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Friday, March 2, 2012

Western Ties by Mari Carr and Jayne Rylon

Western Ties by Mari Carr and Jayne Rylon
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (198 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Foxglove

How strong are the ties that bind?

Compass Brothers, Book 4

Leah Hollister’s sex life needs a swift kick in the pants. Small-town Compton Pass, though, isn’t the place to explore her need for bondage. When she gets an invitation to a BDSM party out in LA, she wastes no time booking a flight.

Her plan to play anonymously is shot to hell when she runs into high-school crush Sawyer Compton—and he lays immediate claim to her.

Sawyer Compton commands total control, in and out of the bedroom. He never thought Leah could handle his darker urges, but one look at the white bracelet that marks her as a sub ripe for the picking, and he knows exactly how this night is going to end. With Leah in his bed.

Leah didn’t expect to enjoy the comfort Sawyer’s familiarity brings, even as his touch takes her to unimaginable heights of pleasure. When bad news from home sends him reeling, she’s more than prepared to offer him anything he needs: her body, her friendship. Even her heart—if Sawyer can loosen the reins over his own to accept her love.

Western Ties is the final book in Mari Carr and Jayne Rylon’s Compass Brothers books, and it's a most emotional and yet supremely satisfying conclusion to this family epic. It's filled with passion, family devotion, disappointment, tragedy, and the feeling of coming home.

Leah Hollister has feels her sex life is less that it could be. She jumps at the chance to explore her fantasies away from those who know her. The last person Leah expected to see at the BDSM party was her old school crush, Sawyer Compton. When Sawyer claims Leah for the weekend, things start heating up quickly. When bad news comes, life comes to a screeching halt, and Sawyer and Leah return to Compton Pass, Wyoming. Can Sawyer forgive his brothers for what he sees as a betrayal? Leah will have to be there for Sawyer, knowing she wants much more than he’s offering. Can they find what they are looking for in each other?

I love how throughout this series, Ms Carr and Ms Rylon stressed the importance of family, and acceptance of each other’s strengths as well as their weaknesses. Nowhere is this more evident than in this last book, Sawyer’s story. The Wyoming world the authors built is perfect for the scope of these books. I loved the small town feeling imbued in these stories. All of the family was involved in this one, more so than the others. Each character has a role here, but it's definitely Sawyer and Leah’s story in the forefront.

Leah Hollister is the small town kindergarten teacher, who feels her life is boring and bland. She wants more from life. She's felt for some time that she might be less vanilla in her desires, but has no one in Compton Pass with which to experiment. I like Leah, with her determination to reach out for what she wants to get more from life. I could feel her chagrin when the one person she never expected to see claimed her at the party. It doesn’t help that Sawyer was her best friend growing up, she isn’t sure she can give up control to him.

Sawyer Compton may be the youngest Compton, by a few minutes, but he's definitely a force to be reckoned with. All the Compton boys are alpha males, but Sawyer has a dominant streak a mile wide in the bedroom. Strong, handsome and sexy, he can get any woman he wants. But when he sees Leah at the party, something clicks inside, and he's determined to make her give up control. He sees in her what he has been looking for; a strong and independent woman, but one who can give up control at the right time. I liked watching Sawyer as he slowly came to terms with all of the emotions thrown at him; passion, betrayal, pain, and finally acceptance. I also enjoyed watching as this strong and dominating man began to understand what one woman could mean to him.

Western Ties is a story of a man coming to terms with the things life does when you least expect it. I love the path Sawyer has to take, although it's gut wrenching at times. Ultimately, this story is one of familial love and how it overcomes even the worst of tragedies, making each person involved stronger. Yes, this is Sawyer and Leah’s happy ever after, but this one shows sometimes it takes a lot more than two people to get to that place in life. Yes, there is lots of hot and sometimes kinky sex, but there is so much more between these two characters. There's a lifetime of friendship and understanding, with a big dose of comfort and support along the way.

Watching as Sawyer discovered he has loved Leah far longer than she realized was one of the joys in this. But I have to warn the reader-this will use more than one box of tissues, and lots of ice before the end. It's best if read Western Ties after the others in the Compass Brothers series for the full story of this family.

