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Friday, April 8, 2011

Final Encore by Scotty Cade

Final Encore by Scotty Cade
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (205 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Masturbation
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Edelweiss

When hunky aspiring country singer Billy Eagan heads to Nashville in search of his big break, a relationship and love are the furthest things from his mind. Taking a foreman's job at the Lazy H ranch and not knowing how he will be accepted, Billy decides to fly under the radar and stay as closeted as he can without denying who he really is. It's immediately confirmed that he made the right decision when he discovers that homophobia is still alive and well in Tennessee.

Then Billy gets his break and meets gorgeous record label executive Ian Dillon. Their worlds collide both professionally and personally, and Billy falls hard. But Ian is still haunted by the mysterious betrayal of his one and only lover, and knowing Billy possesses the power to emotionally destroy him, Ian decides to cut his losses and simply walk away. Determined not to give up on the man he loves, Billy secretly starts to unravel the past and quickly finds that it's not what it appears. Can Billy rescue Ian’s heart, or will bigotry and hatred win over love?

Nashville and all her glory, fame, and broken dreams are featured in Final Encore. The descriptions of the town, her people, and an extraordinary love story compelled me to look further into this seemingly magical place. I was impressed by the quality of Mr. Cade's first published book, and look forward to more from this author.

Admittedly I'm completely ignorant of the country music scene and the artists mentioned in the book. I did however, enjoy the time spent checking out the songs referenced by the author. Each song Mr. Cade mentioned held a special significance for the setting or emotion he intended to portray. I was enraptured while listening to Bless the Broken Road, by Rascal Flatts, and teared up picturing Billy singing this song to Ian. Both men had suffered so much to get to where they were, and that song was an absolutely brilliant illustration of their journey to find each other.

The protagonists were both very strong, successful, yet damaged men. I truly felt a connection to Billy as he demonstrated his love and devotion to Ian in such romantic ways. Ian's character was a refreshing break from the traditional role of submissive, exhibiting strength that really amazed me. The dialogue between these two men really allowed me to get into their heads and understand their actions and emotions. Their lovemaking was smoking hot at times, and tender at others. Both were wonderfully written and conveyed their affection well.

I loved the attention to detail as the author highlighted Nashville's natural beauty. The detail continued by mentioning many artists, songs, and places that would have enhanced the effect of the book if I would have been familiar with these things. I felt like the author skipped several important steps, explaining things retroactively in places. For instance, the “no labels” rule was mentioned without a conversation occurring between the two men to explain why the rule was in place.

I'm genuinely happy I had the opportunity to review this book. Mr. Cade certainly knows how to write an enchanting tale with a storyline and characters that are enjoyable to read. I recommend this book to any M/M romance reader, especially if you are a country music fan. I'll end this review with my favorite quote from Final Encore: “In that moment, looking into Ian's eyes was like seeing everything: the sun, the stars, the universe, past the universe.”

Daryk Rogue by Denise Agnew

Daryk Rogue by Denise Agnew
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Aeon
Genre: Action/Adventure, Paranormal, Sci-fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (220 pgs)
Other: M/F, Anal Play, Toys
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Verbena

Ruled by treacherous desires to mate… He would kill and die for her.

When Xandra Shorenus’ husband murders her family in retaliation for her defiance she escapes, but a huge wave wrecks her ship. Rogue Daryk One Rayder Tyrus saves her but commands her allegiance with one kiss. She is his now, in and out of bed.

Rayder has infiltrated a dangerous faction, his need for redemption and retribution absolute. Desire to protect Xandra mixes with powerful carnal needs that demand he show her pleasures she never could have imagined in her sheltered life. They discover a fiery connection forged between hot kisses, adventurous touches and mind-melting unions. They must learn to survive the wrath of the breeder-slaver who hates Rayder, the elements of jungle and desert that rule the land, and a war about to erupt that could separate them forever.

One continent teaches women to be passionless, subservient; the other encourages open sexuality, equality; but neither offers Xandra the escape she needs from a murdering husband determined to pursue her to the ends of their planet, and a Daryk One determined to make her his.

