Beginning January 1, 2013

Stop by the new site and take a look around.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Doubled by Charlotte Stein

Doubled by Charlotte Stein
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (87 Pages)
Other: M/F/M, M/F, menage
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Moonflower

Bobbi has been friends with the Hoffman twins for one long, glorious year. They’re sweet, funny and kind, but there’s a problem…they’re also hotness personified. Times two. And when they lure her into a kinky little game involving a blindfold and some rather unexpected fondling, she finds them much harder to resist than she’d imagined.

It seems they want to be something other than just good friends. They want a hot, steamy ménage, and all Bobbi has to do is decide if she’s up to the challenge. One big, gorgeous guy is enough for her.

Two might be more than she can handle…

Mmmmm... sweet twins; you can’t beat twins. Add to the fact they are your best friends and this is an erotic dream waiting to happen!

I know not everyone has a special place in their hearts for an M/F/M encounter, but I think if I had to dream one up, twins would right up there towards the top. Add in sleek sexy athletic forms, two great personalities, and all around nice guys you have a winning scenario!

Bobbi adores her two best friends. They have a perfect relationship. She's there for them emotionally, supports their activities and they have wonderful times together. She's also one of the very few people that can tell these two perfect specimens apart. What she can’t understand are these budding feelings she's experiencing. Could she secretly want her best friends? Could they want her? It appears the boys have a secret!

Tobias and Sebastian are campus gods. Women want them singularly and together, but these men only have time for their sports, education and their best friend, Bobbi. Together they turn an ordinary night into something special. Now Bobbi needs to evaluate her life and their friendship. Tobias and Sebastian have waited this long, they can be patient for a little while longer.

This story is written in Bobbi’s point of view. While I like single POV stories, it reconfirmed that it's not my favorite form of storytelling. I experienced her feelings, thoughts and conflicts right along with her. I liked her inner dialog, but at times it was rather extensive. Bobbie was going through a major life changing experience and maybe it could have been curtailed a bit, but if you take it in the context of the situation it was understandable. She could recognize what was happening within her, but was unable to stop it. She was battling her brain, body and heart.

Bobbi appeared to be a fuller figured woman, though a true vision of her size was never explained. There were references of rude comments made about her size, and her thoughts on it, but again it was vague. She felt basically comfortable with herself, but plain. That was one of her problems. She couldn’t comprehend why these two gorgeous men were interested in her. The only clues I got were from their group conversations and those was rather limited.

While reading Doubled, there were times I was slightly confused on who or what was going on. But I was so involved with the story at the time, I really didn’t care. I did have a few moments of stopping, rereading and evaluating. Yes, it was a bit bothersome at times, but I was so engrossed in the story, I didn’t let it stop me.

I enjoyed Doubled. It was nice to read a story about people falling in love because of their inner selves and not their outer packaging. Ms. Stein had a great idea, told a sweet sexy story, but there were a few bumps along the way. Truthfully they may be noticeable, but I still enjoyed the story greatly. Nothing beats a book about buddies taking their friendship to the next level.

Haven: Rules of Mating by Nia K Foxx

Haven: Rules of Mating by Nia K Foxx
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (171 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Fuchsia

Ashlei Preen had spent her entire childhood trying to fit in with the residents of Haven. A pretty tall order for someone deemed a regular human in a town of shifters. In spite of her minor “defect” she managed to hold her own. As an adult she applied that same tenacity to her medical practice. Lately her thoughts have been filled with the town’s newest resident who seems more eager to be away from her rather than share the same air space, but Ashlei's used to having to fight for what she wants.

Done with the big city and the stream of crime that consumed his life as a Special Forces detective, Seth Riddick thinks Haven is just what he needs: a thriving shifter town where he can be true to himself and enjoy his frequent hunts without fear of being tranqed (that really pisses him off). Haven's definitely a paradise for a lone wolf like him, but even paradise has its complications. For Seth that complication comes equipped with a stethoscope and enough determination to have him questioning his bachelor status.

Oh, she definitely wants him, but isn’t long before the lines become blurred of who’s chasing whom.

