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Friday, April 29, 2011

Inflamed by Mari Carr

Inflamed by Mari Carr
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (94 Pages)
Other: M/F, Ménage, M/M, M/F/M, M/M/F, Anal Sex, Spanking, Light BDSM
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Stuck in a rut in every way possible, Keri decides her first step in a bid for change is moving back to the Texas home she left years ago. The second step? Spicing up her sex life with the crazy-hot cowboys she left behind. Too responsible (and smart) to touch her way back when, Max and Shaw filled Keri’s hottest teen dreams. Now she’s older, wiser—and more than ready to make up for lost time.

Max and Shaw were always fond of Keri, but the stunning woman strutting back into their lives is a far cry from the serious, studious teen they remember. She wants to take a walk on the racy side—with both of them—and the cowboys are only too happy to oblige. As they suspected, the sex is explosive, though Max and Shaw aren’t sure Keri can really handle everything they have to give.

Nor do they know if she can handle the sexy secret they’ve yet to divulge.

Inflamed is the latest of Mari Carr’s hot and sexy romances from Ellora’s Cave, and this one will singe your eyebrows off.

Eight years is a long time to be away from home. Keri left to pursue her dreams at eighteen, but after eight years away, and four years stuck in a rut with a man who didn’t want what she offers, Keri ups and moves back to Texas, to the ranch she grew up on, and the last place she was truly happy. But the girl who left was very different from the woman that has come back, looking for the cowboys she has fantasized about since she was sweet and sensible teenaged Keri.

Max and Shaw remember Keri as the sweet teenager she was, and this confident and sassy woman is a whole different person. Keri is determined to have her cowboys, and they are more than willing to cooperate, but they neglect to tell her one important fact: although they want her, they are also a couple. Until Keri comes back into their lives, neither man realizes the depth of their feelings for each other.

Can Keri accept them as they are, or will they be forced to choose who they love? Can Max and Shaw convince Keri they are in this for the long haul? Or has what she witnessed driven her away forever?

I loved this story of going home again and of reconnection. I enjoyed watching the dynamics between the three characters in this, and the recognition that there was something growing between them, something very special. The characters, as with all of Ms. Carr’s people, are extremely real and likable, folks you want to meet and spend time with.

Keri is determined to change her life. She is smart and honest, and tired of being in the rut that her life has become. She is filled with sass and has a wonderful sense of humor. I loved watching her open her mind and her heart to the two men she left behind eight years before, and I loved her capacity to embrace change and take a chance on love after the disastrous end to her last relationship.

Max and Shaw are the cowboys Keri has fantasized about since she was just a teen. They are both hot and sexy, strong and determined to make Keri happy. But the two are very different. Shaw is the lighthearted one, always able to make Keri smile and cheer her up. Max is the intense and quiet one, solid and protective and hesitant to show his feelings. I loved watching these two learn to open up and reveal their feelings, about each other and about Keri.

This is a story about making changes, whether for better or worse, and about taking chances with their hearts. The old saying is you can’t go home again, but Mari Carr proves with this book that you most certainly can, and you just may find everything you’ve been searching for, right there in your old back yard. This one is perfect for those who love romance and happy endings, this has plenty of both.

The Untold Want by Catt Ford

The Untold Want by Catt Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (100 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

A professional life hitting all the highs is poor compensation for a personal life hitting all the lows. Myles Winston is divorced, isolated in a cocoon of loneliness when he's not at work, and adrift in a sea of despondency with no idea how to break out of the rut. Then a chance encounter with Davion, an old school friend, brings back such visceral memories of their “experimentation” that Myles finds himself pursuing a secret affair with him. But Myles is still struggling with his fear that he may be a disappointment to his parents, and he must be true to himself before he can step into the light of day and reach out for what he truly wants—Davion in his arms forever.

Sometimes your first love is the one you can’t forget. That’s what financial expert Myles finds when he discovers his childhood lover is now a successful artist. Myles is moved, not only by Davion’s art but by the striking resemblence he bears to many of the models. When the old lovers finally meet again, sparks fly and neither is willing to walk away. Yet Myles’ fear of coming out just may drive them apart once again.

The Untold Want is a lovely, well written romance. The two main characters are black and their speech and actions reflect not only the attitude but the culture as well. This plays into Myles’ fear of coming out and his worry about disappointing his parents. These details are wonderful additions and add a nice fresh twist to a familiar story. Likewise the sex scenes between the two men are smoking hot and add some nice variety. There is nothing dull about this story and it keeps your interest from beginning to end.

