Beginning January 1, 2013

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Friday, August 19, 2011

The Barn Dance by Camryn Rhys

The Barn Dance by Camryn Rhys
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Contemp
Length: Short Story (62 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 Cherries
Reviewed by Mazus

Mindy Edwards can’t bake to save her life, but with no where else to go, she returns to the one place she’d avoided for six years. Her boss’s son, Leo—still strictly off-limits—doesn’t help her starved libido, and what’s a girl to do when she could barely keep her job as the cook?

Leo Fortiss has never quite gotten over his first love nor did he expect her to return and pretend they didn’t have a heartbreaking past, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t save her from all the other cowboys--who definitely weren’t after her burnt buns and horrid cooking. He proposes a trade: he’ll teach her to bake bread if she’ll come to the big Barn Dance with him.

Mindy accepts, but when things heat up in the kitchen, she finds history repeating itself. Will she run or risk her heart a second time?

Mindy Edwards was hired to do the cooking on Leo Fortiss’s father’s ranch. The big problem is that Mindy can’t bake and she’s two steps away from losing her job. Fraternization is completely against the rules and sparks fly between Mindy and Leo because they have a past together. It takes everything for them not to act on it. They help each other out of a bind, one thing leads to another. What a tangled web they weave, from one misunderstanding to another they become closer and yet further apart.

Though this is a short story I found the characters easy to get to know and the story was good. Through the author’s writing these two characters are both very believable and their insecurities are felt throughout the story. I like how she portrayed them, you were able to follow along emotionally in their endeavors. In a tangled web of misunderstandings between the two they find their way to each, I really liked that. The love scenes are well written and thoroughly enjoyable.

This is a true love story through and through, I enjoyed it a lot. I recommend it to those who are looking for a quick read that is sweet, honest and emotionally fulfilling.

Past Destinies by Constance Ruth Clark

Past Destinies by Constance Ruth Clark
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (164 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Amaryllis

One spurned lover, one pissed off horse, and one goddess bent on happy endings.

Elizabeth isn’t interested in anything male unless it's her stallion, Black. Unfortunately men don’t feel the same about her and she has so much unwanted male attention she disguises herself as one in order to escape it. But one man sees right through her disguise and surprises her with a toe-curling kiss to prove it. Surely he is just like all the others……isn’t he?

Doug isn’t sure why he woke up in 1868, but one thing he can’t deny is the attraction he feels for the spirited blonde he rescued. Until he knows for sure if he’ll return to the future one thing is certain – he needs to keep her out of his thoughts ….. and his bed.

Past Destinies is a time travel romance with a little mythology thrown in for good measure. Modern day Douglas Coleman is sweet beta hero, a doctor who plays a doctor on TV. He’s fed up with his life and his girlfriend. Elizabeth is a tomboyish, horse mad young woman living on her uncle’s horse breeding farm in 1868. Once they meet they have nice sexual and romantic tension. Their coming together is sweet and sexy at the same time.

Elizabeth is introduced in a scene where she is assisting horses with mating. So Elizabeth has been established as a no-nonsense, hard working young woman. She loves horses and loves her uncle, doesn’t get along with her aunt. She isn’t interested in men or marriage. She likes to wear boy’s jeans.

At the story’s opening, Doug is dating a stereotypical bad-tempered, arrogant, materialistic, plastic, blonde Hollywood bombshell. Personally, it was hard for me to understand why Doug was with this girl to begin with. They are on a date and he’s nitpicking her in his mind and I am unable to keep from thinking: “Why are you still with her then? She is what she is but you have the choice to be with her. Either accept her or move on.” It made me a bit leery of his judgement in general and made it a little hard to relate to him at first. Okay, honestly, he irritated me in his first scenes. Doug is much easier to like and relate to once he is sent back into the past. He becomes helpful and thoughtful and has a nice sense of humor. He’s very sweet to the heroine and very tolerant of all the changes he has to go through to make it in the past. He’s a different man. Maybe more men should be sent to the past…

There is a fair amount of passive narrative in this story, which at times slows things. But enough of the story is spent deeply in character perspective that the pace stays bearable. The historical feel is good and strong. The sex itself is more like hot mainstream than erotic romance and leavened with plenty of emotion and a dash of humor. There isn’t a lot of sex in this story nor is the sex that is there very long page-wise.

