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Friday, December 2, 2011

Three Days of Dominance by Cari Silverwood

Three Days of Dominance by Cari Silverwood
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (178 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play, Fetish, Toys, Fisting
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Gladiolas

When a man with mint-green eyes steps from a lake and offers to rescue Danii’s dog in exchange for three days of total obedience, it’s obvious he must be either joking or crazy. She must be the crazy one, though, because somehow, she ends up saying yes.

Being a police officer, she usually knows how to handle the crazies, but when it comes to Heketoro, she’s the one being handled. Each day their lovemaking becomes wilder and Danii discovers exactly how far this man can take her. Though the tattoos drawing themselves on his body make it clear he’s not quite human, to Danii what’s more important is their burgeoning love for each other.

To Heketoro, what's important is one last ritual of love needed to break an ancient curse that prevents him from returning to his world. But as the time draws near, his enemies return and threaten to destroy him by using his only weakness -- Danii.

Three Days of Dominance is a story full of heat, passion, and intrigue. Author Cari Silverwood has managed to create something unique in the paranormal genre, combining elements of BDSM with fantasy. The result is something that is refreshing, although certain elements fail to reach their full potential.

The heroine, Danii, is a police officer who has no problem standing on her own. Her job isn’t easy, so she turns to alcohol to dull the pain she experiences. Fortunately, happiness exists in her life in the form of her companion and dog, Killer. One day while walking Killer she finds herself in a spot of trouble. To her shock, a man offers to help her in exchange for three days of obedience. Thinking he’s a bit confused and out of sorts, Danii agrees, although she has no idea what exactly it is she’s signed on for.

Several elements of Three Days of Dominance ensure a reader will keep turning the pages; namely the hero, Heketoro. He seems to exist at the lake where Danii encounters him, but ultimately he is a mystery. As
his story unfolds and you learn of his history the book takes on a paranormal/fantasy edge. At this point Danii has to reconcile her feelings for the strange man she can’t stop thinking about, decide if she believes he is what he says he is, and choose whether or not she wants to help him. These portions of the story are heightened by sizzling sex scenes that erotic romance fans are sure to enjoy. Although it should be stated that the scenes, while containing dominant and submissive undertones, do not delve too deeply into BDSM play.
Never fear, however, as the chemistry between Danii and Heketoro is explosive.

While there are many positive things to state about Three Days of Dominance, there are negatives as well. First and foremost, there are scenes within the book that, at first glance, appear to serve a purpose. However, they are never fully explored or utilized to the fullest extent. For example: the reader is told on numerous occasions that the ceremony that must take place to return Heketoro to his realm is very dangerous and could put Danii’s life in danger. There is a lot of build up to the actual scene, in which the reader is informed Danii will have to show absolute obedience. Yet when the scene arrives, it’s extremely hot but disappointing. Likewise the ending leaves much to be desired. While the Danii and Heketoro have their happily for now, their journey begins anew. Perhaps Three Days of Dominance is part of a series, which means readers will discover what occurs at a later time. Considering the genre and source material it is worth noting that, while the book does resolve the primary conflict in Three Days of Dominance, the ending appears to be the beginning of a new story.

The technical aspects, such as writing, pace, and style is solid. Ms. Silverwood has a lovely voice and an ear for dialogue. The interaction between her characters feels very organic and her sex scenes sizzle. As an added bonus her world build is fascinating and she’s laid the foundation for a very compelling series if she decides to take Three Days of Dominance beyond one book.

I would recommend this novel to fans of erotic fantasy with BDSM elements, particularly those who enjoy stories involving magic and mystical creatures. If you’ve not read Three Days of Dominance this just might be the story you’re searching for.

Shane’s Need by Kiera West

Shane’s Need by Kiera West
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (86 pages)
Other: M/F, M/F/M/M, Ménage, spanking, anal play/intercourse, toys
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

Shane has always been the joker of the Dillon clan, but he does it to hide the scars from his childhood. He has never shared what the years away from the pack with his mentally unstable mother were like. As he starts to fall in love with Eve, he finds himself unable to ignore the nightmares that haunt his nights.

Eve has always sensed there is more to Shane than he shows the world. As she tries to find out what lies beneath the surface, she sees the dimensions of his personality and attempts to help him deal with the wounds that resurface. But an argument leaves them at odds, and Eve in the path of danger.

Can the Dillon cousins protect their mate when the sadistic killer terrorizing them gets Eve in his sites?

