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Friday, December 10, 2010

Delilah’s Downfall by Melissa Schroeder

Delilah’s Downfall by Melissa Schroeder
Publishing: Siren Publishing
Length: Short Story (128 pgs)
Genre: Contemporary
Other: M/F/M/M/M, menage, anal sex, m/f, toys, bdsm
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Canterbury Bell

Delilah Gonzales loves cowboys. She has from very early in her life. But, those in her hometown didn't show much interest, or respect, so she has sworn them off. Plus, she always seems to fall head over heels for them and they always seem to leave. That's before she gets hired as the Bartlett Ranch's cook and housekeeper. When she is faced with not one, but four, gorgeous brothers, she finds herself reevaluating her cowboy ban.

The Bartlett Brothers have been looking for a woman for all them. They each have different needs, wants, and Delilah seems to be the one to fill them all. It doesn't take long before they have her in their bed. But, when she is faced with choosing them over her family, will she stand up to her overbearing brothers, or leave the brothers with broken hearts?

Oh, Delilah, Delilah, what is a girl to do? Being a professionally trained chef, but wanting to go back home to the simple life and being with family, what do you decide to do? Take a cooking job at a ranch with four very hot and spicy brothers who, lucky for you, like to share…everything!!!!!

Delilah Gonzales is the new cook at the Bartlett Ranch. She gave up her very successful and lucrative career in an uptown restaurant for the change of scenery and reuniting with her three competitive brothers. The ranch is owned by four very hard working, hard playing cowboys, two of whom happen to be twins. From her first run in with the respectful and gentlemanly Mason, the Dom, Shane, and finally her intro to the lusty twins Justin and Jesse, her life is turned upside down. Is it possible to be physically and emotionally attracted to four men all at once, all in the same house, all in the same family? Oh boy, what a way to find out! Needless to say that her introduction to ranch life is not what she thought it would be.

Delilah is a complicated woman. She has grown up under the black cloud of a reckless mother and very overprotective brothers. Although all the Bartlett brothers have a similar desire, they are all so different in personality and manner that it makes this exciting to read. They are opposite in many way but complement each other in their dedication to their ranch and their desire for one woman to love all of them. They are the ultimate cowboys, physically and the ultimate men emotionally. The story carries their mutual attraction so smoothly and resists what could be cliché.

Once again, I love, love, love when the knight in shining armor is wearing a Stetson and chaps. I love even more when there is a happily ever after, again and again and again.

Heat Of The Night by S. L. Majors

Heat Of The Night by S. L. Majors
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (57 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex, bdsm
Rating 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Ambrosia

Bad boy Stephen Powell has finally met his match in Dakota Youngblood, a sexy, Alpha and older man who shows Stephen a thing or two in the heat of a hot summer night.

It was supposed to be punishment...

Last week he’d been living the high life in Monte Carlo, and now, after yet another brush with trouble, ultimate bad boy Stephen Powell has been banished to Wyoming, which might as well be the middle of nowhere.

Stephen wasn’t expecting to fall in love with the wild land or with its untamed rancher, Dakota Youngblood, a man as rugged as the mountains he calls home. Youngblood sizzles with intensity and teaches the brash younger man a thing or two about life, about passion, about commitment…

Ride ‘em cowboy! Riding bareback represents a much deeper level of status in the relationship between a young British wastrel who, for the first time in his life meets another male who turns him on like no woman ever did. When a Native-American gives up his solitary life to share two blissful weeks with his charge, he finds his heart can’t take the end results, expecting to be alone for life when their time together is over.

Troubled, angry, and resentful of his aunt’s intervention of his wild ways, Stephen Powell ends up on a Wyoming ranch with a handsome, intriguing native, who stirs more than an interest in lassoing cattle. Stephen has a, ‘charm-the-socks-off-a-snake-and-sell-them-right-back-to-it’ attitude and only wants to do his time on the ranch and get back to his carousing ways, yet the moment he meets the earthy man, he finds more than his curiosity stirring.

Since the year before when his lover left him for the big city, Dakota Youngblood chose to live alone on his vast ranch. Forced to mentor a rebellious young man, Dakota finds his charge has a mind of his own and always gets what he wants, and Stephen wants him! A willing victim of lust, when he embraces the rascal’s overtures, he’s blessed with more than he ever could have expected.

