Beginning January 1, 2013

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Dare by Kacey Hammell

Dare by Kacey Hammell
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (69 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Bittersweet

Legal secretary, Olivia Warner enjoys being single and, aside from her closest gal pals, usually keeps to herself. But the night of her thirty-fourth birthday, she and her friends spend a fun-filled evening at a local bar where her friends dare her to approach a man, and spend the night with him.

Olivia's not one to turn down a dare, especially from her old college pals. She only hopes the man in question is in for some good conversation, because that's all she'll give him.

Darren “Dare” Shalvis has given up on women. He's tired of being chased for his money, good looks, and prowess in bed. He prefers to meet a woman who, for once, wants nothing more from him than mere conversation. If only the woman asking him to spend the night with her wasn’t his favorite legal secretary.

Accepting a dare has never been so tempting…

I'm hooked. It’s been less than 24 hours and I’ve read Dare by Kacey Hammell twice already. After reading it the first time, I just couldn’t get characters Darren and Olivia out of my head. In little more than 60 pages, Ms. Hammell managed to create a devilishly hot, fun, alluring story.

Although at first glance Dare might seem like your typical romance novel (quiet girl meets rich hunk), it’s not. The reason for this is the way Ms. Hammell depicts her characters. Both Olivia and Darren come off as real people. As a single woman, I could identify with Olivia’s lack of interest in the dating scene but also her desire to find the right man. Darren was hot, but he was also hard working and invested. Furthermore, I loved the way the author takes us step by step into his thoughts and reveals how he is falling for the pretty secretary about whom he had been fantasizing.

It’s true that the character’s fall in love fast, but it is a short story and the passion between Olivia and Dare is so intense that it makes up for it. Besides, the author’s description set an image of such natural ease between them that I felt from the beginning that they were perfect for each other.

Furthermore, behind the hot sex Kacey Hammell throws in a mystery, which surprisingly comes to play an important role in the development of the characters' relationship.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that I really liked the fact that Ms. Hammell worried about her character’s health record and condom usage, something sometimes rare in romance novels. This did not detract from the story one bit, but rather added another layer of reality to the whole plot.

Dare was a quick, extremely enjoyable read for any moment of the day, if you dare get hot and bothered at any time.

Paging Doctor Wolf by Rebecca Royce

Paging Doctor Wolf by Rebecca Royce
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (23 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Aster

Trauma surgeon Dr. Dallas Olson is too busy to date. Signing up with Madame Eve’s 1Night Stand service seems like a good plan, but his plans are sidelined when he’s nearly killed by a wolf attack. While still recovering and dealing with unexplainable side effects, he nevertheless agrees to meet the woman Madame Eve found for him.

Looking forward to her 1Night Stand date, werewolf shifter Cara Johnson is disappointed when it’s canceled unexpectedly. When Madame Eve lets her know that the man she should have met has suffered a wolf attack, Cara fears he’ll become a rogue werewolf himself during the next full moon. Unless she finds him and brings him home to her pack before that happens, her Alpha will have no choice but to kill him.

With only days left before the full moon, Cara and Dallas meet. He thinks it’s a one-night stand. She thinks it’s a mission to save his life. Madame Eve has other ideas.

A brilliant doctor searching for his true love. Sounds like the perfect catch, and he was - until he was attacked.

Dallas Olson was an ambitious young doctor in charge of the trauma ward of his hospital. His divorce several years earlier left him leery of dating coworkers, and since he works every waking moment, it leaves little time for romance. That's where Madame Eve comes in. He was thrilled when he finally received word of his pending date, but an altercation with a band of wolves altered his plans.

Cara Johnson is the gorgeous offspring of a human mother and werewolf father. Her work in accounting keeps her busy and the pack on their feet, but she's regrettably alone. After all her siblings happily find their mates through Madame Eve's service, she decides to give it a shot and signs up herself. When her date is inexplicably canceled, however, she fears she's made a terrible mistake.

That's when she's given an assignment. She finds out her date has been attacked by rogue wolves and she needs to bring him into the pack before he changes with the full moon. They meet, and the fireworks ensue...

This was a hot, quick read. The pure animal attraction - quite literally - between Cara and Dallas was steaming. I had never read a werewolf tale before, and although some of the terms were a bit foreign to me, I was able to piece together what was happening by context and didn't get lost. The writing was very vivid, and the scenes came alive, despite the short duration.

There wasn't much in the way of character development, but what was included was appropriate for this particular story. The only thing I felt was missing was the reason for the jump from one night stand/casual hook up to mating (presumably for life). I felt a little sorry for the doctor, who didn't seem to have any options, but he did seem happy where he ended, so the happily ever after was satisfying enough to enjoy.

