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Friday, July 15, 2011

Putting Out Fires by Marie Sexton

Putting Out Fires by Marie Sexton
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (36 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Matt Richards has never given much thought to Valentine’s Day, but when his lover of almost three years, Jared Thomas, hints that he feels unappreciated, Matt realizes he needs to do something. He’s determined to make this Valentine’s Day special, but nothing is going to turn out the way Matt plans.

Appreciation. We all want it and some never get it. Then there are those who try too hard.

This is one of those stories.

I liked Matt and Jared from the moment I opened the book. The men are real. I felt their frustrations and fears as if they were my own. There may be only a few pages to the story, but it's written in a very realistic fashion--like reading about friends I know. The writing is fluid, making for a quick but engaging read. Ms. Sexton drew me in from page one and didn't let up until the end.

The story is written in first person and though this normally isn't my cup of tea, in this case it works. I liked being able to get right into Matt's head and really see his confusion and thoughts. It made him more three dimensional. I would've liked to have see things through Jared's point of view, as his contribution to the story is important. But even without, I got a good sense of who he was and what he was about.

This story isn't as hot as some m/m stories and that's not a detractor. It's actually rather refreshing. The story focuses more on the emotions and the whys of a relationship, other than just the physicality.

If you want a story that's got tons of heart and is a slice of life, then you need to read Putting Out Fires. I give it four cherries.

Shifters’ Storm by Vonna Harper

Shifters’ Storm by Vonna Harper
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (176 Pages)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Ménage
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Clematis

She needs their courage—and their bodies. The feeling is mutual…

Law enforcement warnings be damned, nothing will stop Rane from returning to the Chinook Mountains to discover who murdered her mother, a fellow forest ranger. Except maybe the fact that her elk shifter lover, Songan, is in the middle of rut season.

The delay is just long enough for a newcomer from the far north, Ber, to enter the picture. A massive grizzly shifter with his own need—for Rane. His dark, brooding presence feeds dreams so erotic, she feels like she’s losing her mind. Yet keeping him at arm’s length isn’t an option. She needs his heightened senses, along with Songan’s, to follow the cold trail of her mother’s final hours.

With winter closing in, the threesome heads for the mountains, where, in a cramped cabin, their mutual lust explodes. But the mountains can't shield them from deadly danger.

Shifter's Storm is a moving, erotic and evocative love story set against the incredible beauty of the Chinook Mountains in winter.

This is the tale of an elk shifter who spends more time as an elk than a man, and his struggle to communicate his feelings to the human woman he loves. A grizzly shifter from Alaska, looking for a new home for himself and his sleuth, sees in the woman hope for the continued survival of his breed. And a woman who was left shattered by the unresolved issues between herself and her mother, and returns to the mountains determined to solve her murder. She will bind herself to both men and they in turn to her, as the hunt for answers. The hunt turns deadly and the three lovers turn into the hunted.

This was the first time I've read one of Vonna Harper’s stories, and I was duly impressed. I really appreciated the way she fleshed out her characters and gave me insight in each of the trio. It made the male shifters, especially, far more interesting than the genre regularly portrays. Rather than ‘super-beings’ they were creatures, powerful and intelligent, caught between two worlds and not always sure of their survival in either. They struggled with instinct, while fighting to preserve that which made them both human as well.

Artfully told, it made for a more realistic feel to the fantasy and made their coming together about more than sex. I would have liked to see that scene further developed, especially as it was so critical to forming the bond between them all. Also, I’m just greedy. I’d invested time and emotion in the characters and simply wanted more. Considering the danger to them at the time, it did seem a little strange to have chosen then to ‘down-trou’ as it were. Yet, on the other hand, perhaps that is when the mating instinct is at its strongest-when the possibility of imminent death is near.

This was a wonderful story, with all the elements in place to develop further into a series. I’ve no idea of the author’s intentions, but in my most humble opinion, this setter and idea were far too sublime not to expand and explore possible relationships from the resulting ‘clan’. Highly recommended!