Eve has always been drawn to study wolves. At first it was a satisfying way to aggravate her stickler parents but then she realized she had an almost supernatural bond to the beautiful creatures. That attraction is becoming clearer as she gets closer to the Dillon clan. Her reaction to both Noah and Ethan already feels natural but she isn’t sure there’s room to love three more. Lucky for her the men are sure and very much enjoying convincing their mate.

Book four in the Great Wolves series is primarily about Eve and Shane. Shane’s back story is very interesting and the way Ms. West wove his past into the present was truly clever. Shane has good reason to feel like an outsider and uses humor to mask some deep-seated pain. It will take the love of his mate along with his family to heal the scars that no one can see.

When Shane’s Need was set to be released, readers were treated to another unexpected surprise. Author Kiera West isn’t as new a writer as we all thought. The very talented Melissa Schroeder is the author behind this pen name. She chose to take on a new persona when she crossed into writing paranormal. I think it’s safe to say it has been a successful venture. This reader hopes it will be a while before we have to leave Passion, Alaska. There are an awful lot of hot and sexy shifter groups making themselves known during the present crisis. Wolves, Leopards and Bears, Oh My!!

One of the Dillon clan that hasn’t had much face time in the other three books, brother to Shane and Rand, is Max. He does make an tantalizing appearance in book four. We also get a peek into Rand and Max’s personalities while Eve is creating a connection with Shane. There’s a part in this book where Eve is needing comforting and walks into Rand’s room and simply cuddles up with him on the bed. It was a very sweet and touching moment. When Shane, and later Max, joins them it gets really HOT really fast!!

If you haven’t had the chance to read the first three books in this series it isn’t too late to start now. They are all short stories that focus on Eve getting to know one of the men but due to the back story of the evil threatening them all, they really aren’t stand alones. Each story is well developed and adds to the overall plot. The characters themselves have been fun getting to know. With so many people involved in a single relationship it’s nice to focus on each man one at a time.

Put on your cuddle duds and join me for this fantastic journey into the paranormal and the deep woods of Passion, Alaska. It’s cold but there are plenty of furry HAWT men around to keep you warm!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Curio by Cara McKenna

Curio by Cara McKenna
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (104 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Gladiolas

Caroly Evardt never expected to find herself patronizing a male prostitute. Then again, she never expected to be weeks from her thirtieth birthday and still a virgin.

When a friend mentions that a gorgeous male model in Paris sells his body as well as his image, Caroly’s intrigued. Finally, a chance to sample the gifts of a beautiful man—no strings, no stakes, no fear of rejection.

But she soon discovers that Didier Pedra amounts to more than a striking face and talented body. He’s a kind, charming, damaged man, and after a few evenings of pleasurable education, Caroly’s interest blossoms into something far deeper than mere lust. Her simple arrangement is suddenly feeling downright dangerous…

Author Cara McKenna’s Curio is an erotic romance of a different sort.

Told in first person point of view, the work is character driven, allowing you to delve into the mind of the heroine, Caroly. She’s a virgin who is ready to learn all the pleasures of being a woman. What better way than to hire a gorgeous male prostitute? Enter Didier, a model who is more than the beautiful specimen of man. As Caroly becomes acquainted with Didier, a connection is made. Caroly returns to learn more about the enigmatic man stealing his way into her heart. When their time together nears an end, can there be more between them? Or will their affair end when Caroly is no longer a client?

As always, Ms. McKenna delivers a story with a profound emotional impact. Caroly is an interesting character, if a bit grating a times. A virgin nearing thirty is bound to have issues to resolve, and her development over the course of the book is well done. A substantial amount of time is spent inside Caroly’s head, ensuring the reader understands her inside and out. Unfortunately, the very thing that makes the story so powerful also hinders it. Due to the first person narrative, readers are never allowed to truly know Didier. Every action he makes, every word he says, might or might not be genuine. Yes, a reader will undoubtedly want to believe Didier is more than sexy man-candy. His actions and tender manner with Caroly are swoon-worthy. Yet everything is told through Caroly’s eyes, creating questions as to his motives, his feelings, and his sincerity. The ending of the book, which I will not reveal, broadens the possibility of a happy future for the lovers, even if the final pages imply a happy for now.

On a positive note, the writing is lovely, the pace makes the story a page turner, the sex scenes are scorchers, and you can enjoy Curio in one sitting. If you’ve never experienced the work of Cara McKenna now is the perfect time to start.