The writing is very good and every character, even the secondary ones, is fleshed out and three-dimensional. From Myles’ humorous assistant to the gallery owner, even Myles’ parents and grandmother are interesting on their own and add a lot to the story. The length is perfect and leaves you satisfied without needing more. The only bump in the otherwise smooth pace is the ending feels rushed and too easy, however that’s unlikely to bother most readers.

The Untold Want stands out from the sea of romances for the good writing and in depth characters. The story may be familiar in many ways but still feels fresh and different. The romance will satisfy fans while the erotica delivers on all levels. Despite a few quibbles, this is definitely a story I’d recommend.

My Alien Threesome by Amy Redwood

My Alien Threesome by Amy Redwood
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (51 pgs)
Other: M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Sex
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Morning Glory

Space pilot Kyra fears that sleeping with her partner is a bad idea. She’s right.

When a wedding takes her to planet Dezra, she’s soon pursued by a sexy alien male. Someone should have told her not to drink the local aphrodisiac. It creates an internal inferno that has her panting for sex. Luckily, there’s that sexy alien to ease her sensual ache. Unluckily, there’s also her former partner, who broke her heart. But he wants her back, at all costs. Even if he has to share her with another male first.

Heartbroken after a tryst with her partner Garrett, Kyra agrees to take her friend, Jana, to Dezra for her wedding. Kyra hopes that the trip will take her mind off her problems.

I like the beginning of this book, it drew you in left you wanting more. It left me with questions, wanting to know if Garrett would come back or if Kyra would forget all about him.

Then Kyra drinks the alien aphrodisiac. From this point in it's pretty much all sex; hot, descriptive sex, but still primarily sex. The aphrodisiac pretty much turns Kyra from a strong, interesting woman, into a sex starved wanton female.

Garrett and Slyte, the alien assigned to her during the wedding, have to keep her from orgasming herself to death, which honestly is probably not that terrible as far as deaths go. Yet also they seem to need to keep her satisfied enough so that she doesn't go crazy. I liked how Ms. Redwood used Kyra's lucid periods to drop hints that moved the story along, but I still feel the plot suffered. I didn't really like how Garrett imposed himself in the scenes, it made him feel like a little bit of a bully. I know he was supposedly doing it for Kyra's own good, but it felt like he was doing it to further his own agenda.You really have to keep reading at this point to find out if Garrett is really a jerk using Kyra or if he's the real deal.

Will love conquer all? You'll have to read it to find out. Overall, this story is a decent read, especially if you're looking for a something with a lot of smoking hot sex.

Prelude and Discovery by Jade Falconer and Jack Greene

Prelude and Discovery by Jade Falconer and Jack Greene
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (29 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex, masturbation, forced seduction
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Discovery: Mugged by a mystery man in a dark Hollywood alley, Seth discovers a secret kink. Now he wants to meet his mystery man again... and he'll give him more than his wallet.

Prelude: Jeffrey met Mark in an internet chat room. But even though they've just met, Mark seems to know just what Jeffrey needs. Whips, chains, hot sex and maybe... love?

Warning: Hot read! Look out! Will cause singes to fingers, eyes, and guaranteed to make you squirm.

I know when I grab one of the Binary Stars books, I'm in for a good time. This edition is no exception. Jack Greene and Jade Falconer are expcted to write hot stories that ride the line. They didn't disappoint. There's a heavy dose of kink, a little heart, and lots of heat. The writing flows well and kept me right in my seat throughout. I had to know what would happen next and how the two stories fit together.

Prelude is original for me. I haven't run into many stories concerning an online hook-up. The characters are both rough and saucy. With each word, I could completely see Jeffrey and Mark...the long dark hair, the tight clothes, oh... and the makeup. Can't forget that. The tension between them is palpable. I wanted to see the action as much as the charcters wanted to play it out. The only thing I wanted more of in this story is more story. I wanted it longer. I wanted to know what would happen next. Still, as a hot short story, it delivers. this is a searingly steamy story. I liked the twists Jack Greene added to it to make it more interesting. I had no idea which way the story would go and had to see what would happen to Seth and Virgil. This is a story of recognizing a kink. I hadn't thought of this plot for a book, but I really liked it because even when the kink goes to extremes, it's done not out of fear, but out of enjoyment. Again, I'd love to have seen this as a longer story, but for a hot bite, it's fantastic.