Past Destinies is a sweet time travel romance with lots of romantic and sexual tension and a good historical feel. It’s not so much centered on actual sexual contact. If you like tomboyish heroines, horses and history and time travel, mythology and good-looking TV doctors, don’t miss this one.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Push Pull by Joely Skye

Push Pull by Joely Skye
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (59 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Coreopsis

Cut and run, or stand and fight…the heart knows where to draw the line.

Wolf Town, Book 2

Despite living together in Wolf Town for three months, Scott Lund and Rory MacIntyre share only one piece of common ground. Love. For Rory, life is all about connection—family, his pack, home. But for Scott, connections spell danger—for himself and everyone he cares about.

The bottom line is, Scott has only a small window of time to treasure every moment with his lover. In the not-too-distant future, real life will come knocking and he’ll be forced to return to his isolated existence.

Inevitably, a shadow from Scott’s past edges too close for comfort. Yet Scott discovers his plan to cut and run isn’t as simple as it sounds. Especially when Rory—and everyone else in Wolf Town—seems determined to convince him that holding on will cause a lot less damage than letting go.

Joely Skye has written an excellent addition to Wolf Town with Push Pull. These loveable yet flawed men are three months into the future from where Wolf Town left off and Scott’s fear and the need to protect Rory has him fighting a losing battle with himself. How can you leave the one person you love most in the world? That is Scott’s constant struggle.

I love these two characters; they both fight to for one another and yet are blissfully ignorant to each-others wants and needs. Scott does everything in his power to please an already happy Rory, and Rory is blind to everything going on around him. He thinks since he is happy so is everyone else. He’s a man who is pretty much happy go lucky all the time. To him life couldn’t be better and for Scott life is going better than it ever has but he over compensates everything he does to keep Rory happy.

When a threat from Scott’s past comes looking for him, Scott is ready to cut and run. I was super impressed by how this town came together in order to keep this man safe. Pack protects their own and this is something Scott isn’t use to and is completely blindsided by his acceptance from a community he keeps at arms-length.

Push Pull is an accurate title for this book. Scott is constantly pushing Rory away, and Rory always has to pull Scott back from the brink. It’s clear these two men love each other but its Scott’s fears from the past that have him holding back more often than not. Scott and Rory have still not had full on sex. Their couplings consist of a lot of kissing and touching. There is reference to Scott’s past and he just hasn’t gotten to that point where he can give himself over to Rory. But I will say the scenes when they are intimate are very steamy and sensual. The love they feel for one another leaps off the pages.

I’m a fan of Joey Skye’s work and I couldn’t have been happier with Push Pull. I would highly recommend reading Wolf Town first so you have more background information on these characters.

This is gradual love story that builds with every new addition to this series and I can’t wait to read where Scott and Rory go from here.

Worth Dying For by Luxie Ryder

Worth Dying For by Luxie Ryder
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (209 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Canterbury Bell

Is a vampire's love worth dying for?

Malachi Bane had been condemned to live forever without the woman he would love until the day he died. He waits out eternity in isolation, on a small island in the Maine Archipelago. When a visiting couple threatens his peaceful existence, Bane prepares to kill them if he has to, in order to defend his home and protect his privacy. Instead, he is compelled to save the life of the woman he has become strangely fascinated with, not realising the consequences of his actions at first.

Amber Kirkwood isn't impressed by Bane's macho attitude and has no idea how she got embroiled in the mess her life has become. Her rescue from the island and subsequent arrest for her colleague David's unexplained death, sets off a chain of events she has no control over and no desire to be a part of. On top of that, she is then kidnapped by Bane and held hostage so he can protect her from Katerina, the vengeful female who created him and has never forgiven him for leaving her.