House of Mirrors by Bonnie Dee, Summer Devon

House of Mirrors by Bonnie Dee, Summer Devon
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (170 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Driven from his family when his sexuality is exposed, Jonah discovers drama, passion, and intrigue in a traveling carnival--and in the enigmatic owner, Rafe Grimstone. The preacher’s son and the lord who’s rejected his former life in England feel the heat of attraction from the moment they meet. Open-hearted Jonah is willing to risk hellfire and damnation for brief moments of pleasure with Rafe, but the older man is frozen in a past he can’t escape no matter how far he runs.

As Rafe struggles to choose between responsibilities of his present and his past, mysterious accidents assail the close-knit community of the carnival. Will the perpetrator be revealed before the traveling show is ruined, and will Rafe finally reveal his true self to Jonah or continue to mask his identity like the changing images in a house of mirrors?

Running away to the circus may seem like an ideal escape but Jonah soon finds out it’s not all glamour and lights. In 1902, preacher’s son Jonah runs away to hopefully join the traveling carnival. With his old life ripped away Jonah seeks solace among the misfits and outcasts that make up the carnival. Little did he know that his attraction to the handsome and mysterious owner Rafe would end up changing both their lives forever.

House of Mirrors is a steamy hot historical romance set amidst the carnival backdrop. The characters fairly leap off the page with unique style and verve. The carnival setting is really the star here as both the glitz and the run down shame are shown. There have been TV shows and a plethora of books that talk about traveling carnivals back in the early 1900’s and this novel evokes those images from the beginning; the dusty trail, broken wagons, quick tricks of the eye or tongue that seem much more magical under the big top but seem almost tawdry in the light of day. The close family nature of the various members is also shown as transient and interchangeable.

While the setting was enough to catch and hold my attention, the various characters stole my heart. From the quiet gentle giant to the prickly animal trainer, the surly drunk and even the mysterious owner all of these combine to give a fully three dimensional picture. The romance between Jonah and Rafe is nice but mostly shown through the sex scenes. And there are a lot of sex scenes in the book. The development of the emotional part of the relationship is nicely shown in internal thoughts but they’re usually having sex almost all the time Rafe and Jonah are physically together in a scene. So you have to be willing to accept that their physical relationship is dynamic and hot enough to spark and emotional attachment.

The ending is a slight non-ending as it drags on a bit with an exaggerated ease to all their problems. It’s a tidy, neat ending but it’s perhaps the weakest part of the whole story. It’s too easy and takes too long to get to that point. Also it would have been nice to see more of Rafe and Jonah together outside of sex. However these are minor issues in a story filled with imagination and wonder. The eye catching setting is wonderful and the story is interesting. It may not be a story I’d read again but it’s an easy one to recommend.

Cowboys for Christmas by Destiny Blaine

Cowboys for Christmas by Destiny Blaine
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Genre: Contemporary, holiday
Length: Short Story (85 pages)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, spanking, menage
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Dogwood

Julie Kensworth opens her door to more than a blizzard and greets two wayward cowboys. She realizes right away she’s headed straight for the eye of the storm.

Brandon Blake and Quinn Stewart are a long way from home. They’re looking for a warm place to hang their hats while they try to wait out the snow and ice, which continues to gain momentum.

Julie is an author and she’s not just the average writer, she’s one of the most notorious writers in the world. When Quinn and Blake figure out Julie is an erotic romance author, well, needless to say, their minds churn with all sorts of ideas, most of them geared toward how they can heat up the cold winter nights ahead.

“Oh Santa Claus...I have been such a good girl this year....”

Immediately I realized that my Christmas list has never been quite complete before. How could I have ever left off "Cowboys" from my wish list?

In Destiny Blane's book Cowboys for Christmas, Julie Kensworth AKA: pen-name Carla Carrington, is an erotic romance writer who lives on her own (except for her fuzzy canine companion named Heidi) in a reclusive house in Tennessee. Julie is proud of the fact that she is prepared for almost anything. She has prepared for the unexpected crippling snow storm coming into the region. She is even prepared enough to help poor, elderly Mr. Thomas down the street. Julie is prepared for everything this storm can throw at her except for the fact that two devastatingly handsome cowboys just landed on her porch steps. With a terrible blizzard outside, what is a gal to do? You can't leave them outside to freeze...