With a chemical attraction neither man can ignore hearts are lost and love is found. A sweet, sexy tale you won’t want to miss with an exceptional writing style and emotions that leap off the pages. This story deserves 5 Cherries. I think I’m going to invest in some rope too!

Enforce by Viola Grace

Enforce by Viola Grace
A Terran Times Story
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (91 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Gwen has been living a life of duty and responsibility. Her first Alliance assignment was as an Enforcer, her next the polar opposite, Matchmaker. She has fought rabid crowds with ease and control, but facing an endless supply of bridezillas is too much to handle when her old boss comes knocking. Etien Mathijen has pulled in every favour he was owed to get his true mate to his planet in a capacity where he can court her. Now he just has to get her cooperation and they will be able to live happily ever after. With her mind on duty and responsibility, can he crack her shell of reserve in time to save her from her own mindless obedience?

Gwen Steryio has held two very responsible positions. She was an Enforcer, helping to control rioters and unruly displays. When she left that life, she took with her the memory of one perfect passionate kiss from Etien Mathijen, her commander. Now she is a matchmaker, trained at the Citadel. She has a perfect success ratio, and yet she is alone.

When she is invited to the wedding of the latest couple she matched, she agrees to go if transport can be arranged. The uncle of the groom picks her up, and to her surprise, it is her old commander, Etien Mathijen. He knows something that she doesn’t: she is his true mate, and he has pulled lots of strings to get her to this planet. When she realizes all that he’s done to have her near him, she is stunned at first, but soon discovers a sense of freedom she has never had before. Can these two find a middle ground to agree on? Will Gwen accept everything that Etien offers her? And what is with those silver butterflies?

I absolutely adore the Terran Times stories. Viola Grace has used Earth as her future Terra, and the descendents of travelers to faraway worlds are the characters in her tales of romance and humor. These characters are very real and yet unique to this special world that Ms. Grace has built. I love how she weaves romance and fantasy together in these, and spices things up with some hot action.

Gwen is a strong woman, but she is lonely. She is devoted to her position as a matchmaker, and is proud of her work. I liked her confidence in both of her positions. She is also a bit insecure in her personal life, and I enjoyed watching her come out of her self-imposed isolation when she realized what freedom meant to her life.

Etien is determined to make things perfect for Gwen. He wants to claim her heart as well as her body, and he isn’t above subterfuge and trickery to get the results he wants. He is a man in love, and he makes no apologies for that. Of course, he is strong and sexy and absolutely mouth watering. The passion between Etien and Gwen is marvelous, and leads to some very hot and sexy passages.

This is a hot and fun romance, and I enjoyed watching the verbal sparring between Gwen and Etien, and seeing the ways he found to sneak past her defenses every time she put up another wall. This is one of my favorite Terran Times tales so far. There is a very special happy ever after in this one and I recommend it to anyone who wants a few giggles along the way. And the silver butterflies? You have to read this to understand them.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Brass Box by K.M. Mahoney

The Brass Box by K.M. Mahoney
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (70 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Is it real, or just smoke and mirrors?

As a member of the British gentry, Marcus Fleetwood-Smythe’s life is an endless round of responsibility and duty. Charged with finding a magician for his sister’s upcoming wedding, he ventures out into the pouring rain and finds Teague, whose free spirit calls to Marcus. And makes him hunger for anything and everything his position won’t allow him to have.

Teague’s stock in trade are his wandering feet and the rather odd lineage that takes the wonders he performs on stage beyond the ordinary. But there’s nothing more magical than the sparks that fly between him and Marcus. Except the duty-bound Marcus fears letting go of a life that’s smothering him almost as much as he fears discovery.

Desire fans the flames until it flares into forbidden passion, leaving Marcus poised on the precipice of the most frightening choice of his life. Risk everything for the man who holds his heart…or watch his one chance at forever vanish in a puff of smoke.

Do you believe in magic? That’s the question that haunts duty bound Marcus as he struggles with his obligations to his family and his desire for the enigmatic magician that refuses to be ignored. Teague is unlike anyone Marcus has known and neither man can get enough of each other. Teague’s traveling ways threaten to tear the new lovers apart but when faced with the choice of staying in London with his family or leaving with Teague, Marcus is consumed with indecision. How can he desert his family when they need him but how can he let go of Teague either?