When the physical and emotional bonds begin to grow between the unlikely couple, Bane longs to 'change' Amber, in order to save her life and keep her with him forever. But she fears for her immortal soul and, with so much at stake, Amber can't be sure that what she feels for Bane truly is worth dying for.

In choosing a book to spend my time on I usually research a little about the book and the author. Very rarely does the cover or the blurb on the back influence my decision. Paranormal stories are not my favorites and I do tend to shy away from them. I also look for something that is not the same old, same old. I am precise and have a certain criteria.

Never having read a Luxie Ryder novel I knew this was going to be an interesting exploration into the mind of what is, to me, a new author. I researched her history and discovered her erotic novels and her ability to bring to life such wonderful private and intimate moments. Then I saw a blog, read the excerpt and made my decision that I would give this story a chance. I was prepared for a trip down erotic lane and though I knew what to expect. Wow was I wrong! This took a turn that I never expected. And what a great way to get lost!

Malachi Bane is a killer and a predator…he is a vampire. His isolated existence has been penetrated by outsiders. Amber Kirkwood and her companion are on Bane’s island to conduct research. What they are really doing is disrupting the tranquility of Bane’s existence. Amber carries with her the cloud of her husband’s suicide and the unending desire of her unwanted companion.

Bane’s attempt to rid himself of his unwanted visitors backfires and his presence becomes known to both of them. Does introduce himself or rid himself of them permanently? Amber's desertion by her companion strikes a sympathetic note in Bane's heart and her very presence alerts all his other desires. After some time together on his island, the ruling power of the vampire community summons Bane to return or risk causing the death of his beloved Amber. Bane's return to the spoiled Katerina is the only thing that will save Amber's life but it will also sentence Bane to a lifetime of hell.

Bane is the ultimate anti-hero. He is a killer but he is lover and a tortured soul. Amber is the perfect companion in her understanding and her true desire and love for a man who is no longer a true human. Amber’s decisions throughout the story only cement her feelings for Bane. You root for her and you pray for him. Her selflessness and devotion is the engine that drives this story. This is not the typical erotic novel but so much more with a story line that keeps you intrigued until the very last page.

Luxie Ryder did an amazing job linking the realities of life with the unrealities of the vampire would. This novel is a sharp left turn for her and she did it with style and expertise. It is always a great time discovering an author and adding them to the list of your favorites. The story, the romance, the danger are all mixed together and make this a wonderful way to spend some time!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Not So Secret Baby by Amarinda Jones

The Not So Secret Baby by Amarinda Jones
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemp
Length: Short Story (95 pgs)
Other: Anal play, M/F, anal sex, menage, M/F/M
Rating: 3 Cherries
Reviewed by Mazus

After a passionate one night stand in her hometown of Cairns, Izzy Mack discovers she’s pregnant. The father? Well, he’s a prince of a small country off the coast of Ireland called Inis Daire. Izzy decides to do the right thing and tell him.

Sinyn Donnelly, the prince of Inis Daire is thrilled and insists she comes to visit. He remembers the Australian woman very well. As for the baby? It was predicted by the local seer that his future bride would come from across the sea and would be carrying his child.

But not everyone is happy. Sinyn’s cousin is next in line to inherit Inis Daire. The only way they can take over the island is if Izzy doesn’t have the baby.

Handsome Prince Sinyn Donnelly meets a beautiful thirty-two year old Izzy Mack. There was an instant attraction and they have a one night stand. The results of the encounter is more then Izzy bargained for; she’s pregnant.

Not wanting to keep the news from the father-to-be she makes arrangements to go visit him. The visit doesn’t go a planned. Sinyn wants Izzy to stay forever. Struggling with her feelings, she has a hard time deciding her future. Stay or go?