If you want a pair of short stories that will make you blush, squirm, and root for more, you need to read Prelude and Discovery.

Mercy of the Dragon by KyAnn Waters

Mercy of the Dragon by KyAnn Waters
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (17 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Anal Play, Forced Seduction
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Peppermint

Ja’darien, slayer of Dracs, will stop at nothing to banish his deviant desire for the dragons. He won't rest until he rids the world of the beasts. On the edge of a ravine, he waits for his prey.

Kerkira, a winged dragon, hunts the slayer. Yet, when given the chance, he can’t kill his enemy. The man is his mate. However, because of Ja'darien's sins against the Dracs, Kerkira vows the slayer’s submission will not be pleasant.

The bond of mating is more intense than either is prepared for. Will Kerkira forgive him because Ja’darien is at the mercy of the dragon?

I was in the mood for dragon and got more than my fill in this story were dragon meet dragon slayer. Ja’Darien may not be a slayer in this situation. Kerkira has one up on him since he recognizes him as his mate. But a relationship between a dragon and dragon slayer would never work; or would it?

Short stories for me in the past have been perplexing. I just cannot seem to get into the plot as much as I would like in such a short amount of time. Except in this story the plot was so action packed I fell right into place. With only seventeen pages it is an art to make a complete storyline, but author KyAnn Water’s did just that. The plot was created in a way that had me enthralled from beginning to end. The romantic and personal conflict meshed well together. I am not sure where the author gets such unique ideas but I am glad she has them because they make for very interesting read.

Both main characters in this story were men’s men. Well at least they like to believe they were. The fact that they are mortal enemies means that one person needs to be willing to submit and change for the other. Seeing as though Kerkira can’t change who he is that only leaves one person: Ja’Darien. The inner conflict displayed by both characters because of who or what they are added depth to the story. I think the author could have easily turned this short story into a full novel and it would have been just as enjoyable.

Kerkira brings a new meaning to chasing tale. His tail is an interesting additive to sex play. If more men had tails they would not need us women, so I am thankful they do not have Kerkira’s abilities, but it did make for an interesting read...especially if you don’t mind feeling a little flustered. Luckily for Ja’Darien he will not be replaced by that talented tail, but instead get the experience the please that particular appendage can bring.

Mercy of the Dragon was a great story that keep me thoroughly entertained. What else can a reader ask for?

Phantasmagoric Feast by Kate Steele

Phantasmagoric Feast by Kate Steele
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (50 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Buttercup

Anxious to prove himself, a slightly inebriated Toby Heaton decides on a reckless plan. Walking into Mausoleum -- a bar known to be owned and operated by vampires -- he offers his virgin throat to the biggest baddest blood sucker in the place…

Too bad his offer falls flat. At Mausoleum, a human freely supplying blood is a nightly occurrence. Still, all is not lost. Taken under handsome bartender De's wing, Toby is about to embark on a surreal journey -- one filled with pleasure and pain. A journey fueled by blood, in which he will learn his true worth.

A man walks into a bar, and his life is never the same again. They say you' shouldn't judge a book by its cover and I suppose the same holds true for its title, but when I saw this title my brain went "OH! Fun new big word!" I am very happy to report that besides having a truly awesome title, the book is amazing as well. When I finished it I was hard pressed to come up with anything other than "WOW!" and... when does the next story come out?

Toby Heaton walks into Mausoleum, a well known vampire bar, armed with nothing but the self amusing ramble of a man that has had a little to much to drink. His intent was to prove his bravery by getting a vampire to bite him, what he got was so much more. De was working the bar when Toby walked in, but he's much more than a simple bartender, or Toby's introduction to vampires, he is the head of the vampire clan and the owner of the bar.

Kate Steele has breathed new life into the vampire genre combining the best of the old with the best of the new. The fact that the world knows about vampires, and they mostly abide by the societal rules that they don't bite unless invited, doesn't make them any less predatory or dangerous. Vampires can, with one bite, still give either excruciating pain or wild pleasure, they can kill you in a room full of people without anyone seeing, they can have you writhing with exquisite pleasure or complete agony with the power of their minds alone. But gone are the day's of gloomy castles and black capes, instead your more likely to find Vampires in vivid colors. "We who spend so much time in darkness appreciate color more than you might imagine" this is quite a welcome change to vampire mythology, I hadn't even realized how tired I had grown of vampires being dressed in black until I read that sentence.

