Beginning January 1, 2013

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Up All Night by Renee Ashley Williams

Up All Night by Renee Ashley Williams
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (37 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Seth Ferguson has never shared his secret for admiring the male body. His parents would cut off his college tuition. However, a secret celebration of Independence Day with Ryan Jacobs, the university's star swimmer, may spark more fireworks than cast in the sky and challenge Seth to embrace the spirit of the holiday.

Will Seth learn something college could never teach him...that with Ryan's love he can claim his own independence?

The first time was never this hot!

I love a story where there’s confusion, missed chances, and white hot beginnings. This story fit the bill. Renee Ashley William’s has a sweet story in Up All Night. Seth and Ryan are fun characters and I enjoyed reading their story.

I loved the tentative feel of this short. The boys want to touch and yet there’s the hesistation. It’s sweet and got me involved. I wanted to shove them together. That’s one of the great things about this short story. I got involved with the characters. I thought about Seth and Ryan after the book closed.

If anything, wanting to know what happened to them after the book was the one niggle I had with the book. I got so wrapped up with them, coming to the end of the book was almost saddening. This book has a great beginning and I do hope the author revisits them so I can find out what’s in their future. Ms. Williams, please do revisit them! I’m game to see Ryan and Seth again. The other small niggle was the quickness with which the story did end. I won’t go into detail, but the story seemed to stop almost too abruptly. That’s not a totally bad thing. It means I was so invested, I hoped for the next scene.

If you’re looking for a change of pace story, where there’s love and romance and something hot, then this might be the book for you!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Picking Up the Pieces by Mychael Black

Picking Up the Pieces by Mychael Black
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (12 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex, spanking, fetish
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

A couple years have passed and Robbie and Seth (Hearth and Home, Going Home) have everything going for them. Until their beloved tattoo parlor--the one they've worked so hard on--is robbed. Everything's destroyed, and Robbie's temper gets the best of him. Now it's up to Seth to help his lover pick up the pieces and mend a few wounds. If it takes a bit of pain, then so be it.

Fun with a belt and it’s so good!

I love the works of Mychael Black. Even when short in nature, the stories carry so much weight and make me think about them far after the last page. Sure there are moments where I have to reread, but it’s because I want to get all the details. There’s so much packed into this work that I didn’t want to miss a thing.

Robbie and Seth have a tattooing business. Well, had. There’s been a robbery and the store is a mess. I liked the pairing of Robbie and Seth. Robbie is all "balls to the wall" anger and Seth is almost zen-like. When they get together, they combust.

This short isn’t for the faint of heart. Though the characters don't live the BDSM lifestyle, there are aspects of it that are rough in nature. For me, the spanking was written with a tender touch. Mychael Black knows how to wring every last drop of emotion from a sex scene and this has a couple of them.

If you want a story that shows unending tenderness with a rough edge, then this might be the book for you.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sexual Shift by Beverly Rae

Sexual Shift by Beverly Rae
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (172 Pages)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, menage
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Review by: Foxglove

He’ll fight like a demon to keep her safe—Heaven and Hell be damned.

Magical Sisters, Book 3

After her parents’ deaths, Hilly Tristan sacrificed anything resembling a social life to raise her two sisters. Now that they’ve settled down with loves of their lives, it’s finally her turn to find a man of her own. Trouble is, she doesn’t go for the bar scene, and online dating seems, well, desperate—even if she could find a site that caters to shape-shifters.

The offspring of a demon and a once-fallen angel, Tanner Cage comes by his playboy lifestyle honestly. Blessed with a few special powers of his own, settling down with one woman isn’t even on his radar. The captivating Hilly, though, tempts him to do just that.

Hilly figures she can handle any bad boy, even the son of a demon. Handling his evil mommy dearest’s schemes to keep them apart? That’s another kettle of brimstone—and bed full of buxom broads. There’s only one thing to do: fight sex with sex to win back the man of her dreams.

Except Tanner’s mother is mad enough to spit lightning bolts, which means staying together risks getting the shock of their lives—or deaths.