Hardcore Cowboys by Stacey Espino

Hardcore Cowboys by Stacey Espino
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (157 pages)
Other: Mild BDSM , M/F, M/F/M, F/M/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 Cherries
Reviewed by Kennedia

Samantha has one week off work to explore the country, never expecting a snowstorm to nearly take her life. Nor does she expect to find love and salvation with the three Carson brothers. Her cowboy saviors have no problem sharing, pulling her deeper into their world of erotic pleasures each day she remains on their ranch.

Wyatt and his twin brothers, Cord and Val, need inspiration in the worst way. When Samantha comes into their lives, she gives them a purpose and fulfills all their desires. There's no way they can let her return to the city. But can they convince the independent brunette to let them take care of her—forever?

Yeehaw and giddy up, three cowboys for one city girl! Hardcore Cowboys is a ménage a quatre story, the first in Stacey Espino’s Ride ‘Em Hard series. Three cowboy brothers from the Alberta plains and one city girl meet under unusual circumstances and the sparks start to fly, after the guys save her from freezing to death.

Stacey Espino gives a detailed account of her characters in this story especially what is going on in their minds; however I found it difficult at times to keep up with her as she jumped from on character to the next often. I give her credit though; it has to be difficult to write a story with four main characters in a romance rather than the usual two.

I really liked Samantha, and could identify with her frustrations with her job and the monotony of her overall life. Samantha just wants something to change and to have some adventure in her life, and does she ever get that with this story. Ms. Espino makes the heroes, the Carson brothers, Wyatt, Val and Cord, of this story real. Yes they are the usual hot cowboys we all want, but at the same time they are very human, with doubts about where their lives are headed and what they really want for their futures.

I found this story was a little difficult to settle into because the author spent a lot of time setting up the scene and bringing all four of the main characters together. Once Samantha and the Carson brothers were together, though, the book moved along at a brisker pace. Ms. Espino did a good job of developing the relationships between Samantha, Wyatt, Cord and Val. They all had different feelings about their relationship and the dynamics but at the same time they all wanted the same thing. Samantha is conflicted, she is not sure whether the brothers really want her as a woman or just want to take care of her out some sense of cowboy nobility.

Ms. Espino writes very descriptive love scenes that were hot and exciting; however I was disappointed that there were so few of them. The ménage scenes were well written and tastefully done. There are some light BDSM elements in this story, mainly spankings and some bossing around during the sex scenes but not enough to turn an erotic reader off even if they do not usually read BDSM.

Although this story takes a little time to get moving, it was a good romance with two of my favorite things: cowboys and a ménage. For those readers who enjoy romantic stories about cowboys and like a little erotic action without too heavy of a plot this is the book for you.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hot Text by Cari Quinn

Hot Text by Cari Quinn
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (87 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Kennedia

Sometimes what you think you want and what you need are two very different things.

As a technical editor, Jeffrey Maddox deals with plenty of words, leaving him few to spare on people, except his baby sister. To keep Daisy from wrecking her newly rehabbed life by shacking up with her older, married lover Lonny, he impulsively texts Lonny’s wife, Karyn. And then meets her at a coffee shop on a snowy night, ostensibly to convince her to stay with her philandering husband.

But soon texting turns to sexting. After spending the night getting to know Karyn, Jeff wants something much more personal—Lonny’s wife. For himself.

Despite her misgivings about Jeff’s intentions, Karyn can’t fight their attraction. She’s still not divorced, though she knows there’s no way she’ll return to her husband. But maybe an amazing night of conversation—and even more amazing lovemaking—can lead to more than just one night of hot text.

Cari Quinn’s, Hot Text, is most certainly that, a very hot read. This is a story of two average, everyday normal people who meet under some unusual circumstances and then proceed to light the sheets on fire.

Jeff Maddox, the hero of this story, is a technical book editor, but also a meddlesome older brother with a bad attitude and a bit of a recluse. When Ms. Quinn first introduced this character, I wasn't sure this guy was my idea of a hero. He’s been divorced twice, he’s sticking his nose in business he shouldn’t be and he’s got a foul mouth. Have no fear readers, he is all of these things but he is also a man with a tender heart, a sense of humor and he knows how to treat a lady. I loved him. Ms. Quinn does a marvelous job of getting into Jeff’s head and making her readers see him for the truly wonderful man he is.

Karyn James, the heroine of Hot Text, is a quirky preschool teacher with a passion for painting and peppermint lattes. The author allows her readers to bear witness to this character’s journey of self-discovery through Karyn’s thoughts and actions. I really liked Karyn because she is one of those characters readers can identify with. She’s an average woman facing some difficult times in her life but she isn’t really dealing with them; she feels broken and just can’t move on and find peace in her life.