Ms. Steele has an incredible way of painting pictures with her words. She depicts things with such detail and clarity there were times I almost felt like I was watching a movie rather than reading a book. This is seen through out the entire book from small things like De's kitchen which I fell in love with based on the description alone, to much more important things like the first time De and Toby have sex. De tells him "I'm going to feast on you Toby Heaton. It won't be neat, and it won't be pretty. It's going to be messy and hot and sticky and bloody." and boy is it. It is primal and bloody and a little disturbing, but it is also a completely perfect depiction of a vampire claiming a human as his. There is no doubt about the fact that De is a vampire and what that means, he is a predator who will take what he wants, and if he gives pleasure that is his choice too.

Although De is no longer human, hasn't in fact been human for a very long time, there are some things that apparently transcend the change from human to vampire and survive through out the years unchanged. One of these things is De's quasi-antagonistic relationship with his sister, Filia. It was quite amusing to watch her needle De as only a younger sister can, before turning around and telling Toby that he better not hurt her brother. It was oddly reassuring to watch to vampires act in such a human way.

Phantasmagoric Feast captivates from the very beginning, but it's only fair to warn you that, as the first book in the Feasts of Fortune series, this book does not end in a happily ever after, or even a happy for now. Although I do hold out great hope for the end of this series to be a happily even after, in the meantime I look forward to thoroughly enjoying the ride. Instead of a happily ever after that is predictable this ending sneaks up on you so subtly and craftily that you never see it coming. You get drawn into the hypnotic world Ms. Steele has created so completely that before you could even hazard a guess as to what will happen next you are blindsided by an ending you could have never imagined. Leaving you torn between the intense desire to know what happens next right now, and wanting to revel in the sublime pleasure that is delayed gratification.

Phantasmagoric Feast is a dark and tantalizing tale, full of unexpected twists. Ms. Steele's complex characters and delightfully wicked writing are sure to captivated old fans of the vampire genre as well as bring in many new ones.

Full House by Jess Dee

Full House by Jess Dee
Three of a Kind Book 3
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (94 Pages)
Other: M/M, M/F, Ménage, M/F/M, M/M/F, Anal Sex
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

A full house beats a pair any day.

Three of a Kind, Book 3

It’s been a long, lonely business trip for diamond dealer Max Ashberg. He’s missed his lover like crazy, and he’s come to the realization that he’s ready to take the next step: nominate himself to be Trev’s new housemate. Except when he gets to Trev’s place, there’s someone living in “his” room. A woman—with the face of an angel.

Six weeks shouldn’t make a huge difference in a man’s life, but in that time lawyer Trev Greenfield has realized two things: He wants much more than a standing Friday night “date” with Max. And he’s falling heart-over-head for his new housemate, potter Grace Miles.

Grace never meant to fall for Trev, but when a power failure turns their chemistry into live electricity, there’s no denying the spark. There’s also no denying the shock when Grace discovers a naked man in her new home.

With Grace poised to run and Max teetering between confusion and growing lust for the delicious possibilities, Trev has his hands full trying to hold the two loves of his life together…before they slip through his fingers. Leaving them all with shattered hearts.

Full House is the third in Jess Dee’s Three of a Kind series, and I think it is the best of them. I know it is the hottest of the three books, and the others were plenty hot themselves.

After two years of Friday night passion, Trev Greenfield is ready for more from Max Ashberg. Max has been away on a business trip for six weeks: six long weeks away from Trev’s bed, and both miss their together time. Now it’s time for their first Friday night poker game since Max left, and Max is looking forward to it, and also has realized he is ready for more; like a relationship with Trev, possibly even moving in to Trev’s empty spare room.

There’s just one tiny complication; Trev rented the spare room to a cousin of one of their poker buddies. That isn’t the complication, however. The complication is that, although Trev loves Max, he’s developed very strong feeling toward his new roomie-Grace Miles. For the first time since Trev met Max, he finds himself wanting a woman. His fantasy is to have them both, together. But Grace doesn’t know about Max, and that Trev and Max are lovers.

This all changes in one shocking moment, when Grace discovers them together, just hours after Trev rocked her world. And Max is hurt about Grace too-until he meets her. Then, Trev’s goal becomes his as well. Can Trev convince Grace to give this growing romance a chance? Can Grace accept that these two men she’s attracted to are together, but want her too? Will she be able to overcome her upbringing and accept the passion these two are offering her?

