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Friday, December 16, 2011

Carrie’s Answer by Sierra & VJ Summers

Carrie’s Answer by Sierra & VJ Summers
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (109 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Kennedia

One weekend. That’s all Marcus Worthington asks of his assistant Carrie Anderson when she resigns. One weekend to teach her the pleasures of dominance and submission, to satisfy his never-ending craving for her and to get her out of his system. Then he’ll let her go.

Two days. That’s all Marcus has promised Carrie. But as he pushes her past the limits of pleasure and satisfies her darkest desires, she knows two days will never be enough.

Dark fantasies and extreme emotions are the foundation of Carrie’s Answer. Sierra and VJ Summers write a BDSM romance with an intensity that will grip readers by their throats and won’t let go until the last page.

Marcus Worthington is a business mogul with some very dark tastes in the bedroom and a need to ultimately dominate his partner. Marcus has lost faith in himself and worries that he will never find a woman who will love him and his dark fantasies. Then his assistant, Carrie, resigns and he finds himself wondering if she could be the one woman who could fulfill his fantasies.

Carrie Anderson is a woman who wants to be dominated by a man in the bedroom, specifically by Marcus, her boss. Carrie has heard rumors of Marcus’ kinks and wants him to explore them with her. However Marcus has very strong opinions on office relationships and Carrie knows unless she quits, she will never have the opportunity to submit to the one man she loves.

Sierra and VJ Summers have written an intense BDSM romance with a believable plot and extremely emotional points of view for both main characters. I like the premise of two days to explore the BDSM relationship between Marcus and Carrie to see if they are suited and the fact that Marcus isn’t a slime ball boss trying to take advantage of Carrie. The scenes between the two lovers were very erotic and graphically written that it had me turning the pages in anticipation of the next scene. This book was very serious, and had little relief from the emotions of the characters, making this a very powerful read. On a personal level I could have used a little levity but ultimately that would take away from the overall intensity I think the authors were trying to portray.

If a reader is looking for an emotionally intense romance with a little kink thrown into the mix than this book is a must have. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what Sierra and VJ Summers come out with next.

Blood Crystal by Lynne Connolly

Blood Crystal by Lynne Connolly
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (176 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Peppermint

Cerys is happy working in the bar in her hometown of Llandudno, Wales. Nobody knows her secret until she meets dark, brooding Rhodri Tryfanwy. He knows her at once, because he’s like her. Vampire.

Rhodri sees the ethereal Cerys as everything he’s ever wanted. Light to his darkness, he takes her and she responds. Long nights of passion give him the hope he’d almost given up on finding. But events move too fast, and Rhodri has to return to the dangerous, violent world of Department 57. His old adversary, Geoffrey Wilkinson, gives him no choice.

Thrown into a new world, Cerys is forced to leave everything she knows behind to search for him. She is Rhodri’s only chance. Without her help, he’ll be taken apart, piece by piece, and sold to people who will exploit what he is to make money and take power they’re not entitled to.

Without her love, he is dead. Without his love, she will want to die. Only together can they hope to survive.

Department 57 has been one of my favorite series since the first story. One of the reasons I found it so enjoyable was a plethora of interesting paranormal characters. Vampires have been one of my favorite types of paranormal creatures for a while new so I knew this story would enjoyable. Rhodri and Cerys did not disappoint me in any way.

Rhodri is an ancient vampire and it shows and his old worldly beliefs and his demanding personality. While these traits may be repulsive to modern woman, for another vampire they are endearing and cherished. It is one of the things that Cerys finds attractive about Rhodri and a reason she invites him to her bed, even if it's only temporary.

While Rhodri may be a bit demanding and domineering, Cerys seem to be the epitome of a dainty female. Even when feeding she tries to be as neat and feminine as possible.

It wasn't only the romance that was entertaining and refreshing, it was the conflict as well. While readers who are new to the series may find themselves a bit puzzled at times, I think for the most part anyone can pick up this story and still appreciate the well-written plotlines.