Ashlei Preen is the doctor in the town of Haven, and she and her family are lion shifters. Everyone except Ashlei, that is. Ashlei is a non shifting shifter which has been something she has had to live with her entire life. This is especially hard because the town of Haven is full of shifters of all kinds, and they look at her with pity. No shifter male will approach her because they feel that because of her non shifting problem she would not be able to handle a shifter male. She has come to terms with that and has decided that she will not mate, that is until the new sheriff comes to town.

Seth Riddick is the ultimate alpha male and he has his sights set on Ashlei. At first he thought she was human but when she told him that she couldn't shift his interest in her just increased. Her sister Reigna was against her growing attraction and referred to Seth as a fleabag. Her mother continually tries to set her up with guys, the latest being Thad, who is more interested in her brother Will than her. She tries hard to keep her attraction quiet but fails miserably because Seth is simply gorgeous.

Nia Foxx writes stories that will keep you interested and characters that will reach out from the pages of her book, grab you by the hand, and pull you right in. Every character in this story had a purpose and contributed towards story.

Ashlei’s sister Reigna was funny, calling Seth a wolf in sheriff's clothing, and drawing pictures of what Ashlei’s and Seth’s children would look like, saying that they were faces only a mother could love. This story was so enjoyable, the heat between the main characters radiated from the pages. However, there are a few loose ends left hanging such as who is kidnapping girls and burying their clothes that were left unresolved. These I’m sure will be answered in future books. Overall, Haven: Rules of Mating is an excellent read one that I’m sure will appeal to everyone.

Sins of the Mind by L.J. Garland and Debbie Gould

Sins of the Mind by L.J. Garland and Debbie Gould
Publisher: Decadent Publishing Company, LLC
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (266 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aster

Seven years ago, Abby Montgomery survived a brutal attack. Now she is ready to put her pain in the past and move on with her life. The problem is, one by one the men in her life are being viciously murdered.

The detective assigned to the case, Ethan Parker, has demons of his own to hide. As the danger gets closer to Abby, so does Ethan. But can they get past his secrets before the killer gets to them? Sometimes the sins of the mind are more depraved than the sins of the heart.

It's been a long time since a book had me so riveted my heart raced and I had to catch my breath. Sins of the Mind not only did that, but there were times I wished I could still read while covering my eyes!

Ethan Parker is a top notch detective assigned to investigate a grisly murder with his new partner, Grant Montgomery. When more bodies begin to pile up, all of them associated with Montgomery's sister, Abby, Ethan is forced to take the lead to avoid any conflict his partner could cause. Once Abby is ruled out as a suspect, Ethan's interest in her switches from professional to very personal. But Ethan has a secret of his own - his half-brother, Mikey, is serving time for an assault on Abby seven years prior.

This was a wonderfully complex story, yet never confusing or muddled. Characters were introduced in a logical order and the wonderful pacing made it easy to follow who was who and what the relationships were. The hero and heroine were especially likable; Ethan a dedicated cop who was smitten by a suspect/witness/victim of the crime and Abby, a rape victim who had managed to piece her life together after a vicious assault. They fit together nicely, and although it took quite some time in the book for them to act on their attraction, once they had, it was easy to root for them!

The writing style of these authors is easy to read, and despite a handful of editing mishaps and typos, I was able to full submerge myself into the story. The reader is able to experience both Abby and Ethan's points of view, which helps endear you to both of them. I felt for Ethan - he has very strong feelings for Abby, yet is terrified of her reaction if she would find out about his brother, but also sympathized with Abby, who had come so far from the disaster her life had been after her attack and was finally taking large steps into her future.

My only negative feelings about this story were several scenes of intense violence. The descriptions were vivid enough to paint a mental picture, and when you're talking about a serial killer, that's a scary place to be! The acts were necessary to the story, so there was nothing gratuitous, but I was a bit squeamish in places and found myself skimming ahead to see how it would end. To someone who isn't bothered by those types of scenes, this may not bother you.

I will admit I correctly suspected the identity of the murderer very early on, but didn't know how the authors would get there, nor the connections everyone had to each other. The twists were very well done, and there were several I never saw coming. There were quite a few red herrings thrown in as well, to throw the reader off, so there were continuous questions along the way.

