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Friday, December 9, 2011

Phantom Touch by Cindy Jacks

Phantom Touch by Cindy Jacks
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (113 pages)
Other: M/F, Bondage
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Dianthus

Erika leads a quiet life—at least in the real world. But her alter-ego, Little Lottie, is a singer at a local club and engages in a wild online romance. For months she’s been communicating with a mysterious man, known only to her as the Phantom.

Her lover contacts her via texts, emails and instant messages. When he offers to fulfill her desires in real life, she can’t refuse. The only condition to meeting for their sizzling assignations—he wears a mask to hide his true identity. Despite his reluctance to reveal himself to Erika, he tears down her inhibitions and unleashes her suppressed passions, taking possession of her body and soul.

Erika may have finally found the one man who can sate her every longing…if only he would show her the man behind the mask.

Do look matter or can you really fall in love with someone without knowing anything more than the sound of their voice? Can you really know everything about a person without meeting them in person?

Erika has fallen madly in love with her online chatting partner, Phantom. He is everything she is looking for in a man, except she has no idea what he actually looks like. Erika, a shy reserved girl, doesn’t see this as a bad thing, since she has secrets too. But the questions keep coming and she doesn’t know if not knowing is such a good thing or not anymore. When her love is revealed to her will she find that he is everything she has been looking for or will he be lacking compared to her fantasies?

Cris has been in love with Erika since he first saw her perform as Lottie in a role play club. She is just like him, one person during the day and a completely different one at night. But Cris has a past, one that he can’t seem to shake, and he fears this past will make Erika run from him. Can this fear make it impossible for Cris to reveal who he is to Erika or will his past help to bring the girl of his dreams to him in the end? Will hiding who he is make her love him first or will it keep her at arm’s length until neither of them can take it anymore?

Cindy Jacks is a new to me author, and so far I am very impressed by her writing talent. The story has a great plot, suspense to keep me interested and characters that are very realistic. Cris and Erika’s characters are just what each other needs, and yet they can’t seem to see it in the beginning. But with a bit of creativity, Cris is able to open up to Erika about who he really is and soon they fall in love with each other. But with secrets weighing them both down will this new found love be enough to keep them together?

To see how it ends, pick up a copy today. Anyone looking for a great read that will keep you turning pages until the end will not be disappointed in this book. Cindy Jacks did an excellent job and this one will definitely be a reread in the future for me.

Loving Tyler by Winona Wilder

Loving Tyler by Winona Wilder
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (123 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Toys
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Coreopsis

Tyler James is a pro at keeping his emotions bottled up. He uses sex as a tool, never associating it with love. When Cavendish sends one of their representatives to try and recruit him to be their poster boy, he's ready to tell them where they can shove their offer. But the dark-haired god in the Armani suit has him choking on his words.

Marcus Vinetti fights tooth and nail not to be sent to the boondocks to recruit some hick. He's surprised when he meets his cowboy target who has muscle upon muscle and gorgeous green eyes. Although he's usually good at masking his deviant desires, Tyler brings all his needs and wants to the surface.

Will Tyler be able to change his long-standing playboy ways, and will Marcus finally accept that he's in love with another man?

Ms. Wilder outdid herself in the third book in the Coming Out Series. She paired complete opposites and threw obstacles a-plenty in their paths on their road to a happy ever after. A very exciting read with a lot of ups and downs.

Tyler James is a self-proclaimed playboy. Commitment is not a necessity, he wants a good time; he can’t fathom why anyone would want to fall in love. He was raised in foster care and as soon as he could he ran away from the abusive family. In the past several years he’s made a name for himself in the rodeo circuit. Tyler claims he loves his vagabond life style but it’s the demons from his past that keep him on the move. The ghost from his past always seem to find him and being on the move had set well with him until he meets Marcus Vinetti.

Marcus Vinetti is a man trapped in the closet where his sexuality is concerned. He’s a smart, confident business man but stuck in the rut of living his life for everyone else and not himself. Marcus is a good guy just afraid of abandonment. But once he meets Tyler he thinks he’s found the man he could give everything up for. To say sparks fly doesn’t do it justice.

I loved how Tyler was very free with the way he talked and never hesitated to show affection to Marcus. His openness help Marcus realize that a person can’t change who they are and that just because he’s gay doesn’t make him any less a human being. These two men complement each other so well. Where Marcus lacked Tyler had strengths and vice versa.

There were two major obstacles they had to overcome within this story and the resolution to the second one took me by surprise. I knew something was bound to happen to help Tyler break away from the abusive family who raised him but the ending just shocked me to the core. The sacrifice Marcus made definitely made him a hero.

