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Friday, August 24, 2012

Cara and the Draca by Louisa Kelley

Cara and the Draca by Louisa Kelley
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (126 pgs)
Other: M/F, anal sex, sex in shifted form
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Meadowsweet

Cara is haunted by the recent memories of a warehouse explosion that took the life of her best friend and caught her in the blast. Urged by friends to experiment with tattoo to cover the burns scars on her shoulder, Cara heads for the mysterious tattoo shop in Portland everyone is talking about.

Aedhan, the gorgeous tattoo master, leaves her senses reeling and her knees weak. Just the touch of his talented hands brings relief and a sense of release from her pain. His charming, eccentric ways, combined with his tangerine hair and odd accent, create an intoxicating mix. To her delight, the incredible tattoo he expertly lays over her scar hides everything--and makes her long for more of his healing touch.

Soon she is pulled into an erotic journey of unimagined delight, terror and transformation. Dragons? In Portland? Really? Oozing sex and magic? Yet, something isn’t quite adding up. Is Aedhan really telling her the truth about what he’s doing in that shop? But she's so crazy in lust and wonder, it's hard to care.

Shape-shifter Aedhan fully intends to follow the rules of his secret mission, number one being no sex with the human women in Portland. Then Cara shows up at his shop and her sweetness and delightful freckles almost stops his heart. When he perceives the sorrow in her life, he is consumed with the need to know more. Who has hurt her? After he gets a taste of her blood on his tattoo needles and discovers the extra special something in her fluids, he decides he must see Cara again, even if it means breaking the rules.

And that's when things start to go terribly wrong...or perfectly right for Cara and the Draca.

Magic spells, shape-shifting dragons, secret missions, what's not to love?  And this book has all that and more:  romance, steamy and hot sex, and tattoos, just for a bit of added spice. Cara and the Darca is book two in Louisa Kelley's Daughter of Draca series.

Dragons are looking for a way to rebuild their population, traveling from their secret sanctuary out into the world they search for women who are part Draca. Aedhan is sent to Portland and through a tattoo shop he scouts for compatible women, enter Cara a woman scarred by an incident involving another Draca, she comes to heal, to receive a tattoo, which will cover up the scar and allow her a fresh life. Romance, danger and intrigue ensure.

The book is well written, flows well, and the plot line does not have any major inconsistencies. The story stands on its own. I have not had the opportunity to read the first book and I had no issues following the storyline.

While the story line had a unique twist to it, character development could have had more depth. The characters met, fall in love, but Cara is incredibly accepting without any real issues. Most people, even those who love the paranormal would be a little less accepting and more freaked out when confronted with the reality of it. 

At 126 pages, it is a quick read and perfect if you want some quick spicy romance. I have a whole library of these books because there are times when you just want to lose yourself in the story, without any remarkable or crazy things. In that, it absolutely excels in my book and definitely has my recommendation.

Misplaced Princess by Mari Carr and Lexxie Couper

Misplaced Princess by Mari Carr and Lexxie Couper
Foreign Affairs Book One
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Moderne
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (86 pages)
Other: M/F, Anal Play, Anal Sex
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Lotus

Annie Prince has impetuously flown halfway ’round the world to visit a sexy cowboy she met online—only to find herself stranded in Sydney. Seems she and Dylan crossed wires, and he’s on his way to New York. His twin, Hunter, saves the day and whisks her back to the family cattle station. Hunter’s as easy on the eyes as Dylan, and even easier to talk to. Annie might have flown to Oz to meet one brother, but soon sparks are flying with the other.

Hunter considered Dylan a dumb arse for jetting off to America for some stranger—until he met Annie. Turns out the New Yorker is a smart, funny, hard-working jillaroo…and hotter than the Aussie desert. Hunter’s not normally one to poach his brother’s women, but he can’t keep his hands, lips, tongue and other body parts off this sexy city girl.