I would definitely pick up the next title in this series, and hope to read more about Abby and Ethan along the way. If you love a good whodunit, with a fantastic romance mixed in, this is definitely a book to pick up!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Rough Ride by Keri Ford

Rough Ride by Keri Ford
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (139 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Dahlia

You do for family, no matter what. Lane Iverson knows that better than anyone. Harboring a secret about his mother’s death, Lane is counting the days until he finishes helping his brothers with some work and can head back to his hiding hole hours away. As long as he doesn’t have to face his three brothers every day, the guilt is easier to carry.

There is only one thing that can risk his plan. All of five foot tall, with these deep eyes and a voice that shudders through him. The completely addicting, Gretchen Jones. She’s been watching him the entire time he’s been in town. With courage from her friends behind her, she confronts what she wants. To her surprise, that’s the easy part. Keeping her heart protected when she knows he’ll be leaving? Not so easy, but her only choice.

Lane makes Gretchen crazy, but in an entirely unexpected and good way. In a way she hasn’t felt for another man in a long time. His good looks and quiet manner have her all tied up in knots and wanting to get to know him better. In order to get what she wants, Gretchen will have to make an aggressive first move and put herself out there for the first time in a while. With a little help from her friends, Gretchen finally makes a move and decides food is the best way to get this man’s attention – too bad that's all he's willing to take from her. With him living in her trailer park though, Gretchen has the advantage and she isn't afraid to exploit it.

Gretchen makes Lane crazy, but in an entirely unexpected and not good way. She’s looking for something he can’t give her. No matter how much they might be physically attracted to one other, Lane chooses to deny it knowing that she deserves better. His secret could destroy the relationship he has with his brothers and he can’t afford to stick around for fear they might find out. Gretchen is the complication he didn’t want, but can’t seem to deny. The solution is to give in only temporarily with all the cards on the table, so there are no hard feelings when it ends. It's an arrangement that's doomed to fail when he lets her in on his secret.

I couldn't wait to meet the rest of the Iverson brothers after Grant came to set-up home in Apple Trail. This spin-off series brought not only the rest of the brothers to town, but allowed fans of Apple Trail to meet other new characters already living there. And let me just say that there are some serious characters of the female variety in this story. Gretchen's friends are absolutely hilarious and I couldn't help but adore them for their efforts in her love life and the down-to-earth feel they brought to the story. I see lots more laughs and hot guys in store for future installments of the series.

It was extremely easy to fall into the story and keep reading until its end. The characters, the town, and the affair between Lane and Gretchen that starts out simple and grows complicated is all believable and well developed. The sparks between those two really fly and I was eager for them to make it happen, but I enjoyed more how both Lane and Gretchen had to work for it. Their HEA is well earned and deserved. If you're looking for small town drama with wonderful sexual tension between hard working men and women then you should absolutely check out this author's Apple Trail stories.

Carried Away by Bridget Midway

Carried Away by Bridget Midway
Publisher: Whispers Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (93 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, spanking
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Fuchsia

What happens when you can’t face your perfect man?

Summer Carter faces that dilemma as her two best friends, Kathryn Maynard and Leya Greenwood, convince her to honor their pact and take her adventure. She flees to a tropical Hawaiian paradise when she can’t face her online Dom, Xander. The reality of the relationship and what she really wants in a man is too much for her to face.

Xander Houston never saw himself as a Dom who would need to look for a submissive on a personals site. But when he encounters a witty and intriguing profile for a submissive named End of Summer, he strikes up a fast friendship with her. Months later, she still refuses to meet him face to face, and he tells her he’s going to take a break.

Coincidentally, both end up in Hawaii on separate vacations. When Xander finds her and figures out who she is, he cooks up a plan to sweep her off her feet, not as a Dom, but just as Xander. When Summer discovers the truth, will she run away from her secret Dom or will she allowed herself to get carried away?

Summer Carter, Kathryn Maynard and Leya Greenwood challenged one another to take a trip, find a man, have mind blowing sex and come back relaxed and ready to face life again. Kathryn took a cruise and found her prince charming Justin whom she is now engaged to. Leya went to Bali, and fell in love with her now husband Kolby. Now it's Summer’s turn to take a trip with the hope of finding her Mr. Right or a Mr. Right Now. Summer's happy for her two friends but she doesn't see the same outcome for herself. She's hiding a secret from her friends, one that she’s sure they will judge her for. Summer's into a different type of lifestyle, she wants to be a submissive to a Dom, and the only man she craved was the one she met online known only as Master Z.