Hunter’s Prey by Moira Rogers

Hunter’s Prey by Moira Rogers
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Paranormal, Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (175 Pages)
Other: M/F, Anal Play
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Foxglove

He can't fight his inner beast, but she can tame it.

Bloodhounds, Book 2

Ophelia retired from life as a prostitute, but her new position is even more complicated. Managing the bloodhound manor in Iron Creek is difficult and time-consuming, a job she enjoys less with each passing day. Then there’s her inconvenient attraction to Hunter. The newly turned hound seems eager to enjoy her company, but wary of anything more intimate.

Having survived the violence of his first full moon out of a cage, Hunter isn't looking forward to his first new moon. Ophelia offers to be the woman who sates his needs during the three long days of sexual fury, but he can't abide the thought of hurting her in a state of mindless lust. Especially since she longs to settle into a respectable life, and his needs are anything but respectable.

Their mutual goal is simple: avoid entanglements. It’s a solid plan, at least until a vampire drug lord and a couple of nosy Guild representatives force them to work together to defend their friends and everything they hold dear—including each other.

Hunter is a bloodhound unlike any other. He wasn’t created by the Guild, but was held captive by vampires and tortured mercilessly until the bloodhounds searching for Nate rescued him. Raw and untrained, he fears what he will do during the new moon, when bloodhounds need to find a female capable of handling their wild urges and strength. As manager of the Bloodhound manor, Ophelia has made arrangements at the local brothel to help Hunter get through the new moon, but things don’t always go as planned. When the time comes, only Ophelia can soothe the beast in Hunter and satisfy his hunger. But once the three days of the burning is over, can Hunter come to terms with what he feels for Ophelia?

Hunter’s Prey is Moira Rogers’ second foray into the post apocalyptic Wild West, where vampires are the ultimate evil, and men become bloodhounds to be better able to battle. It's a harsh and unyielding world, filled with colorful and unconventional characters, and a world I truly enjoy visiting. I like that the rules of civilized society don’t work here, and people have to learn to work together regardless of past experience. We do see a brief glimpse of Wilder and the others from the earlier book, but this is mainly Hunter’s story.

Ophelia is a former prostitute, and is now the manager of the Manor, headquarters and home of the Iron Creek bloodhounds. She's strong and courageous, and determined to live life on her own terms. She thinks she wants to leave, but when Hunter needs her, she discovers an inner strength along with fierce attraction to the bloodhound. I liked Ophelia, her strength and her spirit. I was really delighted with how things went during the new moon, and enjoyed the way she was able to handle Hunter at that time.

Hunter is a beast trying to come to terms with his new circumstances. In his lucid moments, he's determined to protect Ophelia, not realizing she wants to be with him. I liked that his beast knew more about who was right for him than his rational mind was willing to admit. I enjoyed watching as Hunter slowly became more comfortable with his new circumstances, and began to piece together his past and his new life. Hunter is something new in this world, not created like the other bloodhounds, and a bit of a wild card. But he's one of the ‘good guys’ and he's loyal, honest and determined to do the right thing.

This is a story of a harsh new world, with danger around every corner and lots of things that go bump in the night. Not only do people have to deal with the evil of the vampires, there is the deceit of the sheriff, and the other beings created by the vampires. Hunter and Ophelia learn the only ones able to help them are each other, although they do get some assistance from the visiting bloodhounds during one very bad time. Of course, this wouldn’t be a Moira Rogers book without some decidedly hot bedroom action, and this story doesn’t disappoint in that respect.

Ultimately, this is Ophelia and Hunter’s story, and it's a beautiful, if unconventional, love story. One forged in passion and peril, but with a love strong enough to bring both safely through it all.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Therian Prey by Cyndi Friberg

Therian Prey by Cyndi Friberg
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (166 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Moonflower

Before Carissa has time to react to her sister’s disappearance, she’s kidnapped and taken deep into the Colorado mountains. Her kidnapper swears he’s protecting her, but Carissa doesn’t know what to believe. He emanates danger, strength and raw sexuality. She’s drawn to him, craves his demanding kiss and the slide of his hard body against and into hers.

Quinn has always been an outsider, scorned and mistrusted by other Therian shapeshifters. Now he’s in the middle of a budding civil war and he’s not sure how to disentangle himself without endangering Carissa. Though her powers are latent, Carissa has the potential of becoming the most powerful Therian the world has ever seen.