I wholeheartedly recommend Loving Tyler. It has a little bit of everything that makes it a page turner; drama, fear, and one erotic love scene after another. Tyler and Marcus grew together with every page turned and proved where there’s love anything is possible.

Training Cats by PD Singer

Training Cats by PD Singer
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (31 pgs)
Other: M/M, mutual masturbation
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Nymphaea

The gloss is off Brent's relationship with Tyler; the real man is showing through and his inside does not match the outside. Tyler's handsome and glamorous, but that's no longer enough to overcome his selfishness. Brent's got a better chance of teaching a cat to sit and stay than of convincing Tyler to be thoughtful, and it's time to stop trying.

No longer distracted by appearances, a newly single Brent is finally ready to notice the considerate, steadfast man who's been part of the background too long.

Training a lover is like training a cat...almost impossible.

First off, I want to say I saw the title and knew I had to nab this book. Then I read the blurb. I wasn't thrilled with the characters in the little bit I gleaned from the blurb, but it didn't stop me. Did I say the title snagged me? Yes, it was the title that kept me wanting to read the book.

I'm glad I read Training Cats.

The writing in this story, though occasionally flawed, flowed well enough that I never wanted to put the book down. I raced through the story wanting--needing--to know what would happen next. I thought about the characters when I had to put it down because I couldn't keep my eyes open. Why? Brett and Ethan aren't typical men. They have issues and circumstances that not everyone would be in.

Brett puts up with a lot. I mean, a LOT. It's like his patience is almost too good to be true. There were times I wanted to conk him on the head, but I understood why he acted the way he did. He wants to please and wants the shimmer of love in his relationship. Too bad life doesn't want that for him.

Then there's Ethan. The guy is creative and patient as well. He's waiting for a change is so calm while he does this waiting. I don't know if I'd have been so calm, but that's me. The antagonist is pleasantly slimy. I had no troubles disliking him, and there was more of the feeling of wanting to give him a shake. But I loved how things came together. The build up was great and timed well. Oh and Monster? He's the best part because I could totally identify with the freaked out, I'm-in-a-new-home-and-scared feelings he has. Great cat!

If you want a short story that's got plenty of heart and just enough heat to sizzle, then you need to read Training Cats.

Another Way by Anna Martin

Another Way by Anna Martin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (224 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/M, Multiple Partners, Anal Play, Fetish, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism, Fisting
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Peppermint

On the surface, Jesse Ross is an average guy in an average relationship with his college sweetheart, Adele. But what his girlfriend doesn’t know is that he’s having an affair—with a man—and exploring his sexuality in ways she never could imagine. His compartmentalized life suits Jesse just fine, and he has no intention of coming out of the closet either as a bisexual or as a submissive.

However, Jesse takes a tumble when his Master, Will, admits to wanting more, wanting Jesse as his partner, not just his submissive. Suddenly Jesse's conveniently pieced-together life isn’t quite so comfortable. In the end, Jesse has to lay it all on the line—for his girlfriend, for his lover, and for himself.

Infidelity is devastating to all parties involved, but when someone feels as if they are forced to surprise a part of themselves, it can sometimes surface at any moment.

Jesse’s fiancĂ© does not know that he has been hiding a dark secret about himself for years. To deny his need to be dominated would be to deny a part of himself, but Jesse knows that Adel would never understand this desire, especially if she knew that it was a man who forced Jess to his knees whenever possible.

While I do not think cheating is ever a answer to a problem, the story was written in a way that allowed me to realize that Jesse was just as much the victim of his love affair as his fiancé and Master Will. He has desires that he knew his Adele would not understand or accept and his male pride would not allow him to disappoint the woman he has loved for all of his adult life. Additionally, it was clear to me that he and Will where two kindred souls who found their way to one another.

This story was extremely sensual. The BDSM relationship may have been the beginning of the love affair, but it definitely was not the end. I absolutely loved the conflict between the “play” side of Will and Jesse’s relationship as well as the romantic side. I was happy to see that things did not just fall into place as it does in some other stories. This made the relationship more believable and that much more cherished in the end. This was a couple that I knew would stay together forever as long as they continued to develop their relationship together and remain open to one another.

Another Way has a very large BDSM aspect and touches on a few areas of the lifestyle. There is a scene where Will and Jesse bring others into the play, and while there is no sex involved there are these high arousal moments. Additionally, there are pain play scenes which, though done extremely tastefully, may be difficult for the squeamish to handle. Personally I enjoyed every moment of the BDSM portion of this story. I wish this had been a full length book because I think the author truly captured the trust and devotion that goes along with a BDSM relationship. I would have definitely read it.