The Brass Box is a lovely, charming romance that is close to pitch perfect. It’s a quick novella filled with ambiance, magic, illusion, desire, romance, intrigue, and delight. The classic historical London setting is used well without being overwhelming and sets a great backdrop to the time. The characters are wonderful and enjoyable from the very beginning as their chemistry sparks and only grows hotter. There are still some unanswered questions about Teague and his family but this only leaves room to revisit this wonderful couple in the future.

The writing is inspired with wonderful turns of phrase. The pace flies by and the novella is over far before you’re ready to leave the wonderful descriptions and lovely characters. The choice Marcus is faced with is not only reasonable for his time and station but one that really causes him to think and reevaluate. The answer is pretty easy once he’s able to see it but the decision is not instant so the tension is present and nicely handled.

This is the first story I’ve read of this author’s and can’t wait to read more. The atmosphere and touch of magic come alive within the pages and the story is filled with rich sensuality. This is a story that fills its pages and leaves you wanting more. I’m definitely going to see what else this author has written and easily recommend The Brass Box to romance fans that want a shorter story to sink into. You won’t be disappointed.

Oz by Eden Elgabri and Heather Peters

Oz by Eden Elgabri and Heather Peters
Publisher: Red Sage Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (98 pgs)
Other: Ménage, BDSM, M/M/F/M/M/F, Anal Sex/Play, Voyeurism, Spanking
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Lionel and Crow and Tim, oh my!

Can Dorothea Gale escape the clutches of foreclosure by making a deal to have sex with three handsome men?

Dorothea Gale is a victim of a bad economy. After losing her job, Thea asks Tim Woodman, the man of her dreams and the contractor who built her home, to help her sell it. He leads her to the powerful William Ozarak, a voyeur, who offers her a deal – sexual submission for one month in exchange for two years worth of mortgage payments. Can she barter her body to prove ‘there’s no place like home’? Or will she lose her soul in the process?

Tim Woodman, who is in the middle of a divorce, isn’t looking for entanglements. Yet he can’t help be drawn to the sexy Thea. If he helps her will he lose his heart? Or did he even have one to begin with?

Dorothea Gale had a good life; at least she did until her only relatives died, and the economy caused her to lose her job. Now she may lose her dream home, the one built by her childhood crush turned friend, the recently divorced Tim Woodman. When she turns to Tim for advice, he sends her to his biggest competitor, William Ozarak, believing that if anyone can help her, it will be Oz.

What Oz proposes enrages Tim, but Thea realizes it is the only option to save her beloved home, and agrees to the deal. Thea, along with a man of her choice, will be at the beck and call of Oz and his perverted desires for thirty day, in return for two years payment on her mortgage. Along with Tim, Thea will be involved with Lionel King and Terrance Crow, all under the watchful eyes of Oz and his fiancée Endora. Can Thea get through the thirty days, and secure her home? Can she face Tim when this is over, to salvage something from their relationship? Or will secrets and lies ruin any chance for happiness?

This is a hot and sexy take on the story we all know and love. The characters are delicious and easily recognizable: Dorothea Gale, Tim Woodman, Lionel, Crow and of course, pulling the strings and orchestrating it all, the powerful William ‘Oz’ Ozarak. I liked the character development, and the way the authors integrated small things from the original story in new and creative ways. This is definitely not for the squeamish or timid.

Dorothea ‘Thea’ Gale is determined to do what it takes to save her home, even if it means making a deal with Oz. I found her courage to enter into this deal admirable, if a bit desperate. I also found her surprise as she discovered a side to her sensuality she never knew was there to be an intriguing development.

The men in this story were all delicious; well except for Oz, who was portrayed as a slime ball manipulator. In Tim, we see the tin man, a builder who many see as heartless, but who has deeply felt emotions. Lionel is the cowardly lion, who has been hiding who he really is until this adventure, where he discovers his preferences lay in a less feminine direction. And Crow has the brains that scarecrow wanted so badly, participating in Oz’s schemes from time to time. The three men are all gorgeous; blond and gorgeous Lionel, dark and delicious Crow, and steady and sexy Tim. What more could one woman want?

