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Friday, January 27, 2012

Devon's Pair by Jayne Rylon

Devon's Pair by Jayne Rylon
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (84 pages)
Other: M/M/F, Ménage, M/F/M/F/M/F/M/M/F, Anal Play, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Kennedia

Will his boyfriend’s girlfriend become his girlfriend too?

Powertools, Book 4

James has watched each of the crew fall in love, one by one, until only he and his life partner Neil remain “unattached”. So, when he sees the way his bisexual boyfriend is checking out their new apprentice, he’s sure he’s doomed to lose the man of his dreams.

His love is strong enough that he would let go to ensure Neil’s happiness. Instead, sparks fly between the three of them—along with the rest of the crew—and he realizes he might not have to surrender because his boyfriend’s girlfriend is becoming his girlfriend too.

Proceed with caution when using Powertools, you just never know how hot they are going to get. Jayne Rylon’s fourth book in her Powertools series, Devon’s Pair, is smokin’ hot and exceptionally dirty! Ms. Rylon never fails to deliver the kink and the underlying drama in her books and Devon’s Pair was no exception. This book began by pulling me in on the first page with Ms. Rylon’s distinct imagery and had me completely snared by the third with the inevitable drama about to unfold.

The Powertools series began with a pairing off the Crew’s foreman Mike and the others have followed suit. I was curious how Ms. Rylon was going to deal with Neil and James in this series being that they are a couple themselves, except Neil is bi-sexual and James’ preference is guys...actually his preference is Neil. So we are given two guys who are already in love. Them we get Devon, a tomboy who works in construction too, who joins the crew as an apprentice and Neil experiences love at first sight for the second time in his life. Neil is a lucky guy, if you ask this reader.

There are a two major plot points in Devon’s Pair which are both integral parts of the story. There is the love triangle between Neil, James and Devon and their feelings for one another. There is also the on-going sharing relationship with the crew which includes the new mates of the other crew members, which is experiencing growing pains. Without revealing anything to spoil the story, let me just say that Jayne Rylon is extraordinarily talented when combining issues of the heart and writing erotic fiction. I have yet to experience anything that compares. Whew, but when this group gets together the pages ignite and a reader’s temperature rises exponentially.

Ms. Rylon has written a tight storyline that covers a lot of ground in a short number of pages; it boggles my mind how it was even possible, but somehow she does it seamlessly. This story is written from the point of view of Devon and James and I really enjoyed how Ms. Rylon incorporated their thoughts and feelings throughout. I really enjoyed the dialogue in this story as the characters banter back and forth as well as express their feelings realistically. Kudos to Ms. Rylon on her spectacular sex scenes. She has managed to pen the unimaginable and make it seem as though I was a voyeur who was unable to turn away.

Jayne Rylon fans, if you haven’t gotten your copy of Devon’s Pair, what are you waiting for? For those readers who haven’t read any of Ms. Rylon’s books and enjoy the really dirty reads that actually have a storyline, go get Devon’s Pair. You are guaranteed to find a new favorite.

Convincing Quinn by Chloe Cole

Convincing Quinn by Chloe Cole
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (106 pgs)
Other: M/F/M, M/F, Ménage, Anal Play, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed By Dianthus

Quinn Myles loves her life. She’s in a kick-ass rock band and they’re on their way to the big-time. If only her two band-mates hadn’t told her how they felt, she could have controlled her own desires. And choosing between them might tear the band apart.

Rex Campbell used to enjoy life on the road and the groupies that came with it. That was before he realized he was mad crazy about Quinn Myles. He knows he’s the man for her, and if it takes sharing her with Beau once to prove it, he will.

Beau’s willing. Now, to convince Quinn…

Being in love with your two best friends is a disaster. If only she hadn’t listened to them when both Beau and Rex told her that they loved her, things would have been so much easier. And since Quinn can’t choose between the two of them she is taking the high road and avoiding both of them as much as possible. Having to listen to the cries of a pleasured woman between the two greatest guys she knows is slowing killing Quinn, but can she take the chance and let them bring her to those heights of pleasure then be able to act as if nothing happened between them? Or will she have to break up the band just to make her heart stop breaking each night?