When raging lust leads to emotional attachment, where does that leave Annie and Hunter when her vacation comes to an end—or when Dylan finds out?

Where does a famous rich girl go when she is tired of the paparazzi, the crowded big city, and the country where she cannot get any privacy? She tries out the land of Oz, aka Australia, where she falls for a handsome, sexy cowboy/stockman. Unfortunately, he’s the brother of the guy she met online.

Annie Prince is twenty-eight years old and still trying to prove herself in the world. She works hard at a job that she landed through her own efforts and not by riding her famous father’s reputation. She thinks she let her father down when she refused to accept a company that he wanted to hand over to her as a graduation gift. In the relationship department, Annie has not yet found anyone who wants her for herself and not for her family’s fame and/or fortune.

Hunter Sullivan was minding his own business and being a good brother when he winds up having to pick up his brother’s new friend, Annie, from the airport. Hunter hasn’t been looking for a steady relationship, instead he has been satisfying himself with casual hookups. His mother even resorted to flying in girls who were related to her friends and acquaintances under the guise of hiring a cook for their ranch/station, but still Hunter resisted getting serious.

Throwing these two together caused some major sparks since they were falling for each other, but had to keep resisting in order to keep from hurting Hunter’s brother, Dylan, who thought that Annie might be the one for him. The tug of war with emotions and sexual tension was a delicious part of this story.

Ms. Carr and Ms. Couper’s collaboration resulted in a very steamy and satisfying romp through an Australian cattle station. Their skill with storytelling made for an awesome vicarious thrill of experiencing life as a rich girl who takes a break from her life and finds out that she is just beginning to live in the real world. I enjoyed Annie’s story and hope for more collaborative efforts from these two authors. Since this is book one of a series, I am going to be watching for the rest of them. I will also be looking for stories that they write individually. I highly recommend Misplaced Princess for a quick and sizzling read.

Retreat, Hell! She Just Got Here by Heather Long

Retreat, Hell! She Just Got Here by Heather Long
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (29 pages)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Ménage
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Aster

She's one of the few…

Jazz has been one of the guys for over a decade, serving her country with distinction, but she longs to explore her femininity, to be desired as a woman, to flirt, cavort and fulfill every sexual desire. When her mother of all people, signs her up for a 1Night Stand, she's not sure whether to be exhilarated or pissed. Flying to Las Vegas on the promise of a total escape, Jazz plans to be Jasmine for just one night, because tomorrow, she plans to re-up for another five years.

They're two of the proud…

Logan Cavanaugh grew up across the street from his best friend and brother-in-arms, Zach Evans. Inseparable, the two have shared everything, including women, until the year before when an IED attack during combat injured both of them. Zach suffered a concussion, but Logan's injuries were far more extensive. After a year of physical therapy, he can walk, but he'll never run or love a woman again, or so he fears. He’s ready to accept his impotence, but Zach has other ideas. He hopes a 1Night Stand date with the perfect woman will heal Logan's confidence and masculinity.

They're all Marines…

They’ll share each other, but will one night be enough?
Heather Long has done the near-impossible. She's enticed me not only to read a menage story, but fall in love with it as well!

Gunnery Sergeant Jasmine Winters is a rough and tumble Marine who has seen her share of combat. Always ready for a fight, she's proven herself on the battlefield, but what she really wants, even if only for a brief time, is to feel like a woman. With this goal in mind, she signs up for Madame Eve's 1Night Stand service, hoping to find not one, but two men to share a hot passionate night and helping find the woman she knows is buried deep inside.

Zach Evans is a combat veteran who has devoted a good deal of the last few months to his best friend, Logan Cavanaugh, who was badly injured by a roadside bomb. Unwilling to allow Logan to wither away in self-pity, Zach signed them up, along with the rest of their unit, to the 1Night Stand service. There was a difference with this request, however. Because Logan was resistant, Zach signed up for a menage, a practice the two men had engaged in prior to their combat days.

