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Friday, April 15, 2011

Wickedly Wanton by Kristabel Reed

Wickedly Wanton by Kristabel Reed
Publisher: Ravenous Romance
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (179 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/F, F/F, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Anal Play, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Cholla

Sabine Stanton has struggled all her life to be the prim and proper English miss. She knows she must marry a man older than her father, but doesn't want to go to her marriage bed untutored in the ways of sex. When Aiden, Lord Severn, catches her kissing her closest girlfriend, Faith, he offers to show the two of them one afternoon's worth of erotic delights.

Aiden is intrigued with Sabine, her wantonness, her desire to experience life, even the protection and love she shows her friend. One afternoon isn't enough, but she's promised to another. Intent on having her, Aiden sets out to destroy the other man and have Sabine to himself.

Faith has always loved Sabine, and with her impending marriage knows she'll never have the chance to show her closest friend just how much. Jumping at Aiden's offer of an afternoon together, she realizes she can't give up Sabine. Vowing to do whatever it takes to keep her friend happy and sated, Faith doesn't imagine the danger their happy threesome will stir...

What do you get when you take two proper English ladies and add a daring, handsome Marquess into the mix? Trouble, for certain. And quite possibly a very sexy lesson in how to be a proper woman. Wickedly Wanton is an exciting and page-scorching trip back into the past, giving the nickname of Jolly Ol’ England quite another meaning completely.

Sabine Stanton tries desperately to be all that she was reared to be: prim, proper, and demure. However, in the privacy of her own thoughts, she’s anything but. Sabine is full of zest for life, learning and adventure, something that was heavily frowned upon in Regency England. However, Sabine does a great job of finding that perfect balance between keeping up appearances (and thus keeping her family’s reputation pristine) and crossing the line (enabling her complete enjoyment), making her a more complex character than you first suspect. Stories with an historical setting that have such a wild heroine tend to draw my attention simply because you don’t expect the heroine to be anything other than what you expect from history class. Those kind of fun surprises add so much to a novel for me. Sabine was the perfect mix of perfect daughter and wanton woman to make this both fun and believable.

Faith is a more typical female from this era. She’s meek and obedient and yet, she’s also hiding a deep, dark secret. She’s attracted to Sabine, and only Sabine. Faced with her impending marriage, she trusts in both her best friend, Sabine, and Aiden to show her the way. I liked Faith a lot and really would like to know more about what happens with her after the end of the story as her position intrigued me. She made the perfect companion for Sabine, both while acting as her enabler at times and as her voice of reason at others.

Aiden Merryck is the Marquess of Severn and an eternal playboy. Dedicated to enjoying himself in any manner available, he is at once surprised and intrigued by Sabine’s wantonness and beauty. Aiden’s complete and total dedication to the instruction of both Sabine and Faith is crazy and yet, so very right. He is absolutely what each of these girls needs. For wild and uncontrollable Sabine, he’s firm and dominant, molding her to his ways while allowing her to still be herself. For meek and pliable Faith, he’s the force that will bolster her confidence enough to make it through what lies before her. In turn, they each satisfy a half of him that he never really new needed tending.

Throw away your expectations of just what a proper English woman is and enter Ms. Reed’s version of Regency England. You’re sure to be shocked and more than a little intrigued. From the first sultry moment to the last steaming sentence, you’ll be entertained and engaged by the vivid characters and intense storyline. Never has history been so hot!

Doing Logan by Rhian Cahill

Doing Logan by Rhian Cahill
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (44 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Logan has been in love with Meredith for as long as he can remember. Seeing her with another had been its own brand of torture, but now that she’s free, nothing can stop him from claiming what is rightfully his.

The magnetism of Logan has never been lost on Meredith, but crossing the line between friend and lover scares her, even after dumping her slimeball ex. When Logan kisses her, an attraction like she’s never known ignites, sweeping her into an affair she can’t walk away from.

As Logan fights to win her heart, Meredith wages a battle of her own. Is she willing to admit her interest stretches way beyond merely doing Logan?

Doing Logan is a short but hot story of second chances at love, and friends turning lovers.