It was Quinn’s intention to bring Carissa to safety and simply walk away, but one taste of her sweet lips and he knows he’ll never let her go. She won’t be truly safe until she’s selected her mate—and he intends to be the one she chooses.

Therian Prey is a diamond in the rough. When I read the blurb, I thought it sounded like an interesting paranormal read. All I can say is the blurb doesn’t even scratch the surface of what is between the covers of this book.

Carissa has had quite a day. Business is dangerously slow for her and her sister’s business, she practically melts into a puddle when a customer comes in, gets attacked by two men who turned into wolves, gets kidnapped by “puddle man”, and then to top it off she gets carried away by what appears to be rather large bird. Even though all this and more has happened to her all in one night, the worst of it is, her sister Ava was kidnapped too.

Quinn thought tracking and retrieving the Seymour twins would be a piece of cake. Tracking is what he does and he's one of the best. Yes, he found his marks, but the problem is there are at least two other factions that want them, too. Now he's in a race against time to secure Carissa and then help find her sister. To add to the frustrating situation he now has to deal with the complications of Carissa being in heat. He never wanted to get this involved, but his attraction to Carissa is an unstoppable force.

What an amazing world that Ms. Friberg has created! There was political intrigue, ancient voodoo, clan wars, archaic traditions, even secret medical testing. Carissa thought she was just an average girl running from a frightening past. She is so funny and strong and a joy to read. Quinn is just sexy. He's a man who has known loneliness and heartbreak. He's been ostracized for something he wishes every day had never happened. Now, helping an old friend, he just wants to do his job and get out.

I enjoyed that this book was filled to the brim, but not overly done. The action was exciting and the love scenes were scorching. The characters were all engaging and the world building was refreshing. The plot line still has more to reveal and I can’t wait for the next installment.

If you are looking for more than a sexy story, this book is for you. Therian Prey is a well written book with everything a paranormal reader would want. Even if you don’t like paranormal reads, pick this one up. I have a feeling it will change your mind.

Ash Gray Blurred Clarity by Andy Slayde & Ali Wilde

Ash Gray Blurred Clarity by Andy Slayde and Ali Wilde
Publisher: Torquere Press Color Box
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (93 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Peppermint

What happens when good and evil don’t so much collide as merely annoy each other? Which, when young men are involved, quite often means that they really want to get to know each other.

Ash, a low level demon, and Cas, a low level angel, become aware of each other -- in more ways than one -- and set out to prove that good and evil can exist in close contact, even complementing each other. They blur the lines and cross them frequently with surprising and almost devastating results.

Life is not always as black and white as it seems, and the shades of gray can sometimes be so much fun. Aszebizel (Ash) has always seen things in black. How else is a demon suppose to see the world? Casimir (Cas) on the other hand has lived his life as white as possible. When both of these men meet, their black and white starts to seep and blur into one another creating a beautiful gray connection.

The age-old battle of good versus evil has always made for an intriguing romance story and this is no exception. I really think Ash and Cas complimented the light and dark of one another perfectly. Both were willing to go out of their comfort level for the other and even sacrifice themselves. This is something unheard of in the battle of angels versus demons and made the relationship much more significant. I felt the internal battle of each character from beginning to end. I also enjoyed the emotional drama that came from their difficulty in accepting their relationship even though they'd taken the baby steps to accept one another as they were. I found myself rooting that they would be able to show others how accepting they could be of each other.

While this story is labeled erotic there was little to no sex through the story. There was no intercourse, just some heated make out sessions, and some touching. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of a physical or sexual relationship. Yes, I could tell the characters were physically attracted to one another, but I wanted to see them act on those feelings more. If they had, it would have just solidified the relationship for me.

This story gave me exactly what I would expect from a story based around a demon and angel falling in love with a few twists and turns along the way. If you are looking for a story to help you understand the shades of gray better, this is the story for you.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Midnight Passions by Leigh Ellwood

Midnight Passions by Leigh Ellwood
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary, paranormal
Length: Short Story (51 pgs)
Other: Menage, m/f/m
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Stephantois

Living as a single mom doesn't give Colleen much opportunity for romance, and when her only shot with Daryl goes sour, she reluctantly settles for a good book borrowed from her neighbor. What handsome John neglects to tell her, though, is that his library is filled with titles of magical quality - open the book and you're in the story!