Logan, who has battled back from injury, even having to learn to walk again, is nervous about their pending date, not only because of the various scars he now has up and down his body, but because he's been sadly impotent since that fateful day. With Zach's encouragement, he's agreed, but still isn't confident things will go well once their date arrives. I will say Logan was definitely my favorite of the three; my heart went out to an American hero, trying to find what his life is supposed to be after devastation.

I am a huge lover of romance, but my preference is usually one man - one woman. This story is number two in a series, and since I read them out of order, this one came up last. I'm happy about that because by the time this book came across my desk I had more faith in Ms. Long than I have in most any other author. I knew the power of her writing and gave the story of a three-way a chance. I was NOT disappointed.

I felt a strong connection to all three of these individuals. Their motivations and needs were clearly laid out and I was rooting for all three of them to get what they needed out of their night of passion. Their sex was certainly hot, but they were also very respectful and had a genuine like of the others. Just like the other titles in the Always a Marine stories, it's so easy to get lost in the words on the page. Heather Long is an amazing talent. I'd love for her to connect the stories of all these individuals into a longer novel so I can spend more time with them!

I can't recommend all of her series highly enough, but if you like the idea of a menage, this story will definitely NOT disappoint!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Last Stop by Lou Harper

Last Stop by Lou Harper
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (199 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Anal Sex, Spanking
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Clover

When love drifts into his life, danger isn’t far behind.

Sam Mayne’s life is as dull as the dishwater in his small-town Montana diner, and that’s just how he wants it. Quiet, uneventful, safe from his shadowy past. The breezy young drifter who answers his help-wanted ad makes him uneasy in ways he dare not examine too closely. Except he can’t help but be pulled in by Jay Colby’s spunky attitude, endless stories, and undeniable sex appeal.

Fresh off yet another romantic disaster, Jay doesn’t understand his attraction to the taciturn line cook, but there’s no fighting the chemistry that lands them in bed together. Where Sam’s subtly dominant streak takes command, and Jay delights in discovering the pleasures of his submissive side.

Safe in the assumption their relationship is temporary, neither lover holds back when the heat is on. Until Sam’s deadly past catches up with them with a vengeance, forcing him to drop the life he’s built, pick up his lover, and run. As danger cuts closer to the bone, Sam and Jay are forced to face the truth. About themselves, about the depth of their love—and the newly forged bonds that are about to be tested to the limit.

If you ever wondered if a good mobster plot could mix with hot M/M, then here you go!

Jay is a young man on the wander, he’s cute, he’s alone and he’d like a guy to share his life with, someone different to the line of disastrous romances of his past. Sam on the other hand isn’t looking for anything other than a quiet life, so when Jay wanders into his diner and catches his eye, things get hot. But can they handle the heat?

Last Stop is a book that kept me going back for more, and was one of those reads that I just couldn’t guess what was going to happen next, even when I thought I could. The building relationship between the two lead characters is cleverly woven into a complex plot that holds intrigue, danger and a good sprinkle of bedroom action.

I enjoyed how the author switched between Jay and Sam’s point of view and how I got to hear both of their voices, which were quite different. Sam for all his gruffness, really was a bit of a softy and definitely a keeper. Jay was so likeable, I actually did want to hug him. And did I mention the sex? Phew, it’s hot and steamy and certainly a bit kinky. There’s plenty of it too, it’s spread out well through the book so you get a hit of steamy action just when you need it.

Last Stop is very well written, it has a plot with lots of threads that are all tied up nicely and two characters who come to life on the page. I certainly recommend it if you enjoy M/M, contemporary and a story that drops your heroes on the wrong side of danger.

Once Her Man, Always Her Man Heather Long

Once Her Man, Always Her Man Heather Long
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (32 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Aster

Fulfilling a favor and executing a business plan, Luke Dexter arrives at Dallas’ Sybarite Club for a one-night stand. He never imagined he’d come face to face with the woman he left behind a decade earlier.