Wilkinson has been an enemy of the Crystal Team and Department 57 as a whole for a while and his antics carry on into this story. With the stakes high on both ends, the conflict brought excitement and tension to the story that left me at the edge of my seat. Like many of the previous stories, this is one I would read again and would recommend. Anyone who likes paranormal erotic romance will thoroughly enjoy this story.

F-Stop by Desiree Holt

F-Stop by Desiree Holt
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Paranormal, Suspense Mystery, contemp
Length: Full Length (208 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Dogwood

Kat Culhane hasn’t seen Mike D’Antoni for two years until they run into each other in Texas. Time has passed but the heat between them hasn’t diminished. Hello leads to lunch, lunch leads to dinner, and dinner leads to bed…and the most erotic sex they’ve ever had.

When Kat’s sister disappears, along with her boss and his family, Mike and the Phoenix Agency roll into action, with Kat’s remote viewing abilities playing a key role in the search. At night she loses herself in Mike’s arms as his hands and mouth soothe and seduce her. In addition to finding her sister, it’s obvious to Kat and Mike that this time around, they also have to find a way to hang on to each other.

When the sexy ex-military pilot, Mike D’Antoni finds his way back into the life of his former lover Kat Culhane, the two find that their romance has not diminished at all with time but is indeed still as lethal as ever. Soon however Kat has a bigger concern than whether her romance with Mike will last this time. Her sister, as well as a wealthy prominent family, have been kidnapped by the Mexican Drug Cartel.

How will she ever rescue her little sister?

Well...Welcome to the Phoenix Agency!

With Kat's remote viewing abilities and Mike's teammates at the agency, Kat soon learns that they can do more than any normal government agency could even dream of.

Again Desiree Holt has shown her readers that she is indeed a true romance writing star!

F-Stop is a thrilling literary ride of suspense, intrigue and eroticism. Despite the fact I have yet to read the whole series, I loved that this account was not a book where I got lost because I hadn't read previous books in the series. In fact, this tale only cemented my desire to catch up with all of the characters lives thus far in the previous books.

I really enjoyed the fact that I could not predict whom the betrayer was until the end of the book. This is unusual for me as I find that I can predict the ending more times than not in most suspense mysteries. Ms. Holt has showed in F-Stop that she can write a passionate adventure filled with conspiracy and twisting plots. Not only was this reader pulling for Mike and Kat's relationship, which was scorching, I found myself cheering on the Phoenix Agency to find, locate and rescue our unfortunate victims.

As I stated previously, not only was I completely caught-up in the lives of Mike and Kat, I found myself just as intrigued with the secondary characters. Her villains were despicable and her heroes were exciting. What more can a gal possibly ask for in a erotic romance-thriller?

Are you looking for a story filled with twist and turns and a lot of heat? Well F-Stop may just be the last stop you will have to make. Hang-on and enjoy the thrill!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bind Me by Stacey Kennedy

Bind Me by Stacey Kennedy
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (57 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 3 Cherries
Reviewed by Gladiolas

Four best friends embrace their fantasies and make a pact of seduction to live out their deepest and darkest desires. The women place their lives in the hands of fate and one short straw declares Marley will be the first to awaken her secret wishes.

Reed, a Dom at sex club Castle Dolce Vita, has lived the BDSM lifestyle for awhile, but has yet to find a submissive that suits him. That is until he meets Marley, a woman seeking to indulge her fantasies.

As Reed guides her through a night of pleasure, Marley brings more to him than a perfect submissive--she stirs emotions in him long ago lost. By binding Marley, he runs up against his own limits, and now he has to choose between his self-protective barriers or surrendering to the wildfire Marley has reignited in his heart.

Four friends, a pact and sexual fantasies come together to create a whole lot of sexy. Bind Me, Book One of the Pact Seduction series, introduces us to best friends who want to fulfill their darkest desires.

First up is Marley, a newly minted twenty-five year old who wants to discover what it’s like to be dominated by a man. Although slightly hesitant, she realizes she can’t back out of her promise to her friends once it’s been made. Not to mention she’s eager to explore her submissive side with a man who makes her heart race and her blood boil. Thankfully the dominant who responds to her ad is all she needs and more. Reed is gorgeous, in control, and wants to introduce Marly to the scene. Despite his determination not to fall into a relationship, there is something about Marley he can’t deny. Together they explore desires and test limits. When the night ends will they move on with their lives? Or will they take a chance on something more?