When Xandra’s ship sinks and she escapes not only the clutches of Taris Elian, but also a cold watery grave as well, she quickly learns that her reprieve is temporary as she finds herself the prisoner of another man. But this one stirs her blood in more in ways her first husband never did; ways in which a proper young lady such as herself should never be privy to. Despite her fury at being another man’s prize, and her resolve to escape to finish what set her running from her homeland in the first place, she can’t help but allow her curiosity about sex to cloud her better judgment. She’s never met a man like Rayder, a Daryk One, and quickly learns that while not all the tales she’s heard about Draconian men are true, many of them are. She just hasn’t figured out if the pleasures he promises are ones she’s willing to allow.

Rayder is more than happy to educate Xandra in the pleasures of the flesh. From the very first kiss, he knows she’s his mate, even if finding her at this juncture of his life proves inconvenient. On a mission of revenge, he’s getting close to his victory and can’t afford to be waylaid by a pretty face. But it’s more than Xandra’s beauty that reels him in, everything about her drives him insane. He’d heard the rumors about what happens when a Daryk One finds his true mate; he just didn’t expect it to happen to him. Find her he has, and he’s not about to let her go. Struggling between finishing his three-year long quest and keeping his woman safe from the brutal inhabitants of his homeland, he’ll have to decide just how much he’s willing to risk to get everything he wants, without losing what’s most precious to him in the process.

I really enjoyed Daryk Rogue. The sexual tension between Rayder and Xandra kept me on the edge of my seat, eagerly turning the page to see what happened next. Ms. Agnew does a wonderful job with plot description and character depth. As the story goes along, you’ll find yourself not knowing who to trust or who to feel sorry for. She provides enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. The sex is not for the faint of heart. Rayder is a passionate man and opens Xandra to a whole new world of pleasure which the author describes with great detail. There is a lot of anal play so be prepared. There were some editing errors that caught my eye, but weren’t too distracting. Still, it's very well written.

Do you like maidens in distress who are willing to face their perils head on? How about hunky men who know how to wield more than one type of sword? Put them together and you get a book full of action, adventure, some haughty female sass, and a ton of hot steamy sex that’s sure to make you want to pounce on your partner. Snatch up a copy of Ms. Agnew’s Daryk Rogue. You won’t be disappointed.

Point of Beginning by Gale Stanley

Point of Beginning by Gale Stanley
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (110 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Coreopsis

Jack Monroe is bi-curious but after he falls for a certain curly-haired surveyor, he' ready to admit he's gay. Too bad Alex James is straight and has a girlfriend who keeps him on a short leash.

When Jack has a chance to act out his fantasy at The Gentlemen's Club with an Alex lookalike, he grabs it. But is Jack setting himself up for deep disappointment or will he figure out that there is no perfect romance until you create it.

In Point of Beginning we meet Jack, a man who has just discovered he’s gay. He's lusting after a very male, very sexy co-worker he thinks is straight: Alex. At a loss as to what to do, he turns to the internet to help him find the best ways to meet other men.

I enjoyed reading about Jack’s exploits in trying to meet someone. When the online dating doesn’t help him he tries out for a softball team. There he meets Richard, an older gay man who becomes Jack’s mentor in the gay world. Richards take him to the Gentleman’s Club for him to see the joys of being gay. This club caters to all a man’s needs and has the discretion that Jack is looking for. Once they get to the club Jack gets the shock of a lifetime when he discovers the main attraction is no other than Alex.

Alex is a gay man but is tight-lipped about his personal life after losing his last job for being gay. When reading, you discover that Alex is just as attracted to Jack as Jack is to him. For Alex, being attracted to Jack wasn’t something he expected but is definitely something he wants to pursue. After learning of Jack's intended fantasy he wants to live out at the Gentleman’s club, he makes it his mission to assist in helping Jack out. But what both men don't realize is this: what happens once the fantasy ends?

The characters in this story were well developed and very believable. Both these men have their own insecurities and uncertainties when it comes to relationships. The author built this story to where you were always questioning will they get together. The character of Richard was an excellent addition to this story. He may have had a small part but without his help neither one of these men would have got to play out there fantasy. Then there was the club itself, who wouldn’t want to go to a place and be able to live out there most desired fantasy.

I’m a fan of Gale Stanley’s work. Her characters are always very believable. You become invested in their lives and want to see them get their happy ending. She also leaves the conflict unresolved until the end, which has you constantly guessing what will happen next. If you’re looking for a good hearted romance with hard-headed characters, this is the story for you.