Rebecca Rainier fell in love with Luke Dexter in high school and was crushed when he dumped her to join the Marines after 9/11. Set up on a 1Night Stand by her business partner, nothing could prepare Rebecca for who her date is.

Can Luke and Rebecca bridge the pain of a decade-long abandonment, in one cold Texas night?

September 11, 2001 changed many people's lives. Not only were thousands killed, but the effects of their loss reached countless family and friends. Two such people were Luke Dexter and Rebecca Rainier.

Luke lost his mother and sister on a plane that fateful day, but the ripple effect caused much more loss. His father reenlisted in the military, and after earning his GED, Luke signed up for the Marines, determined to avenge the loss of his family. The only challenge to his sudden change in life plans? His high school sweetheart. Leaving her behind was one of the hardest things he ever had to do, but it was for the best - a cold break was the best way to help her move on.

Rebecca was the all-American girl; beautiful cheerleader, hardworking student, and determined to make her dreams come true. She and Luke were deeply in love, but after his life was shattered by an evil act of terrorism, she didn't imagine her dreams would be crushed as well. She initially tries to take care of Luke and his father, but her once loving boyfriend quickly turns cold. When she finally confronts him, he admits he's enlisted and is leaving her behind to fight on the front lines of Afghanistan. Devastated when Luke does not answer her multiple letters, nor comes to see her when she assumed he had come home, she struggles to move on with her life.

Luke, along with the rest of his Marine buddies, signed up with Madame Eve's 1Night Stand service, and although hesitant, is looking forward to meeting his date. He's reminded that life doesn't always offer a second chance just as he sees the beautiful Rebecca sitting at the bar...

Ms. Long is a master of emotions. Her characters are so well developed despite the brevity of the story, I found myself relating to each and every one of them. I understood Luke's reasons for fighting, and for leaving Becca, yet my heart broke for the poor girl left behind. I was cheering for Luke to win her back, but ironically enough, that would be my one negative to this book - I think she gave in just a little too easily (but I'm still thrilled she did).

The writing is fabulous, dialogue is spot on, and the author's use of metaphors and illustrative wording is outstanding. Few can turn a phrase as well as Heather long. This book is the first of the series, but I have read them out of order and nothing is missed by doing that. If you're looking for a quick hot read that still manages to tug on your heartstrings, you cannot go wrong with the Always A Marine series!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Impulse by Moira Rogers

Impulse by Moira Rogers
Southern Arcana Book 5
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (292 Pages)
Other: M/F, BDSM, Anal Sex/Play
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Foxglove

Her submission can heal him. His dominance can free her.

Southern Arcana, Book 5

Sera Sinclaire is a New Orleans rarity: a submissive coyote trapped in a town overrun by dominant shapeshifters. Worse, she lacks the willpower to deny the alphas-in-shining-armor who need her soothing presence, even when their protectiveness threatens to crush her hard-won self-reliance.

The only shifter she doesn’t want to push away is Julio Mendoza, a wolf so dominant he’s earned a place on the Southeast council.

Julio doesn’t have the luxury of indulging in the vacation his psychic shrink insists he needs. He can't turn his back on responsibilities he’s beginning to wish he’d never shouldered. When an obsessive ex endangers Sera, though, instinct drives him to get her out of town. Watching her come to life outside the city makes him feel like he's finally done something right, and her touch ignites desire he doesn’t want to ignore.

But soon, lighthearted flirting becomes a dangerous game of seduction, where every day spent falling into each other is another day avoiding the truth. Sera's ex isn't the only one who’d disapprove of their relationship. There are wolves who would kill to get Sera out of Julio's life—starting with his own blood kin.

Sera Sinclaire is happy with where she is in life. She likes her job, loves her friends, and hopes she never has to see her ex-husband, Josh, again now that she lives far from his Arkansas home. She loves New Orleans, even if she is a bit of a rarity there: a submissive coyote shifter in a town filled with dominant wolves. Most of them, she just ignores, but one man keeps her on her toes. Julio Mendoza is the hottest thing she has ever seen, and she wouldn’t mind getting to know him better.