This story is hot! There’s many great love scenes, including menage. Sinyn is truly sinful and Izzy is sweetly stubborn. I liked the characters and the sexual tension throughout the book. The location the story takes place in was well thought out and fun to read about. Because of its length, the story was a bit rushed. And though it is whimsical I found it to be a bit far fetched. The Prince’s cousin is upset about no longer having a chance to take the thrown and the Prince knows his cousin is a threat but does not do anything.

Despite its length, there is no lack of steamy scenes. Whimsical, titillating and delectable are just a few words to describe this story. This story really delivers a lot of steaminess. It’s sure to please many.

Swingtime by Desiree Holt

Swingtime by Desiree Holt
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (53 pages)
Other: M/F, menage, group sex, sex toys, anal sex, BDSM, M/F/M
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Carnation

Lanie Burrell had heard about group sex, but how would she handle being thrust into the middle of a hot Saturday night party?

Lanie Burrell was shocked to discover the reason Cody Hawkins was the only other neighbour on their private little cul de sac. He needed the privacy for the swinging parties he hosted featuring the kind of uninhibited group sex she read about in the erotic books she reviewed. At the moment they were the most exciting part of her sex life.

Then Cody invited her to one of his parties, and she found a wildness within herself she hadn't known existed. And an attraction between herself and Cody that exploded like a big bomb on a short fuse.

What do an erotic romance review writer and the sexy single man next door who hosts the hottest, wildest swinger parties every week have in common? The greatest sex either one has ever had? Yes! In almost every way possible? Yes! A magnetic attraction that makes them both crave each other to the exclusion of anyone else? Yes!

This continuously roaring hot story tells the tale of the sexual awakening of the heroine, Lanie, who has read plenty, but experienced little. At first Lanie is timid, shy and critical. Then she meets her swinging, gorgeous neighbor, Cody who coaxes out the erotic hunger in her with his experienced and passionate guidance. After attending one of Cody's swinger's parties, Lanie spreads her butterfly wings of newly found carnal delight, and soon the two are inseparable.

I liked Cody and his gentle yet softly dominant nature. That Ms. Holt brings the very independent and adventurous man to the emotional place where he wants and sees a certain woman as being all he'll ever need is charming and endearing. For the first time in his life Cody has found a woman that he wants to settle down to a permanent relationship with.

I had a problem with Lanie. From the first, I found her hard to like. She seemed mousy, prudish and crabby. Even after the huge about-face concerning her opinion of Cody's lifestyle, she was too subservient and ill-defined. That, and a few editing errors prevented me from rating this story higher.

That said, the sex was extremely hot and there was a lot of it. The depiction of the swinger's lifestyle was fascinating, non-stop steamy action. I was pleased with the happy, hopeful ending that left me feeling I could have my cake and eat it, too. Even with a problem or two, I liked this engrossing tale and feel that for the length, it covered a lot of ground in a classy, well-written way. I recommend, Swingtime to anyone who wants a fun, short read with a lot of sexy, exciting action.

Two Days, Three Nights by Dominique Adair

Two Days, Three Nights by Dominique Adair
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (72 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Forced Seduction, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Clematis

After ending a disastrous relationship, Victoria longs to take a cruise and indulge in her favorite pastimes, reading and margaritas. Instead, she receives an anonymous gift of lingerie with a handwritten note daring her to wear the garments to a company party. Intrigued by the command, she complies. When she meets her gift-giver in the flesh, Victoria knows she has found the perfect master.

Two Days, Three Nights is an utterly seductive story with a little “slap and tickle.”

Who could possibly blame Victoria for being intrigued when a delightfully sexy and expensive gift of silk lingerie is delivered to her, with a request to wear it at that evening's event? Not me… Although I’d have probably fainted dead away from the sheer excitement of just opening the box! Thankfully, our heroine is made of sterner stuff, so that by the time she is face to face with her mysterious gift giver she is more than a little excited and willing to follow further instructions. He’s adept at showing her explicitly how a real Master dominates his willing sub. He’s waited a very long time to get his hands on the most delectable Ms. Brittain and he is only too happy to indulge her every fantasy. But what could be better than one gorgeous man sending her screaming to heights of ecstasy previously unknown, than perhaps two gorgeous sexy men, committed to leaving her sated and limp as a cooked noodle… Seriously, some people have all the luck!