Rex has been in love with Quinn since the first time her heard her sing, and making a band with her and his best friend Beau had seemed like a good idea until his feelings got involved. If only Quinn wouldn’t avoid him she would see that he wants her for the long haul and not just for a toss in the hay. But can Rex really fight Beau for Quinn and be happy if he doesn’t win her in the end? Will both he and Beau end up broken-hearted or will Quinn make them both the happiest men in the world?

Beau knows for certain he doesn’t want to lose Quinn or Rex from his life, so if he needs to play a little down and dirty to keep his band family together then that is what he will do. Beau is willing to risk it all on a night of passion with the hopes that in the light of day things will go in a positive direction for the three of them.

Chloe Cole is a new to me author and impressed me right off the bat. This was a great story that made pant with the need to read more stories by her. These three characters were well-rounded and real, and really drew me in from page one. The story flowed well, and didn’t seem too rushed or forced, plus the sex was hot and realistic and left me wanting a lot more in the end.

I will definitely be looking for more works by Chloe Cole and I know she will make a great addition to anyones keeper shelf.

Rocky Mountain Haven by Vivian Arend

Rocky Mountain Haven by Vivian Arend
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Full Length (230 pages)
Other: M/F, Anal Play, Toys
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Kennedia

It’s the quiet ones that take you by surprise.

Six Pack Ranch, Book 2

Beth Danube’s emotionally abusive husband is dead and buried. So is her heart. It’s no big deal, she has all she wants: her three little boys and a fresh start in a small Alberta town. What she doesn’t want is another man in her life—not now, maybe not ever.

After ten years of unsatisfactory, missionary-position sex, she never expected her libido to reawaken. One look at sex-in-boots Daniel Coleman in a Calgary bar, though, blows the dust off her sexuality.

Sensing an edge of desperation, even fear, beneath Beth’s come-on, Daniel finds himself giving in to the powerful urge to let his normally subdued desires run wild. The lady wants non-judgmental, non-vanilla sex? She’s got it—in and out of the bedroom.

At first, friends with blazing-hot benefits is more than enough. Then she realizes Daniel is burning away the protective fortress around her heart…and the guilty secret she dare not reveal.

Rocky Mountain Haven is an emotionally gripping story of fated lovers who heal one another as well as they set the sheets on fire! Vivian Arend’s Rocky Mountain Haven is the second in her Six Pack Ranch Series and it was a poignant tale that was heartwarming and thought-provoking. I was completely captivated by this story and could not put it down until I had read the last page.

Beth Danube is an emotionally wounded woman who wants to make a fresh start with her three young sons after a car accident that killed her abusive husband and left her with an injured leg. Beth is picking up the pieces of her life and moves her family from the big city, Calgary, and settles her family in small town Alberta, at Rocky Mountain House. Once she has settled into her rented house on a ranching family’s property she discovers that she has moved onto the ranch of the first man who has ever fired her libido up and who she ran away from some months earlier.

Daniel Coleman is a cowboy recovering from a bad breakup that left him feeling less than whole and fueld the desire to make a change in his life. Daniel met a woman in a Calgary bar that he cannot seem to shake from his mind but she gave him a fake name and number and he had no way to track her down. Skip ahead a few months and Daniel finds the beautiful woman not only living on his family’s ranch but she is sleeping in his old room; it seems fate has brought her back to him. Beth is everything Daniel wants in a woman, but Daniel senses there are some things she is not telling him and that her soul is wounded. Can Daniel get through the barriers Beth seems to keep around her heart?

Beth and Daniel’s story is heartwarming and beautiful as Daniel seduces not only Beth’s body but her mind as well. Daniel wants more than heart-stopping sex from Beth, he wants to be her friend. Beth wants non-vanilla sex, the opportunity to raise her boys without fear and to be in control of her life. The evolving relationship with Beth and Daniel was touching because they each have their own emotional scars to overcome and as they come to know one another they heal each other.

Rocky Mountain Haven is a delightfully written erotic romance that will have readers wanting more from Vivian Arend. The writing is superb; Ms. Arend uses the point of view of both of her main characters to portray the developing feelings of each. Ms. Arend’s use of genuine and realistic dialogue keeps readers emerged in this story of fated lovers. The love scenes were written with exacting detail that left me feeling hot and flustered. Ms. Arend writes love scenes that are sweet and still very erotic. I really liked Ms. Arend's writing style; this story flowed so smoothly that when I reached the end I was left feeling content and pleased with the outcome.