When her obsessive ex shows up in New Orleans, Julio convinces Sera to take a bit of a vacation, and he decides to combine business with a bit of pleasure and join her. Once they are out of town, both are able to relax and enjoy each other’s company. Harmless flirting becomes something more, and the attraction between them grows. Julio has pack business to attend to, and Sera worries that trouble could arise from her being along, since most wolves see her as less than worthy. But there is trouble around every corner, and Sera proves to Julio and to the others that being submissive doesn’t mean she can’t take care of herself. And Julio discovers that dominant doesn’t have to be bad with the right partner. Can these two learn to accept the growing feelings between them? When danger threatens, can Julio get to Sera in time to stop Josh and protect what he has come to realize is his mate? Will the wolves accept Sera as a wolf’s woman, or will trouble erupt?

Impulse is the fifth book in Moira Rogers’ Southern Arcana series, and is my favorite to date. This one takes the characters out of the familiar locale of New Orleans, and on a road trip across the south. I like the interaction between Sera and Julio, at times light and teasing, two people getting better acquainted while enjoying the trip. I liked watching as they began to sense that each of them wanted more than a light flirtation. I love the Southern Arcana world, and enjoyed this expansion of it to other areas.

Sera Sinclaire is strong, determined and ready to fight for the life she wants. She knows the wolves see her as weak; at times even she thinks she is. But with Julio, she learns that being submissive isn’t necessarily a bad thing, that it doesn’t make her a pushover. I like Sera’s inner strength, and her ability to make friends and soothe hurt feelings.

Julio Mendoza is strong, in both his magic and in sheer physical strength. He's handsome, sexy and protective of those he cares for. With Sera, he learns that he can let go for a while and just let her be in charge when it's the one thing she needs. I liked seeing him let her have her victories, and listening to her ideas without vetoing them out of hand. I enjoyed watching as he fell for her and discovered she wanted the same things he did.

This wouldn’t be a Moira Rogers book without the steamy and passionate romance, and there are a couple of absolutely toe curling scenes in this one. There is also non-stop action, danger, treachery and a bit of family betrayal to be dealt with. There are lots of new characters along the road trip, and some I would enjoy meeting again in the future. I enjoyed seeing how Sera and Julio were able to bring attention to the problems in the area outside of New Orleans, and it was fun seeing some of the characters from past books step up to help as well.

Do these two beat the odds for a happy ever after? I’m not saying, but I will warn you to stay by the air conditioner, this one is a scorcher.

On the Wings of a Butterfly by Scarlet Hyacinth

On the Wings of a Butterfly by Scarlet Hyacinth
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Length: Short Story (109 pgs)
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal
Other: M/M, Anal sex
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Meadowsweet

Blue has always considered himself an anomaly, a freak. Always watched by his parents, he lives a hopeless existence due to his butterfly wings. His only comfort is a mysterious dream lover with golden eyes who comes to him at night. But Blue can't even see his face and can't even be sure the man is real. When he dares to attempt an escape, Blue meets Wallace, a wolf-shifter. Wallace teaches him that there is so much more out there than Blue ever believed, that he is not alone like he'd thought. As Blue struggles to accept the new revelations, emotions also emerge, paving the path to a brighter future. But there is someone still waiting to crush his dreams and his wings. With Wallace's support, can Blue become a beautiful, bright butterfly, or will he forever be trapped in the cocoon of his own pain?

Imagine a world where lunar and solar events had an astonishing effect and created shape shifters. Different events create different types of shifters. Where you are located on the planet, the time of year, everything has a unique effect that determines your other shape. Now imagine that the condition is not known. It's a secret so anyone born this way is viewed as a freak, something abnormal. It paints a bleak picture. This is how it is for Blue. Blue has blue hair hence the name, which by itself is not terrible. However, he also has a pair of butterfly wings he cannot control. His parents hide him away. One day he escapes and is found by Wallace, a wolf shifter with knowledge of a group of people who help people affected by the S.S.E.X factor.