Bind Me introduces you to the protagonists of the first book while setting up future stories in the series. This aspect is intriguing, as is the promise of future fantasies brought to fruition. There is a lot to look forward to, especially if a reader is drawn in by a particular fantasy. The setup is promising and the characters that will appear in future books are carefully introduced. Sadly, the first book in the series never quite hit its stride. The primary problem is Bind Me is written with a lot of tell and little show, making it difficult to connect to Marley or Reed. Sexual tension ramps up the heat, but heartfelt emotions fall short. That being said, the sex is steamy. Reed is more than willing to initiate Marley into the world of BDSM, and Marley is only too happy to explore her submissive side.

For those who enjoy sizzling hot erotic romances, Bind Me is certainly worth considering. The foundation of the Pact Seduction series will undoubtedly prompt readers to return in order to learn what happens to Marley, Reed, and her best friends.

She Likes Him Bad by Scarlett Scott

She Likes Him Bad by Scarlett Scott
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (54 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Stephantois

Emma Lee Bridges is back in her tiny hometown for the first time in years. Not even twenty-four hours after hitting the landing strip, she’s already forced to face the boy she loved and left behind.

But Jackson isn’t exactly the boy she remembers. Now the sexy owner of a successful mechanic shop, he takes one look at Emma and wants her back—permanently.

The sex between them is downright flammable, the chemistry they share as wild as ever. And this time around, Emma has to decide if she wants to run or stay for good.

Emma returns home for a visit and runs into Jackson where old memories resurface.

One thing I really enjoyed about this story was the well drawn characters. Everyone seemed so lifelike, even secondary characters like Emma’s mother were interesting. Plus, the setting was well described and I imagined myself in this small southern town.

And what can I say about Jackson? He’s sexy and now a mature man who runs a mechanics shop. How can Emma resist him and leave town again is a question you continue to ask yourself as you read further into the plot.

Emma has a new life in LA but when things heat up and get interesting between these old lovers you find yourself turning the page to see if Emma opts to stay with Jackson…yes, you’re hoping she does, or will she head back to her interior design business in California?

The dialogue between Emma and Jackson is really insightful. The sex scenes are hot and plentiful.

You’ll enjoy this book in one sitting because it’s quick paced. If you like sexy short reads about characters coming back home and reassessing their lives and what’s next for them, I’m sure you’ll enjoy She Likes Him Bad.

Point Blank by Kaily Hart

Point Blank by Kaily Hart
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (48 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating 4 cherries
Reviewed by Stephanotis

No more safe choices. No more watching life pass her by. No more regrets.

It’s Lanie Jameson’s new mantra, or it would be if she had the guts to pull it off. Lanie’s harbored a secret crush on bad boy Rex Harper for longer than she can remember. And there’s no time like the present, right?

When Rex sees Lanie again he knows nothing’s changed—he still wants her in his bed. Lanie’s got the same idea—to fulfill a fantasy long overdue—except Rex doesn’t want the fantasy to end. He wants it to be real. For good. He just has to convince Lanie to give him a chance beyond her point-blank proposition.

Lanie attends her high school reunion and has her heart set on Rex, who was the school outcast.

The first thing I liked about Point Blank was that Rex, despite being a sexy guy, had once been bullied and other kids were told to stay away from him. It made it a welcome change from a heroine chasing after the football hero. Lanie has always seen the good in him and it comes across as not just a physical attraction which I felt made her a sympathetic character and one you hope gets her man.

I liked the dialogue between these two characters. It was natural sounding, moved the story along and the pace was just right for this short read.

Sex scenes are hot and frequent and the outcome more than satisfying. If you love stories about old acquaintances reconnecting…or connecting for the first time, this is probably a good pick for you.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Destiny’s Path by Kimberly Hunter

Destiny’s Path by Kimberly Hunter
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (181 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Moonflower

...meets the big, bad wolf. A nightmare or a fairy tale?

