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Friday, May 25, 2012

One Knight in Brooklyn by Casea Major

One Knight in Brooklyn by Casea Major
Publisher: Decadent Publishing Company
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (36 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Lotus

After signing up for a one-night stand through an exclusive matching agency, hopeless romantic Marianne Caldwell is swept away to a medieval land where she hopes to spend the night with a worthy man of honor.

Unsure of how she got from the Castillo Hotel in Las Vegas to a castle in the English countryside, Mare finds Robert, whose stunning physique and winning smile immediately convince her he's the Robin Hood she's been seeking. But despite his efforts saving her from a corrupt sheriff, his Jersey Shore accent and coarse ways unravel her romantic visions.

With her fairytale fantasies coming unhinged, Mare must decide if Robert is just a crass car salesman from Brooklyn or the chivalrous knight she's looking for.

What to do when your Robin Hood fantasy date sounds like a guy from Brooklyn and your hotel turns into a castle from the past? Why, go with the flow and leave reality up in the air!

Marianne Caldwell, was supposed to be having a Robin Hood fantasy date with someone named Robert at a Las Vegas hotel that resembled a castle. In a modern take on Robin Hood and Maid Marian, she meets a handsome stranger outside of the hotel and feels drawn to him. What a shock when he starts talking like a blue collar worker from Brooklyn. Robert is a car salesman, also on a fantasy date, looking for Marianne. A convenient band of bad guys and a sprained ankle give Robert the perfect opporunity to play hero to her maiden in distress.

Mare has been looking for someone for the long term, but so far has only found short-term relationships. She's hoping this would be her chance at true lasting love. Robert is a bit of a mystery but he's a good guy, with a young son, and concerned faimly who want him to be happy.

The plot was very interesting and made me want to read the entire story in one sitting. I am looking forward to more stories from Ms. Major. One Knight in Brooklyn is a very enjoyable, hot, quick read, perfect for when you have or need a break during the day. It's well written and fast-paced with just enough humor to keep it light. At the same time, Ms. Major writes some terrifically sexy scenes to keep the tension popping. A story like this makes me wish that I could have such an experience. It's a great addition to Decadent Publishing's 1 Night Stand Series and an easy recommend.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Perfect Storm Rising by Cameron Dane

A Perfect Storm Rising by Cameron Dane
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (175 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/M/F, F/F, BDSM, Spanking, Anal sex, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Plumeria

On an island off the coast of Maine, Lucien Cabot monitors the dark clouds rolling across a bleak sky. Patience and planning have been Lucien’s two closest friends for years, and now Mother Nature has aligned to create the perfect storm he needs to exact his revenge.

Television producer Sophie Emerson can’t believe her luck when the mysterious owner of Raven Island offers her a story about the island and castle. She really can’t believe it. Still, if real, this offer could be the break her career needs. Although suspicious, Sophie agrees to meet Lucien at his home.

Gotcha. Lucien can taste victory -- if he can resist the keen intelligence, beauty, and light in Sophie. Falling for his guest is the last thing Lucien can afford to do.

Trapped on Raven Island, Sophie is shocked by her powerful desire to know more about Ravenstoke’s clever, darkly attractive master. In secret, Sophie also searches for the truth behind her invitation to Lucien’s island.

A perfect storm of fierce attraction and unbending revenge soon rages behind the walls of Ravenstoke. In the aftermath, once the debris has cleared, will Sophie’s love for Lucien be enough to end his dark revenge and bring him back into the light?

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

And what a game Lucien plays! He devotes his life to exacting revenge on those who wronged him. Typical right? But while he has this whole thing set up, like a chess game, he wasn’t expecting his partner to be quite the adversary she turns out to be. But Lucien is blinded by his revenge, unable to see what is actually right in front of him. Sophie.

Sophie is spunky, smart and turns out to be very sexy. Drawn into the game Lucien has set up starting with letting her into his castle on an island ( awesome right? I know! ) to let her work on a news story about the history of the castle. She is instantly drawn to the enigmatic man who she knows is toying with her yet can’t seem to make herself pull away from him. But under it all, she sees his pain and the grief he carries for his loss.

Lucien and Sophie were quite a pairing. They fed off each other and for every push and pull the other returned the favor. Whenever one thought they had the upper hand in their game, the other threw them off balance. It was an elegant dance of deception and sexuality. In one very poignant scene, which I won’t give away, Lucien is in a very dark place and no one but Sophie could have brought him the light he needed.