Can real life live up to twenty years of fantasy and desire? This is the question Logan Foster plans to learn the answer to. For over twenty years, his heart has belonged to Meredith, but they have never crossed the line from friends to lovers. One of Logan’s biggest regrets was introducing Meredith to her former husband, Dirk. But now, Meredith is free, and Logan is determined to show Meredith how he feels about her, once and for all.

Things come to a head when they are at a dinner party, and the host has neglected to tell his wife that he invited Dirk and his brand new trophy wife to the evening. Dirk gets nasty, and Logan comes to Meredith’s side to offer support, but she hadnles things quite well on her own.

Can Logan convince Meredith of his feelings? Can Meredith accept what Logan offers, and learn to love again? Will these two forge a happy ever after that Meredith never got with Dirk?

This story has a touch of humor, and Rhian Cahill has crafted characters you want to cheer for. There is a glimpse into what Meredith had been through, very briefly seen, in what wife number two for Dirk is now experiencing.

Meredith is a strong and classy lady. She is determined to move on with her life after divorcing her unfaithful spouse. At the confrontation at the party, she takes the higher ground, and gains the respect of all those in attendance. She has always felt warmth toward Logan, but never realized the depth of his feelings for her before now.

Logan has regrets about chances missed with Meredith. He is strong and loyal, and and wants Meredith to realize she needs to accept him in her life. I enjoyed watching their love unfold, and each experience that they had was brand new to them. I liked that Logan was willing to risk his heart, with no demands on Meredith other than for her to accept what he freely offered.

Ms. Cahill puts these two in lots of steamy scenes all over the town, but the action is never more than he characters are ready for. I enjoyed watching Barbie discover what kind of man she got in Meredith’s ex, and I had to laugh at encounter at the restaurant, when Barbie realizes what’s happening, both with Dirk the jerk, and with Logan and Meredith. If you want a short but scorching hot story, this one is definitely for you. But be sure to bring the ice water, you will need it.

Strip for Me by Amarinda Jones

Strip for Me by Amarinda Jones
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (46 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Multiple Partners, M/F/M, M/F/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Anal Sex, Fetish, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Violet

Rett Cameron is stranded in Resort City without a cent to her name. She wants to go home to Australia but how does she do that without money? When one of the locals offers to pay her for her sexual services, she’s stunned. Sex with strangers? For money? Or is there more involved?

Hamish Clark, the local strip club owner, has a suggestion for Rett. Strip for me and I’ll pay you. The minute he saw Rett he wanted her. He soon discovers she has other needs than just money. But Hamish has a problem. Not all women like him. One wants him dead.

Hot, raw, sensual, with a villain and a believable love story! For only forty-six pages, Strip for Me is a firecracker!

Broke and desperate to get home, Loretta “Ret” Cameron walks into Hamish Clark’s The Howl and the Pussy hoping for a job as a waitress. But Hamish doesn’t need a waitress; he needs a stripper or a fetish worker. So Hamish asks Ret to strip for him. Sparks fly immediately between Hamish and Ret. Their verbal sparring heightens their attraction and it’s just delicious to read. Ret and Hamish immediately combust, and Ret decides to stay as a fetish worker.

Hamish is a strong hero. He is immediately attracted to Ret, but senses she needs something more. So he hires her to work as a fetish worker at his club. He’s protective and just as attracted to Ret as Ret is to him.

Ret is a fascinating heroine. When I read the description for this book I had visions on a somewhat inexperienced girl forced to work as a stripper. Instead, Ret is so much more. She isn’t some shrinking violet; she’s a strong, sexual woman who’s had fun and grabs life by the horns. As her sister tells her, “You’re a gypsy, Loretta. You’re always off on one wild adventure after another, expecting people to bail you out when you’re in trouble. You have to stay in one place and learn to be normal. You can’t act reckless all your life.”

To which Ret asks herself, “What the hell is normal?”

As Ret starts working as a fetish worker, you’d think this would draw Ret and Hamish apart. Instead, her sexual adventures brings them closer. What I’d thought might come off as erotica scenes in a romance didn’t because of Ret’s focus on Hamish. Ms. Jones showed remarkable skill in this respect.