Hot Text is a beautifully written character study of two people who are almost complete opposites yet seem destined to be together. The love scenes are exceptionally hot, with plenty of foreplay, believable dialogue and a little humor to keep it even more real. Ms. Quinn has outdone herself with this story of everyday average characters that discover each other and themselves.

Although Hot Text is a short story, it is the perfect length to curl up with on a lazy afternoon, with a pitcher of your favorite frozen drink -- you are going to need it -- and just enjoy!

The Widow’s Revenge by Rue Allyn

The Widow’s Revenge by Rue Allyn
Publisher: Red Sage
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (159 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Stephantois

Maggie Winters blames Carter Enterprises CEO, Alec Carter for the death of her husband. She believes that revenge is the only way to regain the joy she once had in life, including an active and adventurous sex life. Lacking resources to match those of rich and influential Alec, Maggie plots to lure Alec into a sordid sex scandal which will ruin his business reputation. Just as he puts plans in place to rescue his company from the brink of disaster, Alec Carter becomes obsessed with a mystery woman who lures him into a weeklong sexual tryst. Both Maggie and Alec are unprepared when lust promises to become love. Both must learn to trust if they want the promised lifetime of love and loving.

Maggie is on a mission of revenge. Her target is Alec, CEO of Carter Enterprises who she believes is responsible for the death of her husband, David who was killed while working for him.

Ms. Allyn plunges you in at the deep end with this story. When it opens we are introduced to Maggie and learn that she is setting a trap for Alec. When the story switches to his POV, you sense that Maggie will have a tough time staying angry and vengeful toward him for long. He’s sexy, borderline charming, very intriguing, and because of all these qualities you want to turn the page to see how this will play out.

Best thing I liked about this story was the dialogue and the secondary characters. The pacing was also just right for this length of book. The only thing that stopped me from thoroughly enjoying this tale was the language used for different body parts, for example "rod". It had the feel of "purple prose" and was jarring and I think took the edge off the sexiness of this tale.

However, if you’re looking for something a little different than the usual boy meets girl type story, or if you enjoy books with characters who seem destined to be enemies for eternity, this might be a good pick for you.

Lunar Eclipse Collection by B.J. McCall

Lunar Eclipse Collection by B.J. McCall
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (148 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Foxglove

Lycaon Moon: Veda has left the pack, rejecting its edicts, its laws and the lycan rituals. The last thing she wants in her life is an alpha wolf and since leaving the pack, she's refused to run beneath the Lycaon Moon. Kane's been gone for three years, but he's back and determined to mate with Veda.

Lunar Eclipse: The pack elders order Violet Winter to choose a mate by the conclusion of the lunar eclipse. Violet wants to mate for love and in defiance of their edict seduces an unacceptable half-breed. Canon Ross is establishing his place in his mother's pack until he's seduced by a she-wolf, but the flames ignited aren't easily extinguished and Canon refuses to be dismissed.

Mark of the Moon: The mark of the moon prophecy ordains that Ivy Ward must mate with the werewolf bearing a birthmark similar to the one she bears, a crescent shaped moon. Lodan Hunt bears the Mark, but there is far more to this prophecy than a preordained mate.

This is a delightful collection of wolf stories, and I was caught up in the world Ms McCall built here.

Shifters live by the rules of the pack. They follow their Alpha, whether they agree with the rules or not, or face being banished or alone. BJ McCall has written three stories of unusual shifters, wolves that go out of their way to flaunt the rules and live life on their own terms. Until they each come up against the one thing they can’t escape: their one true mate, one destined to love them and stand with them.

In Lycaon Moon, Veda Pearl has chosen to go her own way, refusing to run under the Lycaon Moon that lets her mate claim her. She wants no part of the pack or the mating process.

Passing for human, Veda is a bounty hunter, satisfied with life away from the pack. At least she was, until Kane came back into her life after being banished from the pack three years ago. Kane Ryland is as determined to claim Veda as she is to avoid being claimed. Can Kane win Veda’s heart and convince her to accept him?

In Lunar Eclipse, Violet Winters is determined to mate for love. When pack elders decree she must choose a mate before the end of the lunar eclipse. Violet rebels, and decides to choose the least acceptable prospect. She seduces a half-breed wolf, one trying to find acceptance with the pack his mother left years ago to marry a human. Canon Ross succumbs to Violet’s seduction, and decides to do the right thing by facing the elders who must decide both their fates. Can these two find love in spite of the way they met?