If you like a steamy hookup, even if you aren't a typical paranormal fan, this is definitely one to read!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Switching the Control by Victoria Blisse

Switching the Control by Victoria Blisse
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (48 pgs)
Other: M/F, Spanking, Forced Seduction
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Clover

Take away the control and what do you have left? Desire.

Melissa is smart, confident and head strong. She has her dream career and is a step away from becoming a partner at Grimly and Vimes. Richard ruins her perfect plan when he uncovers a serious indiscretion in her past and forces her to be his office sex slave for a week in return for his silence.

But Melissa finds out that she enjoys being told what to do. She craves punishment and adores to be put in her place and Richard does it so perfectly. It was not in her plan to fall in love but how will she cope when it happens anyway?

Reader Advisory:This story contains blackmail, forced acts of submission and elements of dubious consent.

There’s more than one way to a girl’s heart, especially if you decide to think out of the box.

This is what Richard does when he stumbles across a discrepancy in his colleague Melissa’s resume. She’s worked years to become highly successful and hopefully a future partner in Grimly and Vimes and he knows that she will have no choice but to go along with his absurd demands. By absurd I mean he insists that she becomes his, physically, in every way for one entire week.

Richard is one hot guy, with a few kinks thrown in, so naturally Melissa is both horrified and, it seems, intrigued at the naughty suggestion. She has a good battle in her head with why she shouldn’t become a ‘sex slave’, but ultimately she has no choice. She has to keep him silent and then ensure that he destroys the evidence.

I have read this author before and find her style fresh, light and wonderfully easy to read. This story is no exception. It has a good plot, great characters and there is some lovely introspection from the heroine as she comes to terms with not just her current erotic task but also her past. I particularly liked the scene in the boardroom when she is hidden under his desk. You can guess what happens I’m sure! All good fun and hot stuff!

If you want a quick read that’s not just steamy but also has emotion and a past, present and future then Switching the Control would be a good choice.

Power Play by Emily Cale

Power Play by Emily Cale
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (28 pages)
Other: M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aster

Natalie Fritz didn't need a night of sexual adventure as payment for setting her friend up, but she wouldn't turn it down either. Determined to make sure she gets exactly what she wants, she contacts Madame Eve and requests not one, but two dates for the evening. What she doesn't expect is for those men to be players on her friend's hockey team.

Ian and Todd find that sharing women provides all parties with more pleasure. Finding someone who buys into their theory is a little harder. So they turn to Madame Eve's 1 Night Stand service to locate a partner. When they meet Natalie, they discover a gorgeous woman who turns them on physically and intellectually.

Most relationships are meant to be between two people, but what happens when it takes three to make the night worthwhile? Can they take a leap of faith or will their time be limited to one night?

What would you do if given the opportunity to fulfill your wildest fantasy? Would you chicken out, or would you have the courage to ask for what you truly wanted?

Natalie Fritz is a busy Canadian lawyer who has been set up on a date. But this is no ordinary date. Her best friend, TJ, has set Natalie up with Madame Eve's 1Night Stand service after TJ was set up with the love of her life. After watching TJ and her lover, Scott, move in together, Natalie figured it was worth a shot and agreed to be set up. But, at the last minute, Natalie changed her request and bravely asked for a fantasy she never thought would be fulfilled - a date with two men at the same time.

Todd Korbel and Ian Zelenewich are teammates on the same hockey team who quite often enjoy sharing the same woman. They found they could pleasure the woman twice as much as a team, and each enjoyed watching the other in the act. They also happen to be teammates of TJ and Scott, but don't realize they are meeting a common friend before arriving at their date's door.

I liked much of this story. The connection between the three characters was natural, and although Natalie struggled briefly with her hesitation, the men helped her to relax and allow her inhibitions to quickly drift away. All three had an equal say in what happened, although the men assured Natalie she was in charge, and all three mutually benefitted from their intense evening.

There were also some areas I didn't like as much. I didn't get to know any of the characters well, and the men weren't unique, and seemed to blend into one character. I realize it's a very short book, but I didn't get a chance to learn anything about any of them outside of their sexual appetites.

The other difficulty was sometimes following who was speaking. Each character's point of view was represented, but at times the pronouns made it difficult to remember who's POV we were in. Since there were two 'he's,' I sometimes had to go back and reread a section to remember which 'he' we were referring to.