At the core of the book is a beautiful and raw relationship between Ret and Hamish. It’s not your traditional romance, but it dazzles. The sex is hot, steamy, and sometimes funny. I not only laughed with Ret, I also lusted for Hamish with her. I felt both Ret and Hamish’s emotions. The villain interweaved perfectly with the story, and created a great climax. The author’s voice was strong and carried the story. Ms. Jones gave Ret a spunkiness that made this story crackle.

If you’re looking for an erotic short story with captivating characters, a unique story, and scrumptiously raw sex, Strip for Me is for you. This is the first book I’ve read by Amarinda Jones and I can’t wait to read more.

Department 57: Griffin’s Treasure by Lynne Connolly

Department 57: Griffin’s Treasure by Lynne Connolly
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (157 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Peppermint

International soccer star Josh Friedland has a secret. He's a griffin shapeshifter, and a covert operative for Department 57. Josh's brother Laurie is missing, and Josh is sure businessman George Skeffington is involved. So he definitely can't trust Skeffington's stepdaughter, Chana Rafiz, even though he wants her with every fiber of his being.

When her controlling stepfather asks Chana to look after his guest, she suspects another trick to keep her by his side; only she finds that Josh is the man she's been waiting for all her life. Long, hot Californian nights see their bodies twined in more inventive positions than Chana even knew existed, but when she finally discovers his secret, she uncovers another. One about herself that'd been kept from her her whole life.

Together, Josh and Chana have to face dangers only Department 57 can help them with, but they plunge the whole Department into peril. If the Department is to endure, and Laurie is to be found, Josh and Chana must defeat the longest odds to succeed in their mission.

One thing the Department 57 series is known for is its mythical creatures. Griffins are creatures I do not know much about, which made me want to read this story even more. Now that I have read this story I would love to know where I can get my own griffin shifter like Josh.

Chana's life has been full of mystery and deceit. Her background really drew me into her character because, I got unravel these mysteries with her. From her mother’s death, to illness to an adult life under the thumb of her controlling stepfather, Chana’s experiences made her the bright, bold woman she has become. While her life may have been in turmoil her spirit sun through all of the chaos and drew everyone to her including Josh.

Josh’s personality is electrifying. He has an easy breezy attitude on the surface, but underneath is a man most do not expect. He is a caring compassionate warrior who will protect those around him with everything he has. You see this displayed in the way he meticulously looks for his brother, and also the way he protects Chana at all costs. To top it off he is sexy, athletic and just happens to shift into a creature only found in fables.

I have previously read several other Department 57 stories, and at this point in the series I am getting a bit confused on the storyline and characters. I felt like I was trying to remember whether I previously meet characters or if they were new, and how did they fit into the overall series. I think it would help to have fewer new characters in each story and maybe just stick to a few reoccurring characters and develop relationships for them. Then we readers would have a sense of familiarity with them.

The storyline in this story was one that engrossed me from beginning to end. Both characters have great background stories that help lead into their joint excursion, which really pulls a reader in. The subplots also added more depth along with twists and turns. The antagonistic conflict was one of the best I have read in a while and left me wanting more.

Now that I have read this story, I love Griffin shifters. You should grab a copy yourself and see why.

Breaking Logan's Laws by Cameron Dane

Breaking Logan's Laws by Cameron Dane
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (260 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Newly named head of Quinn Security Investigations, retired detective Logan Jeffries believes in law and order. Everything should have its place. A personal life should never interfere with work. Relationships should have their own rules too. Logan lives by his own laws -- five precisely. As long as he follows them, all is right in his regimented world.

Nate Jordan wishes he could say no when assigned to work with Logan. Nate has never forgotten Logan’s kindness the night they met. In the three years since, his crush has only grown. This partnership will surely end in disaster, but Nate cannot walk away.