In Mark of the Moon, Ivy Ward is destined to mate with the wolf who bears the Mark of the Moon, a crescent shaped birthmark that matches the one she has. As a result, she was considered off limits in her hometown, even gaining the nickname Poison Ivy. She takes an extended vacation to California, where no one knows of her birthmark or the prophecy it involves. Lodan Hunt is participating in a grueling forty mile cross country race, a race he has won two years in a row, with the lead in this years competition. At least he leads until the sudden jolt of electricity up his spine and the enticing smell of she-wolf throws him off his stride. Once the race is over, he realizes the crescent moon birthmark he has is burning like fire. Ivy doesn’t understand why, after brushing the fur of one of the wolves racing past her, the birthmark that causes her so much frustration has begun to sting and burn. Can these two find each other, and fulfill the prophecy as they were meant to?

BJ McCall has a marvelous way with shifters, especially her werewolves. The characters in these three stories are all well crafted and finely detailed. Each has their own unique style and personality, and all are fun to meet and get to know. These each take place in different locales, but the world remains decidedly constant and interesting.

The three women are all strong, and as different as can be. Veda is strong and independent, choosing to ignore her wolf side as long as possible. Violet is soft and determined to mate and marry for love and no other reason. Ivy is ready for some fun in a strange place, where no one knows about her mark or the prophecy. But all three share some common traits. All are strong, sassy and determined to live life on their own terms, rather than be dictated to. I like that in all of Ms McCall’s books, and especially with these three women.

The men are all determined and ready to settle down. Kane is strong and refuses to give up on Veda. Canon wants to learn about his wolf side, but he also wants the woman he loves by his side while he learns. Lodan has always doubted the prophecy, until s twist of fate brings Ivy into his world. But all three will do whatever it takes to keep their mates in their lives. I like the determination Ms. McCall instills in her men, and that never give up attitude they all have.

I loved the brief glimpses into pack rules, laws and traditions as decided upon for this world, and I look forward to more in this world in the future. There is a happy ever after and two happy for now with future stories to come here. I recommend these for all shifter fans, but keep the fan on, and a supply of cold drinks, because like all of Ms McCall’s work, these can get hot.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Club X Megabook by Shauna Hart

Club X Megabook by Shauna Hart
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (524 pgs)
Other: M/F, voyeurism, BDSM, spanking, anal play, masturbation, sex toys
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Reviewed By Dianthus

When Jade Monroe's sister, Ruby, is murdered, she vows to find her killer. But coming to New Orleans means facing the one man she has never been able to get over, her sister's ex-boyfriend.

Clay Devlin stole more than just a kiss years ago. He stole a piece of her heart. Now, he is her only link to the life her sister led. But Clay wants Jade to leave New Orleans. And the closer she gets to him, the more she begins to wonder what he is hiding.

As Jade investigates, she discovers that Ruby had secrets. Secrets she kept hidden from the people around her. Secrets she indulged in a private club. But Club X is not your average club. It's a sex club that caters to all kinds of tastes, no matter how dark or forbidden. As much as she tries to deny it, she is pulled deeper into a world where fantasy is reality.

Will she discover the truth before it's too late? Or will her passion become the ultimate weapon against her?

Mara Templeton may be a bestselling erotic romance writer, but deep down, she knows her identity’s a lie. She’s never come close to experimenting like her characters. Weeks from a deadline, she’s desperate to find inspiration. So when she accepts an invitation for a private tour of Club X, a club known for its exotic pleasures, she knows she is in way over her head. But nothing can prepare her for the club’s sexy owner.

Joe Gates sees right through Mara’s cool façade. He’s made a business of learning people’s secrets in Club X. And he’s good at what he does. He sees the unsatisfied desire in Mara’s eyes. And he’s more than ready to show her just what she’s been missing.

But someone else is watching, too. Someone who will stop at nothing to claim her.

Cal Rutledge never expected to see Emma Lake again after she walked away from him fifteen years ago. She was the daughter of his father’s worst adversary, and getting involved with her had been a mistake, a mistake he couldn’t make again. But when she walks into Club X, a club he secretly owns, logic and reason seem to disappear.

Emma Lake has lived a lie for the past fifteen years. Ever since she walked away from the only man she ever loved to marry someone else. But now the only thing she wants is to get her life back together.

Fifteen years ago, they kept their affair a secret. But someone else knows the truth. Someone who is watching them.

Someone who will do anything to keep them apart.

Looking for a place where you can let all your inhibitions go, shed your social disguises and just be your prime sexual selves without fear of ousting? Sounds almost too good to be true, but it’s not. Club X is such a place, and more than just kink is served up on the menu……love is the specialty of this book. This book is three separate stories and, as such, many of the characters overlap and interact with each other, and without all the players the stories wouldn’t be complete. But since each story is a capsule until itself this review will attempt to showcase that.