In one night, Sasha Edwards’ life forever changes when a rogue Lupus viciously attacks her and infects her with the Lupus virus. The Pack doctor and Beta wolf, Flynn LeGuer, is the only man who can save her. But his professional and personal boundaries are tested when he discovers Sasha is the woman he’s been waiting for his entire life—his True Mate.

Sasha must dig deep to find the courage she never knew she possessed when Flynn tells her the truth of her new life: she's not only a wolf but his mate as well. Can they trust each other enough to reclaim a long-denied passion? And can they stop the ancient evil pursuing them before it destroys their life together yet again?

What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger, a motto that Sasha will soon learn to appreciate.

Sasha Edwards’ life is about to change. Attacked after a night out with friends, she is thrust into the secret world of werewolves. She was an average woman with an average life. To the pack surrounding her she is anything but average. She has astonishingly survived the attack, the first woman ever. She never expected much out of life and handles the shock of her new existence rather well. Unknown to her or the pack, she is the catalyst to a prophecy. The outcome will either kill her or save the packs from extinction.

A True Mate is a rare gift, one Flynn never expected to experience. A True Mate is the perfect person, made just for you. Lives, souls and hearts are bound into a perfect assembly of love, never to be broken. Now that Flynn has found his True Mate he will never let her go. The only problem is she has no idea about werewolves and he is unsure if she will accept him.

Destiny’s Path takes place in a short amount of time. From the moment Sasha wakes from her attack her life changes fast and furiously. Unknown to her she is now an Alpha and in the middle of an ancient prophecy that has repeated itself over and over during the centuries. Now all the pieces are in place and another showdown between good and evil is set to begin.

The real story to me is Sasha’s new life. She now feels whole, like she finally belongs. She is welcomed into her new family with open arms, something she never experienced with her birth family. She has a new life and love, and she will protect what is hers to her dying breath.

Destiny’s Path is a good story with moments of heart pounding suspense. The plot was nicely built up to allow for the appreciation of Sasha’s development. I did enjoy the new take on the prophecy. It was a surprising little twist that seemed perfect. I was able to follow the story quite easily and found it very satisfying. I did have a sense that there are more stories to come. At least I hope so.

As Ms. Hunter built her world, I was drawn in. I felt like I was home; all comfy and warm. Her writing was soothing and not rushed. The story was well paced and an easy read. This is not a shockingly pulsating story. Though there is action, I was more drawn to the characters and the welcoming arms of the pack. This is a nice change of pace for cold winter months. Curl up and enjoy this heartwarming tale.

Take This Man by Nona Raines

Take This Man by Nona Raines
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full length (181 pgs)
Other: M/F, menage, m/f/m
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed By Dianthus

The biggest mistake of Elyse Zemanski's life was falling in love with Adam. When a night of sexual fantasy went too far, she was crushed and couldn't leave town fast enough.

The biggest mistake of Adam Vostek's life was letting Elyse go. He'd been afraid of the love she promised and pushed her away—into another man's arms...and bed.

When Elyse returns to Summit to help a friend, Adam wants a second chance to prove he’s worthy—in and out of the bedroom. She claims she's over him, but one look from those smoldering dark eyes, and she throws caution to the wind. Elyse offers him seven days of wild sex, hoping to get him out of her system. Adam's good to go on the sex. But will a week be enough to win back Elyse's love and trust?

Can the pains of the past really dictate how your future goes? That is how Adam Vostek feels. After growing up in a less than stellar home, he hasn’t been able to open up to anyone. But after meeting Elyse Zemanski, he can’t seem to get enough of her, and when they are apart this pain starts in his chest, but that isn’t love….is it? But when the emotions get too thick, Adam has to find a way to push Elyse away, because if she knew the truth than she would run from him as fast as possible. But will pushing her away make him feel better, or when Elyse leaves is she taking his heart with her?

Elyse Zemanski has been madly in love with Adam since the first day they met at the Hi-Lite Bakery where she was working. But when Adam brings another man into their bed, she is taken aback by it and then a cold realization hit: if he loved her he wouldn’t ask her to do this.