Quickly, Logan and Nate delve into the search for a missing socialite. Nothing else should occupy Logan’s thoughts. The only problem? Nate is determined and sweet, and working with him awakens Logan’s deepest desires. Logan won’t break his laws, though. Not even for the gentlest, sexiest man in the world.

Meanwhile, Nate is falling harder and faster for Logan every day they’re together. The craziest damn thing is he thinks he senses attraction under Logan’s controlled facade. Nate will have to break every one of Logan’s laws to capture the man of his dreams.

The laws of the heart may be the hardest but most rewarding to break. Logan is so used to protecting himself and keeping his life private that it’s instinctive. Although Logan has left the police department and is starting a new career at Quinn Security, old habits are hard to break. Especially when he discovers his new partner is sexy, adorable Nate. Nate has had a crush on Logan for years but is determined to keep it hidden from the taciturn man. When the two are thrown together for days on end, though, sparks fly and they can’t resist. Yet breaking through Logan’s laws may be the toughest fight Nate’s ever had.

Breaking Logan’s Laws is an entertaining, familiar romance. Fans of the Quinn series will be happy to see Nate and Logan finally get together while those new to the series will have no problems picking this book up on its own. The plot involves the missing daughter of a wealthy family specializing in imports. While Nate and Logan scour the city for clues, their natural chemistry keeps their focus on each other and what they’d like to be doing. This offers a lot of sex scenes for fans and the romance is definitely the main focus. Logan and Nate dance around each other, not wanting to get involved for their own reasons, before finally giving into the explosive desire between them.

The story doesn’t end there though as Logan tries to protect himself from falling in love and Nate isn’t willing to let that happen. The case they work on is a good backdrop as it moves the plot along in between sex and emotional scenes. The couple are good together and fun to watch as they circle around each other before finally admitting their feelings. Some of this feels repetitive and the story feels a little long. It drags in some places but added details and scenes about the missing girl case help alleviate that feeling.

Some of the writing may not be to all readers’ tastes though those familiar with this author won’t have a problem. The prose choices tend to be exaggerated and a bit over the top while the descriptions can border on clinical, especially when talking about various sex organs and body parts. This isn’t enough to ruin the book and fans won’t have a problem with this. Overall Breaking Logan’s Laws is a good addition to the series. Fans and newcomers alike should enjoy the heady romance and solid happy ending between two likable and very sexy characters. This is an easy story to recommend.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tyler’s Cowboy by Amber Kell

Tyler’s Cowboy by Amber Kell
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publication
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (63 Pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Myrtle

When Tyler runs to his injured brother’s side, he doesn’t know it’s his brother’s partner that will take all his attention.

Tyler has three problems. His brother, Baron, was injured, his job sucks and Baron’s straight partner, Cody, is the hottest piece of ass he’s seen in a long time.

When jealousy lifts its ugly head, Tyler learns that all problems have a solution if you can only corral yourself a hot cowboy.

“A well-run kitchen was sort of like the military.”

Tyler Remington always wanted to be a chef but putting up with a hateful head chef was proving more than he could take. When he receives a call that his older brother was in an accident Tyler quit his job as a sous chef to be at his side. Cody Stark knew his business partner had a little brother but what he didn’t know was the drastic change his life would take when said brother walked into the hospital room.

This was my first book by Amber Kell and for a short story; it was very entertaining. Even though the outcome of the story was somewhat predictable, there were still a number of fresh twists to keep a reader interested to the end. It was enjoyable watching the plot play out and getting to know the main characters, like Tyler with his feminine looks and "I am not ashamed I am gay" attitude, which you could not help but love. There were many scenes of Tyler working his magic cooking skills on the ranch hands that left me laughing and thinking about the old saying that “the way to a mans heart is through his stomach.”

Cody on the other hand stumped me a little bit with his gung-ho change from straight to gay, but I soon realized he was alpha male all the way and did not shy away from his feelings. I think what impressed me the most with this story is that Ms. Kell stayed true to the characters' personalities through out the entire story. Cody’s persona also made for some sweet romance and spicy sex scenes and a few he-man my mate action. What more could you ask for in a romance book?