The stunningly attractive Quinn Stewart and Brandon Blake were not counting on being stranded in a blizzard as they drove up to Tennessee to pick up some cattle. When they found themselves stuck in a ditch and no way to get out, they went to the closest house for shelter but when they set eyes on the sexy beauty named Julie, both cowboys are preparing to woo and romance the girl into their arms. What started as a competition to see who could win Julies heart soon turned into a fantasy come true for Julie. Finally she does not just write about erotic romance, she lives it. What more could a gal ask for at Christmas?

Destiny Blane did a great job at turning this sexy menage story into a mystery surrounding Julie and her missing father. Her story characters were intriguing and her words flowed into a fun and entertaining story. Her love scenes sizzled and I found myself rewriting my Christmas list early. I could picture the blinding snow storm as her words brought to life a colorful scenic depiction of a possible scenario that many ladies can only fantasize about. Despite the cold snow in her book, I found myself fanning as the heat of the story simmered to a boil. I will definitely pull this story out and reread it again closer to the holidays -- after all what is not to love about hot, sexy cowboys stranded at your very door-step?

Looking for a menage romance with mystery and drama thrown in? These modern day cowboys definitely know how to please a lady in this well-written fantasy. I am really looking forward to reading more of Destiny Blaine's books in the future.

Corsets and Crimson Cheeks by Tori McCalin

Corsets and Crimson Cheeks by Tori McCalin
Publisher: Etopia Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (111 pages)
Other: M/F, spanking, masturbation, BDSM
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Amaryllis

Who knew pink was her color?

This is Jeanette’s big break—posing as a submissive for Maude La Roma fetish wear for the cover of a top fashion magazine. When she learns she’s partnered with her long time crush, male model Dallas Martinez, she nearly loses her cool. But much to her surprise, it isn't Dallas that makes her heart race—it’s big-time photographer Julian Hawthorne. Everyone has a horror story about the man: he’s a tyrant and an ogre and a perfectionist. But a photo shoot with Julian Hawthorne could make a model’s career—unless the model completely screwed it up…

Julian was tired of models who wanted to impress him. They only needed him for one thing—their career. But Julian had needs of his own, and right now, he needed a miracle if he was going to save this photo shoot. The female model was clearly not fetish material, the male was shaking like a schoolboy at the thought of touching her, and the makeup artists had rouged the model’s bottom like a baboon. No one would believe the fantasy of this spanking scene, least of all Maude La Roma… until the model sat up and asked to be spanked…for real...

“Nice outfit. Really brings out the pink in your cheeks.”

Lines like that make this a smart little story. Jeanette is a sweet, sensible woman who isn’t afraid to go the distance for her career. When she finds out what she wants sexually, she goes for the gusto. She’s a character that is easy to like and identify with. She makes the story light and fun. Julian, the hero, is a Dom with a sensitive side. He’s a really likeable Dom character, masculine and in control but he’s not hard uber alpha. I found him refreshing.

As you might guess from the title, Corsets and Crimson Cheeks is a spanking story. And it is also a sexual discovery story for Jeanette. She finds pleasures in activities she never thought to engage in before. But it also has a believable, well-developed plot that goes deeper than just getting a heroine in the position to be spanked. There’s plenty of connection and conflict between Jeanette and Julian and it is all neatly tied into the sensual build up and erotic action.

The prose in the story is clear and easy to read with lots of snappy dialogue. Action is shown as if we were in the character’s head, watching it all unfold. The sex is hot and urgent as well as varied and the journey is emphasized heavily in this story, using plenty of sexual tension and teasing.