When Colleen finds a book on John's shelf called "Midnight Passions," she realizes reading is fundamental ... for her sex life.

This story has a little bit of everything. A heroine who seems down on her luck, a hero you know isn’t right for her…and oh yes, a landlord she’s hardly noticed before but might be the answer to all her problems and actually the man of her dreams.

One thing Ms. Ellwood did a great job with was making Colleen’s current beau easy to dislike. I wondered what she was doing with this obvious loser but then there were hints about the landlord. When he enters the scene I hoped she’d dump Daryl and make a move on the landlord…forgive me if I’m giving away too much when I say she does just that.

I was taken by surprise when what I thought would be a regular romance turning into a delightful and sexy paranormal story. All the suffering Colleen went through with Daryl is certainly made up for in the forms of John and Spence.

The dialogue was natural sounding and the pacing fast. Midnight Passions might be a good pick for you if you’re a fan of hot contemporary romance with some surprise paranormal elements thrown into the mix.

10 Ways To Steal Your Lover by Dee Tenorio

10 Ways To Steal Your Lover by Dee Tenorio
Publisher: Dee Tenorio (
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (114 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Dahlia

His best friend's wedding just turned into the craziest hangover ever...

Kane Wilkensen's buddy was about to marry the girl of Kane's dreams. Which would have been fine—heartbreaking but fine—if Kane hadn't woken up in a Las Vegas honeymoon suite with her, a giant sack of money and a great big blank spot in both their memories first.

He'd always thought a good man would never steal his best friend's lover, but one crazy night may be just the chance Kane needs to show his "wife" that she's with the right husband after all...

When the dream suddenly becomes a reality, only one question remains... what happened last night?

After three lonely years, Kane gets exactly what he's wanted – marriage to Delilah. The problem is he can't remember how it happened.

Waking up next to Kane was not exactly how Delilah envisioned her first day of married life. Especially since he wasn't the man she was supposed to have married. The problem is she can't help not feeling guilty about it.

They are both slow to come to grips with the reality of the situation in the beginning. The heat is on high from the start of the story with sex scenes that are smoking hot to say the least. Kane is an honorable, romantic kind of man and Delilah is a caged free spirit confused about loving someone for the wrong reasons and loving someone for the right ones. Kane's confidence that things will work out one way or the other eventually clears the haze for Delilah to realize what she feels and what she really wants. A peyote toting grandmother's meddling gives the story a level of humor, suspense, and romance that simmers throughout their journey.

The characters are very well depicted with a storyline that's engaging and exciting. A charming read from beginning to end!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Thrice Shy by Frances Pauli

Thrice Shy by Frances Pauli Publisher: eXtasy Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (65 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Stephantois

Jane Johnston has always nursed her crush on the boss in silence. Then a rare invitation to the company conference drops a golden opportunity in her lap. She’s got the dress, she’s got a plan, but when she gets lost along the way, a roadside attraction leads her to a sexy Vampire who thinks Jane is the answer to his prayers. When he shows up at the conference hotel, all her plans go right out the window. Will Jane choose the man she’s always wanted, or the one who claims to own her soul?

Halloween might be months away, but this is a story that would be a pick for an October read. It’s got humor, heat and a vampire, who is so much sexier than the boss the heroine has wanted to make her own for so long.

I enjoyed the beginning of the book with Jane taking her boss’ car to the meeting but stopping at the Halloween maze. Ms. Pauli did a wonderful job setting the scene for this creepy attraction stuck in the middle of nowhere. When Jane gets lost it in, I felt scared for her and wondered if she’d ever get out of there alive.

When she finally arrives at the meeting, we met her boss. I struggled to like him, and couldn’t really see her attraction to him. Enter the sexy vampire she met at the maze and things go from bad to very good for her.

Despite its fun plot, engaging dialogue and smoking hot sex, the story did have some jarring scenes. For instance, one minute Jane was at the meeting, the next she seemed to be back at the maze and I couldn’t quite follow along. There are some truly funny moments and of course, some very sexy ones too. I also liked the exchanges between Jane and the vampire.