This series had me hooked when I discovered that the setting was a place I am familiar with and this doesn’t normally happen for me. I found that Ms. Arend stayed true to the area with her descriptions and the reality of the surrounding areas and the need to travel outside the small town of Rocky Mountain House. Ms. Arend did a fabulous job of keeping it real, I felt like if I jumped in my car and drove to Rocky I could see this story play out in front of me.

For those readers who like stories with cowboys, hot love scenes and emotional writing I suggest you start reading this series, you will absolutely love it. Vivian Arend has brought together all of these things plus a slice of Canada to her readers and you do not want to miss it. I cannot wait for the next in this series!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

White Hot Christmas by Serenity Woods

White Hot Christmas by Serenity Woods
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Full Length (244 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: Best Book
Review by Foxglove

When lust turns to love, it’s one fire he can’t extinguish…

Merle Cameron’s not looking for love. Between her job as a university lecturer and caring for a mother recovering from breast cancer, she has no room in her schedule for a demanding relationship.

While visiting her sister in New Zealand, however, she’s happy to indulge in some hot holiday sex with kind, hunky firefighter Neon Carter. After all, they live on opposite sides of the world. There’s no chance things will turn serious.

Neon Carter is a catch. At least, that’s what the ladies apparently think. All they seem to want is a quick trip down the aisle, but Neon’s in no rush to settle down. Light-hearted summer loving with a sexy blonde is something different, though, and Neon’s happy to offer his services until Merle has to return to England.

The weather’s hot, the sex even hotter. But when it’s time for Merle to go home, they both realize they’re in deeper than they thought. And there’s no solution that won’t break someone’s heart.

I am going to be honest here and admit that I got this book by mistake. I had asked for a different book, with a similar title, but since it was sent to me, I promised to review. I have to say, it was the best mistake that’s ever happened to me, as I would otherwise have missed one of the best holiday books I have ever read.

A holiday trip to visit her sister in New Zealand seems like just the thing to Merle Cameron. After a rough year coping with her job, and helping her mom through her battle with breast cancer, all Merle wants is to lie in the sun and forget everything. Maybe find a nice guy and have a quick fling, before heading back to England to take up her responsibilities once again. Holiday sex isn’t permanent, after all, just some quick and harmless fun with someone she will never see again.

When she meets fireman Neon Carter, he seems to fill the bill quite nicely: sex on two very well proportioned legs, and commitment phobic in the extreme. Neither of them is looking for happily ever after, so this should be perfect. Too bad nobody told their hearts not to get in the game. Now, Merle has to return to England, leaving her heart in New Zealand as she faces the reality of her responsibilities back home. And Neon never counted on falling for the woman who was walking out of his life for good, leaving a hole where his heart should be.

I adore the world Ms. Woods has built here, with real and charismatic characters, and a delightful location. I loved how she included a bit of a travelogue along with this romance, and I felt like I could see these places through Merle’s eyes as Neon gave her the tour.

Merle Cameron is strong and smart. She is a lecturer, and has also been shouldering the burden of her mother’s illness. She needs a break. I loved that Merle wanted to try and experience as much as possible to build memories to take home. I enjoyed watching as she fell under Neon’s spell, and cried with her when she realized what he had come to mean to her, knowing as she did that she had to leave him. I also loved how she was willing to push her boundaries to make this a wonderful, once in a lifetime experience.

Neon Carter is a strong and courageous character. As a firefighter, he leads his men and works hard. So when he plays, he plays hard, too. He is not interested in a forever love, and tries to make sure any of his romantic partners know this up front. I love that he refuses to play the ‘I love you’ card to get women to be with him, and tries very hard not to lead them on. He is honest and up front about his intentions. I loved watching as he realized Merle wasn’t just another fling to him, and liked his determination to find a way for them to be together.

This is a sizzling hot romance, played out all over the New Zealand locale. These two find places to be together and each encounter is hotter than the one before. The secondary characters are as well defined as the main ones, and I loved Merle’s sister Bree and her new husband Jake. I hope to read their story someday.

I loved the interplay between Bree and Merle, and I found the relationship between Neon and his cousin Jake hilarious at times. When the women make a bet, they don’t know that the men have made one as well, and it was fun to see who would win first. Merle’s mother was the epitome of the controlling and slightly conniving mother who places her happiness and desires above her daughter’s.