A light, sweet and sexy spanking story with a happy ending. This was a very enjoyable story, if you like spanking stories, check it out.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Squeak & A Roar by Joyee Flynn

Squeak & A Roar by Joyee Flynn
Midnight Matings 1
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (102 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Forced Seduction, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Peppermint

The paranormal world is in chaos. The elders are tired of their younger people playing the field, causing trouble, and fighting with each other. Everyone who attends the UPAC Conference now has twenty-four hours to claim a mate of a different species. If they don't, they will never have a mate. The spell is cast. There is no escaping the Midnight Matings.

Software developer Gavin Ashby is perfectly happy with his life. He finds other people annoying after being around them for only a short period of time, and having a mate sounds like pure torture to him.

Video game tester Ant Marino is satisfied with his quiet, solitary life. After being accosted and almost forcibly mated, he meets the aloof but handsome Gavin.

Neither Ant nor Gavin are prepared for the feelings that arise. Will the two men continue to dance around each other or will they pounce on love and never let it go?

Felines can sometimes be difficult to live with, especially if they are a Lion. Gavin knows he is difficult, meticulous, and controlling that is why he decided not to mate. Then the UPAC gave him no option. Therefore, he put on his big boy pants and mated with a sexy little thing named Ant. little did he realizing that being forced to mate was only the beginning of his problems.

Gavin can definitely be an idiot when dealing with matters of the heart. It is also a quality that made me want to yell at him one minute and just shake my head another. He tries, but he just cannot manage to get things right, and his temper doesn't help him any. In the end with help from Ant and his friends, he manages to turn into a great mate, and is not that what love stories are really about?

Ant knows what he wants from the beginning and will not let anything deter him from getting his way. This enduring quality really allowed this odd couple to grow into a beautiful one. His toy box also helped like any toy box would. Most of us learned at a young age to share our toys and Ant has every intention on sharing his with his mate. This little hot tamale was definitely my favorite character in this story. I even learned to appreciate his squeaking right along with Gavin.

While most of the lovemaking in this story is sweet and spicy, one scene may not be for the squeamish. Gavin forgets the boundaries between proving a point and forced seduction. This was not a rape because at no point did Ant say no or ask for it to stop, but it is something that some may find unsettling and is worth mentioning just in case.

Thought the story started a little slow, it quickly picked up and by the end I really loved it. So do not be deterred by the initial confusion -- the story is definitely worth reading and I was happy I had a chance to experience a little squeaking and roaring.

Raine on Me by Laurann Dohner

Raine on Me by Laurann Dohner
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (137 pages)
Other: M/F, toys, light bondage
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Dogwood

Brit wants to get on with her life and leave her rough past far behind. Most of the cowboys who end up in her care are cranky old ex-rodeo stars. But not the new guy. He’s a tall, mouthwatering hunk with the hottest body she’s ever seen. And she can see it all, since not one inch of that incredible flesh is hidden from her gaze. The blunt, crude man shocks Brit a bit when he flat-out tries to get her into his bed…immediately.

Brit is the sexiest woman River has ever come across. Every time he thinks he’s starting to tame her, she tries to bolt from his life. He’s a man who always gets what he wants and the more time he spends with the mouthy, stubborn woman, the more convinced he becomes that he can never give her up. Good thing for him he’s not above chaining a woman to his bed if that’s what it takes to keep her right where he wants her—under him.

This book is hot, scorching hot!

Laurann Dohner's provides the reader with many fantasy ideas as she lays the plots we long to read in her new series, Riding the Raines. I predict this writer is well on her way to being crowned one of the ruling queens of erotic romance. I know I've placed her in my favorite writers category!

Her main character in Raine on Me is River (Moon) Raine who is a mouthwatering eye-treat and just flat-out sexy. River is a Native American cowboy who can cause any warm-blooded gal to lose all perspective just by flashing his devastatingly cute smile. It's just icing on the cake that this sex-god is built like a tank.

I personally would not mind River raining over me anytime! However River finds his true love, Brit Sheryl in this story, leaving us readers with only fictional fantasies.