I enjoyed Thrice Shy and recommend it. With the thread of humor throughout, it is a different take on vampire paranormals.

Subspace Anthology by Various Authors

Subspace Anthology by Sierra Cartwright, Desiree Holt, Jan Irving, Justine Elyot, Elizabeth Coldwell, Mina Dorian
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (285 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Peppermint

'Three-Way Tie' by Sierra Cartwright

Lindsey wins a weekend with a renowned Dom, and when she arrives, she is stunned to discover there are two men to tie her up and give her the experience of a lifetime.

Two Doms? Lindsey has no idea what to do with one renowned, unyielding, strict dominant, but when she wins a weekend with Master Rafael, she’s shocked to learn he’s invited Master Eric to join him. One sexy Dom is beyond her experience, but two gorgeous hunks focussed entirely on her...?

Rafael and Eric are determined to give Lindsey the BDSM experience of her lifetime. It’s not enough just to pleasure her physically, they won’t be satisfied unless she completes the ultimate emotional and mental journey into subspace.

In one unbelievable weekend, they take her to the edge of her limits, testing her endurance in a way only two skilled men working together can.

'Head Games' by Desiree Holt

When Diego Valdez took his sub, Kaci Ballard, on a trip to subspace, neither of them realised just how erotic that journey would be–or how it would end.

International businessman Diego Valdez had a reputation as a Dom for never keeping his subs more than two years. Then came the big gift and the kiss-off. But sculptor Kaci Ballard has been with him for three years and is wondering when her time will be up. Because Kaci has done the unforgiveable-fallen in love with him-and she’s not sure how she’ll handle the end when it comes.

When he tells her he wants to teach her how to enter subspace so they can raise the edge of pleasure/pain she agrees, hoping that will show him her total commitment-and give her the same in return. But neither of them is quite prepared for how this particular journey turns out.

'His Landlady' by Jan Irving

“I know I should have waited, bided my time like a good boy but...I am not a good boy,” seductive younger man Sloan Kent tells Diana Moore the first time they meet, when the martial arts instructor lures her into an act of unexpected submission.

Diana Moore is edgy around new tenant Sloan Kent, owner of a kick boxing school. From the moment she glimpses a martial arts poster of the lean, beautiful man, she wants him, but she can't see a focussed warrior athlete and an earth mother like her having much in common.

Sloan's calm Zen facade lulls Diana so that she submits to him the first time they are alone together. Diana has never had such an intense experience, but he's too young to be her master, isn't he?

'The Science of Submission' by Justine Elyot

Where do sex and science meet? Ailish finds out the answer – and it's yes. Yes. Yes, Sir.

Ailish's fascination with the shadowy figure known to her friends as The Scientist leads her to discover their mutual interest in some of the lesser-travelled roads of human sexuality. So when Rod suggests she assist him in researching some of the enduring questions of kink, she is too intrigued to resist.

They work together to establish the precise truth of the axiom that the brain is the largest human sex organ. What will they conclude? Will they be able to establish, together, a science of submission? And will that research partnership lead to a more intimate relationship?

'Away From It All' by Elizabeth Coldwell

Alyssa’s tired of playing by the rules, but when she meets Drew, she’s bound to obey him...

When the promotion Alyssa Morton worked so hard for goes to someone else, her friend, Kay, books them both into an exclusive spa for some serious pampering. Kay falls ill on the eve of the trip and Alyssa, tired of playing by the rules, decides to go on her own. The spa’s policy is to seat single guests at the same table, and she finds herself sharing her evening meal with handsome American actor, Drew Jefferies.

Drew recognises in Alyssa a submissive streak she’s never dared explore, and in the luxurious surroundings of the spa, free from distractions, he vows to teach her what it means to be dominated. He offers her a chance to give up responsibility, if only for a little while, and surrender to a loving, masterful man. By taking her into subspace, Drew offers her a whole new way to get away from it all. But can this ever be more than just a three-day fling?

Reader Advisory: This book contains candle play.

'The Accidental Sub' by Mina Dorian

On the run from her abusive husband Catherine has learned not to trust anyone—especially no one in the BDSM lifestyle. But will she be able to resist a powerful dom like Jon?