Hilly Tristan has spent most of her life raising her two younger sisters. Now that they have found true love, it's her turn. As a shape shifter, Hilly has never thought much about a romantic future for herself; she was too busy keeping tabs on her sisters, the witch and the succubus. Too bad the only two great guys in town are already married…to her sisters! When she meets playboy bad boy Tanner Cage, she's tempted, but doesn’t really trust him. When she learns what he is, the son of a demon and an angel, she's determined not to fall under his spell. But she figures she can have some long deserved fun and games. Tanner has been a playboy for so long, he's stunned when he discovers he wants to give up his playboy ways for the lovely Hilly. There’s only one problem: mommy dearest, who will destroy any female who tries to change her son into a ‘good’ guy. She’s done it before, and Hilly will be next if Tanner doesn’t watch it. Can Hilly survive what Tanner’s mom has planned?

This is Beverly Rae’s third Magical Sisters book, and the world is just as delightful and fun as the first two. I enjoy the mix of reality and magical fantasy Ms. Rae uses in her stories, with characters who could easily be your next door neighbors. I like that these magical women have the same worries and insecurities as normal women, and they seem at times to have no clue what's going on in their lives.

Hilly is a strong, loyal sister and friend. She has waited for her time to shine and now that her sisters are both settled with loving husbands, it's her turn to find love. I was glad she was sticking with her principles, and not looking for love in bars or on the internet. I like that she wants to find love without using her magic, and she wants a strong man who will be her equal. When she meets Tanner, she's stunned to learn what he is, and I liked that she was willing to stand up to his mother the demon to be with him.

Tanner is the epitome of the rich, handsome and spoiled playboy. When he meets Hilly, he's drawn to her goodness and her unspoiled beauty. But he knows just what his mother is capable of-he’s been down this road before, and it didn’t end well. I enjoyed that he was willing to go to any lengths to keep Hilly safe, including a subterfuge to pretend she means nothing to him by sharing her with another half breed demon. I enjoyed watching Tanner as he stood up to his mother for Hilly, and his feelings for her.

There's a surprise ending to this one, and I refuse to spoil it for the readers, but I will say that these two characters share some very hot moments of passion in the bedroom, and several other locations as well. I enjoyed seeing what has developed in the other two sisters' lives, and I loved seeing who saved the day. It wouldn’t be a Beverly Rae book without some steamy hot sex and screaming danger. I recommend this for all who want the magic with the romance.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wine and Roses by Ursula Sinclair

Wine and Roses by Ursula Sinclair
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length Short Story (86 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Fuchsia

Eboni Stiles thought Simon Blackcat was a walking, talking mass of perfectly packaged testosterone trouble. She made it a point to stay as far away from him as possible. Especially after that one night, she lost her mind and slept with him.

After she witnessed a murder, Simon’s the only man who can protect her from the danger hunting her. But while hiding out on a mountain top alone with him, who's going to protect her heart?

An evening with Eboni was not enough for Simon, not even close. So when Eboni’s life was in danger, he was the only man he trusted to protect her. Because those chasing her would have to kill him to get to her, and Blackcat did not die easily.

Eboni Stiles witnessed a murder and now the killer is after her, so she called the only person she knew would come and protect her: Simon Blackcat. The characters of Simon, Eboni, Shanna and his partner, Ross Marshall, were introduced in the first book of the series, White Wedding. Simon and Ross are owners of The Guardian Agency, a business that provides bodyguards, which is how Ross and Eboni’s sister Shanna met. Simon and Eboni had a one night stand and Simon wanted nothing more than to continue seeing Eboni, but she declined. She told him that what they had was just sex; mind blowing, knee shaking sex, but just sex. Simon, who never cared when women left after sex, couldn't get Eboni out of his mind. He wanted more and that’s why when Eboni called and told him that she needed him, Simon raced to her rescue.

Eboni did want more than one night with Simon but she didn't want to lose her heart to him so she decided to keep her distance. That all changed since she witnessed a murder, and she knew the killer saw her. She knew she needed Simon. Simon Blackcat was the type of character dreams are made of. He's tall, dark and handsome. The character was tender when he needed to be and deadly when called for. Eboni’s character was no shrinking violet who constantly needed Simon to reassure her, she was just as tough but vulnerable at the same time. These two characters complimented each other and the other characters in the book helped round out the story.

The story gripped me from the start and immersed me in the lives of these characters so that I became completely invested in them. I got to see what made Simon tick and what demons chased him, and how Eboni helped heal him. Even the villain in the book was interesting, I just wanted to reach right into the page and grab him, shake him a bit then leave him for Simon to dispose of.