Do Merle and Neon find a compromise for their happy ever after? You need to read White Hot Christmas for yourself, to get the answers to all the questions. But once you start, make sure the fan stays on high, because this is one very hot Christmas story.

Deep Seated Passion by Tierney O’Malley

Deep Seated Passion by Tierney O’Malley
Publisher: eXtasy books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full length (286 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed By Dianthus

Aaron Hawke is a successful engineer, an overachiever, fiercely independent and cautious man. After eight years of being away, he comes home only to learn that his ex-fiancée who stabs his heart and left love’s bitter taste in his mouth is living and working in his grandfather’s mansion. Aaron quickly decided that she must leave. However, his grandfather’s will has made things complicated—Bronwyn can only leave when she has paid her debt.

Bronwyn Flaherty, a down-to-earth, honest, faithful chatelaine and utterly broke, is miserable. Aaron wants her to pay her debt or start packing. With her hands tied behind her back, she comes up with a solution—sex.

Bronwyn’s bold offer shocks Aaron, but he accepts it. He will use her whenever he gets a chance. Payback time. But two weeks into their agreed one month contract, he’s become entangled in his own seductive game.

Aaron Hawke has been in love with Bronwyn since she was twelve years old. Years later, after spotting her laying in the grass watching the cherry tree, he lost his heart to her completely. Bronwyn hurt and surprised him when, after he asked her to run away with him, she stands him up and then refuses to see him again. The hurt Bronwyn caused all those years ago made Aaron a hard man, fiercely protective of his heart. Still, his one weakness remains -- her. Once Aaron comes back to town after all this time, Bronwyn realizes what she threw away. Can the scars she put on his heart be healed?

Bronwyn has always loved Aaron. When she's confronted with the idea that she might hold him back in life, she forces herself to step back so that he can be the man he was meant to be. Now, after years of dreaming and loving him from afar, Aaron is back. The road to forgiveness is often painful. Putting all the cards on the table, Bronwyn hopes to convince Aaron (and maybe herself) that what she did was what she thought was best for him. Love is on the line and Aaron’s heart and a long awaited HEA is the prize.

One of the hallmarks of Ms. O'Malley's writing is her stellar characterization. I enjoyed the characters very much. Both Aaron and Bronwyn are likable, if not flawed, main characters. This book runs the gamut of emotions. Love. Lust. Deception. Anger. Bitterness. Forgiveness. I became completely invested in them, and had no problem cheering for their HEA. The general premise of the story was great. While I truly liked this book, there was one issue that kept it from being everything I've come to expect from this author. I love Tierney O’Malley’s work and have read a lot of her books but this story too much on the past and not enough on the present story. Usually a book with lots of detail can draw me in, but the characters spent so much time dwelling on the past that the present didn’t stand a chance. I guess what I'm saying is that I'd have liked to have seen a more even distribution of past and present rather than it being so past-heavy.

The thing that keeps bringing me back to Ms. O’Malley’s writing is the way she draws a reader in with her characters and the situations they get into. Investing in her as an author to enjoy is a smart choice and one that I will make again in the future.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Summer’s Indiscretion: Divine Creek Ranch 7 by Heather Rainier

Summer’s Indiscretion by Heather Rainier
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full length (281 pages)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Spanking
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

Summer Heston is ready to give up on men and has sworn off blind dates permanently. A chance text message and phone conversation with two mysterious friends of Grace’s changes her mind. A dangerous situation literally thrusts her into their powerful arms as the attacks on her ladies’ adults-only boutique escalate and the tone of the Divine Morality blog grows more blatantly hateful.

Ace and Kemp work diligently to protect the women of Discretion while simultaneously striving to win Summer’s heart. A minor mistake on Kemp’s part has big repercussions for their budding romance as their ability to withstand their growing attraction for Summer crumbles. When their passion finally flares out of control, their intimate tryst becomes much more than a minor indiscretion.

When an old flame knocks at the door, Summer must face her doubts and make a decision. Can she trust her instincts?

Someone once said “you have to kiss a few frogs to find your prince”. In Summer’s case it’s more like “you have to date a few dogs to find the men who will treat you like a princess”.