So much of this story is woven with Lucien’s plan that it's hard not to give out spoilers. I was more than one hundred pages in before I realized what exactly was going on and the exact person around whom the revenge revolved. It kept me very intrigued and I was completely absorbed in book. Add in the additional back story of the man who built the castle on the island, and his family, I finished this in just a couple hours. By the way, did you happen to notice the other elements of this story above? Yeah, that was not at all what I was expecting.

My only complaint was a few times I scratched my head during some of the internal monologue. Sophie was someone who didn’t swear, yet during a sex scene she used very adult slang words. I felt that if she truly didn’t swear those words shouldn’t have been in her vocabulary. I think other terms could have easily been used to describe the scene. Leave the vulgarity to Lucien, who was quite fond of it.

All in all, a great story very captivating and heart wrenching. Ms Dane wrote a fascinating tale of one broken soul and the last person on earth he expected to fix it. So if you enjoy stories like that, this is for you.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Blood Avenged by Gabrielle Bisset

Blood Avenged by Gabrielle Bisset
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full length (224 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 stars
Review by: Plumeria

I am everything you desire.
I am everything you fear.
I am lust and appetite.
I am vampire.

Powerful and manipulative, Vasilije does as he pleases. A vampire beholden to no one, he takes what he desires, drinking deeply the pleasures this life has to offer.

When one of his own is staked, Vasilije must travel to New Orleans to exact his revenge. There he meets Sasa, a beautiful woman who arouses him like no other has for centuries. Vasilije's need for vengeance is equaled only by his passion for her, but what he finds in his revenge is just the beginning...

Take a drop dead, sexy vampire, add one feisty New Orleans native with a special talent and mix it with a vengeful villain and you know what you get? A story spicier than a pot full of gumbo!

Vasilije is a four hundred year old vampire who basically wanders the earth doing as he pleases, which includes creating more vampires. Thing is, he’s above most vampire laws because he doesn’t have a maker to keep him in line when it comes to making more of his kind. With each creation, a tiny piece of his soul attached itself to his new vampires. After their change, Vasilije would keep them to help them deal with their new life. He was very content in his life until he felt the loss of one of his vampires. Instantly outraged, he flees to New Orleans to investigate.

Upon arriving he meets Sasa. She’s a native to the area and tells Vasilije that she was his vampire's girlfriend. But what Vasilije doesn’t know is that Sasa isn’t exactly ordinary and has a special gift. A gift that she uses to receive aid for her ailing mother. Of course when that aid comes from a voodoo priestess with unsavory clients, Sasa gets pulled into a plot by an old enemy of his to destroy Vasilije . Sasa is reluctant to help but when the ultimate opportunity to keep her mother healthy forever arises, she’ll do anything to make that happen. Her mother is the only person Sasa cares for and will swallow her pride and morals to save her. What Sasa wasn’t expecting was the overwhelming attraction to her target.

This story was attractive for a few reasons. One is that fact that despite Vasilije feeling guilty, he and Sasa give into their attraction right away. There was no dance of ‘we shouldn’t but we want too’ nonsense. I prefer their ‘hey, I’m hot for you and I don’t feel bad about it’ approach.

Another reason was Vasilije himself. He was such a complex character, more so then Sasa. He was just so lonely yet convinced himself he preferred it that way. Again here is another tale of love being taken away too early so this broken man secluded himself. Except every time he created a vampire and felt that rush you were able to see something he didn’t even really understand. Vasilije craved the warmth and affection he felt when he would turn a vampire. It made him feel alive, even if only for a short time. That’s what drew Sasa and Vasilije together. They found what they needed with each other and didn’t even realize it.

And the last reason was the ending. I won’t spoil it for good reason, but I didn’t see this particular turn of events coming. However, it left me hungry for more and I’m very excited to see what else Gabrielle Bisset has for the readers.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Little Wild by Kate St. James

A Little Wild by Kate St. James
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full length (355 pgs)
Other: M/F, Toys
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Dahlia

She wants a piece of his rock. He needs her, rock steady, in his heart.

Tess Sheridan won’t let anything stop her from making partner at a prestigious law firm, especially her notoriously soft heart. The result? She’s a handful of clients away from getting her name on that brass plate. And she hasn’t had sex in over a year.

When her best friend dares her to test-drive her erotic fantasies with a gorgeous stranger, she figures, why not? Loosening the reins will give her inner nympho some well-deserved pampering without jeopardizing her career goals.

Zach Halliday has enjoyed his bad-boy reputation to the fullest, but now it’s time to leave the relative safety of the family corporation and prove he can stand on his own in the business world. That doesn’t mean he’ll pass up an opportunity for some incredible phone sex with the beautiful strawberry blonde he met in a bar.