Playing The Field by Sophie Oak and Chloe Lang

Playing The Field by Sophie Oak and Chloe Lang
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (111 pages)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, M/F/M/M, toys, spanking, anal play/intercourse, BDSM, menage
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

When Tess Proffit was asked to run a series of team building exercises for a promising group of professional football players, she never imagined how sexy, sweet or obnoxious they would turn out to be. Keeping things professional will be tough, as each man ignites her desires in different ways.

Curt, Mike, Kevin, Marcus and Randy don’t want to spend their off season on a secluded ranch working on team building, though they don’t mind spending time with the lovely Tess. When a bet between the men goes awry and Tess is hurt, they’ll have to become a team to win her back.

Motivational author Tess Proffit is holding five gorgeous football players hostage until they can start acting like a team again. She never figured on them using her team building skills against her to seduce her into letting them leave. They were unprepared to feel more than lust for the beautiful blond that held their bonuses and their futures in her very capable hands.

Okay, she isn’t actually holding the men hostage but she does have the final say on them either getting or giving up a million dollar bonus for participating in her off season team building classes. Bandit’s teammates Curt, Kevin, Mike, Randy and Marcus could care less about working together until their common goal is centered on a single name: Tess.

Ms. Oak and Ms. Lang have stepped outside the “ménage playbook” and done something a little different with their group of characters, yet still gave them a happily ever after. What they've done is not often seen and hard to pull off without leaving one or more characters essentially flailing or rendered un-necessary to the story. I won’t tell you more except to say that it works beautifully.

Ms. Oak has an incredible voice for writing ménage relationships that make the reader want to consider the merits of that untraditional lifestyle. In Playing The Field, Ms. Oak teams up with up and coming LoveXtreme writer, Chloe Lang. I’m already a fangirl of Ms. Lang’s Wilde, Nevada series so the opportunity to read a collaboration of two of my favorite writers was one that I could not pass up. They do a super job of building the story and the characters. You understand Tess’s motivation for helping the men succeed as well as their trials that brought them to this point in their lives.

If you’re already a fan of Ms. Oak's Siren or Bliss series I know I won’t have to do much to convince you to give Playing The Field a try. While this is a dual writer book you can easily read her personal touches on the story. Ms. Land likewise is a terrific writer. I know you’ll enjoy the easy dialogue, the creative chemistry and the hot BDSM scenes that you come to expect from a Sophie Oak book. Pick up a copy today. You’ll be glad you did.

Santana's Heat by Kitty DuCane

Santana's Heat by Kitty DuCane
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (185 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/M, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewws by Fuchsia

Santana Jones barely escaped from the man-turned-wolf that attacked her during a camping trip that she’d won from a local radio station. But it turns out the radio station didn’t have a contest and she didn’t win. Then she meets the Luc who thinks he can detain her while he figures out this so-called mystery. Because of her past, allowing Luc to control her is out of the question even if he is the sexiest thing she’s ever seen and she can barely keep her hands off him.

Luc Delemere, the powerful leader of the North American werewolves, didn’t want a mate because her life would constantly be in danger. But when a bedraggled human crawls out of the icy river and stumbles into his barn, Luc finds it impossible to resist his sensual, but stubborn mate. The claw marks on her body confirm that she was attacked by a werewolf, but Luc wants to know who lured her to his land and why.

When Santana receives a note that says “Leave or Luc Dies,” she betrays Luc to save his life.

Can Luc untangle a web of lies and betrayal to find his mate before the assassin does?

Remember those old sayings our parents and grandparents used to teach us important life lessons? Like “Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.” and “If it seems to good to be probably is”. Well what happens when you get two such instances at the same time? Hey don't happens. As a matter of fact it happened in this very book.

Santana has gotten herself in a world of trouble. Almost dead, she curls up against a horse in a convenient barn only to find herself surrounded by more of the very beings that had landed her there in the first place. At least she doesn't realize it to begin with. We won't even discuss the fact that she is “mate” to one of them. Being the Alpha, Luc is smart enough to keep that little tidbit quiet as well. There is danger nipping close at their heels as they try to figure out who is trying to kill not only Santana but Luc as well.