Divine, Texas has had its share of excitement and controversy thanks to a group of anonymous morality police who excel at stirring up trouble. Whoever is behind the spiteful rants of the Divine Morality blog has stepped up their game to include breaking and entering, vandalism, and voyeurism (not the good kind, either!). Security consultants and best friends, Ace Webster and Kent Whittier, have been led on a merry chase by the elusive blogger from book one of the Divine Creek Ranch series, Divine Grace. When Ace and Kemp meet and fall for the beautiful and curvy Summer they realize that they too now have a vested interest in stopping the slanderous poster. With the help of some really hot techy friends, the mysterious blog troll is uncovered along with some secrets that will leave one Divine resident shaken to the core.

Author Heather Rainier continues to solidify her incredible story telling talent with the Seventh installment to the Divine Creek Ranch Series. Summer’s Indiscretion is a delicious sensory overload that I couldn’t seem to put down. I met and fell in love with Summer in Maya’s Triple Dare. It was apparent even then that she was soft hearted and often under-appreciated by the men she dated. Her clever tongue, easy going sense of humor and refreshing optimism won me over and had me anticipating the story that would reward her with a stunning HEA. Ms. Rainier did not disappoint when she paired Summer with Ace and Kemp.

As I mentioned, Ace and Kemp are more than co-workers, they have a history that forged a tight bond of brotherhood. In a word, they complement one another: Where Ace is a quiet and intense, Kemp is more open and expressive. Each time they sweetly addressed Summer as “Kitten” or “Darlin’” my heart couldn’t help but give a silent sigh as it melted.

Ms. Rainier doesn’t leave her readers in the dark about what makes her heroes tick. One of the elements of her writing that I really appreciate is how she sprinkles in the past all throughout the story rather than sending the reader on a dizzying time warp. Her characters are carefully plotted out and readers are treated to advance teasers of upcoming stories by including simple but non-distracting asides. In Summer’s Indiscretion we are gifted with some insight into Lydia, Chase and Clayton’s story as well as the fun holiday romp recently released for Duke, Gage and Dr. Emma Guthrie.

As always, Ms. Rainier accentuates her stories with a fun and cheeky soundtrack. I wasn’t much of a country music fan until I started visiting Divine, TX on a regular basis. Now, I actually find myself checking Youtube for the latest videos by Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean and Big & Rich. Don’t be surprised to find yourself humming the seductive words to “Steal You Away” as you read Ace, Kemp and Summer’s story. Each new story that comes out of Divine is sweet and sexy and sure to fuel some fantastic dreams. Spend some time getting know Ms. Rainiers unique town. The men are sensual, strong and protective and the women are…Divine.

Hot for Santa by Lacey Alexander

Hot for Santa by Lacey Alexander
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (38 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Kennedia

And to all a naughty night…

A Hot in the City Bonus Short Story.

For Amy Finnegan, playing Santa’s elf at the mall has always been a labor of love. This year, though, there’s a little extra spice to all things nice—the sexiest Santa she’s ever seen, Cole Bradshaw. Watching him with the kids warms her heart. Wondering what his body looks like under that suit heats her fantasies.

When Cole invites her to his place to celebrate Christmas Eve, what to her wandering eye should appear but a pile of very sexy gifts under his tree. All for her—and her ultimate seduction...

Santa and his elf are very naughty! Lacey Alexander’s Hot for Santa is a spectacular short Christmas read that left me hot and bothered but also chuckling to myself at its conclusion.

Amy Finnegan and Cole Bradshaw have been friends for years, but just recently their feelings for each other have changed. Amy has been playing the elf to Cole’s Santa for the last month as volunteers for a charity they both support. Amy has been sending out signals that she would like to be more than friends with Cole, but for some reason Cole doesn’t seem to be getting the message and she has decided to give up.

But Cole has noticed Amy’s signals; he has just been waiting for the right opportunity to act on them. Christmas Eve arrives, their charity work is finished and Cole invites Amy to his place for Miracle on 34th Street and eggnog for the evening, or so he would have her believe…

Hot for Santa is exactly that, HOT. It is so erotically charged that I was feeling the effects hours after reading this story. Ms. Alexander has penned an exceptionally well written short story that was quick and easy to read. It was written from both characters’ point of view so I was completely emerged in this story. The dialogue was realistic and injected with humor. The friends to lovers premise was believable, especially considering the events that unfold. Ms. Alexander never ceases to amaze me with her ability to write sex scenes that are extremely erotic and titillating.