When business overlaps with the bedroom, Zach sees something special in Tess and is determined to convince her he’s the man she needs, anytime, anyplace. She can backpedal, but come hell or high-climbing-wall, he wants the fascinating, complicated sex bomb in his bed. Over and over again…

Poised, professional, and prepared is the recipe by which Teresa Sheridan plans on making partner at the law firm she works for. She's all business until a night out with her best friend, one too many drinks, and a dare brings out her inner nympho. Not one to say no to a dare she accepts the challenge all the while looking for loopholes in the agreement. Soon after, it's all Tess can do to stop embarrassing herself further with the total hottie by the bar. However, a bet's a bet and Tess hates to lose, but her heart wasn't part of the bargain.

Zach wasn't about to say no to the strawberry blonde wearing business clothes smelling slightly of alcohol. Looks can be deceiving and Zach, more than anyone, knew that. Her unexpected proposition had him definitely intrigued and highly aroused. However, Zach's seemingly simplistic life of women and money gets complicated with the addition of Tess and her new "lawyerly" role with his father's company. Doesn't mean they can't have some fun if she's willing. Yet, all too soon, having fun with Tess isn't enough – not nearly.

There are so many deliciously sexy and sensual activities in this story that are sure to please the inner nympho of many readers. The story does as the title suggests and gets a little wild with the sex scenes. Role-playing, phone sex, a voyeuristic fantasy while masturbating, and lots and lots of foreplay – office, closet, a magazine and food. Tess and Zach are fun and teasing to read during these moments and aren’t into extremes, so for them it's about exploration. The seriousness comes into play outside of the bedroom and how they emotionally evolve into their relationship.

Tess is the uptight lawyer who hasn't had sex in a while, but she's afraid of commitment because of her parents' mistakes. So she meets always fun and adventurous Zach who was supposed to be her sex-with-no-strings kind of guy. Zach didn't anticipate, though, the effect the right woman would have on his commitment-shy heart. That premise leads to great character dynamics and I loved that the male lead acknowledges his feelings and then makes a plan of attack. I did feel kind of cheated without the majority focus being on Tess and Zach. The secondary characters of Tess's best friend and Zach's older brother are a bit distracting as they are interjected throughout the story. I enjoyed reading about these two characters and their own dysfunctional quirks, but the switching of point-of-views was just a tad frustrating. They definitely have a story and it would have been great to read it separately from this one.

The storyline picks up quickly in the beginning and keeps moving with a few small unexpected twists. Great intro for a new-to-me author that I will definitely be checking out again. Readers who like their romances extra racy should check this one out.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Where There's Smoke by Karen Kelley

Where There's Smoke by Karen Kelley
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal Length: Full Length (297 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

When sexy wannabe-demon, Destiny Carter, is kicked out of Hell, she lands in Ft. Worth, Texas with one week to corrupt a soul. Or else. She slips into a slinky red dress, and heads straight for the delicious, corruptible looking cowboy at the bar.

But Chance Bellew has his own agenda-saving souls. He's not your typical angel. He’s a nephilim, to be exact. Centuries ago, angels came down from Heaven and mated with mortal women. When the women bore children, a new race was created. Immortals with powers—demigods, nephilim.

But the children don’t live by the same rules as mortals, or that of the typical, robe-wearing, bright light-surrounding-them angels. Hell, most of the time the nephilim are breaking the rules, and making up new ones as they go. As long as they don’t cross over to the dark side, everyone pretty much stays out of their way.

But sometimes a demon-in-training, who looks like Destiny, comes along and all Hell breaks loose.

Breaking loose has never been this hot.

I love the work of Karen Kelley. When I saw this book was up for review, I jumped on it. I'm glad I did. This book was HOT. That pretty well sums it up. HOT. Ms Kelley's story flowed well. I didn't feel jarred even when there was a lot of sex. I know, this is an erotic work, but there is a lot of sex. Since Destiny is a demon, I expected nothing less.

This book is a story of second chances and redemption. I identified with Destiny. She's had it rough and is doing the best with what she's got. Although her story is heartbreaking, part of it was lost in the amounts of sex. I like sex in a book, but sometimes I wanted to skip ahead. Don't get me wrong. The sex is hot, but I wanted more plot.

Then there's Chance. I really liked him, but I wanted more of him. I wanted to see what went on in his head. He's smoldering hot and consumed by his passion for Destiny, even though she's forbidden fruit and yet...I didn't feel as much as I'd have liked. He is drool-worthy, though and I could've read the descriptions of him over and over. Yum. Where can I find a nephilim of my own?

If you want a story with a demon trying to become a better person, then this might be the book for you. If you want lots of sex and a hero to drool over, then it really might be for you. Pick up a copy.