Catherine has been on the run from her abusive husband and former dom for years. Unable to trust anyone, she has also left the BDSM lifestyle. Or so she thought, until a strange but powerful voice told her to get naked and kneel right there, in the middle of her office, after hours. Will she give in to her sweet urges and submit to a strange dom if only for one night? Can she trust her own instincts, which had let her into a disastrous marriage?

Jon has been a dom for years, but recently he has become bored with the lifestyle—until he sees Catherine kneeling in her office stark naked and in a beautifully submissive position. Jon knows he has to have her. Can he convince the gorgeous submissive to trust him? And will he be able to keep her safe from the demons in her past?

Subspace is something many have sought for but not so many have achieved. It takes a lot of trust and talent for all parties involved for someone to reach subspace and that is a testament in these stories. This anthology had something for either the beginner BDSM reader or those who love the genre and read everything published.

Three Way Tie by Sierra Cartwright

This was definitely the way you want to start an anthology, with two sexy doms trying out a new toy named Lindsey. While I am not part of the BDSM scene, this story sure did give a girl a few things to think about. The way Rafael and Eric used their mutual understanding to teach Lindsey what true submission really is was amazing. I felt like I was actually in Lindsey’s shoes at times and could picture these gorgeous men standing over me. I have to say this author really set the bar high for all others to follow within this anthology.

Head Games by Desiree Holt

There is something about the name Diego that is exotic and enticing. The way it rolls off the tongue makes me want to say it again. The way this character commands the bedroom makes Kaci want to roll her tongue along his body.

While the physical attraction within this story was entertaining, I felt as if Diego’s reluctance created an emotional block I'm not use to in BDSM stories. One of the aspects of this genre I have always enjoyed was how the characters seem to have such a great connection both physically and emotionally. With this slight emotional disconnect, it made the relationship feel a bit hollow at times. I think more understanding about Diego’s personal issues would have made it easier for me to understand and appreciate his reluctance to give Kaci his all.

Even with this disconnect the story was a good read, especially because they had boundaries within their relationship which allowed each character to be themselves. Many times, in a BDSM relationship, it seems all consuming and the characters lose who they really are. Therefore, it was refreshing to see Kaci and Diego stay true to themselves.

His Landlady by Jan Irving

This is one of the few plot driven erotic stories I have enjoyed. I normally focus on the characters within a story and they help to drive the plot but within this story, I found the plot line captivated me more than the individuals did. I really enjoyed seeing how the relationship developed, and while I did not know much about the characters, I appreciated the progression of the romantic interest. I especially liked the little added subplot of Diana caring for Jeff, her deceased friend’s child. The BDSM element seemed pretty novice but that's because Sloan and Diana had a novice relationship so it worked with the concept. I found this story thoroughly enjoyable.

The Science of Submission by Justine Elyot

In this story, Ailish and Rod’s relationship development was wonderful. The relationship growth from beginning to end was stellar and I was convinced they could be a real living couple. The thing I would have liked to see more of is the physical connection between the two. They did participate in BDSM scenes, but I would liked to have had a bit more intercourse. The story revolved more around the foreplay and build up than the consummation of their relationship. The minor characters also added entertainment to the story.

Away From It All by Elizabeth Coldwell

If I knew I could go to a spa and get the ultimate sexual experience of my life, I would be in a car right now. Alyssa hadn’t anticipated meeting Drew at the spa. In fact, she didn’t want to deal with men at all, but it's always when you least expect love that it nips you on the bum. I have to say I really appreciated everything about this story from the plot, to the characters, to the candle play, which was a first for me within a story. One aspect of the tale I enjoyed was that the relationship was not forever immediately. Instead it's a happily for right now. I think it made the storyline more realistic.

The Accidental Sub by Mina Dorian

The beginning of the story was a bit puzzling to me; I mean how do you accidentally make someone a sub? I would have liked to have understood a little more about the mental/emotional state that lead to Catherine accidentally submitting to her co-worker. Other than that, I felt the story was right on target. Jon is the type of Master I can see many woman falling in love with whether they are interested in BDSM or not. He seemed to have an air of confidence without being arrogant that any woman can appreciate. I really enjoyed the subplot with Catherine and her past relationship as well. It added a bit of excitement to the story and made me want to learn more. A great end to a wonderful anthology.