What’s more, Wallace is Blue’s mate. They meet, fall in love, and have their trials to overcome, namely a mad scientist and an out for revenge father.

The plot line is interesting. This is the first time I’ve seen a series that basis shape shifting abilities on the position of the sun and moon, what events were happening and where the person was in the world as a determination for what animal, bird, insect, etc shape they have. Unique is definitely getting harder to find. The story moved a little fast. At fewer than 40,000 words, it is a quick read but I would have liked to see a bit more. Events did not have as much detail as I would like. The romantic scenes were definitely detailed but even they felt a little hurried.

I also would have loved a bit more character development. It was there, it was smooth, but there could have been more especially since this is the first book in a series. It sets the tone for what to expect with the rest of the book.

Overall, the story was good, well thought out, unique, a quick read. The plotline was consistent as was character development if a little shallow on the details. I would definitely read it again, definitely read future books in the series and definitely recommend it for anyone tired of the usual shape shifter, paranormal romance routine.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Under My Skin by Georgia Fox

Under My Skin by Georgia Fox
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (45 pages)
Other: M/F, Anal Play, Anal Sex, Toys, Public Exhibition
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Lotus

Kelly Minton hides away in a Manhattan apartment building, amusing herself by striking fear in the hearts of the other residents and especially the lazy superintendent. When she's not slicing into someone with her merciless tongue, she's writing erotic stories on her faithful computer and listening to Frank Sinatra at all hours, much to the irritation of her neighbors. Since her father owns the building, no one dares stand up to her notoriously frosty temper.

But all that is about to change for Kelly when the mailman delivers to the wrong box and she finds that the sexy new resident in the apartment below is not about to let her reputation as "The Shrew in 4C" stop him from getting to the root of her issues, as well as into her panties. And under her skin.

Someone was instant messaging Kelly through Facebook, but it wasn’t anyone on her friends list. He could see and hear everything that was going on in her apartment, but she didn’t care or should she?

It’s been over a year since Kelly’s fiancé, Will, was gone and she is still having trouble letting go of him. She doesn’t care about much, including cleaning her apartment or stocking her refrigerator. However, having the air conditioning and water going out on a very hot day was just the last straw. She was fuming and decided to take it out on someone, perhaps the negligent superintendent or the annoying downstairs neighbor?

Kelly Minton is a writer of erotic stories, living in an apartment building owned by her father. She says what’s on her mind, usually in an abrasive manner, and occasionally including some profanities. She doesn’t have any patience for the usual societal niceties or for anything/anyone who didn’t serve her purposes. Paul Rucchio lives in the apartment right below Kelly’s and inadvertently opened some interesting mail addressed to Kelly because the mail carrier delivered her mail to his box in error. Paul is a lawyer and a nice guy; too nice to refuse requests for favors from anyone, even taciturn Kelly.

The plot was clever and worked well because the author skillfully put it together. Kelly didn’t know what hit her, but knew that her life was changing even though she was dragging her feet. Paul was thrust into the middle of Kelly’s life unwillingly, but was drawn in by her need for help. Both of them became stronger for each other and because of each other. At first I really didn’t like Kelly, but as she learned about herself and changed, I understood her more and liked her more.

Although Under My Skin was a short story, Ms. Fox had a lot packed into it, weaving in elements of surprise that worked so well that I was a very satisfied reader. I’m still thinking about Kelly, Will, and Paul several days later and re-reading my favorite parts of the story. I highly recommend this steamy short story with a great plot for anyone in need of a quick hot read.

Training Casanova by Aliyah Burke

Training Casanova by Aliyah Burke
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Interracial
Length: Full Length (274 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Fuchsia

A woman who is all about rules and a man who lives to break them, their scorching passion threatens all they hold dear. Can they find a way to have it all?