The characters in this story are well defined, and each has small personality quirks that make them more real and believable. Any two of these characters could make a relationship work, but all three together make the dynamic work so much better.

Trev is the sweet and gentle one, at least until he decides to push for what he wants. I like his determination to bring Grace into his and Max’s lives, although I did understand his hesitation at the beginning. He is strong, gorgeous, and I loved his "never give up" attitude. He is the optimist of the three, positive that this can and will work if Max and Grace just get to know each other.

Max is the successful businessman, strong and dominant, and more than a little shocked by the ‘complication’ to his plan to move to the next step with Trev. Dark to Trev’s light, they make each other very happy. He is surprised, hurt, and a bit confused but as he meets Grace, he falls for her quickly, maybe as quickly as Trev did. I enjoyed watching Max go from angry and hurt, to curious, and finally to wanting Grace as much as Trev does.

Grace is the wild card here. She is strong, sensitive and very confused. Her head tells her she should be repulsed, but she can’t deny the heat that fills her at thought of Trev and Max and what she witnessed. She needs to come to terms with how she feels, and not how she thinks she should feel. I loved watching her open her mind, and her heart to the two men she comes to love.

This is a very hot story, and one that I would recommend to anyone who wants to experience the heat and passion that three people can generate in a scorching hot encounter or two. The happy ever after was long in coming, but it is well worth the wait. Ms Dee has brought romance to a higher level of hot, and I hope she continues to gift us with love and passion like this one.

Bastian, The Lords of Satyr by Elizabeth Amber

Bastian, The Lords of Satyr by Elizabeth Amber
Publisher: Kensington Aphrodisia
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (199 Pages)
Other: M/F, F/F, M/M, Anal Sex, Spanking
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Man-gods born to live and love forever, the Lords of Satyr are renowned for their sexual prowess…and unquenchable lust…

Call My Name

The forum excavations in Rome go on, directed by the iron-willed, charismatic Lord Bastian Satyr. Out of nowhere, a mysterious, haunting voice calls out to him…and lures him to the site of a long-vanished temple, where vestal virgins once performed rites of erotic surrender. The temple is the find of his career, but his heart is about to face the unknown…

Michaela is a pure Ephemeral. She can enter the bodies of others—and become any woman a man might wish to possess. His choice is her pleasure. And the commanding and utterly virile Bastian is the only man she desires…

Elizabeth Amber has created a world of fantasy, based in the old religions and histories of Europe and Rome. The rich textures of this world are fascinating, and the mix of real history and fantasy are so well combined to draw the reader into the story.

Michaela and Silvia were best friends for untold centuries, until Michaela chooses to become mortal for the man she loves.

Raised in the temple of Vesta, Silvia is one of the Vestal Virgins, while Michaela becomes a Companion, trained to pleasure the dignitaries of Elseworld, and traveling Earthside on occasion. There she falls in love with Bastian Satyr, eldest of the second generation of the Lords of Satyr, and chooses to leave the life of an Ephemeral to become mortal for him. But she retains her ties to her friend, and when Michaela is murdered by an ogre sent by the evil Pontifex, Silvia takes her body as host, for that is the only way she can honor her friends last wishes, to lay with Bastian once more at Moonful. And although all Silvia knows of sex and passion is what was given her at Michaela’s hands, she has fallen under Bastian’s spell herself, and is beginning to love the man he is. Because she is an Ephemeral, Silvia can take on the body of one near death to become fully solid, but only for a limited period.

As she spends time with Bastian, first as a twelve year old ragamuffin, then as Michaela, she grows ever more conflicted at what she must do: find the six firestones from the ruined temple and return to Elseworld to try and free the nine Vestal imprisoned there. Can Silvia let herself love and be loved for who she is, or will she forever long for what Bastian can offer her? Can Bastian save her in time to start a new life with her? Will Silvia ever give him the one thing she has kept from him-her name?

I will admit that I found this book a little slow going at first, but soon became enthralled by the story of betrayal and salvation unfolding in Silvia’s story. And make no mistake about it-this is Silvia’s story just as much as it is Bastian’s. The retelling of Silvia and Michaela’s backstory is illuminating, if at times quite tragic, but gives an insight into Silvia’s actions.