This story was fabulously erotic and full of sensual writing that had my skin covered in gooseflesh reading the domination scenes, especially the totally HOT ménage a trois. Simply wonderful! With a well crafted plot and excellent character development, it might be a short story at 72 pages, but it's definitely not lacking in impact.

If like me, you like your erotic romance spicy with a saucy spanking or two and more than one Dom to give proper attention to one’s every whim, then don’t miss Ms Adair’s satisfying and most amusing tale, Two Days, Three Nights.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Very Personal Trainer by Justine Elyot

A Very Personal Trainer by Justine Elyot
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (52 pages)
Other: M/F, BDSM, Spanking, Bondage, Anal, Fetish
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Silverlace

Lara lacks self-discipline but Dexter knows how to give it to her.

Lara’s life is in a mess, and she needs help to sort it out. But when she hires a personal organiser, she has no idea just how personal his service is going to be.

Together, Lara and Dexter work out that she needs that little bit of extra motivation to keep her on track, and the way that motivation is delivered introduces Lara to a world of painful pleasure she has only previously dreamed of.

A lovely, humorous story about a woman who really does need A Very Personal Trainer to get her life in order.

Lara is compulsively disorganized. Everything in her life is a mess until an exasperated friend recommends a life coach to help her get back on track. She soon develops an attraction for stern but good-looking Dexter and is a little nervous at the idea of disappointing him, although she finds it hard to separate the fear from the lust and wonders whether the two go hand-in-hand. At first Lara manages to stick to the program but after a couple of weeks she starts slipping back into her old habits. When Dexter realizes she is letting things slip, Lara mentions she has a real problem with self-discipline and, well, maybe she needs someone to take care of that for her. As they discuss the matter they both realise that it’s a Dom she needs more than a life coach.

Dexter has had approaches of this type from clients in the past but Lara is the only one he has agreed to act as a Dom for and, as it turns out, he is far from inexperienced. Naturally Dexter thinks Lara should sample what she may be getting herself into and shows Lara the difference between nice and nasty spankings there and then, as well as having her masturbate for him afterwards when he realises how excited she is getting.

As the story develops, it becomes clear that Dexter is something of a mystery man and their relationship comes to a crux over his secretive behaviour. After some detective work on Lara’s part, Dexter catches her peering through his window and isn’t too pleased about her spying. Cue one hot sex and discipline scene, after which Dexter explains why so much secrecy was necessary and asks whether Lara is prepared to live like that. Read the story yourself to find out about “the Dreaded Cupboard” and why there is a spreadsheet involved. I had a smile on my face most of the way through this story.

A Very Personal Trainer is written in a snappy and humorous style and I’d highly recommend it to those who prefer stories involving spanking and discipline rather than whips and chains. I really enjoyed this short story and my only complaint is that it wasn’t long enough!

Encounters: Blood Play by Lex Valentine

Encounters: Blood Play by Lex Valentine
Publisher: Pink Petal books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (29 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Vampire Aiden Swann has a tough job, infiltrate Paris’s most notorious BDSM club Perdition. While he’s all Alpha, Aiden’s no Dom, yet he finds his time in Perdition no hardship due to a mysterious female vampire. Cadence O’Connor intrigues him and makes him hard as stone. He knows there’s no reason that a pure blood vampire like him couldn’t play with a mixed blood vampire like her, but Cade disagrees. She’s got a chip on her shoulder about her heritage and refuses to see Aiden as a sexual partner. All Aiden needs to do is convince Cade that she’s no abomination and that everything she is, is everything he wants.

Most of us have had that feeling of not belonging. Cade knows she does not belong. She is half vampire and half demon, a combination that should not exist. Since her birth, she has endured the hatred of other vampires because of her demon heritage. Yet when she sees Aiden she cannot help but lust after the pure blood vampire. Knowing that she can never have him she distances herself from him but Aiden has other plans and those plans include loving Cade.