This was a really good story that I truly enjoyed reading. The characters were well thought out and the story line believable. It moved at an easy pace. I read this book in one sitting, but felt there needed to more to the story because of the other characters involved.

I really enjoyed Nona Raines work. The writing was smooth, the sex hot and the ending satisfying. She will definitely go on my short list of go-to authors. This book does not disappoint.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Stark Naked by Desiree Holt

Stark Naked by Desiree Holt
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (71 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Carnation

Naked is nice. But Stark naked is definitely more fun…

Reenie Davenport learned the hard way that men are cheating, promotion-thieving poison. A month after making a fresh start in Texas, she looks forward to taking a breather at her old college friend Amy’s family ranch. Instead, she’s left breathless when Amy’s very drunk, very sexy, very naked brother lands at her feet. Even as she hardens her heart, a small part of her wishes that quickly tossed towel would shift…just a little.

When Matt Stark shows up at Reenie’s door to apologize, he can barely squeeze a word past her emotional barriers. Suddenly nothing else matters except convincing her not all men are clones of her ex. Sweet-talking her into lunch is only the beginning.

One touch, and boom! Much to Reenie’s dismay, lunch ends in a hot, flaming dessert—in her bed. Shutting Matt out isn’t as easy as simply blowing out a match. Especially since this cowboy is equally determined to unlock her heart.

The last thing Reenie expected while visiting her old friend from college was to find Amy's hot hunk brother standing in front of her after a night of partying, stark naked and drunk. But before he passes out, he has some very suggestive ideas for himself and Reenie. Definitely not on the recently burned woman's agenda.

When Matt Stark takes her to lunch in the city the following weekend to apologize for his behavior, she is consumed with scorching desire that she can't control every time she looks at the gorgeous cowboy. The feelings are mutual, and despite Reenie's reluctance to get involved with another playboy, they end up in bed having the hottest sex of their lives at her San Antonio apartment following lunch.

Reenie is so gun-shy from her experience with her unscrupulous ex, that she turns and runs from her feelings for Matt, refusing to see him or answer his calls for a week. But Matt has fallen for the smart, sexy woman and hires her at her place of work as her exclusive client. Reenie's boss insists she take on the account, which is for a substantial fund-raiser the Starks do every year in the area. Even when she refuses to relent on her decision not to see him, Matt persists, and the heat rises to the melting point.

I enjoyed this charming 'smitten cowboy' love story so much. It was refreshing in its simplicity and sweetness. Reenie, as a victim, was not a broken woman. I loved her spirit and feisty temperment. True, she was conflicted concerning powerfully sexy men after having her trust so ravaged by one who was dangerous. But in the end, she proved to be an open hearted woman falling into the deep waters of real love.

Ms. Holt described those pivotal scenes between Matt and Reenie in which she let go of her pain and embraced healing, in the most sensual and sweet way that it brought tears to my eyes. Matt was an exciting, engaging hero that gave me hope for the best in men! I also loved the excellently described, hotly erotic sex scenes in this story. This author just keeps getting better and better.

Stark Naked is a delightful romance that I gladly recommend to everyone. I would love to see a take off on this story for a series surrounding the Stark ranch and their hearty stock!

Suite 69 by Sahara Kelly and S.L. Carpenter

Suite 69 by Sahara Kelly and S.L. Carpenter
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (123 pgs)
Other: M/F, toys
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Iris

Redefining room service…

The Zephyre Corporation’s annual convention may be designed to let colleagues kick back in the Florida sun, but Riley McGuire doesn’t plan to let anything interfere with her chance to shine for corporate management. Not even the devastatingly sexy guy playing air guitar—naked—in her hotel suite.

Oliver Wilson expected to share a deluxe suite with what he assumed was an amiable Irish-American beer drinker, not an acid-tongued Boston beauty who can’t hold her liquor.

Their agreement to muddle through is shot to hell by a tug of attraction that, in the convention’s decadent atmosphere, grows too strong to resist. Oliver discovers there’s more going on under Riley’s suits than good marketing ideas. And Oliver’s gentlemanly teasing gets under Riley’s skin…in a sexy way.