This book is packed with action,serious sexual heat, mystery and great characters. The world Kitty DuCane has created is so well fleshed out that you feel like you're in it. I've already been to her website and there are two of this series that came before this story (so I bought them!), but each seems to read really well as a stand alone. Get out there quick and get your own ecopy of this book. If you like werewolves and shifter stories this author and this story aren't to be missed!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What She Needs by Anne Rainey

What She Needs by Anne Rainey
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (54 Pages)
Other: M/F, Ménage, M/F/M, Anal Sex, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Taking turns was never their strong suit…

Cape May, Book 3

Devon Mason and Con Walker are sexy, honorable, loving, and completely devoted. In other words, everything Tory looks for in a relationship. But what’s she supposed to buy her two lovers on V Day? Chocolate? How average is that? Their little love triangle is anything but average!

When Con surprises her with a weekend in Cancun, just the three of them, Tory is all over it—until she realizes Con forgot to include Devon in the package. Now their little love triangle is suffering, thanks to a couple of hard-headed men who both want to be numero uno.

Con was content to let Devon take control at Christmas, but now it’s his turn. A weekend in Cancun seems the perfect place for a romantic getaway—then Devon says he’s planning to surprise Tory with a trip to Aruba, and Con’s possessive instincts kick in. He’d always been happy to share Tory with the guy he cares for like a brother. But the deeper Con falls in love, the harder it is to keep from ripping Tory away from Devon.

Sooner or later something—or someone—is going to give.

What She Needs is book three in Anne Rainey’s Cape May series, and the second book to feature Con, Devon and Tory. This is a look into a relationship that is not the norm even for modern society, but it has been one that works for these characters.

What does a woman in a committed ‘threelationship’ give her men for Valentine’s Day? That is the question bothering Tory as she tries to decide what to give Devon and Con. When Con surprises her with a weekend in Cancun for the three of them, something new is added to their triangle-a hefty dose of jealousy. Seems Con didn’t discuss the trip with Devon, and soon the tension is building. If Con can’t get over this new streak of possessiveness, it could cause major problems. He and Devon have been friends since childhood, and he doesn’t want to ruin what they have with Tory either. Can these three find a way past the jealousy and anger, to a new understanding? Can Con and Devon come to some kind of mutual agreement concerning their love for Tory? Can these three save their unconventional love, or will they bow to the norms of society?

I like how Ms. Rainey doesn’t portray it all as smooth sailing for these three. In any relationship, there are ups and downs, and when you add in a third personality, things are bound to get tense from time to time. I also found the actions and reactions of all three characters to be realistic and true to their personalities.

Tory is a great character, strong-willed and determined to make this ‘threelationship’ work. She can’t imagine her life without both Con and Devon in it, and will do what it takes to save what they have. She isn’t afraid of what others say, and she has a bit of sass in her. I like that about her.

Con and Devon are both hot and sexy, and neither wants to ruin what they have with Tory. Con didn’t even realize he was jealous until the ‘green monster’ reared its ugly head. I love how these two men complement each other, like two sides of the same coin. I liked that they both want to save their friendship, along with their relationship with Tory, and try to work out a mutually satisfactory solution that they can both agree to.

I enjoyed watching the two men come to terms with the jealousy they both feel, and the mature solution that Devon comes up with. Does everything go away and become perfect for Con, Devon and Tory? No, but just like in real life, a good compromise is reached, one that will ensure a happy ever after for all three of them. What do they decide? You will have to read What She Needs to find out.

Passions Recalled by Loribelle Hunt

Passions Recalled by Loribelle Hunt
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (65 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Morning Glory

She ran straight into love’s arms…and he isn’t letting her go a second time.

Forbidden Passions, Book 2

When his mate and his father died in a freak accident, Jason Leonidas left home and became a park ranger in the Florida Panhandle. The distance and solitude suit him. After all, the less he cares, the less he hurts.

As a hurricane bears down on the coast, he races to secure and evacuate the park before conditions worsen. Just as that point of no return passes he discovers an injured and unconscious visitor. Celeste Lykaios, his mate…who died over a year ago.

Truth has turned Celeste’s world upside down. Not only did her family lie to Jason about her survival, they lied to her about his abandonment. And the new boyfriend she’d trusted is trying to kill her. Her only hope was to race into the teeth of the storm to find Jason. She almost made it.