Xander Houston was interested in a woman he met online known only by her screen name of End of Summer, or Flutter which he called her. He asked her many times to meet him in person but Summer always declined saying she wasn't ready for that. Frustrated, Xander decided that he needed some time away and off he went to his friend's beach house in Hawaii. Imagine his surprise when he recognized Summer who had also taken a vacation trip to Hawaii. Instead of revealing himself to her he decided to let her get to know him as Xander before he revealed his alter ego.

These two characters heated up the pages of this book, with Xander introducing parts of the BDSM lifestyle little by little. Summer took to it like a duck to water but I wondered how she would feel and react once she learned the truth.

One of the things this reader looked forward to in this story was the way Summer would finally find the courage to tell Leya and Kat about her sexual preference. How was she going to explain to them that she was into an alternative lifestyle and would they judge her or embrace her? I also wanted her to stop and allow Xander to plead his case because these two characters belonged together.

The BDSM in this book was light, nothing extreme, which gave me a chance to see that it doesn’t always have to hurt. I love a book that will make you understand the characters viewpoint and look forward to them getting what they want, which for most is that happily ever after. This book actually teaches you some things about this lifestyle and you get a really good story as well with characters that are likeable.

Best Man by Willa Okati

Best Man by Willa Okati
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (44 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Peppermint

Alexander's a man with an uncommonly happy disposition. His luck always holds true, and he takes chances with cheerful abandon. When he sees a New Year's Eve wedding running amok and a hot best man in need of help before Bridezilla goes boom, it's second nature for him to step in to lend a hand with the last-minute disasters that plague every wedding. The way Alexander sees it, he's earning good karma, winning over the adorable best man -- and he might just already be falling in love.

Alexander hadn’t even realized that Noah was his New Year's wish until he found himself trapped by his pretty looks and witty personality.

The chemistry between the main characters was instantaneous and believable. Their personalities seem to complement each other, since they both had quick tongues and minds. Even though the relationship seems to progress quickly, I couldn't help but hope and expect that their togetherness would last to celebrate more New Years to come.

While I enjoyed the beginning of the story, which featured Alexander, Shawn, and their mother, Josephine, I felt it took away from the romantic development of the story. The book is fairly short and a good portion of it is based on Alexander and his family before he even met Noah. I really appreciated the connection that was obvious between Alexander and his family, but I strongly wished that more of that time could have been spent contributing to the romantic development between Alexander and Noah.

This is a story that really drew me in from the beginning because it had such lovable characters. The characters are really larger than life and I would love to see more of them in the future.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Double Dare by Sky Robinson

Double Dare by Sky Robinson
Publisher: Red Sage Publications
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (101pgs)
Other: voyeurism, M/F
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed By Dianthus

Sydney James wants to put a little fun back in her friend Emma’s life, so she talks Emma into a dare to sleep with the first two good looking men they see. Emma doesn’t know that it’s a setup with Sydney’s new boyfriend Logan Ford, and his sexy older brother Jack. Sydney and Logan fulfill the dare in the woods, and Emma and Jack stumble onto front row seats. Emma’s a little too conservative to go through with the dare right away, but she regrets not having a little fun with the man as the day rolls on. Her love life has been nonexistent and having Jack around makes her see just how much she wants that to change. Luckily she gets her chance later that night when Sydney invites Logan and Jack to her cabin.

Sydney James is just looking to have a little fun. After a bad marriage and an even worse divorce, running into the woods to start fresh seemed like a good idea at the time. While transforming herself into the woman that she used to be, Sydney comes across sexy Logan and decides that some cougar action might just be what she needs to right all of her wrongs. What Sydney didn't expect was the feeling of wanting something more the longer she's with Logan. He keeps her sexually satisified and is always a gentleman, but she wants more than just a tumble in the hay. After running from her past for so long can she stop to claim the guy who has made her love herself again? And what of her best friend Emma, who is just as broken as she? Sydney will have to do some quick thinking to not only make herself happy but to maybe find a man for Emma, too.