Hot for Santa is a great holiday read for those cold nights when you want to warm up fast and enjoy a truly excellent erotic short story with a little humor and a lot of kink. Leave the hot cocoa in the pantry, you are not going to need it for this story, in fact you will probably need to run outside and jump in a snow bank after reading Hot for Santa. Quick, go get this book now, if you read it right away, I am sure Santa will forget how naughty it was by next Christmas!

Always Room For Four by Lynn LaFleur

Always Room For Four by Lynn LaFleur
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (91 pages)
Other: M/F, F/F, menage, M/F/F/M, Multiple partners
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Carnation

Patrick Dennison is excited about the upcoming visit from his cousin Jake and Jake’s wife Amanda to his ski resort. He didn’t expect to take one look at Amanda’s friend Tera Connolly and fall head over heels in lust.

Tera is recovering from a broken heart and isn’t the least bit interested in getting involved with another man. That doesn’t mean she fails to notice the sexy ski resort owner. A night in his arms is the perfect way to begin to heal.

She’s hesitant when Amanda suggests a foursome with Jake and Patrick for Patrick’s birthday. But an evening of sex with Patrick and Jake, plus the added pleasure of being intimate with Amanda, leads Tera to say yes. The foursome is amazing for Patrick, but alone time with Tera is even better. Somehow, he has to convince her to stay with him…not just for a few more days, but for a lifetime.

What could be more exciting and fun for a vacationing woman bored with her solitary life after being dumped months earlier than a reunion with a college friend at a five star Colorado Ski Resort? Maybe a special party with her friend Amanda and her husband, Jake and his hot Resort-owner cousin, Patrick?

Things do get exciting and fun for Tera soon when she meets Patrick, who can't take his eyes off the redheaded beauty. As owner of the resort she checks into when she arrives, he is able to take time off from his duties to devote to a spontaneous night of hot, passionate indulgence. The emotional connection between the two is immediate, magnetic and undeniable.

Tera and Amanda have a special reunion of their own... then Amanda gives Tera a proposition that she can't turn down. Jake has a special surprise birthday party planned for his cousin to end in a night of hedonistic bliss, and Tera is invited. Will she go? And when her vacation is over, how will she walk away from the man she has more feelings for than any other before?

The chemistry between the main characters is hot, fun and filled with interpersonal twists and interesting dimension. Ms. LaFleur makes this vacation sound like a magical experience that everyone would love to have in their life and adds the intense element of beginning love and sexual adventure on top of that.

I enjoyed each character in the story fully. The author brings these people to life with her richly worded details, painting them with such accuracy that they seem to be standing in front of you. If you're looking for a fun romp of a story with a satisfying romance, then check out, Always Room For Four.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Shifting Hearts by Dominique Eastwick

Shifting Hearts by Dominique Eastwick
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (60 pages)
Other: M/F, Spanking
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Verbena

Sometimes it takes losing everything to find the one thing you need.

The last of his kind…

Rekkus is the last of the great Black Tiger weres and he is happy to stay that way. Working as security for the Wiccan Haus, a magical spa for inner healing, he has enough danger – and women – to keep him busy. Unfortunately, the Fates are not content with him being comfortable.

Alone and discouraged…

Dana has walked away from all she has known, her fiancé, family, apartment, and job. Now, having a ticket to the Wiccan Haus may be the only way she can move on. But what she finds isn’t what she expects, nor is it what she thought she was looking for.

Meet the unusual residents of the Wiccan Haus. The staff can get a little hairy and not all of the guests eat what’s served in the dining hall. But the proprietors always do what they can to make the resort into a place of healing and peace, using all of their years of practice. At the Haus, where humans and Paras reside side-by-side, everyone in need of the Rowan siblings’ services are welcome.

Sometimes it just takes an alpha were-tiger to help you figure out what you want in life. So where do you find one? At the Wiccan Haus, of course. Just don’t expect him to greet you with open arms.

Rekkus is the last black were-tiger, and he’s sworn off long term relationships. A terrible tragedy in his past left him the lone survivor of his kind. But try as he might, he can’t run from fate. She’s showed up on his secluded island with a boat-load of heartache, a terrible knack for losing her grandmother’s watch, and a pent up passion just begging for release. Rekkus has no doubt he’s just the tiger to tackle Dana’s neglected intimacy issues, but is he willing to accept the whole kit and caboodle that comes with it?