As she and Jason unravel the betrayal that split them apart, the ragged strands reconnect, forming a fragile hope that their love can be salvaged. Out in the storm, the killer waits for a chance to make Celeste the stunning finale in a plan to overthrow the Lycan alpha…

“It is better to loved and lost...” may be a common saying, but I think Jason Leonidas would beg to differ. A year ago he lost his mate Celeste in a plane crash, along with his father. Or so he thought.

This book is full of lies, deceit and love. Celeste is a human living in the were-world, yet she still doesn't seem to know how it works. She believes that Jason abandoned her after the crash. Her family and almost new boyfriend have their own agendas. While Jason is supposed to be the leader of all were-leopards, I didn't get the super alpha-male vibe from him. Yes he's strong, handsome, and overly protective of his mate, but I didn't see the "touch her and die" mentality. He was much calmer than most weres.

Celeste has been though a life altering accident, and they mention how much she's changed quite a bit though out the book. I felt kind of bad for her really, after dealing with so much and finally coming to grips with her life, she's thrown for another loop. Now she's got all the lies and deceit to filter though so she can find the truth, you don't blame her for not trusting anyone.

While this is book two in the series, it could be read as a stand alone.
The twist and turns in the story will keep you flipping pages and the fact that it all happens during a hurricane just adds to the edge of your seat excitement. Ms Hunt did a wonderful job keeping in tone and voice of the first book and I thoroughly enjoyed this latest installment.

Kayla’s Gift by Jayne Rylon

Kayla’s Gift by Jayne Rylon
Power Tools Book 3
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (60 pages)
Other: M/F, M/M, M/M/M/F, Menage, anal play/intercouse
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

One blizzard, two days, three men to keep her warm.

Powertools, Book 3

Naked is Kayla’s style. She’s exposed to bare skin more than the average person—like when she’s up to her elbows in massage oil, soothing the tired muscles of the construction crew building her new spa, a barter to offset some of the cost. Once it’s finished, she plans to open a private retreat for fellow naturists.

It should be a routine service. Yet for some reason, caressing the man on her table is blurring her normally crystal-clear distinction between nudity and sexuality. And stirring up kinky fantasies involving the rest of the crew.

She never intended to share details about her lifestyle-slash-business plan, not even with the open-minded, sexy crew. But when a faulty truck engine and one hell of a snowstorm trap the three men at her cabin, heat sears away her cover story—and her inhibitions.

Cocooned in blissful isolation, Dave, Neil and James show her that passion knows no barrier, with or without clothing. Leaving Kayla wondering if two days of mutual satisfaction will ever be enough…

If you’re going to get snowed in with a trio of construction workers, count yourself blessed if it happens to be the three remaining single members of Jayne Rylon’s Power Tools crew. The previous two books in this yummy series were sizzling with the sexual tension and sheet action but I have to say I think Kayla’s Gift maybe my favorite.

Kayla is a naturist with a plan to develop the private land around her home into a spa and retreat for like minded "clothing optional" people. Her kindness and free spirit are just a couple of the qualities that attract the attention of construction crew mates and best friends Dave, James and Neil. Kayla has no idea just how open-minded and close these guys are but due to an “unforeseen” circumstance she gets the opportunity to experience their relationship up close and in person.

Ms. Rylon completely captured my attention with the first book in the Power Tools series, Morgan’s Surprise. The reader is introduced to the close knit and uninhibited construction crew that one by one have each discovered the loves of their lives and briefly sharing that love with the rest of the crew. One of the particulars about the series that I’ve enjoyed is that there isn’t jealousy between the women who are introduced to the group. You know that they don’t regret the experience of being with the other men but are totally in love with each book's chosen hero. This holds true with book three as Kayla and Dave realize their own special connection and then enjoy the time they have with James and Neil.

If you have no objection to the M/M interaction you will surely enjoy the love between James and Neil. There is a fourth book in the series already planned and you get a little teaser towards that plot when Dave relates a vivid dream he has while at Kayla’s house. I can’t wait!!

This has been one of my favorite series and each new book is much anticipated. While I can’t wait to see who Ms. Rylon pairs with James and Neil (they have to be a package deal, believe me!) I’ll be a little sad to see the end of the power tool books. When you become that invested in a storyline you know you have discovered a real gem. Pick up a copy of Kayla’s Gift even if you’ve not read the other two the series. I think you’ll be burning up the internet to add them to your TBR list after you realize what a terrific group of stories Ms. Rylon has penned.