Having met Aiden in a previous book I knew what a good man he was and enjoyed seeing him in this book. Cade, on the other hand, was new to me. She is such a strong woman to have dealt with being an outcast all her life and still find it possible to love someone. I loved seeing Aiden and Cade find each other. The lust that they share grows into love quickly but Cade still thinks she is unworthy.

Even though this is a small taste into Aiden and Cade’s world it is still an emotional and sexy read. I enjoyed watching Cade and Aiden’s feelings unravel. Each of them loves the other but the world that they live in will not let them be happy. Aiden’s fight for love was a wonderful thing to see and it had me hoping that Cade would grab that lifeline and hang on tight. The love that these two share burns up the pages and had me glued to my seat, turning the pages to find out what more Cade and Aiden would do.

I enjoyed this fast paced story and eagerly await my next visit to the Darkworld. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for Aiden and Cade.

The Assassin’s Lover by Emma Holly

The Assassin’s Lover by Emma Holly
Publisher: Smashwords
Genre: Historical, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (232 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/M, F/M/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Anal Play, Forced Seduction, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

In the alternate Victorian earth the Yama live in, this supposedly demonic race doesn’t believe in giving their hearts away - or in letting out emotion.

Assassin-guards Ciran and Hattori were bred to live by that code, until Hattori's too-moral twin is imprisoned, and Ciran falls in love with the grieving man. Both have illegally altered genes that heighten sexual needs, which seemingly makes them perfect for each other.

Then they get orders to kill Katsu Shinobi. Katsu isn’t your typical demon princess. Tender-hearted and lovely, she’s an unlikely match for these dangerous men. Too bad this threesome can’t forget the erotic interlude they once shared. They’ll need every scrap of courage they possess to build a future together.

This story is an erotic powerhouse that dives right into what readers love best about the demon world created by the amazing mind of Ms. Holly. For readers who may feel that they don’t or can’t get enough of those scenes that the author does so well, The Assassin’s Lover is a bonanza.

What always amazes and delights me is the raw emotion and need that Ms. Holly imbues her characters with. I don’t know how she does it, but every erotic scene has meaning to the characters and brings depth to the story without ever seeming gratuitous or for the sake of sex itself.

The conflicts are varied. There’s the external threat of assassins going after the assassins, the idea of vengeance, and the most important and relevant issue is the balancing of three lives into a cohesive and healthy relationship. Feelings are hurt, soothed, explored and exposed. The dynamics of bringing together three such diverse and unlikely characters and making them fall in love was tricky and fascinating. To add spice and suspense there was an additional goal or plot -- to rescue a relative from an unspeakable and well guarded place. Put it all together and readers are in for a roller coaster of drama, uncertainty, daring-do and a romance that defies the odds.

Kat is an exiled princess. The best description I can come up with to refer to her is ‘survivor’. There’s a bow to the tale of Cinderella regarding the heroine. The unfair attacks against her haven’t broken her but made her stronger, more determined and more appreciative of the gifts that come her way. I loved that she could be haughty and prim, wild and devious, and sexually bold -- truly a mate worthy of the strong men in her life.

Those manly men come in the yummy packages of Hattori and Ciran. A reader will first meet them in an innocent setting. What’s genius about that is its showing of a simple and uncomplicated time in all of their lives. The author sets up the future by looking briefly into the past. By doing so, I understood better about what they lost, what they struggled to overcome and what they eventually will fight for. It’s a hard road but the men are harder.

Hattori is the main focus of Kat’s desire. Ciran is the unfortunate third wheel whose emotions and feelings are locked inside. His yearning is what endeared him to me. He was trying so hard to be selfless and it was killing me. I believe that he needed to love and be loved most of all. Hattori and Kat’s eventual realization of that truth enhanced the telling of this fascinating tale. Sure, it’s full of bumps and bruises, but a lot of hot loving is what eventually takes the blinders off allowing Hattori and Kat to let go of their ingrained reserve and finally reveal the true love they all share. It’s beautiful; their passion has an incendiary quality that had me having to fan myself a few times. Okay, more than a few.