Because of previous experiences with anthologies, I started reading this one expecting at least one story I wouldn't enjoy. Instead, I found every story entertaining and each could have stood on its own without the others. I was pleasantly surprised by the degree of exceptional writing and I'm sure any reader would enjoy Subspace.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Home Ice by Kate Sherwood

Home Ice by Kate Sherwood
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Sports
Length: Short Story (67 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

When they were young men playing on the same hockey team, the heat between Jason and Mike had been almost enough to melt the ice they were skating on. But Mike went off to be a star in the NHL and Jason stayed behind to start his life as the dedicated, deeply closeted coach of the town’s junior hockey team.

Now Mike is back in town and Jason finds that their passion burns as hot as ever. But they’re both still in the closet, and when Jason is threatened with exposure, he freezes. The flames of desire can’t melt Jason’s fears but maybe, just maybe, the warmth of love will thaw the ice.

Jason's old flame returns and their chemistry is still hot enough to melt an ice rink. Jason and Mike had a brief fling as teenagers and then went on to separate lives. Mike got married, had a special needs child, and played in the NHL before retiring. Jason got injured and went onto coaching. Now they’re both back in their hometown, single, and realize their chemistry is as strong as it ever was.

Home Ice is a contemporary sports story staring two athletes. It’s a pretty common take on hockey, based in Canada, and doesn’t deviate from the expected. Jason and Mike reconnect and get hot and heavy almost immediately. Their relationship is never a fling this time around and both men are serious from the start. They fit together well and enjoy lots of sex so the story doesn’t dwell too much on their actions or describing how the relationship comes to be, it simply is love from the first hand job.

That’s not bad if you don’t mind an instant relationship. Adding a minimal amount of tension to the story are some homophobic crazy hockey parents. I say minimal because the issue is brought up and handled within a few pages. Instead the real strength of the story is on the actual sport itself and the teenagers. The scenes of practice and between the teens themselves are a bit idealized but they’re nicely handled and fun to read.

Home Ice is a bit of a mixed bag. It has some great moments of fun and humor within the sports details even if the actual romance falls short of truly satisfying. For my taste, it happens too quickly and there’s no background or existing emotion to make their instant love more plausible. The story, told from Jason's POV, moves at a comfortable pace and the instances where Mike and Jason get together are very nicely choreographed.

If you're a fan of sports themed romance you should give Home Ice a try. There's a whole bunch of "Head, head, heart" packed into this little book.

Submission Becomes Her by Paige Tyler

Submission Becomes Her by Paige Tyler
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (38 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Fetish, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Anemone

Josie Roberts has a secret fantasy. She wants to be dominated, to feel owned by a man in the bedroom while being his complete equal outside of it. Finding that man has been difficult, however. But then she meets “Sir Dom” in an online BDSM chat room. After weeks of cyberspanking, Josie and her online Dom are ready for the real thing, so they agree to meet in person.

When Josie arrives at the restaurant, she’s stunned to discover “Sir Dom” is none other than her ex-boyfriend Gavin Elliot. He’s gorgeous, but when it came to sex he was about as vanilla as a man could get. Or so she’d always thought.

Gavin had kept his fantasies of dominating a woman in the bedroom a secret. Now he’s going to live out every fantasy he’s ever had by tying Josie up and spanking her until she begs for more.

Josie is in need of a good spanking and after much searching, she has found just the man to do it. After making a date with “Sir Dom” to fulfill the fantasies she has harbored for years, including during her failed relationship with her ex, her excitement knows no bounds. Until she meets her dom, the ex-boyfriend Gavin.

Gavin and Josie have great chemistry throughout the whole story and their foreplay was really hot. Josie couldn’t seem to let go of her old view of Gavin though and she kept marveling at the change in him. All through their sex, she wished they hadn’t wasted their time together in their previous relationship, rather than concentrating on enjoying the exciting turn of events.

The story certainly packs a lot of hot sex into such a small amount of space and the well-developed plot rolls smoothly, going from one sensual scene into another with barely a whimper. Although Gavin and Josie broke it off for obvious reasons, the newly reunited couple wastes no time in trying out their complementary fetishes on each to their delight.

This book is one hot read and for readers who enjoy couples reuniting to ignite that old flame with a light BDSM touch, Ms. Tyler has penned a great read.