River is a thrill seeker who took on one too many rodeos. Brit is a physical therapist who was sent by River's old family friend Dale, to help River recover from his injuries. Brit was expecting an old, washed-up wanna-be rodeo star but instead she finds her dream lover in bed.
River wakes up to see the sexiest woman he has ever seen standing in his bedroom. He cannot help but to convince her to be with him, after all she must be a dream right? The major obstacle? Brit is hiding from a rich abusive ex and in the end only River can help save her from almost certain death.

Ms. Dohner has done an exceptional job at pulling this reader into her story completely. She gives us glimpses into the wonderful secondary characters, making one want to read what happens to them eventually. Her love scenes where exceptionally hot and I read this story without taking a break. I have already flagged this book as a keeper.

Looking for a romance with drama and action? Well this modern day cowboy who knows how to please a lady is a fantasy hero one can definitely curl-up with! After I read Raine on Me, I found myself going to Ellora's Cave to purchase the first book in the Riding the Raines series. Now I can't wait for the next Raine man book! Yum-Yum!

Angel’s Luck by Jane Kent

Angel’s Luck by Jane Kent
Publisher: Whispers Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (55 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Mazus

What was a nice Italian girl doing in an Irish Pub on St. Patrick’s Day?

Whatever Angelina Marinucci had thought she’d be doing, it certainly was not what she is doing, which is hiding out in the ladies’ room to delay her best friend’s sneaky matchmaking machinations!

After stalling for as long as possible, a resigned Angel dodges her way through the crowded bar to face the inevitable, but before she can rejoin her friends, she runs smack into—literally!—Declan Harrigan. Fourteen years ago Deck had been one of the coolest and hottest guys in high school—star pupil, star athlete, star everything…including star of Angel’s secret teenage dreams. Hopeless dreams…because Angel and Deck had only ever been friends.

Things have come easy to Declan all his life; good grades, money, a career as a professional athlete, girls, and later, women. Back in high school, he’d been too shallow, too superficial and too concerned with his own popularity to date his friend Angel, the overweight girl, despite the fact that he’d liked her…really liked her. But Deck is a different person now.

They haven’t seen each other in a dozen years…and now it’s Angel who’s starring in Deck’s very adult fantasies. But can he convince her to give him a second chance?

When Angel's best friend bursts in announcing that it is time for them to go party it up, Angel is reluctant to go. Then she's reminded that not only is it St. Patricks day but it is also her birthday. After arriving at the bar, Angel is determined to avoid whatever man it is that her best friend may have tried to set her up with. But on her way out of the bathroom where she's been hiding, she gets quite a surprise.

This is a very short story and seems to be the beginning of something much longer. The heroine is very believable, as is the hero, and the connection between the two just sizzles right from the beginning. I could feel the tension of a new relationship between them. The feeling of butterflies in your stomach you get when you look into the eyes of a man you just have to kiss, I got that from this story. Though the emotions were strong and present I was left wanting more. The story seemed like it should have been longer, and I belive it could have been a wonderful novel.

The characters were wonderful and the flow of the book great, it is just too bad it was not a longer fuller story. For a fun, flirty and quick read I would recommend this book. I hope the author has something more planned for this couple!

Murphy’s Madness by Lynn Hagen

Murphy’s Madness by Lynn Hagen
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (104 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Coreopsis

Murphy Clover is in for the ride of his life. Maribel professes to be his number one fan when she finds out he secretly writes e-books. Murphy politely declines her attention, letting her know he’s gay. This only makes her more determined to have Murphy, and now she has escalated to violence.

Ludo Chernov was wrongly accused of giving a mate unwanted attention, and now he tries his best to stay away from them. The only problem with that plan is that he needs the help of one of them to find his mate.

Murphy knows Maribel is real. She’s hurt him twice already. When Ludo thinks she is a figment of his imagination, Murphy starts to question his own sanity. But there are a few mates who know he isn’t crazy, and they escape the estate to prove his innocence. Will the mates help Murphy in time, or will Ludo have him locked away?