But there are hidden agendas, things that Thea doesn’t know about everything happening. These secrets could shatter the very foundations of the blossoming relationship between Thea and Tim forever. I enjoyed watching the way things unfolded, and was very pleased with the way Tim handled things to provide a happy ever after for Thea and himself, while also foiling Oz’s great plan.

But be warned: this is a very explicit and detailed story, sure to heat up your night and give you many delicious thrills.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Myths and Magic: Legends of Love anthology by Cari Z., Helen Madden, Belinda McBride and others

Myths and Magic: Legends of Love anthology by Cari Z., Helen Madden, Belinda McBride and others
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy
Length: Full Length (337 pgs)
other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Lose yourself in tales of yore, in myths, fairy tales, and legends shrouded in the mists of time. These are stories of beasts and men from ancient tomes, of gods, sorcerers, and ancient heroes, of fairies and elves, of dragons and unicorns, and almost anything you might dream. Let your imagination take the reins and experience the power of the timeless past as men in many different forms undertake the highest of quests: the search for a love of the ages.

This book had so many different stories and authors to enjoy. With a wide variety of writing styles and plots there is sure to be something for everyone in this anthology. Whether it is a story about the Genie in the lamp or a Chinese dragon you are bound to find a wondrous tale of love and myth in this book.

There were many stories that I enjoyed and a few stood out more than the others. In The Wild Hunt by Cari Z. we see a child grow into a man and his intense love that never dies. This was an interesting story that used the mystical legend of the wild hunt.

The Sower and the Reaper by Helen Madden brings us a wonderful tale of love and worship. I really enjoyed watching young Hosa learn and love.

Yet another story, The Flower Boy by Belinda McBride, brings to life one of the Eight Immortals of Taoism. This was a very touching story of finding love even when you are not looking for it. This story also ends with a beautiful twist. I could go on about more stories like the one about the fairy and the one about the dragon but you must read this anthology for your self and see just what wonderful stories you enjoy the most.

Of course with any anthology that I have read I found some stories I loved and some that I did not. This book was a nice way to visit old authors and find new ones to enjoy. It is a great way for new readers to try different authors and writing styles. I think that many readers will find this anthology a good read.

By Your Side by Willa Okati

By Your Side by Willa Okati
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (100 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Seven years ago, during a sultry summer by a lake, Matthieu fell in love with a man fifteen years his junior. Intelligent, passionate and talented, Roman swore he wanted nothing more than to settle down with Matthieu for the rest of his life. Matthieu couldn't let that happen. The way he saw it, Roman had too much talent to waste with a small life and small dreams. He tried to do the right thing by severing all ties with the young man who commanded his passion, hoping that one day Roman would forgive and forget him.

That was never going to happen.

Roman has always known exactly who and what he wants -- who he loves. Now that he's found Matthieu again, Roman's willing to do anything it takes to prove it. He'll use his body, his music, and all his wiles to show the older man that their love is as real as their passion, and that they are meant to be together. Matthieu isn't easily convinced, but Roman isn't easily bested. He's never been good at taking "no" for an answer -- especially when he knows his partner well enough to be sure what he really wants to say is yes, yes, yes.

Can you fall in love in an instant and stay in love forever? That’s the question Matthieu is faced with when he finds himself in love with a very young artist named Roman. Roman just turned eighteen and although he wants Matthieu, the older man knows there is a whole world for Roman to explore. After just one night together, Matthieu leaves to let Roman mature and experience life without an older man weighing him down. Yet Roman never stops looking for Matthieu and when they’re reunited seven years later, Roman is determined they’re going to be together forever.

By Your Side is a lyrical, lovely story. It has a fey quality to the writing and descriptions as they are littered with musical references and comparisons. Roman is an artist, a singer, songwriter, and his love of music is only eclipsed by his love for Matthieu. Not even years apart can dampen their love and Roman’s determined to prove this to the older man. Their May/December romance is nicely depicted though the age difference isn’t much of a factor. It causes Matthieu some indecision and angst about tying the other man down but there’s no real question the two will end up together.

The real star of the novella is the writing and descriptions. There is a hazy, almost indistinct quality as the actions never seem crisp. It’s as if there is a layer of fog over everything and it helps give the story close to a magical feeling. The dialogue is sparse and often repetitive as Roman is trying to convince Matthieu to let their love flourish and Matthieu of course wants to as well. There’s no real reason for the two to be apart and it’s clear their passion and emotion will win.