All in all, this was a fun, quick read, and I still feel it was worthwhile reading it. If you like the idea of ménage, or even the pleasure one can find by living their wildest fantasy, you may enjoy this one.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dangerous Kisses by Tonya Ramagos

Dangerous Kisses by Tonya Ramagos
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: SHort Story (144 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play, Toys, Voyeurism, Spanking
Rating: 4 stars
Review by: Thistledown

Homicide Detective Megan Pontius hungers for a dark side of sex she’s never experienced, and she knows the man to give it to her, if only he didn’t scare her to her toes. She’s kept her distance from aquarist Drake Allen, knowing one kiss could be dangerous to her body and heart. But when a mutual friend is killed and Drake is the primary suspect, she finds herself wondering if she’s submitting to the domination of a murderer.

Drake wants Megan under his control, and he wants her forever. He’s bided his time, waiting for her to be willing to set her inner lustful demon free. That time has come, and he’s ready to deliver her pleasures more exotic than any she’s ever known. But when he finds himself accused of murder, he discovers he needs Megan more than just in his bed. She’s his only hope of proving his innocence, but does she believe him?

What would you do if your friend and part time employer turned up dead and the gorgeous guy you have been ogling just might have killed him. Hmmm. Awkward doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Dangerous Kisses is a foray into the world of an aquarium about to go under. In the wake of a murder, our lead character Megan has to see beyond the yummy trappings of a hot diver in a wetsuit and do her job as a detective to get to the bottom of the mystery. Who would benefit most if the aquarium goes belly up?

I loved the way author Tonya Ramagos jumps right into the story and brings you into the scene. The aquarium is the life and love of Paul, the owner. He has an argument with a family member and the pressure of the business about to go under. Funny how he suddenly ends up dead. The clues begin to add up and so does the sexual tension between detective Megan Pontius and Drake Allen, aquarist. Megan is hungry for a trip to the dark side and Drake is ready to give in to temptation. The only problem is him being the leading suspect in Paul’s murder.

The no holds barred sex scenes in this book are delicious. Anal play that will have you curling your toes and domination scenes that had me longing for a glass of ice water were a great way to spend an evening. This book is a hot read with snappy character interaction, a plot that moves, dialogue that is real and action that fits what is happening in the story. I will be looking for other books by this author.

If you like a bit of dark and brooding BDSM with a murder mystery, check out Dangerous Kisses. You won’t be disappointed.

Escape to Me by Diane Alberts

Escape to Me by Diane Alberts
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (35 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aster

Eleanor is tired of being a spinster no one ever notices. Life for a twenty-six year old unwed woman in 1811 is dreadfully dull. She can’t have an affair at the risk of ruining her family’s reputation…unless she finds a way to do so without the slightest risk of discovery. Dare she travel two hundred years into the future to have a 1Night stand with the help of Madame Eve?

Thomas struggles daily to move on after the death of his beloved countess, but being the most highly sought after bachelor of the ton doesn’t allow him much privacy to do so. All he yearns for is a night of lust and fun, with a woman who can make him remember what it feels like to be swept away by passion. Traveling two hundred years into the future seems to be the perfect solution for both discretion and ease.

What will happen when they discover they didn’t escape their lives at all, but merely found each other?

A lonely lord longs for one night of passion without the usual boundaries of society or trappings of marriage. Problem is, such a thing does not exist in London in 1812. How does he fulfill his carnal desires? Madame Eve certainly has her ways.

Thomas, The Earl of Cunningham, is a widower trying to raise his young son while grieving for his deceased wife. Now that she's been gone two years, he feels it is time to move on, but no woman can turn his head, much less garner his interest. Because of his wealth and position, every woman in the city wants land him as a husband, but he isn't looking for marriage - just someone to satisfy his physical needs. He works with Madame Eve's 1Night Stand company and is given the ability to travel in time - forward 200 years - to find a suitable woman who will give him the physical release he needs without any commitments that he doesn't.

Lady Eleanor has similar thoughts, and in fact, has taken the same actions. A twenty-six year old spinster, she's been overlooked for years, and has all but given up on hopes for a husband. Despite socializing in the same circles, Thomas has never even looked her way, much to her dismay. She's been hauntingly in love with him for years. They'd even shared dances, but she hasn't made enough of an impression on him to have him notice her once the music ends.

Neither knows the date they are about to meet is not only from the same time period, but is someone they know!

There is much good in this story. I liked both the hero and heroine, and there was little doubt the two were meant to be together. The author did a wonderful job of describing both their reactions to a world two hundred years more advanced than their own. The awe at the running water and the flushing toilet was endearing, and little touches like the embarrassment at the skimpy clothing and the strange blue lights showing the current time consistently reminded you of where the two originally belonged.