Murphy Clover, a gay half breed werewolf, has a female stalker who doesn’t know the meaning of personal boundaries. At first I found it funny that a woman would be stalking a gay man but her acts of violence towards Murphy are relentless and the severity of her threats escalate. On top of being the objective of a crazy person’s affection he meets a stunning man who captures his heart.

Ludo is the black sheep amongst the Brac pack. In one of the previous books Ludo was accused of showing unwanted attention to one of the mates in the house. The accusations were false but the damage was done, so this wolf keeps to himself. He is one of the last remaining single werewolves in the pack and finding his mate should have been the happiest day of his life. But when he mets Murphy, Ludo’s first impression is that Murphy isn’t mentally stable. Yet their chemistry is undeniable and they jump into bed together.

This book was a bit frustrating for me because the reader is made aware of what is going on while the characters in the story are still trying to piece together the puzzle. I felt it was overdone how the wolves in the house automatically jump to the conclusion that Murphy is crazy and, due to the lack of support from Ludo, Murphy starts to think he is in fact losing his mind. Things that happened to Murphy are questionable on how they did occur but Ludo’s lack of belief in the man he claims to love almost cost him everything.

Thankfully, Murphy has a champion in Oliver, another member of the pack. Oliver goes head to head against the alpha in support of his friend. He believes without question that Murphy isn’t lying and will do anything and everything to help out his friend.

Ms. Hagen has once again left me hanging on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen next. Murphy’s stalker has a back story and motives I can’t wait see come to light. Then there is little Melonee, and her being part fay has me wondering where that story line will lead. Ms. Hagen gives just enough to keep me chomping at the bit. It’s a pleasure to read the Brac series and I can’t wait to dive into the next installment.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Seduction of Miranda Prosper by Marissa Day

The Seduction of Miranda Prosper by Marissa Day
Publisher: Penguin Books - Heat Imprint
Genre: Historical, Paranormal, Sci-fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (278 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, menage, M/M, masturbation
Rating 4 cherries
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Regency England has never been so dangerous, so magical-or so hot.

In London society, restless Miranda Prosper is considered unmarriageable. So she's stunned when the handsome Corwin Rathe asks for a dance at a summer ball. But it's more than a waltz-because Corwin is a sorcerer, and he's about entangle Miranda in a web of sexual enchantment, magical intrigue, and breathtaking danger.

She can build them up, tear them down, and bring them to the heights of passion. But she has no idea she has this power.

I'm not usually one for historicals. They just don't really do it for me. And then I found this book. Wow. It wasn't what I was more.

Marissa Day takes a normally overdone topic--sorcerers and Fae--and breathes new life into the idea. The Fae aren't the cute, sparkling beings I expected. It's great. Her writing style is fluid. The book starts with a bang and doesn't let up until the end. I wasn't completely sure which time period I was in in the book, but it wasn't a huge distraction. Corwin and Darius are great heroes. Both are totally different from what I expected and fun to read about. I wanted to see these two men get what they wanted, even if it meant each other.

I did have an issue with the heroine. From the get-go there were occurrences that I thought a woman with little to no sexual experience should be a lot more freaked out. Men with men is something that was totally taboo and yet it seemed to not faze her in the least. I liked that it didn't, but it was hard to fathom at the same time.

Ms. Day writes some page burning sex scenes. Whoa. I thought the book would spontaneously combust on a couple of occasions. I loved how Miranda, totally unschooled in the ways of sorcerers and catalysts, fell into the knowledge and experiences. It was like I went through them with her. Yeah, I'm still fanning myself.

If you want a book that has a ton of heat, equal parts heart and spice, then you need to read The Seduction of Miranda Prosper.

Captain Grey’s Lady by Scarlett Scott

Captain Grey’s Lady by Scarlett Scott
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical
Length: Short Story (73 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Clematis

When a dangerous-looking stranger raps on Lizzie Winstead’s door in the middle of a stormy night, the peace of her humdrum life is shattered. She’s shocked to discover her visitor is Captain Edmond Grey, one of the most feared pirates of the realm—and her lost love.