Behind closed doors, lust explodes between the sheets. But is a pair of vibrating panties a temporary pleasure, or the start of something that doesn’t require batteries?

Boy, do I want to work for THIS company! Well, I'd like to at least go to their corporate conferences! Between the toy party, the “Christmas” party and the bachelor auction – not to mention an organized shopping trip, I don’t know how anyone got ANY work done!

The perfect fantasy relationship for anyone stuck at a boring corporate event, this story pairs male Oliver and female Riley in the appropriately named suite 69. Although it is a mistake, without someone moving to a hotel far away from the conference, there is no way to rectify the situation other than them both remaining in the suite.

Bitter, vengeful and horny co-workers make the conference interesting. And the interference keeps throwing Riley and Oliver together.
Everything centers around sex – from the owner’s wife’s new “career” to the “extra curricular activities” of the conference attendees,

This is a fast paced book, and is quite enjoyable throughout. It’s a hot way to spend an afternoon. Be sure to pick this one up and have it ready when you just want to “get away”!

Cole by Cat Johnson

Cole by Cat Johnson
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (66 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Kennedia

One night can leave a trail a decade long.

Red, Hot & Blue, Book 5

Ten years ago, a wicked curve ball and a scout for the major leagues gave Cole Ryan his big break. Before he set foot on the bus to training camp, Lizzie Barton gave him everything…then inexplicably broke his heart.

Now he’s back in Pigeon Hollow with a bum arm and a cancelled contract. Lizzie is still there, still keeping her secrets. Still haunting his dreams.

To make sure Cole would have the future he wanted, Lizzie kept her crush on her older brother’s best friend to herself. But in this small town, there was no hiding the results of her one and only night in his arms. With Cole away playing ball, it was easy to pretend he would never know. But now that he’s back it’s only a matter of time.

Right about the time Cole figures out what he left behind, cameras for a reality TV show arrive to film Lizzie’s brother. And suddenly Cole is scrambling to keep the spotlight out of his and Lizzie’s private life…and to convince her they can still make both their dreams come true.

Cole, book five of the Red, Hot and Blue Series, is a story that will pull your heartstrings and make you wish you could get your hands on the next installment from Pigeon Hollow right now.

Lizzie Barton is a woman who is dedicated to her family and loved ones and sacrifices her own dreams for them. Lizzie has been in love with her brother’s best friend for as long as she can remember and then on her 18th birthday she is given the opportunity of a lifetime to be with him and he is more than welcoming of her affection. But that one night of passion has irreversible consequences and Lizzie cannot bring herself to tell the man she loves and upset his rise to glory as a professional baseball player.

Cole Ryan is Pigeon Hollow’s golden boy, who leaves home and goes on to become a pitcher in the majors. He plays ten years of professional baseball until an injury takes him out of the game and he has to figure out what to do with his life. He returns home and discovers that a major secret has been kept from him and by the only girl he ever loved and dumped him for no apparent reason. His feelings run the gamut from angry, disappointed, excited and scared. Why would Lizzie keep something this important from him?

Ms. Johnson has written a poignant story where your heart goes out to both the hero and heroine. Ms. Johnson gives detailed insight into both characters minds with her distinctive writing style. They are both very lovable characters with depth and emotion that readers can relate to. I could not put this book down; I just wanted to see them be happy with each other because it was obvious that they were truly made for each other. The dialogue was realistic especially since you have the characters at a very young age, 18 to 20, and then 10 years later when they have matured.

If you are not familiar with the other stories in this series you may be confused by some of the events taking place throughout the story especially with Bobby, Lizzie’s brother, unless you have read the preceding book, Jared. That said, it does not take away from this story, I found it as an incentive to want to read the next installment of the series to find out what is to happen next. Although this is a short story and I do wish it had been longer, it was very well written, the plot flowed smoothly and made me feel satisfied with the ending.

Cat Johnson has written another keeper, this series from Pigeon Hollow continues to keep us readers coming back for more and I cannot wait for the next installment.

Seducing the Beast by Jayne Fresina

Seducing the Beast by Jayne Fresina
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (213 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Moonflower

Some men are born to make dynasties and some women are born to make trouble.