I would recommend this story to anyone whom appreciates a good BDSM story that remains true to the lifestyle.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Whole Lot of Fire by JA Blaze

A Whole Lot of Fire by JA Blaze
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press, Sapphire Nights
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (18 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 2.5 cherries
Reviewed by Nymphaea

There’s nothing this firefighter isn’t willing to do to satisfy his man. When Stan Sanders strolls into David’s massage shop, he only has one thing on his mind, sex. Stan’s a firefighter who is not afraid of a little heat. David’s willing to put his shop on the line to give the firefighter of his dreams a day he’ll never forget.

Two men, massage oil and a little hanky-fire-panky. What a great combo!

I love a good MM story. One that draws me in and makes me want to know more about the characters. This book's blurb snagged me. I wanted to know how the author would pull the story together in such a short amount of pages. I have to say it was hot. The interplay between the characters was HAWT. I felt it and wanted to see what would happen after the story.

There were just a couple of things that held me back a bit from really enjoying the story. There were a few moments where, as much as I felt like I was in the story, there were little chunks where it was more like I was seeing all from the outside. Word choices and point of view changes that jarred me and made me reread to figure out who was feeling what. Other places were telly. I wanted description, sure, but I wanted to be shown the story. I didn't really get much of Stan's point of view on things and I wished I had because I'd love to have known what was going through his head.

Still, there's a lot of heat in this story. Put two men in a massage situation and there are plenty of sparks. Dave's feelings for Stan are believable and I rooted for them. I liked how he took things to the next level and enticed Stan. I read it over and over simply enjoying the interplay.

If you want a hot story guaranteed to melt the screen, then you need a copy of A Whole Lot of Fire.

Werewolf Claimed by Marisa Chenery

Werewolf Claimed by Marisa Chenery
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (69 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Mistletoe

As werewolves go, Draven isn’t exactly a spring chicken. At fifteen hundred years old, he’s beyond ready to find his mate and settle down. He’s watched as his pack mates introduced their women one by one. But the fairer sex doesn’t stir him. He craves the hard planes and strength of a man’s body. He yearns for the day when destiny delivers the one chosen for him.

Wyatt has come to Buck Lake to spend his two-week vacation. It doesn’t get off to the best start, however, when the bum motor of his fishing boat strands him in the water. Being rescued by a man who can only be described as a walking wet dream certainly improves his outlook. And when he finds himself in a heated embrace with his rescuer, his whole trip is made.

But Draven has a secret. And a former pack member hell bent on revenge would like nothing more than to destroy any chance the new couple has at a happily ever after.

Draven has come to his lake house to get some long overdue rest. What he does not count on is meeting his mate. Wyatt has come to the lake to take a holiday. An unexpected problem has him stranded in the lake right outside Draven’s house. One whiff and Draven is a goner. How will he ever tell Wyatt just what he is as well as explaining that they are mates? Can Draven gain his trust before an ex-pack member comes sniffing around or will he loose Wyatt before he has a chance?

I loved the intensity of the emotions in this book. Draven is man who has lived his life with honor and pride. He has always done what was right, which has not always set well with others who do not care about honor. Watching him try to deal with Rick and his interference with his mate was a good read.

Wyatt may be a mortal but that does not make him less of a man. He is a strong man who is more than ready to fight for what he wants, and what he wants is Draven. It was nice to see the spark between these two turn into something more as the story progressed. Draven and Wyatt are a great couple. Both men care deeply for the other and are not afraid to show it. The love that they share quickly becomes apparent as the story goes on. Draven needs a strong man like Wyatt to stand at his side and fight along with him.

I was so engrossed with this story that I read it in one sitting. The author takes the reader for a wonderful ride into the world of werewolves and their mates. I enjoyed my time in this world and will gladly return with the next book.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Feeding the Vampire by Jeffe Kennedy

Feeding The Vampire by Jeffe Kennedy
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (30 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Stephanotis

Through good luck and healthy cowardice, Misty has survived the earthquakes that have torn the world apart, but has no skills to speak of. Or so she thinks. She does have blood, and someone must feed the vampire who has offered his protection and strength in exchange for sustenance. Feeding Ivan is a priority, and Misty finally serves a purpose.