Edmond is a wanted man throughout the Colonies, but despite his formidable reputation, he desperately needs her help to nurse his wounded brother back to health. Only Lizzie can be trusted not to turn Edmond over to authorities for the price on his head.

Lizzie can’t quell the feelings Edmond stirs in her heart or the fire he ignites in her blood. Before long, both succumb to the reckless desire renewed between them. She follows him aboard his pirate ship and sets sail into a world rife with passion and peril. Together they brave fierce battles and frightening storms, determined to discover whether the love they once shared is strong enough to reunite them forever and conquer the demons of Edmond’s past.

Captain Grey's Lady is a thoroughly enjoyable historical romance with a swashbuckling flair, and enough excitement and lasciviousness to keep one entertained throughout.

When fate has Captain Edmond Grey once more before Lizzie Winstead, the woman he loved yet left behind to pursue his dreams of travel and adventure, the sparks flew and ignited the reckless desire that instantly flared to life between them. But he was no longer the same man; he's a feared pirate and could offer nothing but trouble and heartache. Yet despite the many dangers and adversities, or fear for the newly blossoming love between them, it’s a fate that refuses to be ignored or thwarted again.

Ms Scott’s beguiling tale of love lost and found left me smiling and pleased for the reading and sighing content, for the lovers and their eventual HEA. Certainly worth the time to read and yet light enough to enjoy on a lazy afternoon!

More Than a Stud by Eliza March

More Than a Stud by Eliza March
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (35 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

With her biological clock ticking away, Carina Roth, CEO and owner of a corporate security company, wants a child. On the night of her forty-second birthday, Carina's 35-year-old corporate intel officer, Evan Douglas, offers to be her baby's daddy. Evan not only wants to father Carina's child, he's ready to prove he can fulfill her every need and that, for Carina, he wants to be...more than a stud.

This romance gets a high five for being a seductive delight that was both charming and stimulating.

For a short story, this book felt complete. Even though Ms. March had to jump into the sexual high points fairly quick, she chose effective and believable disclosures from the hero to make me believe his feelings and commitment to the heroine were genuine and not fly-by-night.

I am pleased and amazed as to how well the author paced her tale so that the buildup had a rock-solid feel to it. The explanation of where Cari was in her life and the decision and fears she had were done naturally during the course of the story It never felt like a narrative with the author trying to justify the quick progression. No, Ms. March was a masterful surgeon, giving me what I needed to know in just the right way and in just the right amount. Could it have been longer? For most short stories, I’d say, yes. But not this time. Maybe it was how the book ended, I’m not absolutely sure, but I felt pretty happy with the outcome.

Evan was a hottie. Not just his looks, although the author certainly made him sound quite dreamy. It was his brains and the fact that he was ex-military and how he applied himself in the civilian sector. When he revealed just how he’d first met Cari, I was vastly amused and intrigued. Turns out that Cari’s strong personality turned on Evan’s motor up to hyper-drive from the very first and after the disclosure, I could understand why. I really liked how passionate and tender and commanding he was while respecting Cari all the while. It takes a strong man secure in his emotions and place in life to handle things that well.

The best thing? How they were really falling in love the whole time they worked together but either didn’t know it or could not acknowledge it. When Cari finally started letting herself think things through is when her blinders fell away. All her pithy justifications scattered to the wind as soon as he got her in that little room and kissed her, and then some. It was seductive, sensual and very convincing.

When Evan made his announcement, of what he wanted to do with Cari, and where he wanted to be in her life, I just swooned. Ms. March nailed it; the romance, the emotional connection, the satisfaction of a story well told. The editing was great, the dialogue fitted their personalities and the plot character driven.

More Than a Stud is a sigh worthy read filled with the best things that make a romance work. I just adored the dynamic of Evan and Cari’s relationship and appreciated that Ms. March didn’t let it get bogged down by Cari’s thinking she was too old for Evan. He wouldn’t let her anyway. I like that in a man. I am so glad I got a chance to read this book because it made the romantic in me extremely happy. The title may mislead a reader but don’t let it fool you, this story has style and substance.