Emma needs this little get away with her best friend, Sydney. Watching Sydney blossom again after such a horrible marriage is a pleasure for Emma and something she would like to have for herself someday. After losing her husband suddenly, Emma has put herself on the back burner for so long it feels strange to think of just her again. Maybe Sydney has the right idea, a no strings attached affair with a hot woodsman who makes her skin tingle and burn. Can Emma take the leap of faith she needs to get Jack in bed with her, and if she does, can she say goodbye to him in the morning?

Jack just wants to work and go home at the end of the day. Working with his brother Logan everyday can be frustrating, but to keep the business alive Jack is willing to bend when need be. Will meeting Emma be the missing piece he has felt gone for sometime or will she make the perfect one night stand to release some of his pent up sexual frustration? It may just take a little lying from Logan and Sydney to make Emma and Jack see each other as something more, but what are a best friend and a brother suppose to do when they want everyone to be as happy as they are?

This was an interesting story that, while short, allowed the characters to tell their own stories to the fullest and still have room for a sequel in the end. Sydney and Logan were devious in the beginning but with the best of intentions toward Jack and Emma. Watching those two come to want each other and admit to trying something new was great to see. I would have like to make the story longer to get to see how things turn out for Jack and Emma, but maybe they will appear in another story down the line from Sky Robinson. If you are looking for a sexy story with some great characters than this is the story for you to pick up!

Her Secret Pleasure by Stephanie Morris

Her Secret Pleasure by Stephanie Morris
Publisher: Phaze
Genre: Contemporary, Interracial
Length: Short Story (184 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fuchsia

Two years ago, Leilani Agawa made the worst mistake of her life. To her mortification, the sole person who witnessed it was her coworker and pain in her backside, Rogan Davidson. However, after the pact she makes with three of her best friends, Leilani is determined to leave the past behind. Accepting a new promotion seems to be a good way to start. The problem is she will have to work closely with Rogan and the man is a distraction—a drop dead gorgeous, sexy-as-sin distraction.

Rogan Davidson can’t get Leilani Agawa out of his head—not since that one night that happened between them two years ago. He saw a side of Leilani he never knew existed, and he wants to get to know her better. If only he could get her to take his proposition seriously. When he and Leilani are paired together for a two-week work related road trip, he sees his chance. Now all he has to do is show Leilani that he’s worth more than just being her secret pleasure.

Leilani Agawa met her three best friends Teagan, Carissa and Alana her freshman year of college; now years later they are still close friends and meet every Friday night for sushi. They're all work-a-holics and Teagan feels its time to change up a few things. Leilani is not so sure about this, and since two years ago she fell for a loser of a man, she was hesitant to take this step. After a little conjoling from her friends, Leilani soon saw the challenge and decided that she would try to change her life as well.

Rogan Davidson is a colleague of Leilani who two years ago walked in on her attempted seduction of the loser son of the boss, Garry. He has been enamored of her ever since but has kept his distance waiting for her to notice him. He decided that he has waited long enough and has managed to get her to work closely with him, which would also help her get the promotion she wants. She's not thrilled about this because she is attracted to Rogan but thinks he would not like a girl like her, especially after the seduction fiasco. Rogan is determined to get her in his bed, but Leilani, even though she wants to be there, cares about what people would say about a relationship between them especially when she gets the promotion. She wants to keep any relationship they have a secret and he wants everyone to know.

Rogan and Leilani fit so well, their back and forth banter kept me interested and smiling at times because I just knew that they would somehow get past all the "what ifs" and get together.  Teagan was entertaining because, as Leilanis’ sounding board, she didn’t pull any punches. When Leilani called to tell her she made the mistake of having sex with Rogan, Teagan gasped and asked her if he was bad in bed. When Leilani told her no that they had shower sex, Teagan sighed and said ‘there’s nothing like morning shower sex.’ This character was funny, direct and the kind of girlfriend every woman should have.

As I said, the story was entertaining and the only negative is that it would have been nice to see how Teagan got with Jonas because one minute she was saying how she wanted to be bad, then the next time she and Leilani spoke she was with Jonas. I know this was a story about Leilani and Rogan but a little side story for Teagan would have been nice also. Regardless, this is a good story and one I’m sure everyone will enjoy.