Hellbent on arranging a pardon for her exiled cousin, Madolyn Carver will stop at nothing to achieve her aim, even if it means seducing the mysterious Earl of Swafford. So what if he's known as "The Beast" and is immensely powerful? Plucky Maddy isn't frightened off easily.

Returned home after too long abroad, The Beast also has a mission. He must remove his younger brother and heir to the vast Swafford estate from the

clutches of a most unsuitable woman. When a misunderstanding leads him to mistake Maddy for his brother's cunning mistress, he takes her captive under the guise of The Beast's manservant. Now she can longer be a threat to his misguided brother's future, or so he thinks. And surely, The Beast's infamous iron will can resist the charms of one particularly disobedient, witty, intriguingly stubborn young woman.

But there is a far greater danger. A deadly assassin has come to the Swafford estate, and The Beast's fear of falling in love might just be his downfall. Maddy, the woman he won't trust, is the one innocent soul who can save his life--and his heart.

I like Maddie. I want to be Maddie! Can I please be Maddie?

I will have to say Madolyn “Maddie” Carver is one of the best heroines that I have read about in a long time. I LOVE HER!! She is fantastically smart, quick-witted with a wicked sense of humor, loyal to her family at the detriment of her own happiness, and lastly she has probably one of the biggest hearts in England. I forgot to mention, she can also put a big burly man in his place, lickity-split.

Maddie is a beauty in her own right with her long black hair and gorgeous blue eyes. She is very realistic though, she knows that with her temperament, she is not meant to be stifled by marriage. Now she must save a beloved cousin and she is prepared to risk her future by using all of her so called female wiles on the Earl of Swafford. The Earl is also known as “The Beast”, but she will not be stopped when determined. Madolyn Carver also has a fitting nickname, “Maddie the Merciless”. The Beast will not know what hit him.

The Earl of Swafford is faithful to two things: his family and the crown. Upon returning from an assignment ordered by the Queen, he finds yet another predicament. His brother, the heir to the estate, is in love yet again to an unsuitable wench. Now it is the Earl’s duty to protect his younger brother. He must remove the threat of the undesirable woman, immediately.

Normally I don’t enjoy a story that is one misunderstanding after another. Most of this book is one big misunderstanding and some half truths, but that is what made it great. During the Earl’s travels for the Queen he travels incognito, sometimes using the name Griff, dressing himself down as a common man. That is the image that he set forth when he meets Maddie. He plays himself off as an average man in the service of the great Earl of Swafford. While he built up the false image of the Earl as well deserving the name of The Beast, he tells Maddie that the Earl is married, yet he plays himself off as a manservant and in no way wed.

The circumstances that bring them together border on hilarious. Fate is definitely playing a dirty joke on the two of them the day they meet. Circumstance after circumstance builds until misconceived truths are bountiful. Griff comes to countless false conclusions that will ultimately be his downfall.

The journey they encounter together is beautifully written. This story pulled every emotion out of me; joy, happiness, sadness, despair, anger and lust. There were times I laughed with joy and then a chapter later I was so angry at the characters I wanted to scream. I think this is a true mark of a great novel.

One subject must be addressed though. Their relationship is an adulterous one. Without giving away any plot, let me just say Maddie has no idea that Griff is married. If you are familiar with the era (London - 1563) then you know it is a common occurrence. Maddie has no desire to ever involve herself with a married man so in that case I was extremely disappointed in Griff. I really did have a love/hate relationship with him. During their courtship he was amazingly gentle, but then when the truth came out I do believe I actually hated him. Those were the times I was also angry at Maddie. The abuse she allowed to befall her was inexcusable in my eyes. Ms. Fresina did a fantastic job pulling me in and not letting go. I wanted to rage and rally against the situation, but she wouldn’t allow me to put the book down.

I am guessing from the subtitle: Taming the Tudor Male in Three Easy Lessons, this will be a trilogy. I did research her website and discovered Ms. Fresina has already planned the future characters. I am downright giddy with her selections. This is an extremely enjoyable novel and looks to be an exceptional trilogy. The second installment is already out and this is me leaving to get it.