Lieutenant Commander Giovanni 'Casanova' Cassano is a top test pilot for the military, and is the epitome of an ace. Cocky, arrogant, handsome, and true to his call sign. His best friend's death brings a new pilot to his squadron—a woman. That's not even the real reason it's hard—she's the one who left an indelible imprint on his soul after a twenty—four hour rendezvous. Now she seems to have ice in her veins, not the fiery passion he knows rages beneath the surface.

Jaydee 'Dusti' Amos is following orders, and this time they have landed her at a test facility. She's there to ascertain what caused the deadly B—2 crash. The situation becomes harder once she discovers who is stationed there—the one man she never believed she'd see again after their impulsive and passionate encounter. He pulls her focus from the job at hand and tends to make her break the stringent rules she lives her life by.

They work together to unveil the truth and the feelings between them deepen. But there is a traitor in their midst. Will the fallout tear them apart, or will Gio find some way to convince Jaydee to give him a chance at forever?

Training Casanova, by one of my favorite romance writers Aliyah Burke, is one of those tales that will draw you in from the first paragraph, take you on a wild ride, and then set you down softly. This story had it all: strong male and female leads, intrigue, romance, hot sex and great supporting characters. From the moment this reader turned to the first page I was hooked and did not stop until the last page was turned. Training Casanova is the first book in Ms. Burkes’ In Aeternum Series.

Lieutenant Commander Giovanni ‘Casanova’ Cassano is one of the best test pilots for the military, he got his nickname of ‘Casanova’ by being one of those love 'em and leave 'em type of guys. Women just naturally gravitated to him and he took advantage of that fact.

The opening of the story was is so compelling. Giovanni is mourning the death of his best friend Michael ‘Sidewinder’ Walker who had died while engaging in a test mission. He decided after the funeral to go to a bar and drown his sorrows in a bottle of Jack when across the bar he was drawn to the laughter of one woman. Without thinking he walked over to her, looked in her eyes and without asking just said ‘dance with me’.

Jaydee takes one look at the gorgeous man, smiles and dances with him, she also ended up in a corner of the bar kissing him. The next night she finds him in the same bar and their relationship goes from "dance with me" to "go home with me" real quick. When she left the next morning Gio was left with just memories of the mystery woman because in their sexual fever they never exchanged names. So imagine his surprise when he finds out that the pilot replacing Michael was the woman from the bar, Naval Lieutenant Commander Jaydee ‘Dusti’ Amos.

Jaydee and Gio had such a connection that this reader knew that the obstacles they faced would somehow be overcome. The rules about non fraternization hindered them somewhat but did not stop the heat between them or the times that they did get together. The mystery surrounding Michael’s death also added another dimension because then the story wasn’t just about the sexual attraction between Jaydee and Gio. Add in the fact that Gio had his Casanova reputation to live down before Jaydee could completely trust him, especially since women he had slept with keep coming on to him.

The characters were very well developed I knew what their fears were and what demons rode them. This reader was able to sympathize with Jaydee because of the way the author described the challenges she had to face growing up. I loved that these characters were strong, in most stories the men are always strong or alpha and the women are less so. However, in this story Jaydee was strong and stood her ground no matter what. When Gio made noise about having to watch a female pilot, Jaydee just told him ‘don’t try to measure your dick to mine Commander, you’re sure to come up short’ which had me smiling.

Training Casanova was an excellent read which I would recommend it whole heartily to anyone who wants to sit back and lose themselves in a good novel.

Tell it to the Marine by Heather Long

Tell it to the Marine by Heather Long
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (40 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Aster

PFC James Westwood isn’t a typical Marine. As a clinical psychologist, he recognizes his band of brothers needs a helping hand after their return home from the war. When his boss, Captain Dexter, encourages him to sign up for the 1Night Stand dating service, Westwood committed himself. What did he have to lose?