Here, Kitty, Kitty by Joyee Flynn

Here, Kitty, Kitty by Joyee Flynn
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (108 pgs)
Other: M/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking, Violence
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Edelweiss

Avery Donovan has escaped after being held captive almost thirty years. He is injured and on the run seeking refuge. While making his way across a ranch in southern Montana, he catches the unique smell of his mates. Alone and scared, he decides to trust fate and follow the scent of his men.

Childhood friends, Cord Hartwell and Tyson Fitzgerald, have spent decades denying their feelings for each other until one day, an injured saber-toothed tiger shows up on their front porch, shifts into a gorgeous man, and changes their lives. Avery has forty-eight hours to convince them he is their mate and claim them, or he will die.

Will Cord and Ty finally admit their feelings for each other and their desire for Avery, or will they continue to deny their feelings and risk losing their chance at happiness?

Here, Kitty, Kitty is a fast-paced romance, delving into the extraordinary world of the shifter. Ms. Flynn has created a new world with new rules and rituals, and even features an extinct saber tooth tiger shifter. I think you will find this book is a refreshing break from the ordinary.

This is the first in the Purrfect Mates series, and fans of this author will be pleased to know that the next two are already available. The story takes off right away as the protagonists meet under dire circumstances. The two ex-Marines, Cord and Tyson are the perfect match for Avery, a man dispossessed of any comfort or protection. I take joy in reading characters who are well-rounded and exhibit behavior that matches their personality in a consistent manner. Ms. Flynn allows these men to develop and change, growing as people, creating a viable triad.

Once their inhibitions are released, these three men light up the sky with the fireworks their sexual encounters create. It is satisfying to this reader to discover the dominant/submissive roles in the bed, shower, hot tub or any convenient flat surface, are surprisingly unpredictable. The dialogue was white hot creating the perfect preamble to their lovemaking. These romps were balanced with romantic and tender love scenes.

Here, Kitty, Kitty was an incredibly short book, and I wish that Cord and Tyson's relationship before Avery would have been fleshed out a little more. It is my hope that Ms. Flynn plans to continue these characters' development in her future installments. I am pleased to report there are very few editing errors, and the writing flows well from one page to the next. I have included a violence tag as there are some elements that are very intense.

Witty banter, intense eroticism, and blossoming romance are nicely combined in this rapid read. I think you will genuinely enjoy this book, and recommend picking it up. I have already purchased the next two books in the series because I connected with the characters, and look forward to the rest of their story and more. I'll end with my favorite quote from Here, Kitty, Kitty: “Then good thing fate gave you two ex-Marines...We can take care of this, baby.”

Hardest by Jamieson Wolf

Hardest by Jamieson Wolf
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (22 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Coreopsis

Years ago, Owen and Daniel parted. Best friends for years, they each gave into their attraction one summer to find love, only to lose it when the summer ended. Yearning to fill the void he feels in himself, Owen has tried anonymous sex, quick flings and dating to get his mind off his first love. But all to no avail.

Even all these years later, even after all the hurt, Owen still carries a torch for Daniel. The only problem is, Owen can't find him. So when Daniel tracks Owen down and finds him in a bathhouse, everything Owen thought he knew is about to change forever.

Owen is character that is easy to relate to. He is suffering from what a lot of people go through: the inability to get over his first love. His obsession with his first love, Daniel, is constantly costing him future relationships with other men. But then he goes to the local bathhouse and gets a pleasant shock. Maybe if you do wish hard enough your dreams just might come true.

I love how both characters were clueless to the others suffering. They were both too caught up in their own broken hearts to reach out to the other. The only part I found hard to believe was that these two men couldn’t locate one another, but being a short story you don’t get a lot of back story so you don’t know where these characters lived or exactly how much distance separated them over the years.

This was definitely a fast paced read. It had a good flow that carried until the very end. It covered all the bases for an excellent story, conflict, resolve, passionate sex, and the hope for a future with the characters.

If you’re looking for a quick to the point read with hot sex mixed in, this is the story for you.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Last Snow of Winter by Ian Muise

The Last Snow of Winter by Ian Muise
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (197 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Edelweiss

As spring break arrives, Mark Poole is focused on his goal of becoming a veterinarian, set on pleasing his proud parents even though he really wants to be an artist. He also carefully keeps his desires frozen—for their sake. But he can’t help the attraction he feels for the burly, unapproachable lineman who shares two of his classes.