Trouble, Toys & Tempting Cowboys by Jennifer LaRose

Trouble, Toys & Tempting Cowboys by Jennifer LaRose
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (129 pages)
Other: M/F, Anal Play, Toys
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aster

Tiffany Stoler enjoys selling sex toys, but demonstrating them unexpectedly for a bunch of cowboys at a bachelor party puts her on edge. To calm her frazzled nerves, she gulps a few drinks—and ends up making a drunken fool of herself. Unable to remember a damn thing is devastating, and she’s mortified to discover she might have spent the night with Brock Halston. Over the following weeks, the smooth, handsome cowboy becomes more than a tempting distraction, giving Tiffany the confidence to explore her own sexuality.

Then her neighbor is found murdered, followed by one of Brock’s cowboy friends, and all evidence points to Tiffany. With her career, relationship and freedom at stake, she has no choice but to face old nightmares to claim her innocence. And Brock Halston is just the cowboy to help her do it.

Trouble, Toys &Tempting Cowboys is a gem in the erotic world. It's an incredibly hot book that also contains a very compelling story!

Tiffany Stoler is a great character. She's beautiful and sympathetic, but she's also determined and smart. Brought up in a difficult home, she breaks free and makes something of herself, while devoting a part of her life as a social worker to those who have suffered hardships as well. Seemingly to the contrary, Tiffany makes money on the side by selling sex toys, but part of the money she makes there is also donated to the welfare of the kids. Her part time job is what led her to meet a raucous group of cowboys gathered for a bachelor party.

Brock Halston is one of those cowboys. He's the strong, silent type, who is instantly taken with Tiffany. Initially protective of the young girl he calls "Tiff," their mutual attraction quickly leads to a steamy love affair.

Ms. LaRose's strength is, by far, her love scenes. She's creative and seductive, but also very intentional with her language. The scenes, though very hot, all have a purpose, and help to demonstrate and grow the connection between the two lovers. There's a great deal of time spent on the relationship between Brock and Tiff, and I enjoyed every step of the way, and came to like both characters very much.

My only wish is that some of the surrounding relationships, such as family and friends, were developed a bit more than they were. To expound too much would reveal the ending of the book, and the suspense elements were good, but it didn't feel like there was enough development in places. I do also wish the story had been extended a bit. There were some loose ends that weren't quite tied up and I attribute that to the abrupt ending. All the major questions were answered, but there were a few, "I wonder what happened to..." that I found myself asking at the end. It didn't take away from my overall enjoyment of the book, and would still recommend it to others for a great read, but perhaps fleshing out some of those missing pieces would make this four star story into five.

If you love a good "who dunnit," mixed with a strong, hot love element, this is definitely a title (and author) to pick up!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lessons From the Professor by Shyla Colt

Lessons From the Professor by Shyla Colt
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (82 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fuchsia

Human Behavior Professor, Sidney Rothman is no stranger to heartache at the hands of a younger woman. So when he meets the charming mocha-skinned beauty, he’s wary. Her sweet nature and natural tendency for submissive behavior overrule his fear, and Sidney decides to train her as a sub. Sutton takes to the lifestyle like a duck to water, but the one thing he didn’t bargain for was her ability to thaw the ice around his heart.

Sutton thrives on pressure. Handed a heavy load of responsibility from the time she was young, she’s fallen into the habit of pushing her feelings aside to get things done. After spending the past ten years focused on her career and family, she begins to notice how empty her condo feels and longs for something more. From the moment she meets Sidney, she’s instantly attracted to his intelligence and regal demeanor. When he introduces her to the BDSM lifestyle, her unexpected response surprises her. Good girls did not beg to be spanked. Or did they? Can she open up to Sidney and learn to live for herself before it’s too late?

Sutton is an ER nurse who has had nothing but responsibilities heaped on her shoulders from the time she was a young girl. She’s only had one serious relationship that ended when she found her fiancé having sex with another nurse. She has all but given up on relationships, opting to bury herself in her work instead. Her friend and co-worker Leigh has been trying to get her to go out with her and her husband but Sutton always declines. One night she overheard some of the other nurses talking about how she never went out with them calling her ‘Miss Priss’.  Then Leigh came to her defense. Sutton decided then and there to make a few changes and told Leigh that she would go out with her.