As I said before, one of the plot goals was to rescue a family member. What the trio had to do in order to be successful had me shivering and perspiring. It’s intense, it’s a bit rough and it’s well written. The saying is, when you love someone, you’ll do anything for them. Ms. Holly explored it in a way only she can. Get ready for a wild ride.

The thing that made me tap my chin in thought was the family member. The blurb doesn’t say anything about it and neither will I. I will only say that I wished the character was fleshed out more. I understand that trauma will affect a person but it was hard for me to really truly care when the person came across as cardboard and stiff. Something was missing but I can’t put my finger on it. Out of the whole book, this is the only thing that I felt let me down.

The Assassin’s Lover is a complicated love story, rich in emotion, conflict and heart. Ms. Holly is known for her well written scenes when it comes to skin on skin action and this book certainly delivers with explosive results. The intricacy of the plot takes its toll on the main characters and a reader will be hard pressed to put this book down until the very end. I am satisfied with the happily ever after but I get the feeling it has an attached ‘for now’ somewhere. I don’t believe they’re completely out of danger and I also think the person they rescued now needs some emotional TLC as well. What this means is that the next story set in this alternate Victorian world is going to be an auto-buy for me. I simply have to know.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Cowgirl’s Christmas by Patricia Bates

The Cowgirl’s Christmas by Patricia Bates
Publisher: Beachwalk Press, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (45 Pages)
Other: M/F, Masturbation, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Canterbury Bell

A sexy cowboy to unwrap…what more could a girl want?

For Holly Walker Christmas is about more than just flashing lights, it’s about having some sexy time with her husband. This year, however, she’s got a secret that could destroy everything…or save their future.

Say you are married to one of the sexiest bull riders around but you never get to see him. What do you do to make your husband understand just how much he means to you and how you desire a life together -- preferably in the same zip code. How about arranging to purchase him through a charity auction?

This is exactly what Holly Walker has planned for her absentee husband, Tyson. Tyson’s time on the rodeo circuit leaves very little time for him at home with Holly and the demands of their ranch. After one exceptionally steamy night things do not turn out the way they planned. Holly thinks she has no hope in keeping Tyson home but what she doesn’t know is that Tyson has other plans.

Holly and Tyson are sexy, steamy and just plain down home people trying to make it in an unreliable world. They have everything going for them right now. Their characters burn up the sheets but live separate lives while still protecting the deep devotion they share. They endear you to them from the very first page. Their chemistry is combustible but their communication needs vast improvement.

This is a very enjoyable, very entertaining short story with so much heat, passion and heartache with a happily ever after that just jumps off the page. Enjoy it! It will make you smile.

Once and Again by Lauren Dane

Once and Again by Lauren Dane
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemp
Length: Full Length (120 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Canterbury Bell

This time, he plans to do it with class. Style. And more than a little groveling…

Petal, Georgia, Book 1

Seven years ago, Lily Travis was only too glad to see her hometown of Petal, Georgia, in her rearview mirror. Thanks to her father running off with a twenty-year-old, though, here she is, trying to pick up the pieces. First order of business: meet with her brother’s teacher in a quest to pull his grades out of a downward spiral.

Nathan Murphy is pretty much resigned to his bachelor status—until he looks up from his desk to see an all-grown-up Lily walking into his classroom. Of all the women who turned out to be totally wrong for him, she’s the only one who felt right. At least until his foolish, immature mistake drove her away.

Lily has to admit that time has been more than kind to gorgeous, sexy Nathan. Except there’s no room on her full plate for another complication. Especially with a man who broke her heart once before.

With a little help from his friends, Nathan has a plan to rekindle the flame. It isn’t long before they’re burning up the sheets. Winning her heart? That’s another matter.