Cliff Stevens is equally set on achieving his adopted dream of becoming a professional football player to the exclusion of almost everything else. Cliff drifts through the days alone, but he can guess what Mark has in mind when he catches him watching one day.

After an accidental encounter, Cliff proposes a bargain: for one week during the break, they will set aside their reservations and play at being together, exploring each other, and perhaps even learning a little about themselves as well.

The beautifully choreographed dance that is budding love was perfectly illustrated in The Last Snow of Winter. The depth of emotion combined with detailed imagery used by the author blew me away. An intelligent read, this book flowed effortlessly from beginning to end, and was the perfect introduction to up-and-coming author Ian Muise.

The story began with a chance meeting of two very different men. The chemistry between the protagonists, while quite obvious to this reader, went almost completely unnoticed at first by both Mark and Cliff. The author fleshed out the nuances of each man's personality with surprising skill.

A hopeless romantic, I was touched by the special endearments and possessiveness portrayed throughout this book. The way Mr. Muise described their fast-growing connection through the awareness of their partner's emotional state served to show how much they cared for one another. It was almost as sweet as watching an older couple complete each others sentences. While intense erotic moments are placed throughout this novel, they do not overpower what I consider to be the main drive of this tale...romance. In fact, the author seemed to place an emphasis on the developing relationship before writing them into bed. The anticipation was heavy in the air leading up to the first lovemaking for Mark and Cliff, and was without a doubt one of the most sensual encounters I have ever read. I admire the author's responsibility as the men engaged in safe sex, and treated it as an act of concern for the health and well-being of their partner. I was impressed immediately by the level of detail that was used in creating the world surrounding the lovers. The university campus, the men's apartments, and even the weather were described so well that the mental image of this snowy Canadian town remains with me even as I write this review.

The plot moved along at comfortable pace, and the characters were well drawn. I enjoyed this engaging romance so much that I have given it 5 Cherries. I gladly encourage you to read The Last Snow of Winter as soon as you can. I was intrigued by the author's style and skill and now find myself impatiently waiting for his next release. The quote I'll end this review with is simple yet profound, and encapsulates this story in four simple words: “They held each other.”

Mere Temptation by Daisy Harris

Mere Temptation by Daisy Harris
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (123 pages)
Other: M/F, anal sex
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Fuchsia

After twenty years in Landworld, mermaid Ismaelda Freya seeks refuge in her home habitat, Key Sirena. In all that time, she's never taken a human lover to become fully human, but neither is she willing to give up her freedom and be marked forever as mere.

The sea dragon, Sidon, can have anyone and anything he wants, except the one female who left. Using every trick he's learned in her absence, he vows to convince her to stay.

Not even a shape-shifting mermaid can keep her options open forever. When faced with losing everything she values, Isa must choose between her freedom and her one true love.

Have you ever looked for an excuse to enable you to do something that you really wanted to do? Maybe you thought it wasn't the best course of action but you really really wanted it anyway. Well, if so then you'll find you have a great deal in common with the heroine in this story.

When I received this title and skimmed the first little bit I was sort of skeptical. The title did not suggest mermaids in any way to me and I wasn't sure what to make of this development, but before long I was totally engrossed in the drama playing out before my eyes. The only mermaid story I've had any experience with was my daughters' copy of Disney's The Little Mermaid and truthfully it always kind of pissed me off. I would have never left the ocean.

Right away I found another mermaid thinking about becoming human, but somehow I could tell that her heart was telling her otherwise. Isa finally found what, I believe, she had been looking for in Landworld when some very iffy characters began chasing her. She found an excuse to go home (hence my opening question) and right back into the arms of the dragon she loved as a young girl. Danger follows in the form of the bad men chasing her and the rest will just have to be for you to discover on your own. There were some wonderful little twists made into this story.

I truly enjoyed the approach Ms. Harris used for the “mere” folk and her brilliance in finding a way to incorporate dragons. Isa's personal dragon was hot as blazes and what they did together felt even hotter! I assure you I'm headed out on the Web to see if Ms. Harris has expanded on this story. I would love to find a series. Head on out and find Mere Temptation for yourself.