By Your Side is sure to be a hit with fans of the author and those readers that enjoy a more lyrical edge to their romance. Although contemporary, this story reads as if from another time with its emphasis on musical description and sparse descriptions. For those readers who enjoy tales of simple, easy love this could satisfy.

Eternal Craving by Nina Bangs

Eternal Craving by Nina Bangs
Gods of the Night Book 2
Publisher: Dorchester Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Action/Adventure
Length: Full Length (308 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Lies. He's been promised a new life as the hunter he once was. But Al soon learns that all the rules have changed. Now he must control his most basic urges—the need to kill, to feed, to mate. And the woman he wants looks at him with both heat and fear in her eyes. Jenna Maloy doesn't buy this story that he's come to Philadelphia to save souls. She seems to see through the layers of deception to the primitive heart of him. With her beside him, Al stalks the dark forces that crouch in the city's night shadows. But the real battle rages in his heart. Love is a formidable opponent. How can he ask her to stay with him after she's seen the savagery of his beast? He only knows that if she turns from him he'll be cursed with an eternal craving.

The battle that began in Houston, to stop “the Nine” from destroying mankind, has moved on to Philadelphia. ‘Nine’ has been banished to the cosmos, to wait another sixty five million years for the next chance to create chaos. Fin has brought the Gods of the Night to Philly to find and stop ‘Eight’ from succeeding where his comrade in destruction failed. When investigative (tabloid) reporter Jenna Maloy comes looking for her sister, she gets so much more than she bargained for.

Jenna has written about alien abduction stories, and many other weird tales as well, but she never thought she would be living one of those stories. First there’s something, well, different about her sister’s new husband and his friends. When Jenna discovers that there are many things to fear, and they are all real, she is stunned. Vampires, demons and werewolves are just the tip of the iceberg in this new world she has fallen into.

Then she meets Al Endeka, and the attraction is so far over the top, she doesn’t know what to believe. Can Jenna really be the key to stopping Eight, just as her sister stopped Nine? Can she soothe the beast in Al, and accept what he offers? Will all of the Gods of the Night survive this battle with Eight and his minions?

This is the second book in the Gods of the Night series, and it is just as action packed as the first. The characters continue to fascinate and draw me in to the story, this time with the added tension of a possible vampire political upheaval along with the search for the evil ‘Eight’ and the rising passion between our hero and heroine. Nina Bangs has done a marvelous job of mixing fantasy with real locations, and keeping the reader on the edge throughout the story.

Jenna Maloy is a tabloid reporter, suspicious by nature and determined to find the story behind her sister’s sudden marriage and move. She is resilient, and learns to roll with the changes as each new paranormal creature proves to be real. I got a kick out of her reaction when she finally realized she was sitting on the greatest expose of her career, and she couldn’t publish a word of it. I also loved that along with her courage at accept all that Al is, she was also smart enough to not tell him what she thought would hurt him.

Al is the least ‘civilized’ of the ten at first. He doesn’t want to be human, and has to practice at control. But he vows to protect Jenna, and as he spends time with her, he begins to respect and then to care for her. Of course, he is the image of the ‘bad boy’ type: long hair, scruffy jeans and all. And the man is sin on two legs. All of the characters in these books, the males anyway, are perfectly created for maximum hottage.

There are some sad moments in this one, and there is the loss of one of the good guys, creating a gap in the fighting forces for good. But as Fin says, sometimes the bad guys get lucky.

I love the concept behind these books. The combination of the Mayan prophecy, and dinosaur shifters is just too delicious to be ignored. The twists and intrigues in this one make for one very captivating story, and I can’t wait for more in this series.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Goodbye Scrooge by Jaime Samms

Goodbye Scrooge by Jaime Samms
Publisher: Pink Petal Books
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (60 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

When beautiful, perfect basket ball hero Eric hits on grad student Marcus, it's more than just another flirtation. Marcus realizes it's time to take a good look at the difficult relationship he's had with his unpredictable and bitter professor Julian for the past four years. He has to make a decision. Sure he's ready to move on, he plans to give Julian one last Christmas gift; an unforgettable night, before he leaves.