Don’t you just love when a confirmed bachelor realizes that he has made a big, big mistake by letting the greatest girl in the world get away and then comes back on his hands and knees years later to beg forgiveness and a shot at another try? If you follow Lauren Dane's Chase Brothers series, then you are already acquainted with Nathan Murphy, Tate Chase’s brother, the school teacher. If you have not followed the series you will want to once you read this super little story.

Lily Travis is a successful, well-adjusted career woman who gives up her job, her apartment and her life to come home and to assume guardianship to her truant brother, Chris. Her first trip to school brings her right up against her one time love Nathan Murphy. One look at Lily and Nathan is a goner. His memory of their time together reminds him of his biggest mistake in life…letting her get away!!

With so much time to make up for, so many people in her life and responsibilities to attend to, romance is the last thing on Lily’s mind. But Nathan always had a way of getting to the inner core of her soul. A future with Nathan back in Petal is not what she expected when she returned home but now it is the only thing she wants!

Lauren Dane is so talented and creative when it comes to character development. She brings to the forefront the perfections and the flaws of each of her engaging characters. Nathan is the perfect specimen of a man physically but is so flawed emotionally. His scarred childhood and his misguided attempt to move on after Lily make you want to shake him and say "Don’t blow this again!". However his desperation to make things right once again prove how great he really is. Lily has so much on her plate but it is a future with Nathan that is just what she needs to make her life complete. Her love never wavered all these years and he needs and wants to be her soft place to land. This short story is so full of emotion that you can’t help but deeply feel every little twist and turn.

It's sexy, steamy and so much fun. With the multitude of Chases and Murphys along for the ride, there is no way that this cannot be a happily ever after for Lily and Nathan.

Keeping Pace by Dee Carney

Keeping Pace by Dee Carney
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (103 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Clematis

One spark could burn her world down.

Six years after her husband’s death, Regina Pace is still just going through the motions, her only pleasure a nightly glass (or three) of wine to dull the ache. Tonight is no exception—until a sensual outdoor encounter with her neighbor’s son, freshly home from college. He’s older, wiser, more devastatingly handsome than she remembered. He’s also fifteen years her junior.

Despite her misgivings, it isn’t long before her nightly ritual includes a long, deep drink of Josh Smith. Ogling leads to touching, then the sparks flare into an erotic encounter that feels wickedly right—and deliciously forbidden.

Yet the intense heat can’t burn away the doubt pestering the back of her mind. That the gap between their ages is too large, even for the most determined leap of faith…

Keeping Pace is a sublime tale of love between a young man of twenty-six, who invites the attentions of his dream woman next door, a lonely widow of forty-one by giving her a show to remember.

Gorgeous, descriptive, beautifully written, yet so achingly tender and poignant with a divine first encounter over a back fence that left me breathless. Wonderful characters portrayed in such vivid detail, that I couldn’t have put this book down to save my life! So full of love and alive were they that I felt like I was watching a movie, not merely reading a work of fiction. Most memorable for me was how I couldn’t help but think that Regina and Josh so deserved every happiness together. Yet the thought occurred to me too,(and it made me grin) that perhaps it was Gina that needed to “grow-up” not Josh, who so blatantly loved her and was proud to be with her, regardless of what anyone else thought.

This is a plot that could have been a stale, repetitive litany with the stench of societies prejudice against an older woman and a younger man having a sexual relationship. Never mind the cruelty, petty jealousies and judgements of others, or even their own feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, rejection, etc. But instead it came across as fresh, bittersweet, intensely erotic, evocative and had me crying and laughing all at the same time. Simply Bliss!

I loved the way Ms. Carney drew upon her secondary characters: Regina’s slightly slimy boss Lou, the infallible and endearing secretary, Linda and even Regina’s rival, Beth. Each contributing in their own way to the inevitable conclusion and finale. The last chapter was an interesting dichotomy, in that it was the perfect beginning and end to this wonderful love story. I recommend Keeping Pace whole-heartedly and look forward to further examples of Ms. Carney’s work.