Book 1: The Pleasure of Sin

After the death of her younger sister, Jade goes back to New Orleans to find out who her killer was and make sure that justice is given to her sister. But going back means opening old wounds and sometimes once a wound is healed its best to leave it alone least it reopen and make the pain of the past worse. But will seeing Clay again make Jade want all the things that she knows she shouldn’t want. Can she be strong enough to resist him, or will giving into Clay be the final piece to the puzzle in solving Ruby’s murder? For so long Jade has repressed what she thought were desires no one ever needed to know about, but once she learns her sister had the same desires things get harder to resist and in the end Clay could just end up being the savior Jade never realized she needed.

Clay Devlin, has been in love with Jade since he met her younger sister Ruby years ago. After indulging in stolen kisses and caresses, Jade ran away from Clay and the temptation she found in him. But now that Ruby is dead, Clay is determined that Jade won’t walk away from him again. He means to have her at any cost, body and heart. Can having Jade in his bed be enough for now, or will tasting her once, like before, be like a match to kindling. But when Ruby’s killer discovers that Jade is on to something, will she become the next target of his sadistic rage, or will she be able to outsmart this killer in time to have a future with Clay and the good memories of her baby sister?

This was a great opener to this series. Not only were the characters well thought out but they also all had their own voice that Ms. Hart let them grow with. Each character was able to tell their own story and make the reader want to know them better. Meeting Clay and Jade was like actually meeting real people, the story was so well written. Not only did Shauna Hart make the reader fall in love with Clay and Jade she also gave you sneak peeks into the dynamics of the relationships from the next two books without giving the whole story line away. All in all this was a great starter story and one that I will definitely read again. This is a story that can be read even out of order of the series and still be a great stand-alone read. Very well done!

Book 2: Den of Desire
Writing about erotic romance can only be truly believable if you have some knowledge on the subject yourself, or at least this seems to be the case for Mara Templeton. She is an erotic author with nothing to compare to her characters’ lives. She needs new material for this deadline that is coming way to fast and sees only one way to have that happen. She needs to get inside the notorious “Club X” and see what she can learn, and maybe experience some for herself. But can the pleasure she is sure to find in this club enough to die for, or is Mara doomed to die before she knows true passion and love?

Giving private tours of his club isn’t something that ever happens and Joe Gates isn’t sure what changed his mind this time. Mara Templeton isn’t someone who you would call attractive in an obvious way but something about her draws Joe. Will showing her the ropes to his lifestyle make her run screaming in the other direction or right into his arms (just where he wants her to be)?

But someone is watching Mara, threatening her, and if these actions are any indication of things to come, it’s about to get ugly for Mara and Joe if they can’t figure out who is after her and why. Will the thought of losing Mara make Joe see that she is everything that he needs in his life or will she be better off without him?

This was a great follow up story to, The Pleasure of Sin, introducing two new characters Joe Gates and Mara Templeton. Shauna Hart continues to impress with her writing ability and making the characters so lively that you would expect them to be real people that you personally know. The story line for Joe and Mara was very realistic and makes me want to read more about them further down the road as maybe a story bringing all three couples together in a fourth for this series. I have yet to be disappointed by her work and Shauna Hart is a definite go-to author if you are looking for a good fun read.

Book 3: Shadows of Ecstasy
Living in the shadows of your father can never be easy, especially when the man you love is the son of your father’s enemy. Emma never meant for this to happen, but fall for Cal Rutledge she did, and what a great fall it was. Only when she has to choose between Cal and what her family wanted she turned away from Cal and lock away apart of her heart that would always belong to him. But when Emma can find Cal again, will time have healed their wounds or has it made the schism between them too great to cross. Finally listening to her heart could be the most liberating act and the most damning one Emma has ever done.

Cal Rutledge never expected to see Emma Lake outside of the society pages, until one night she walks into his club and wants to explore her dark side with some random man. Like Cal would ever let that happen... If only he could keep his hands off her for five minutes his questions about their past might be finally answered. All those years ago when Emma walked away from him, she ripped his heart out and never gave it back. But now that she's returned, does Cal have the strength to give her the option to hurt him again? And now that that someone is after them both is that what is keeping them together or is it fate calling?

Cal and Emma were meant for each other but let family duty stand in the way of love and let fifteen years go by without each other. Now that Emma is divorced and Cal is man enough to stand up to the scrutiny of both family, will their love be strong enough to weather the storm of two powerhouse families and a stalker bent on stealing their happiness?

