the first time in his life, John is attempting to live a normal life outside the world of competitive diving. John’s life has been woefully devoid of friends, boyfriends, and sexual experience. When he meets Mason, he hopes to, at the very least, gain sexual experience. Instead, he has a memorable night of non-sex and finds Mason to be more trouble than he is worth.

Trying to overcome his grief and guilt over Alex’s death, Mason has turned to bourbon and casual hook-ups. Their night of non-sex is a turning point for Mason, but he still finds it impossible to let Alex go. When Alex’s ghost begins paying him visits in dreams and real life, Mason knows he has to figure out a way to let him go. Now he needs to convince John to help him do it.

K. A. Mitchell has an all-star cast of well-developed characters in Life, Over Easy. With a sharp sense of humor, snappy dialogue, melt-the-sheets sex, and an intriguing synesthesia/ghost angle, Ms. Mitchell has no trouble keeping Life, Over Easy from descending into angst territory. One of the strongest plot points is having John and Mason work through their personal problems independent of one another. Strangely enough, I found this paranormal ghost story one of the most plausible books I have ever read!

I highly recommend Life, Over Easy by K. A. Mitchell. It is fast-paced, sexy, funny, and heart-warming. I am looking forward to the next book in the Fragments series.