Trifecta by Kate Sherwood

Trifecta by Kate Sherwood
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (170 pgs)
Other: M/M/M, menage, anal sex
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Mark and Alistair think they’re happy with their open relationship -- they can have all the anonymous sex they want, and still come home to each other for love and affection. That changes when they discover that they’ve both hooked up with the same guy, and, worse, that they’re both falling for him.

Tyler is a take-it-as-it-comes type, happy to coast through life on his good looks and charm. He doesn’t have ambitions and doesn’t make plans, but when he finds himself involved with Mark and then Alistair, he starts wishing that he could have something more long-term.

Nobody has any doubt that sex between the three of them would be fantastic, considering how hot things are when there’s only two involved. But can they make it something more? Is the threesome destined to be a scorching memory, or can they find a way to overcome their challenges and hit the trifecta?

When two men deeply in love fall for a third, can they make a Trifecta or will they lose everything? Mark and Alistair have been together for a year and they’re very committed to each other. They’ve gone through a lot as Mark left his marriage and two teenage daughters after falling in love with Alistair. They more than love each other, they need each other too. Yet when they meet Tyler, the young man throws their carefully planned world into chaos and they realize he might be what they need. But convincing Tyler of that isn’t so easy either.

Trifecta is a hot, delicious ménage. Mark and Alistair are an established couple but their relationship isn’t perfect. The two men are so much alike that they’ve started to need more. They have an open relationship due to their sexual incapability in the bedroom and the traveling Mark does for his job. The complication comes when both Mark and Alistair start a relationship with the sexy Tyler and realize it’s not just sex. The story does a credible job of showing how Mark and Alistair really need something else to make their relationship work. It’s obvious something is missing and Tyler fits into that space very well.

Tyler is the main star of the story and he comes across as an eager, intelligent, kind, young man. He’s worlds different than both Mark and Alistair and that infusion of fresh, new perspective is attractive to the older men. Tyler is attracted to the stability and sexual chemistry he could have with them and so the threesome with Tyler at the center makes sense in many ways. The many hot sex scenes don’t hurt either as the story shows the connection Tyler has to both men very well. There are a lot of internal thoughts that show how Mark and Alistair both want Tyler and think about him often.

The story is an entertaining easy read with a lot of chemistry and spark. The final resolutions are tied up neatly with a solid happy ending and everyone perhaps almost too happy. Given the various problems presented, the ending is a little too neat and easy for everyone involved but I doubt any romance fans are going to complain. Instead those fans of ménage can enjoy this quick, interesting story with some excellent erotica.

Victor by Joyee Flynn

Victor by Joyee Flynn
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (114 PAGES)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Coreopsis

Victor Marius has watched as three of his brothers and some of their friends found their mates. He is happy for them. He truly is. But, as the oldest brother, he had thought that he would have found his mate by now.

Malachi is half demon, and he has known nothing but pain and horror. Finding a chance to flee the cave where he's been a prisoner since birth, Malachi runs until the sun and its harmful rays take him down.

When Victor sees the man lying on the side of the road, he stops to help but realizes something's not right. He's a demon. The man may smell like a demon, but he also smells like something else entirely...Victor's mate.

Can Victor get past Malachi being half demon, and how can a soulless demon have a mate?

In the fourth installment of the Marius Brothers series, Ms. Flynn has definitely put together a dynamic due. She has paired a vampire warrior with his sworn enemy, a demon. This was a pairing that had me wanting to read Victor immediately.

Victor Marius is an eight hundred and ninety-five year old vampire without a mate. To say he’s extremely lonely is an understatement. Just when he thinks he won’t ever find his mate, he finds one smoldering on the side of the road. Victor is a little taken back on how to accept his new found mate, who happens to be a demon. Vampires and demons are like oil and water, they don’t mix, but when Victor is with Malachi all he wants to do is love him and to make up for Malachi’s difficult past.

Malachi is a victim of circumstances. He didn’t choose the life he has been forced to live, but it’s all he’s ever known. Born into the world of demons all he’s ever experience is cruelty. Malachi is an amazing character. After suffering years of abuse, he still has the ability to love and trust. His past doesn’t define who he is and when he meets Victor he’s ready for a fresh start with no looking back.