He never expected to be the person who can't get the passion they find on that last go round out of his head. His decision isn't going to be as simple as he'd hoped. Maybe perfect isn't everything after all.

Is the holiday season enough to infuse happiness into the grumpiest of men? Marcus is determined to try. Over the past four years, college student Marcus has been having an on again, off again affair with his professor, Julian. Now with graduation on the horizon and a seemingly perfect man, Eric, waiting to sweep into his life, Marcus must decide between the grumpy but enigmatic Julian and the beautiful, new Eric.

Goodbye Scrooge is a sweet, quick tale about opposites that find common ground. The premise is different from most in that one of the main characters is a grumpy, morally questionable, emotionally unavailable, and rather unlikable man. Julian is not going to spark any great love in readers but his road to happiness is one that’s entertaining. Marcus is little better since he can’t seem to decide between the perfect Eric and the anything but perfect Julian but ultimately he decides on the man perfect for him.

The story is really too short to be more than an amusing romance. The characters are interesting but simply not given enough space or time to become more than ideas. There is clearly so much more to the men and the idea than is presented, simply due to the short space. Yet the story still stands out well because it’s definitely not your average, forgettable holiday story. Instead the many differences and unique quirks make this more enjoyable and absolutely more memorable than many others.

If you’re looking for a holiday story to get into the season, Goodbye Scrooge offers a good romance with quirky characters and something that will stand out in your holiday book shopping. It’s too short to really satisfy but for those readers that always wanted the grumpy guy to fall in love, here’s a great happy ending.

The Scarab Prince by Rebecca Goings

The Scarab Prince by Rebecca Goings
(Desert Princes of Jikkar, #2)
Publisher: Carnal Passions
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (185 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Dahlia

Trianna Pramtash must be punished for her assault on the Viper Prince’s intended bride. Not wishing to do so himself, the Viper gives her to his best friend, the Scarab Prince, to mete out her sentence--the one man who’s held Trianna’s heart since childhood.

Qadir Hadmas is overjoyed Trianna no longer belongs to the Viper. His heart broke years ago when she left Suridesh engaged to his best friend--but she never married Tariq. She belongs to him now, and he’s not about to let her go.

Neither of them is prepared for the sensual delights Trianna’s punishments turn out to be. Their fragile childhood bond turns into a raging inferno--one they cannot deny. But when Trianna is taken from him in a spectacular sandstorm, it is up to the Scarab Prince to claim the woman he has always wanted, and make her his in truth.

A childhood love turns to full blown passion as adults when Trianna and Qadir see each other for the first time after many years apart. Although they try to ignore their growing love, they can't deny the physical reactions when in each others presence. Qadir uses the opportunity he has gained as Trianna's new caravan prince to punish her in ways she's never experienced, only his punishment doesn't go as planned. Before Qadir knows it, he has become her prisoner of the heart.

My ultimate Alpha has characteristics of possession, passion, intensity, and tenderness, and I have to say Qadir exhibits all of these traits marvelously. Trianna became my new favorite female lead as I learned more about her and she's also the only one who has the Scarab Prince wrapped around her finger. What more could a girl ask for? Regardless of others' warnings and their own internal warring, they make their affirmation of love and intentions public. Their unions as a couple were both lustful and erotic with a healthy dose of romance.

Ms. Goings wrote a story full of passion between two people who had been childhood friends first, making the connection they feel as adults that much deeper. Their reunion is emotional and full of hope for a better future together, but obstacles lay in the way. It is one of the basic templates for a romance, yet Ms. Goings kept me interested by the circumstances and the world in which she built around them. The creative thought and and hard work to put this story into words is evidenced while reading and Ms. Goings should have those efforts acknowledged. The pages were literally flying past my eyes as I devoured this story. It was very hard to put it down and only when I reached the end did I find myself still not wanting to. I recommend starting with the first book in this series as I'm sure any Sci-Fi/Fantasy reader won't be disappointed and will be sure to make Ms. Goings an 'auto-buy' author.

Recommended reading for fans of being romantically submissive to the one you love.