But when she awakens tied to his bed, an unwilling gift to Ivan from the townspeople, she discovers he has hungers other than blood. Hungers he expects her to satisfy in the most carnal manner. Under his seductive persuasion, Misty discovers she has the power to sustain Ivan in all ways—while experiencing unspeakable pleasure herself.

Misty has offered herself as a sacrifice for the good of the community. She must let vampire Ivan, who is protecting the town after a major natural disaster, feed from her.

Feeding The Vampire draws you in immediately which is great because this tale is just thirty pages long. It’s told in the first person which I found also helped immerse you into Misty's character. We’re told a little about the natural disaster that seems to have gripped the whole country, and what’s going through her mind as she watches Ivan and knowing what she’s committed to.

The story has a very unique feel to it. Descriptions and pacing are both perfect, the writing smooth, the plot fascinating. It has you wondering what will happen next. And I should add that’s it’s also full of heat and tension.

If you think there are no original vampire stories left to read I encourage you to pick up this one because you won’t be disappointed.

Oathbound by Mychael Black

Oathbound by Mychael Black
Dark Reign Series
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Sci-fi/fantasy, paranormal
Length: Short Story (23 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Vaughn Burke is an Enforcer -- a werewolf working for Marcus Deleon and tasked to help their kind escape from the vampire Dalton Gray. When Marcus gives Vaughn a new case, it's not exactly what Vaughn expects.

Elian Levine is the guitarist for a metal band, but he has a secret no one knows. When he managed to escape Dalton Gray, he kept the truth hidden, even from his band mates. Now their need for a singer threatens to tear the lid off his closely-guarded past.

There's some totally hot weres out there and they are ready for war.

Oathbound is the second in the series, but if you start with this book, you won't be lost. This story stands well on its own and is engaging. The writing is tight and flows well. Once I started the book, I couldn't put it down. I felt like I was right there with Elian and Vaughn, fighting the good fight and chasing the hot chase.

Elian and Vaughn are characters I won't forget. Why? Both are flawed. Vaughn is more than a little highly wound and Elian has secrets. I liked the interplay between them even when it seemed like the only one who knew they had chemistry was me. These two men care about each other and the fear they feel is palpable. I understood why they had their issues and wanted to see them get their happily ever after.

And can I mention the sex? It's hot. I mean, melt the screen hot. I loved seeing the walls come down between Elian and Vaughn. I won't tell you how it ends because I don't want to spoil the story, but trust me, it's worth reading again and again.

Grab a copy of Oathbound. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Alpha vs. Alpha by Francesca Hawley

Alpha vs. Alpha by Francesca Hawley
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (77 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Dahlia

Alpha female Serena Goldwolf has spent a lifetime vowing never to be a submissive mate to any Alpha male. But all it takes is one surprisingly sexual meeting with Damien Blackwolf, a dissatisfied client of her shapeshifter dating site, and she’s down on all fours, wanting to be mounted by the hottest male on two legs—or four—whom she’s ever met.

Damien Blackwolf doesn’t understand why the voluptuous Serena won’t admit they’re True Mates. To convince her, he decides to bring out her baser desires by dragging her off to someplace private to get to know her…intimately. But how can he convince her of their destiny when she runs away from him? Guess he’ll just have to hunt her down and persuade her.

In a passionate battle of wills, there most definitely can be two winners.

Serena is an accomplished, independent alpha in her own right. She shudders at the thought of letting a man dictate to her, which is part of the reason she's surrounded herself with betas and omegas, both in business and in the bedroom. After a scarring experience earlier in her young life, Serena harbors deep insecurities, the likes of which have shaped the woman she is today. She likes control too much to give it up to anyone, but she underestimated the power of a True Mate's need to submit. Especially to a conceited, arrogant Alpha who's intent on owning her.

Damien is Alpha with a capital “A” and he's looking to Mate with one woman forever. In order to narrow down his search he employs a matchmaking agency, never thinking that the company's owner would be his True Mate. Claiming her should be easy enough since she's in heat, but the infuriating vixen is determined to make him work for her submission and admission to what he knew to be true since he laid eyes on her. Damien knows it's a "now or never situation" with Serena's heat condition, but he wants forever and will use any means necessary to get it.

Serena and Damien are the epitome of Alpha characters. Both are shrewd in business, but when it comes to matters of the heart they show their vulnerabilities. Serena is also very insecure about being voluptuous. The push and pull of their relationship is evenly paced throughout the story and makes this quick read that much faster, as the does the intense and arousing sex scenes found throughout. There is a slight scene of public exhibitionism that doesn't go all the way, but it's enough to make you think they just might have if not for an interruption.