As I said this book is part of The Guardian Agency series and can be read as a stand alone, however you would get so much more out of this story if you read the first book White Wedding. By doing that you will understand the dynamics between the characters and when you sit down to read this one you will already be invested. This is an enjoyable book with lots of sexual heat and action, and one I’m sure you will want to read more than once.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Out of Control by Desiree Holt

Out of Control by Desiree Holt
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (323 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Review by: Aster

Twenty five years ago Carrie Nolan was the only victim to survive the killing spree of a pedophile. Her life has been frozen in time, and not even a move to a distant city and a name change has healed the wounds that left her emotionally and sexually scarred. Determined finally to reclaim her life, Carrie returns to High Ridge as multi-published crime novelist, Dana Moretti, in hope of asking the questions that would lay her nightmares to rest.

Sheriff Cole Landry, came to High Ridge to escape the horrors of Iraq and Afghanistan, but soon after the sexy author arrives and starts poking her nose into matters best forgotten, his town once again becomes the hunting ground of a ruthless killer. She's sure it's the same man, and he's not all that convinced she's wrong. Keeping Dana safe means keeping her close--very close--under his protection, under him.

Between her sexual need for Cole and the danger lurking behind every stranger's face, her world is spinning out of control.

The "incident" should have destroyed her life. Imagine being kidnapped at seven years old, sexually assaulted and forced to witness your sister's murder. A trauma like that would have destroyed even the strongest of people, but not Carrie Nolan. Now living as Dana Moretti, this brave young woman not only soldiers on, she devotes her life to writing about unsolved crimes and giving fresh eyes to cases that had long since gone cold. Once she realizes she can never truly move forward with her life until she lets go of her past, she shifts her energy to her own unsolved case, which brings her back to the small town where it all happened.

Cole Landry is the sheriff of Salado County, Texas. Retired from the Marines after witnessing more than his share of violence and death, he now spends his days citing speeders, breaking up fights and dealing with occasional shoplifters. All was quiet, until the dead bodies start to pile up. Was this a serial killer? Was this the same man who had plagued their small town twenty five years earlier? Did these killings have to do with the stranger, Dana Moretti, who just arrived in town and completely captivated him?

This was certainly a page turner, while not for the weak of heart. There was much discussion of sexual assault of children - although done in a tasteful and non-gratuitous way - but the subject matter was disturbing, to say the least. That said, it served to make the hero and heroine extremely sympathetic. Dana was a survivor of this monster, a monster who was never caught, and she was battling her own demons along with what seemed to be the entire town to find the answers she was searching for. Cole admired Dana's fortitude, and while he wasn't anxious to dig up old memories, he wasn't opposed to Dana's work and began to believe her theories, while quickly falling for the beautiful city woman.

I will say the suspense element was good, but I did suspect who the killer was as soon as he was introduced. The writing was good, giving us the point of view of hero, heroine, and killer - with occasional glimpses of his victims, which really amps up the drama factor. Despite occasional typos or editing misses, I was pulled into the story from page one and was kept there until the epilogue finished.

The erotic elements of the book were good, although mostly in dream form. When we got to the eventual coupling of Cole and Dana, the sparks flew, but in a caring and understanding way. Considering Dana's past, which Cole was not aware of, but suspected, he was gentle and patient, but also helped her to move past the hurdles she so desperately wanted to. The love scenes helped to further progress their connection and showed how deeply each felt for the other.

There was one thing I do have to mention the author seemed to focus on a bit too much. Coffee. Every scene in the book, it seemed, had something to do with coffee: making, pouring, drinking, needing, tasting, etc. It was a minor thing initially, although something that I noticed, until it came to a very disturbing part of the story. It had been a long day, murder victim searched for and found, and Dana came home to find her home vandalized. In the midst of Cole comforting her during a breakdown, she asked for a cup of coffee. It unfortunately took me out of the story with a little bit of a chuckle, and that was a bad point to have that happen. I think it was the repetitive nature of it that made me take note of how often coffee was mentioned. Seems something silly to mention in a review, but it became a big distraction that kept me from losing myself in the story.

Most of the major questions are answered by the end of the story, although it does seem there were a couple loose ends that the reader doesn't exactly know how were tied up. Despite the minor elements, this is a good story, a fantastic hero and heroine who are perfectly suited for each other, and a thrilling, page-turning read.