Silvia is a wonderful character. Strong and determined to achieve her goals, she is shocked to find herself falling for Bastian. And as Michaela’s most loyal friend, she denies the attraction, even to herself. I enjoyed watching her move from host to host, taking those characters as her own, and trying to fulfill the death wish of that host at each turn. Whether male or female, she gains a bit from each host, and has become very adept at what she does. Sensuous yet innocent, Silvia is a marvelous mix of any personalities combined. I like that she refuses to be deterred from her goal of freeing her fellow Ephemerals held captive by the evil Pontifex, even if it means giving up any happiness she could have with Bastian.

Bastian is the perfect image of the hero. Tall, dark and exceedingly virile, he is the ideal every woman seeks, but rarely finds. I liked that he isn’t perfect, however, and his small flaws make him more attractive overall. I loved the irony of a man whose family is in the wine industry being unable to touch liquor in any for without disastrous effects. As a very successful excavator and archaeologist, he has hidden the fact of his colorblindness from everyone. I loved that it was only through Silvia that he gained the colors in his vision, and thus always knew her, no matter what form she came to him in once he realized the cause. And I loved that he was willing to love and accept her, no matter what form she took, male or female.

This is a story filled with danger, for both Silvia and Bastian. Bastian is seeking the very same stones that Silvia is, but for a different reason. He believes, and rightly so, that the six stones on the Earth side are keeping the existence of ‘other kind’ hidden from the humans, and fears what could happen if the stones leave earth for the Elseworld. Will these two ever be able to be together, and love each other as who they really are? You must read Bastian to find the answer to that. I promise you, it is worth the trip.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Crunch Time by Andrew Grey

Crunch Time by Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (110 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

When George Higgins agrees to help a soon-to-be-former professional football player rehearse for a guest appearance on a talk show, he doesn’t expect anything to come of it. To his surprise, Darren White shows up on time and actually makes an effort to learn from George. But Darren has definite problems; he can barely read and sounds awful when he speaks. Luckily, George is a teacher and Darren’s motivated. It’s crunch time: the first rehearsal for Talking Sports is looming, and Darren and George will have to work together if they want Darren’s guest appearance—and their budding relationship—to turn into a full-time gig.

I'm scarred, I'm scared, and I have nowhere else to turn.

Sounds kind of ominous. For Darren White, life is scary. He's got a secret and if the world finds out, he'll be toast. Lucky for him there's George and this crazy little thing called love.

When I open a book by Andrew Grey, I know I'll be entertained. The dialogue is witty and flows well. The descriptions are exciting and drew me right into the story. Oh, and then there are the characters. Mr. Grey writes characters the reader won't soon forget. I haven't. I came into the story wanting a good time, with a little heart-string pulling, and I got so much more.

Darren is a guy I couldn't help but root for. I won't give away any secrets, but the guy's got a lot going on and he's overwhelmed. He's realistic which is relatable. He's like guys I know--clumsy with emotion, but when he's got game, he's got game. And then there's George. I taught school for a while, so I quickly identified with him--trying to make the best of what life's handed him and still make a difference with the fourth graders he teaches. Reading about him made me smile often. I have to give him props for patience. Being a teacher, he's got the patience of a saint anyway, but I liked how he was kind without being pompous with Darren.

And when these two men get together for more than a chat over coffee? The pages sizzled. I immensely liked the build-up. Mr. Grey writes love scenes that aren't graphic but I can feel the emotion as if I were one of the players in the room. It's that intense.

If you want a read with equal parts heat and heart, you need to read Crunch Time. 4.5 cherries all the way.

Lust at First Sight by Cat Lovington

Lust at First Sight by Cat Lovington
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (66 pages)
Other: M/F, light bdsm
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Dogwood

Desperate for a knock-your-socks-off magazine article, freelance writer, Nonnie Lonigan, decides to impersonate a vampire in hopes of debunking the legendary sexual prowess of the night creatures. All bets are off when she meets, Dante, the tall, dark, and handsome vampire who runs a sophisticated Manhattan nightclub for vamps only. Sparks fly at first glance, igniting the flames of passion that leaves them breathless and vulnerable to a militia of hunters dedicated to slaying every vampire on earth.

Cat Lovington's main characters in Lust at First Sight have sizzling chemistry that is off of the charts! This modern-day paranormal Cinderella story will not only make you smile, it will also make you dream.