Victor and Malachi becoming mates is only part of this story, the other is the reaction from Victor’s family. It was interesting to see how this half demon was going to be accepted into this family. It was surprising to see some of the reactions Malachi received, and who they came from was a little shocking as well. There are individuals in this family who have suffered violence at the hands of demons and that is clouding their acceptance of Malachi. It’s heartwarming to see how this family works together to heal the wounds of the past. The Marius family is one of love, respect, and loyalty. Once a part of their inner circle, no one gets left out or left behind.

Victor is a passionate love story between two men from completely different backgrounds but are wanting the same things out of life, love and acceptance. If you’re looking for a story that will bring a tear to your eye one minute and having you fanning your face the next from the very descriptive love scenes, this is the story for you. Victor is an excellent addition to this series and a must read.

Management Skills by January Rowe

Management Skills by January Rowe
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (64 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Fetish, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Violet

When CEO Grant Edmonds meets with his new production manager, he immediately recognizes her as Silver, an exotic dancer who once mesmerized him at an exclusive fetish club. Though he was forbidden from pursuing her back then, there's nothing standing in his way now. He's not looking for an after-hours fling—he wants to own her. In every way.

As much as Allie Fairfax tries to deny her past, and the way her body responds to Grant, she soon finds herself having mind-blowing sex with the boss. Despite her own desire to surrender to Grant's sexual authority, she's not willing to risk her career. After all, she's been owned before, and it ended badly.

It's all or nothing for Grant. If Allie wants more of the fiercest orgasms she's ever experienced, she must consent to his rules...

Management Skills has one of the most original takes on “attraction across a crowded room” I’ve ever read.

Grant Edmonds first sees Allie Fairfax when she’s performing as “Silver”, an erotic dancer in a production he designed the lighting for. Grant is immediately attracted to her, but the club has a no interaction rule between dancers and patrons so he can’t even meet her. He meets her again when she’s hired as a production manager at his lighting effects company. He immediately realizes she’s the “Silver” who has fueled his sexual fantasies for years.

Grant is a strong character who knows what he wants. He comes from a large family and is very grounded. He tells Allie he doesn’t just want a relationship, he wants to own her. I questioned his forthrightness because he had no idea of her background. He also has a strong insistence for the truth. Yet I never understood if there was a reason for this, or if this was just part of his character.

Allie has fought hard to erase her past as an erotic dancer. She’s strong, confident, and dresses for the job she wants. She finished school, and worked her way up. She’s excited at her new job until she meets her boss, Grant, who recognizes her from her former life. When Grant tells her he wants to own her, she doesn’t immediately say yes because she was previously in a D/s relationship that ended badly.

Although the book started out strong, it was an interesting combination of strong ideas, great sex play, abrupt scenes, and incomplete storylines. Some great starts included: the overall setting of a high tech lighting company, hot office sex, the Bed and Bondage, orgasm denial, and Allie rebelling against orgasm denial. Some abrupt scenes include: Allie deciding to have sex with Grant, the gaps between them being together, and the ending. Orgasm denial would have worked if they were interacting together. But when orgasm denial simply means that you don’t see each other due to business trips, it didn't work for me. And the ending left me questioning what the relationship would ultimately be. Watching them transform from Grant simply owning Allie to a loving relationship would have been beautiful. I would classify this as a happy-for-now romance.

Still, the author’s voice is solid. There are no noticeable grammatical or spelling errors. The sex scenes and play were steaming and left me hot and blushing. What was needed to make this a truly stellar story is some follow through with character motivations. For example, Allie says yes to being owned by Grant after a business meeting with Satin who was previously owned by Grant. Something was there, but I didn’t know Satin and Grant’s story. I was left wondering what Allie saw that convinced her to be his submissive. I see great potential in Ms. Rowe’s writing and I'll be looking for more from her as she continues to grow as an author. It’s one step from the magic that would have made this book great.

If you’re looking for a hot romance with interesting characters and a unique setting, try Management Skills. You’ll especially enjoy the twist at the end.