Thus she meets Sidney, a Professor who works with Leigh’s husband, James. Sidney is eighteen years her senior with salt and pepper hair, English accent and what she described as a ‘swagger that pulled her towards him like a magnet’. Sutton hoped that Sidney felt the same pull that she did and when she found out that the feeling was mutual, she decided to date him. She knew that her friend Leigh and her husband James were into an alternative lifestyle and she was curious to try it as well when Sidney told her that he also lived the life. He explained the role of Dom and Submissive to her and she was more that ready to try this even though she was a virgin to it. 

Sutton took to this lifestyle like a bee to honey, she came alive and even with the distraction of her spoiled baby sister Carissa, her mother trying to get her and her ex Jackson back together, as well as Sidney’s issues with his ex Christine, these two were able to find their way to a pleasurable relationship. The story was very well written and the characters were people you could care about. You wanted to tell her mom to stop meddling, her sister to grow up and you just wanted to smack her ex, Jackson. Any book that can elicit that kind of feelings from the reader is a book worth reading twice.

One Good Year by Rowan McBride

One Good Year by Rowan McBride
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (100 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

Ten months ago, Spade was won in yet another high-stakes poker game. But Ace Donovan was different from his previous masters—kind, generous, possessed of a playfulness that only Spade can see. His new master was also broken, slowly crumbling under the pressures of undeserved guilt and pain. As Senai—a genetically engineered servant—Spade had the ability to sweep the anguish from his soul, to fulfill his every desire, and to set Ace’s spirit free.

He hadn't known doing these things would grant him the human’s love, or create an answering emotion within him.

There's no greater pleasure than Ace in his arms, and Spade will hold on for as long as he's wanted. Even when the orders given to him hurt, even when they make him lonely, even when it becomes clear that his master no longer needs a servant. He’s Senai. What he has now should be enough. Yet it’s not. He wants more.

One good hand brought them together. Could one good year entwine their souls?

Spade and Ace are back as Spade has to convince Ace that they truly belong together, against all odds. Ace and Spade have been together for a very blissful year so far. Happily in love and crazy in lust, the two seem to have a rock solid relationship, so much so they’re planning to get married. They truly think nothing can come between them. Their bond is tested, though, when Spade’s new friend starts to challenge their bond. It’ll take a lot of soul searching and one hell of a bet for them to finally know if they belong together.

One Good Year picks up a year later after the first book in the series began. I’d recommending reading the first book, One Good Hand, first to fully appreciate and understand the dynamics between the main characters. You can read this as a stand alone but there are definitely details and comments that will lack context or be missing entirely. In the sequel Ace and Spade are happily, deeply in love and proceed to have a lot of sex. This isn’t bad but there are some hints of trouble of in paradise which lead to Spade meeting a new friend, another genetically engineered alien like himself. Now this new character, introduced late in the book, is responsible for casting doubt and problems in the relationship.

On the one hand it’s quite nice to see Ace and Spade again and this time Spade is the narrator so I thought we’d understand more from his perspective. We do, in a way, but he remains pretty remote and one dimensional. He’s in love with Ace, will do whatever it takes to make Ace happy, and wants to stay with Ace. That is the sole depth to Spade. Ace on the other hand is the same charming, witty, and charismatic man as he was in the first book but since the story is told from Spade’s POV, Ace feels remote and not present in the significant way. I found I truly missed Ace’s narration in the face of Spade’s rather robotic and unemotional event telling.

Another issue is that the story feels entirely told with manipulated drama. It’s all a good idea and creates some definite tension and drama, especially in light of Senai’s powers, but it also feels too late in the story to really mean much. We never really understand this newcomer’s motivations or emotions and the end effect is showing that yes, Ace and Spade are incredibly in love. This bit of information is something we’re told at the very beginning and it’s disappointing something new or interesting doesn’t develop in their relationship as a result. It’s still sweet and lovely but mostly empty.

While One Good Year is a decent sequel, it pales in comparison to the original. It doesn’t have the same charm and whimsy, although the clean writing and easy reading is still there. This will be best for fans of the series. The author is a good writer with some clever ideas so I’d be interested to see what is done next.