The last thing he expected was a date with screen goddess Lauren Kincaid.

Movie star Lauren Kincaid grew up splitting her time between the cold reality of the Hollywood scene and her family home in Plano, Texas. After two decades surrounded by artificial friendships and inflated egos, her greatest desire is to meet a real man, not a Hollywood talking head. When her agent suggests a 1Night Stand date, the only expectations Lauren allows herself to have are discretion and exclusivity. What she didn’t expect was having a gorgeous psychologist with rapier wit blow her away.

Everyone needs someone to hear them.

James and Lauren share an unmistakable connection, but when one of James’ patients suffers a crisis, Lauren more than proves her mettle. Can one night turn into happily ever after for this Marine and his movie star?

An inactive Marine (never former - once a Marine, always a Marine) meets a Hollywood siren. A match made in heaven? Absolutely.

James Westwood, a psychologist helping to treat his Marine buddies in adjusting to life after battle, signs up for the 1Night Stand service along with the rest of his unit. When he realizes his date is none other than Lauren Kincaid, the beautiful actress he's had a secret crush on for years, he doesn't think the night could get much better. After potential tragedy strikes, however, it most certainly does.

Lauren is looking for just one night with a real man - no ulterior motives, no leg up in business - just a real connection to another human being. She doesn't realize how real those connections can be. When their date is interrupted by the breakdown of James patient/Marine buddy, she surprises James, and herself, by injecting herself in the situation and helping in a way very few could.

As always, Ms. Long's writing is spectacular. Her descriptions and uses of phrase are sometimes unexpected, but always vivid and paint a perfect picture. The connection between her subjects is real and perfectly believable, and I am never disappointed in her amazing love scenes - top notch!

My only request - I would like the website or email address where I can sign up for Madame Eve's 1Night Stand, because I have yet to read a tale in the series that is not a home run - particularly those written by Heather Long!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Four Guys and a Witch: Warrior’s Craft by Cheryl Dragon

Four Guys and a Witch: Warrior’s Craft by Cheryl Dragon
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (68 pgs)
Other: M/F/M/M/M, M/M, F/M/M/M/M, Multiple Partners, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Peppermint

When demons invade Detroit, four modern day pagan warriors go to work, but they need a little extra help from their favorite sexy witch. Phoebe has been their magical contact for years, but none of the men have dared break ranks to make a move. A protection spell won't cut it this time. The group needs sex magic to boost their skills and bond them on a new level. Sharing a hot witch is one thing, but two of the men have issues that make baring their feelings harder than their bodies. Phoebe is determined to have them all and bring love to the warriors' world.

Why double your pleasure when you can quadruple it by having four sexy warriors in the bed? Phoebe has been pining over Andy, Jude, DC and Reed. So when she is presented with the opportunity to act on those feeling she hops on to the closest hard surface and makes herself more than accessible to the men.

When I began this story I worried that I would get the characters confused, especially the four men, but that was not the case. Each seemed to have their own distinct personality that made it simple for me to distinguish each of them from the others. For example, Jude seems to have a subtle command about him that makes others follow him without even realizing it. DC is the heart of the group, his caring personality makes the others want to be around him. Andy has a spice for life, which had me smiling from ear to ear at times. Reed is the most lost of all of the characters, even so he's determined to protect those he care about no matter the cost. Together this groups is unstable and truly entertaining.

The subplot with the demons, in my opinion, could have used some spicing up. Even though it's the basis for everyone coming together, I felt it could have had a more dominant place in the story. For example, I would like to have seen a bit more action in the battles. I think that it would have added some adrenaline that would have helped build the tension.

The romantic plot in this story was exciting. You had couples, potential couples and a group all intertwined between these five people. At times I questioned, along with the characters, how they would make it work, but in the end everyone seemed to be getting what they wanted and what they needed, which is what all relationships are truly about.

The romantic involvement and wonderful characters made this an easy read and I would love to see more of these characters.