Naomi, a free-lance writer who realizes that if she plans to see her next meal she had better produce a big story to sell, decides that a story about vampires and their love lives would definitely be a HOT selling topic. Where does a writer go for such a scoop? Well, she questions the local bartender who also happens to have a little crush on her, of course. With information in hand, Naomi crashes the friendly neighborhood vampire club in hopes of meeting a true-to-life (or should we say, true-to-death) vampire. She is not quite prepared for the “love-at-first” sight chemistry she encounters with the club owner Dante.

Dante is blown over by the sex appeal of this little quirky vampire impersonator. What is she up to, and is she placing her life, as well as Dante's life in danger? Dante is dying to discover all of Naomi's secrets especially those under the covers.

This smooth flowing story grabbed my interest from the very first paragraph. Mrs. Lovington's main characters in this story are just steeped in sexy! With the economy being as rough today as it is, we can all relate to Naomi's predicament; and who wouldn't be drawn to a character like Dante? He's a tall, dark, sexy and handsome protector who cannot seem to resist Naomi's unique charms.

I loved that this story carried a twist or two in it and presented a unique view from a different angle into the possible fears of a vampire's life. I found myself relieved that the bad guys in this story where not necessarily from the race we would assume they would be. Mrs. Lovington's storytelling is intriguing, as I find that the emotions of her characters were very realistic, presenting the reader with multiple points-of-view to better relate to the humanity of the characters.

This was the first story I had ever read of Ms. Lovington's, but I can promise you that it definitely will not be the last. This story was sizzling hot from the beginning to the end and my only regret was that this was indeed a short story, as I would have loved to read more about these two interesting and loveable main characters and their scorching love life.

If you love vampire erotic romance stories with a twist, then you'll love this story. I absolutely could not set this one down. What do you want to bet you can't either?

Lucifer's Choice by Jianne Carlo

Lucifer's Choice by Jianne Carlo
Publisher: Loose Id LLC
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (153 pgs)
Other: M/F, BDSM, spanking
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Myrtle

To avoid a pre-arranged marriage to one of India’s most eligible bachelors, Nalini takes a cruise to New Zealand, finds work on a ship, and hides out for two years. Pirates storm the ship, and Lucifer’s Hades Squad team rescues the crew except for the lone female engineer who vanishes. Then Lucifer, aka Sax Anders, is hired to find the runaway bride, the daughter of close family friends.

Nalini learns Lucifer’s in Santa Fe. Her teenage crush on Lucifer’s never wavered even though she hasn’t seen him in eight years. Now she needs to lose her virginity to avoid marriage--could the fates have been kinder?

Lucifer never loses his cool, never acts on impulse, until one sultry Santa Fe night when he beds a mysterious exotic beauty who seems vaguely familiar. Their shattering sex stuns Lucifer; he suggests another date. Nalini informs him she’s engaged. He’s outraged--she used him.

It doesn't get much better when he learns his mysterious beauty is also that runaway bride.

“Wham, bam, thank you, sir” is what Sax Anders (aka Lucifer) thinks after learning that the woman he picked up at a bar and had sex with is engaged and just needed him to take her virginity. However, the trouble doesn’t stop there. After she walks out, he learns that the condom broke. Although he has no idea who the mystery woman is, he is determined to find her again.

When Nalini, who has a stubborn streak a mule could learn from, set up Sax --a big blonde alpha male who she had a crush on when she was a teenager--by giving him her innocence she hopes to get out of her engagement to a man she does not love. However, she does not realize their paths are destine to cross again so soon after their one night together. This story will take you on a wild ride, and leave you laughing and sighing long into the night.

Ms. Carlo created a tale where different customs and beliefs come together to make a delicious love story that will rival any romance movie on the big screen. A brilliant writer, she wastes no time in pulling the reader into the story and not letting go until the end. The sizzle between Nalini and Sax comes off the pages, so grab a fan or turn up the air because you are going to need it to cool yourself.

There were a number of things that stood out within the story line such as the Shakespearean clichés, the Hindu upbringing and beliefs, and the Traditional Bharatanatyam Hindu dance, which I wanted to see a example of so spent some time looking up information on it after I finished reading the story. I found that with the “religion, culture and the vast divide in life experience” between the two main characters that the plot was new and refreshing.

You'll find yourself smiling when you see this alpha male get so hot he wants to beg. This is a scorching love story that will make you sigh and leaves you with a steaming impression of happy ever after. A must read and a great addition to your library, Lucifer's Choice is a well-written narrative full of action, laughter, and romance that will leave you smiling and dreamy eyed at the end.