This was great way to wrap up the series, even though if any more books come out of this club I would happily change that sentence! Shauna Hart delivered again and I am happy to say that I got to review this book along with the others in this series. Ms. Hart has steadily moved up my list of favorite authors to watch out for and I can’t wait to see what else she comes up with. So far all of her work has been gold and I don’t see that changing anytime soon!! This series will not disappoint and neither will this author in the future.

Grace in Moonlight by Stephanie Julian

Grace in Moonlight by Stephanie Julian
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (117 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

Kaisie Giliati is the lucani king’s best tracker. He’s used to hunting and capturing his prey with little resistance. He’s also old enough to know exactly what he wants, and the feisty redhead who stirs him like no other is at the top of his list. Too bad she’s the enemy and seemingly impervious to his charms.

Grace Bellasario has a target on her back, two children to protect from their evil father and she’s in love for the first time in her life. With a man who should hate her—a man she has no business craving. But does she ever. Grace doesn’t have a chance in hell of shaking Kaisie off her tail. Now he just needs to keep her alive to live happily ever after…

Grace Bellasario did what any mother would do when faced with a sick and dying child. She kidnapped some super–healing shifters and tested their blood for anti-bodies. Okay, maybe that's a little extreme for most parents but the desperation to help her son was very real. When the boy’s father kidnaps the child Grace knows she needs a tracker, an amazing tracker, to find both him and his sister. What she doesn’t need is to fall in love with a bossy shifter!

Step into the world of author Stephanie Julian’s Lucani Lovers series. The love of the Lucani and their mates is passionate and palpable. Ms. Julian’s writing is exciting and vivid. If you enjoy getting to revisit with characters from prior stories you’ll be happy to see many returning faces book five. Ms. Julian includes a glossary at the beginning of each book that is helpful in knowing who is magical or human, good or evil, deity or royalty.

If you love an alpha male that tries so hard to be unlovable that he has the opposite affect on both the heroine and the reader, you will fall in love with Kaisie Gilati. He’s the tracker for the lucani king and he’s the best! When he and Grace butt heads there was so much sexual undercurrent sparks could have flown off the pages. When they fight it’s electrifying and when they make love it’s magical.

All the stories in the Lucani Lovers series have been thrilling adventures. Ms. Julian has a terrific writing voice that will keep you engaged from page one to the end. The stories have an underlying plot that continues from one book to the next. We’re getting closer to finding out the source of the evil that has been threatening the lucani and their mates. It’s building to a very exciting conclusion and one that shouldn’t be missed.

Secret Santa by Sierra Dean

Secret Santa by Sierra Dean
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Holiday, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (136 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewer: Foxglove

’Tis the season for ho-ho-homicide.

Secret McQueen, Book 2.5

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The season for mistletoe, Christmas lights…and a killing spree. When Secret’s friend, Detective Mercedes Castilla, asks for help to solve a series of murders longer than a string of lights, Secret resigns herself to the fact her holidays will be anything but peaceful.

It seems someone is killing New Yorkers in an unusually gruesome way, and as the bodies pile up faster than presents under the tree, the police are no closer to finding the killer than Secret is to finding the perfect present for one of her boyfriends, Lucas.

Tracking down a monster in Manhattan the week before Christmas is almost as difficult as shopping for her ever-expanding collection of loved ones. When tragedy strikes close to home, Secret must do everything in her power to put an end to the horror in time for Santa to come down the chimney.

Secret Santa is definitely a different kind of holiday story.

It’s Christmas, and Secret McQueen is meeting her friend Mercedes Castilla for some necessary shopping. What do you get for a billionaire werewolf king who has everything?

But Mercedes has another agenda, along with the shopping. There have been a series of strange occurrences, and she believes they fall into Secret’s expert area: paranormal beings. Because Mercedes is the only police officer that knows that the things that go bump in the night are real, she realizes that what is happening is not normal. When young shifters begin to go missing, and a series of grisly ‘gifts’ are left around town, Secret is persuaded to look into things.

Then there is the pressure of meeting the parents of one of her two wolf soul-bond mates, her sweetie Desmond’s family. When Desmond’s younger sister Penny disappears on Christmas Eve while on a trip to the corner store, Secret discovers the disappearances and the murders are all linked. Complicating matters even more is the simmering attraction between her vampire sentry and former mentor Holden Chancery.

Can Secret find Penny before she becomes another of the ‘gifts’ left by the killer? Just what kind of creature is causing the deaths and disappearances? Will Secret ever find the perfect gift for Lucas?