Fallen Angel by Sam Cheever

Fallen Angel by Sam Cheever
A Del Fantasma Story
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (92 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Sick of heroes and on the run from angry gods, Bellona Fara, a Valkyrie, visits Del Fantasma looking for a bad boy to love. Cody introduces her to fallen angel, Gabe, who's trying to atone for a single mistake that haunts his days and nights with regret. When an earthquake shakes the very foundations of life in Vista Loma, California, their growing feelings for each other will be sorely tested, as they try to fight their basic natures while dealing with things well beyond their control.

Valkyries have always served a noble purpose: escort the souls of fallen heroes to Valhalla where they may be judged honorable and serve to protect the gods. But Bellona Fara is tired of heroes, and she comes to Del Fantasma looking for a good time with a bad boy. What she finds is Gabe, a fallen angel, trying to atone for the one serious mistake he made.

Bellona realizes that Odin has changed the rules of soul harvesting, and because of this, mankind is losing its heroes before their time, and many times, against their will. When an earthquake hits Vista Loma, Bellona must choose between harvesting unwilling souls with her sisters, or placing the heroes of Vista Loma under her protection. Can she save the souls of all those deserving heroes, giving them the chance at full lives? Can she convince Gabe that he is more than the one mistake he made, no matter how tragic it was? Can she convince her sister Valkyries to stand against the injustice of the taking of unwilling souls, or will she start a war that none will win?

Sam Cheever has written a romantic story of two very different beings that fall in love against all odds. The characters are delightful and well crafted, with many emotional layers for each. This is also a story with intrigue and betrayal, and standing up for what you believe is right. I loved watching Bellona grow into the strong and righteous warrior, willing to take on the very Gods she served to right wrongs done in their name.

Bellona has become tired of the fighting, tired of heroes. She is strong and cares deeply about the way things are turning out. I enjoyed watching her come to terms with her role in the scheme of things, and I loved that she had the strength of character to fight to change things, even if it meant going against her sister Valkyries. I also liked that she wasn’t willing to give up on Gabe, seeing more good in him than he saw in himself.

Gabe is one of my favorite types of heroes. Yes, he is strong and handsome and sexy. But he is a tortured and broken soul, and he has been struggling to atone for one wrong move. I love the interaction between Gabe and Bellona, and how each is supportive of the other.

There are several wonderful surprises in this, and I refuse to spoil the reader’s enjoyment by revealing them. I do recommend this one for those who love romance with redemption and passion and happy ever after for all.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Custom Ride by K.A. Mitchell

Custom Ride by K.A. Mitchell
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (82 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Life’s not always about the journey, but who takes you on the ride.

A Midsummer Night’s Steam story.

A stint in the Air Force left Ryan MacRae with a bitter memory of life in the closet. Jeff Allstein is a mechanic who has too much to lose if his private life becomes public. The heat of their attraction boils over on a stormy summer night, but satisfying that need only makes them both crave more.

Their searing connection makes it hard for Ryan to understand the road blocks Jeff continually puts down. Ryan will have to buckle up if he’s going to find love at the end of his custom ride.

Mix one carefree man with one closeted man and his daughter. What have you got? A really great read!

I know when I read a K.A. Mitchell book, I’m in for a white hot read. This book lives up to her reputation for sizzling sex and depth of emotion in her characters. I felt like I was right there with the characters and going through the trials and triumphs next to them.

I breezed through this book quickly, but don’t think it’s a light-hearted read. It’s got its comical moments, but it’s also got tender moments. There were many times when I rooted for the characters to get their heart’s desires.

Ryan lives a structured but carefree life. He’s got his issues and his problems, but he’s ordered. I loved when he’s in the club – he wasn’t about to have a random hook-up. And yet, he does. It’s his willingness, even when he’s not sure of it, to step out of his comfort space that I liked. There’s a very touching moment when he struggles with what he wants from Jeff. I loved that scene, even though it broke my heart.

Jeff is hard to understand. He’s got a lot going on and a lot to hide. But it’s believable. He can’t lose his daughter, but he can’t seem to let go of Ryan. That sort of conundrum is a good one to have in some ways. Ryan’s a hunky catch. Anna, Jeff’s daughter, adds a cute and heartwarming touch. She’s smitten with Ryan and totally in favor of her daddy being happy. If only all people could be that understanding...

If you want a story that’s hot and has a sizzling scene in a Camaro (my vehicular weapon of choice), then you need to read Custom Ride. I give this story 4 cherries.