The Assassin by Jenika Snow

The Assassin by Jenika Snow
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (116 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Fuchsia

When Neeka McCarthy is taken, she doesn’t expect her kidnapper to be one of the people she trusted the most. With her father's life hanging in the throes, Neeka tries to stay strong and plot her escape. When deadly trained assassin Gage Nyght comes to her aide, Neeka must trust him with her very life.

As they fight to survive, Neeka realizes her kidnapper has other plans for her, plans that include twisted experiments and innocent lives. As her feelings for Gage escalate, Neeka realizes she may never feel safe without her roughened assassin by her side. When she thinks things are finally safe, a new threat presents itself, one that may very well end her life this time. With Gage out of the picture, Neeka must fight this battle on her own. It may very well be her last.

Being kidnapped, held at gunpoint, betrayed by someone she trusted and forced to give her blood to some unknown cause leaves Neeka in a really bad situation. It'll take the baddest of the bad to get her out of this, and that's where Gage Nyght comes in.

This story is a really good length for a short read. It would fit perfectly into your average anthology for mass market, but what holds it apart from other stories this length is that it reads like a full length novel. I could easily compare it to some of my favorite mass market authors. I was able to follow the story without wondering if I had missed a couple of pages. There were plenty of hints to the back story to keep me informed of important build up for current happenings and the characters read as if they were friends I had known forever.

Ms. Snow did a wonderful job with this story. I couldn't put it down and when I finished it, I immediately started wondering about any characters I thought might come next. Alas, I checked Ms. Snow's website and there is no mention of a coming title for this series, but I'm holding out hope.

If you like action and suspense added into a really hot and sexy romance then this title is the one for you.

Stormy Eyes by Lynn Hagen

Stormy Eyes by Lynn Hagen
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (89 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Coreopsis

When Storm Wishfall is sent on an errand for his alpha, he doesn't expect to discover two young Asian men hiding on a boat in fear for their lives. He definitely isn't expecting one of them to be his mate.

After encountering the young men’s captors, the alpha devises a plan to rescue the three other men who were kidnapped along with his mate, Kyoshi, and Kyoshi’s cousin, Keata, and the pack must band together to curtail a human trafficking ring before any more innocent lives are ruined.

In the meantime, Kyoshi must come to terms with his new life. Storm searches for a way to convince the cynical human they’re destined to love each other, but something lurking deep inside Kyoshi is forcing its way out. Are these two as different as they believe, or can they find a way to share their lives?

Ms. Hagen has written another extraordinary edition to her Brac Pack series with Stormy Eyes. She dives right into human trafficking and what it has done to two young Japanese men. In the process of telling this story she also plants seeds for future stories for other members of this pack and the neighboring pack as well.

Kyoshi has been taken from the only home he has ever known with his younger cousin in tow and shipped to America. They were kidnapped to be sold into prostitution. From there these two young men’s lives take a turn for the better. They escape from the clutches of their abductors and windup in the safety of the Brac Pack, where Kyoshi discovers he is the mate to Storm.

Kyoshi is an extremely cautious character. He takes his responsibilities of caring for his younger cousin to heart and doesn’t want to see any harm come his way. Kyoshi reminded me of an overprotective mom but as you read you learn Keata is all the family he has and he has always looked out for his cousin. It was sweet and touching to read as Kyoshi cut the apron strings to give his cousin the space he needed.

Storm, or Stormy Eyes as the mates like to call him, wasn’t expecting to find his mate and reading about these two sparring back in fourth was hilarious. Storm is six foot seven with a five foot two mate. Kyoshi may be small but has the temper of a giant. The dialogue between them was well written and very funny; almost like a couple that has been married for years. Kyoshi has no fear when it comes to Storm, only love.

As in all the stories so far, the alpha’s mate Cecil seems to find time to get them all into trouble. I have to admit that is always very humorous to read. When all the mates get together, trouble is bound to follow.

The story definitely had its serious moments too. The Brac Pack take on the smugglers and that has an interesting outcome. Plus we find something out about Kyoshi that will surprise all readers

If you’re a fellow fan of Ms. Hagen’s Brac series, Stormy Eyes is a must read. She touches on some serious issues and introduces new aspects into this series that is only making it grow and get better with every addition.