The Birthday Gift by Lynn LaFleur

The Birthday Gift by Lynn LaFleur
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (57 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, menage,
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Stephanotis

What does a man give the woman of his dreams for her birthday? Her fantasy, of course. When Amanda admits to her husband that she'd like to be part of a ménage a trois, Jake isn’t sure if he could ever share his wife with another man.

Then his cousin Patrick comes for a visit.

It’s Amanda’s birthday and she’s told her husband Jake her wish…to have a ménage a trois. Will this be one wish that goes unanswered?

This story had the perfect start and wasted no time letting us know what was ahead. Jake wants to give Amanda a birthday she’ll never forget and that means talking his cousin Patrick into being part of a threesome. The dialogue between these two characters is very realistic which leads perfectly into the next scene where we get to meet Amanda, who the other two characters have been talking about. She has no idea that Jake’s taken her wish seriously and what’s in store for her but we do and I think it makes this story fun.

The scenes leading up to the ménage are well paced and sexy. I enjoyed the way the author kept me guessing as to whether or not Amanda would chicken out at the last minute. I enjoyed all three characters and thought they were very lifelike. The author did a great job leading up to the sex scenes which are definitely worth waiting for.

If you’re looking for a quick read, like a story that keeps you hanging on and some steamy ménage, I recommend this story to you.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ride by Cat Johnson

Ride by Cat Johnson
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (131 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Sunflower

What happens in Vegas…sometimes follows you home.

Studs in Spurs, Book 3

Pro bull rider Chase Reese knew things move faster than an eight-second ride in Las Vegas. He just never expected to be driving home with a national championship under his belt and a wedding band on his left hand with no clue how it got there.

Yet he can’t complain about the stripper bride beside him. From the moment his buddies bought him a lap dance from her, her trembles told him there was more to her than stiletto heels.

Leesa Santiago has met the perfect guy. Her timing couldn’t be worse though. If it was just their explosive sex, she could walk away. But from the moment her lap dance brought her this close to his baby blues, she was hooked. She can’t lie that she couldn’t be happier to bear his name—or guiltier that she’s using it and his Oklahoma farm to hide out from mob hit men.

That’s before Chase’s family gets involved. And his determination to do the right thing pushes her to do the one thing that will keep him safe. Break his heart.

Do cowboy boots mix with stripper heels? And can a love that started out on the wrong foot end up on the right one? That’s the risk you take waking up in Vegas.

They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Well, they were wrong. In fact, after the last couple of days Leesa had, she needed to get out of Vegas, and fast. It's not like she really had anything to stay in Vegas for. In fact, she leaves Vegas with her husband. Hold on....Husband, you say? She fell asleep a single woman, and woke up a married one. And now it was time for Leesa and Chase to figure this thing out. Do either of them really want to be married to a stranger, despite the incredible attraction the feel towards one another?

Leesa is an intriguing character. She works as a stripper in Vegas, but she is so out of place with that job. She's shy, unsure of herself, and simply not the stripper type. But it pays the bills, to a point. And Chase, well he's not the normal Alpha male hero. In fact, he's shy and a bit awkward around women.

It's funny how the two meet, considering their personalities. I love how the author created such dynamic characters, and the reader learns a little more about them as the pages turn. The sizzling sexual tension between Leesa and Chase is scorching!

Ride is a fun book, filled with memorable characters and entertaining situations. Mix in with a bit of mystery, and there you have it. Ms. Johnson writes the kind of story that keeps the reader engaged and interested. There's moments that made me laugh out loud. And the twist at the end I never saw coming.

This is a new-to-me author, and after reading this delightful story, it won't be the last. I was drawn in by Ms. Johnson's humorous, emotional story. If you enjoy a hot romance, humor, and a book you won't forget, then come along for the ride.

Dragon’s Lair by Delilah Hunt

Dragon’s Lair by Delilah Hunt
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (20 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Verbena

Taryn, a skilled warrior, knows she is indebted to the scarred dragon responsible for saving her village.