The world that Sierra Dean has created is a unique mix of reality and fantasy, with humans and paranormal beings living and working together. Ms. Dean writes the Secret McQueen books with a marvelous mix of romance, danger, humor and lots of action. I like the growth of Secret and the people in her life, and enjoy watching as these people interact with genuine feelings.

Secret is strong and smart, but frustrated at her new position. As a Tribunal Leader, she misses the action of chasing rogues and fighting. So when this case comes with a chance for some action, Secret steps up to help. She is even more determined to stop the creature when it hits close to home. I enjoyed watching as Secret agonized over ‘meeting the family’ just like any normal human, and loved her confusion as Holden confronted her about the unspoken attraction between them.

Desmond is Secret’s soul-bond mate: at least he is one of them. He is the second to the wolf-king Lucas Rain, the other part of their unique soul-bond triangle. He is strong, handsome and very family oriented. I love that he surprised Secret by completely decorating her apartment for the holiday while she was out shopping, and I love that he isn’t afraid to be domestic around her. He has become comfortable living in her home, and isn’t shy about being exactly who he is.

There is a touch of mystery in this, because whatever is killing the victims is leaving gift bags filled with body parts in public places without being seen. When one such ‘gift’ turns up in the police station, Secret knows she has to stop this thing. Then, when Penny becomes one of the missing, the stakes become higher than ever.

The secondary characters here are mostly Desmond’s family and the police, with very little from the Vampire side of things. There is one extremely tense scene with Holden, but the focus in this is the wolves, and the missing teens. I liked that Secret didn’t try to do this all alone, but called in as many favors as she could to discover what was doing these awful things and how to stop it. And I enjoyed the scorching hot scenes with Desmond, as Secret and he become closer.

This is one holiday treat for those who like things a bit different for the season.

Fire Woman by Megan Slayer

Fire Woman by Megan Slayer
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (56 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Foxglove

Atria Moline isn't your average photographer. She controls fire. Sounds fun, being able to scorch whenever you like? Think again. She's lonely and desperate for the touch of the man who can dance in her flame -- if she doesn't immolate him first.

Zac "Iceman" Frost controls the stage with his band Glow. He's not about to back down from Atria's challenge. He's got secrets of his own and his sights set on her.

Fire Woman is Megan Slayer' first book. I loved the world created in this story, and I sincerely hope to see more of the world of Glow and the band members who make up this unique group.

Atria Moline is a photographer. But she has a secret, one that has kept her alone for most of her adult life. Atria is a fire elemental, and she can’t be with the one man she has loved since the day she met him; at least not without turning him to ashes with her fire.

Zacchaeus ‘Iceman’ Frost is the bass player for the popular band Glow, Atria'srother Lucien’s band, and the most gorgeous male she has ever seen. She’s kept her distance, because she doesn’t want to be the cause of his destruction. When Atria is threatened by another magical fire elemental, Zac hides her to protect her from Niccolo. As he spends time with her, Zac become more convinced she is the one woman for him.

But Zac has been hiding a secret of his own: he is a water elemental, and controls ice. He realizes that Atria is his counterpart, the one being who balances his power. Can Zac save her from Niccolo? Can he convince her they belong together? When a deluded fan tries to come between them, can Zac survive it all?

The characters in this story are well defined, with just the hint of supernatural powers to make them different. These are people who could live down the street or across town from you, but they have that something special to keep them from being ordinary.

Atria Moline is strong and sassy, but afraid to open up and live life. She wants Zac, but fears her desire would destroy him. I loved her sarcastic wit and her determination to face her demons on her own terms, no matter the cost. I enjoyed watching as temptation lured her in and brought her to Zac’s side.

Zacchaeus ‘Zac’ Frost is handsome, sexy and hiding his own secret from Atria. He has been attracted to her, but kept his distance for eight years. But when she is in danger, all his instincts scream for him to claim her and protect her from impending trouble. I enjoyed watching Zac charm Atria, and show her he is more than capable of withstanding her fire. His sarcasm and wit is a good counterpoint to her attitude, and they soon discover they are perfect for each other.

This is a romance with bite, and a couple of serious twists along the way. The secondary characters are wonderful, and I hope to see more of Luc and the band in the future. I enjoyed the way Ms Slayer handled the overbearing Niccolo, and the twist with the drug-addled stalker was something I didn’t see coming.

I hope this is the beginning of a long and enjoyable ride with Megan Slayer’s stories. This may be her first book, but I believe she has a great future ahead of her.