Dana just left the love of her life standing at the altar. Last minute cold feet? Apparently not, since her groom seemed to share the same ailment. Though their parting was mutual, it still left her grieving for what should have been. Her best friend has dragged her to some crazy island where sex is the driving focus and all she wants to do is crawl in bed and let her depression take over. But the staff of the Wiccan Haus have other ideas for both Dana and Rekkus. Like it or not, their destinies are intertwined. If Rekkus is willing to let go of the past and Dana is willing to trust in her heart, together, they might just discover the power of love.

Ms. Eastwick does a wonderful job of bringing two characters from completely different backgrounds together into an explosive climax—both sexual and emotional. Poor Dana is thrust into a world of creatures that she never knew existed, only to discover that there’s been a bit of magic in her life for many years. Rekkus is a brooding, alpha male determined to fight commitment tooth and claw, until he finally gives in, then he’s willing to jump in with both feet. The reader gets to see him go from an “in charge” kind of guy, to submissive to Dana’s needs, wants, and wishes. It’s a nice change. View point, grammar, and punctuation are handled very well. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and would likely read it again.

Take one tough tiger shifter; a timid, less-than-perfect female; a handful of paranormal misfits, add a little bit of magic, and you get a scrupulously entertaining story filled with witty humor, primal attraction, and some good old fashioned romance. Grab a copy of Shifting Hearts by Dominique Eastwick, you won’t be disappointed.

Text Play by C. Margery Kempe

Text Play by C. Margery Kempe
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (11 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Andrei found her on Facebook. Natalia wasn't sure she wanted to rekindle the past. But what if he turned out to be the one man who could bring her to her knees?

This quick read will leave you wanting more. While on her social networking site Natalia finds herself reconnecting with Andrei. It has been years since they have spoken. Yet that spark and the connection seems to still be there. Can she get what she needs from Andrei or will he disappoint like the men before him?

I enjoyed meeting both Andrei and Natalia. They make a nice couple. I would have liked a bit more character development with them though. Writing a short story with good development can be a challenge, and I understand that, but it would have been nice to know a bit more of their history and what had happened between Natalia and the previous boyfriend who was mentioned.

There's more of a challenge for the author, because everything that happens is through text and phone in this story. It was a unique spin, but I would had liked to see just where there relationship went and to see if they really are as compatible in real life as they seem to be on the phone. I really liked Andrei and Natalia and hope that this is not the last we get to see of them.

The author did a wonderful job of bringing the tale to life. I cheered the couple on and hoped for them to get that happy ever after that they are looking for. Natalia is a strong woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it and Andrei seems like just the man to give it to her.

I enjoyed this author’s style as well and will be looking for more from her in the future.

Rhythm of the Rain by Gemini Judson

Rhythm of the Rain by Gemini Judson
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Torrid
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (81 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating 4 stars
Reviewed by Stephanotis

Annalee Wells is innately programmed to keep a constant rhythm. She’d been a competitive drummer in college and it was the best time of her life. She high-stepped through her university years and planned a bright future in veterinary medicine. Her future veered off course when her father was stricken ill. She went home to help him die and her rhythm has been off ever since.

When a fun-loving golden retriever enters her pet-grooming salon with a handsome man on the other end of the leash, her heart plays a forgotten cadence. She’s immediately smitten with the dog, and a little star struck when she learns that her new client, Tango, is the drum major for the best drum and bugle corps in the Midwest. When he asks her to join the notably all-male group, she’s blown away.

Is this the very thing that will bring the heartbeat back to her life? She’d let go of all her dreams when her dad died. Maybe Tango and the Blue Devil’s drums could bring them back.

What a unique story! It’s about dog grooming, drill teams and yes, lots of romance, too. I liked Annalee from the beginning. She came across as a real life character running a dog grooming business, and in walks Tango with his dog. At first I thought he might ditch the dog with her and the story would progress from there with maybe her trying to track him down, but was more than relieved when he showed up and found out these two had lots in common.

One thing that struck me was the story seemed to have all the makings of a classic romance, boy meets girl, girl thinks he’s not interested, and maybe he likes the best friend better; but what made it unique was Ms. Judson put a unique spin on the whole thing. She had all characters as part of a drill team and also took it up a couple of notches with some steamy sex scenes.

This story has good pacing, natural sounding dialogue, and characters I liked and cheered for. Rain, hence the title, is also a major factor in this story which had me wanting to curl up under a blanket and something hot to drink while I read this story. It’s an quick read that I enjoyed.