My only complaint is with the ending -- I think that needed to be extended. Other interesting secondary characters both good and bad make appearances that lead me to believe there is still much to explore in this erotic world of shape-shifters and I look forward to a sequel.

I loved it and will definitely be back for more from this talented author!

Bite the Bullet by Desiree Holt

Bite the Bullet by Desiree Holt
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (111 pages)
Other: BDSM, sex toys, anal play, M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Carnation

Montana Steele hoped her new job was a new start. At Rawhide, the private bondage club, she would find willing subs who fit neatly into one compartment of her life. Clint Chavez, part owner of Rawhide, was determined to never again involve himself emotionally in a relationship. But neither expected the fireworks that erupted between them, nor the erotic attraction that would bind them together despite their best efforts.

Clint Chavez, co-owner of the sexual fetish club, Rawhide finds himself secretly watching through a peep hole every night at the wildly sexy woman he can't get out of his mind as she engages in experienced and exacting sexual domination of a most willing and enthusiastic male sub. She has chosen the most handsome, desirable man in her room to be her partner during her visits to Rawhide. Clint, a natural submissive, is enthralled and obsessed, wishing it were him.

Montana Steele has just joined the exclusive club and is relieved she was accepted. She is a ranch owner who breeds and raises bulls for the rodeo circuit... and a dedicated and proficient Domme. Montana has kept her social life to a minimum when it comes to men, preferring to act out her sexual encounters in the less personal setting of a private club. This came to pass after a heart-wrenching betrayal by a past lover.

Clint has been burnt badly himself, and is determined to never allow himself to be vulnerable or love again. But when the two first meet at Rawhide, there is a mutual explosion of desire between them that is shocking and unexpected. Ms. Holt once again draws the reader into her capable hands with her dynamic descriptions of raw passion. This quote is an example: “The moment their hands touched, the air around them became electrified, buzzing with intensity. She could see by his eyes that the experience had been mutual.”

Clint and Montana find their way to a start. But is it enough for these two hurt people to find healing in their need for each other... and their acceptance of that need? The sex is amazing and as hot as it gets. The passion is intense and undeniable...but will it overcome the fear that threatens to drive them apart?

I like the way that this couple's only chance for happiness depends on breaking through their walls of protection to a place of trust. It's plain that this is a difficult struggle, especially for Clint, but one worth the risk. Bite the Bullet is aptly named in my opinion because the characters, each in their own way, had to face their pain and take up the fearful challenge to open their hearts fully and surrender to their love.

I wanted this story to be longer. I wanted to see more of the mental (and physical) action going on before Clint and Montana got together the first time...and a little more background about their sexual roles. But this was still a complete story that is not to be missed.

Desiree Holt's work keeps getting better and better! I recommend that you pick up a copy of Bite the Bullet today.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Designing Passion by Kali Willows

Designing Passion by Kali Willows
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Length: Short Story (41 pgs)
Genre: Contemporary
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Stephantois

Fifteen years ago, Tawny Reeve was in love, but her wealthy, jet-setting parents went to cruel lengths to separate her from her middle class lover. Emotionally barren, she despairs of ever finding love again. A friend sent her an email address with only a name in the subject line: “Madame Evangeline”. Tawny doubts she is capable of a normal, loving relationship, but maybe she can handle a one-night stand, at least meeting her body’s needs, if not her heart’s.

Wyatt Mackenzie is an accomplished architect with a lonely lifestyle. None of the debutantes and gorgeous women he dates have brought him the electrifying passion he hopes to rekindle from his youth. There was only one who captured his heart, and then smashed it into a thousand pieces. An email from his client at the Castillo hotel in Vegas, offers a solution to his passionless life: “Email Madame Evangeline, and she can make your wildest dreams come true.”

Tawny has been nursing a broken heart for many years and after some coaxing by her friend Laura, finally gives in and uses 1 Night Stand dating service owned by Madame Evangeline. Wyatt works for Jackson who thinks he deserves some reward and signs him up for A 1 Night Stand.

At first I thought this was a story about two strangers just meeting through Madame Eve’s dating service but was pleasantly surprised when it took a turn into something else. This one’s about reconnections and dealing with lost loves. I won’t give the plotline away because that would spoil a really nice story about two people finding one another and what turns out to be true love.

Both of these characters are likeable, the setting is exotic and the sex scenes hot. I thought the pacing was just right for this short read and the conclusion more than satisfying. If you’ve not read any of the books in this series this might be a good one for you. It’s a quick sexy read and might have you returning for more.