Darius is an outcast, a lone dragon without a clan and on the edge of self-destruction. Stalking and protecting Taryn is the only pleasure he knows. After the exotic female entices her way into his lair, only the gods can predict the outcome of their sensuous union.

T’was beauty that tempted the beast.

Darius loved the dark Amazon woman whom he secretly protected, but never expected she’d feel the same toward him. He’d been cast out from his own kind, a beaten and scarred reject. How could any woman, dragon or human, feel anything except pity and disgust?

Taryn wonders why the magnificent dragon always seems to be nearby. When her village is in peril, he miraculously appears and saves the day. Even though she’s caught him watching her bathe, he never approaches or seems to take interest. Throwing caution to the wind, she decides to seek him out, not only to thank him for saving her village, but to offer him something no one else ever has.

Dragon’s Lair was a cute little story. You can’t help but feel sorry for Darius and all that’s happened to him, and Taryn’s adoration of him is heart-warming. Despite its short length, it’s one of those quick, feel-good, stories that can easily be read during a lunch break.

My one complaint would be some of the language use. My impression of this tale, albeit its erotic content, was that it’s primarily a love story, so every time I saw the more base, graphic words for body parts and the act of making love, which were used quite often, I cringed. In some erotic romance stories, those descriptions fit perfectly to be sure, but in others they just seem to cheapen the underlying meaning. I’m afraid this was one of those times. There are a myriad of words that describe the act of sex and the body parts; some are hard core, others elicit more of a romantic feel. While I still enjoyed the book, I think toning down the language would have made a much better impact.

For a quick, hot read, grab a copy of Dragon’s Lair by Delilah Hunt. With its short length and steamy content, it’s the perfect lunch hour snack.

Witness Bares All by Abby Wood

Witness Bares All by Abby Wood
Publisher: Etopia Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (32 pgs)
Other: M/F, anal play
Rating: 2.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Some rules were meant to be broken…

FBI Agent Donovan Hall has always played by the book, until he’s asked to guard the very sexy prime witness in the Bureau’s most dangerous investigation. But Josie’s warm lips and fondness for nudity have him risking his rules for one more night in her bed. With Josie’s court date approaching, Donovan knows he can’t lose his edge. Not if he wants to keep her alive long enough to testify.

Josie knows the rock-hard FBI agent can go from hot to cold at will, but there’s no way she’s going to let him walk away without a fight. Getting past his resolve won’t be easy, but she’s determined to prove he needs more than just her testimony. Much, much more…

Hot, sticky, and on the run with a sexy man. Sound like you’re idea of a fun time? For Josie, it’s anything but fun. But you have to read Witness Bares All for the full story.

When I read the blurb for this short story, I was intrigued. I wanted to know how these two people would manage to get together without someone not making it to the end of the story. I needn’t have worried. Abby Wood packs a lot in a few short pages. And yes, there is a lot going on. The writing flows well and it’s a quick, but steamy read.

That said, there were a couple of things that kept me from enjoying the full potential of the book. While I love a hot story, I want connection between the characters before the sex. It seemed like things happened really, really fast and while fast is good, I wanted more back story as to why things were going as fast as they did. I give the author kudos for keeping a tight tale, but there were more than a few times I wished for more detail. I had to go back and reread to make sure I’d kept up with all that happened. I think with a slightly slower pacing, the action in the story could be absolutely dynamite. Another thing that was hard to grasp was the characters. I didn’t really feel like I got to know them. I liked both Josie and Donovan. Both have some great one-liners. But it was hard to really get into either character’s point of view. It was like I was on the outside, missing the great things happening on the inside. A little tighter on point of view and this story could be incredible.

But that’s not to say I didn’t like this book. Far from it. There is a lot of potential and tons of heart in Josie and Donovan’s story. The antagonist is juicy and naughty. Always a plus. And the banter between Josie and the secondary characters is quite comical at times. I liked the addition of the other G-men members. Oh, and there’s a scene in the woods, that is worth of a fan and a cool drink. You’ve been warned.

If you want a quick read, packed with heat, grab a copy of Witness Bares All.