The love between the two blossomed, and the way the sex scenes were handled were perfectly in character. The only part that seemed to be missing, however, was why Thomas never noticed Eleanor before. She described herself as plain and ordinary, and apparently in her time she must have been because Thomas did not know or recognize her, but when Thomas saw her in 2012, he was stunned by her beauty. The reader may be left, as I was, that his attraction was purely because of the scant clothing she wore. A woman in 1812 wouldn't even show her ankles, and Eleanor wore a sleeveless mini-dress for their meeting. The connection between the two was believable once they began making love, and the feelings seemed genuine, but then we go back to 1812 and Thomas again does not recognize her. He now knows what she looks like, so I'm not sure what it was about her that made him not see her.

That negative aside, this was a very enjoyable read. The combination of the past and present made for an interesting story, and the way love was able to connect through time and place was very fun to read. If you like a quick romantic tale, this is one to pick up!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Druid, Mine by Kerry Adrienne

Druid, Mine by Kerry Adrienne
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (32 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Aster

Anya’s wish for a normal date—away from the old man she is caretaker for—comes true in unexpected ways when she finds herself whisked to an ancient Irish stone circle on solstice eve.

Carrick’s decision to follow the path to become an Ovate druid has not come lightly, and he plans to spend the solstice eve in meditation unless fairies or evil spirits disrupt the circle. When a feisty girl walks right up to the fire, more than sparks fly.

They each seek healing and a connection, but the darkness of summer is short, and once the solstice sun breaks through the circle at dawn, the magic of the night will be over. Even Madame Eve can’t stop the day from rising.

The perfect man. Does he exist? What if the answer is yes, but not in your time, but the ancient past? Madame Eve has matched another couple who seem to be perfect for each other, but how do they make it work?

Anya is a lonely and overworked woman in present day North Carolina. With the exception of her weekly visit to an Irish Pub, she has little interaction with anyone other than her boss, and has signed up for the 1Night Stand service in hopes of finding a man who could at least share her bed, if nothing more.

Carrick is a Druid in ancient Ireland. Devoted to becoming an Ovate, his life is seemingly predestined for loneliness, despite his lingering doubts as to what is right for him. On the eve of the Solstice, his duty is to tend to the fires. He doesn't expect to have company.

I thoroughly enjoy the 1Night Stand stories, not only because of the heat level, but because there are wonderful characters and story development in such a few, short pages. Druid, Mine, however, left me wanting a bit more. I could understand the initial connection between the two characters - both were lonely, both lacked family or friends, and both were attracted to the other - but there didn't seem to be much beyond that. To imagine two characters from such dramatically different times and places, I wouldn't discount a relationship working, but there'd have to be a reason for it. Loneliness and attraction isn't enough, particularly when one has to have their world so drastically changed in order to continue together.

Ms. Adrienne does have a wonderful way of describing her environment. I know little of the time of the Druids, but the context of her story helped me to catch on quickly as to what was happening. I wasn't clear on all of the things described, but I was able to picture enough to enjoy the story and had a mental picture of where and when the couple was.

If I was to review the book based solely on their one night, it was a huge hit. It was the happily ever after that left me scratching my head. If you're looking for a hot hook up, set wonderfully in ancient times, this is could be one to look into.

Shadow of the Wolf by Dana Marie Bell

Shadow of the Wolf by Dana Marie Bell
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (262 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Foxglove

Strike a match, light the candle…and fall into the spell.

Heart’s Desire, Book 1

Christopher Beckett is from an ancient line of wizards, but with one aspect that sets him apart. His wolf. Right now that wolf is howling for a mate. Knowing it’s only a matter of time before the wolf’s needs override everything else in his life, Chris casts the spell all the Becketts have used to call their mates to them.

His wish list is short: She must be of a lineage at least as old as his own. And she must accept his wolf. When his mate appears, he realizes his list should have been one item longer.

Alannah Evans, a powerful witch of the Evans Coven, has no problem with Chris’s wolf. It’s the wizard part that sticks in her magical craw. Witches and wizards have always been at odds, so by rights, she and Chris shouldn’t be striking sparks of attraction this bright. But Chris will not be denied, and gradually she finds herself trusting him—then falling into the fire of desire.

When it becomes clear an old enemy has targeted them both for death, Chris charges into a duel that could cost him his life. Or worse: Lana.

When casting spells, wizards should always be as specific as possible. Christopher Beckett learns this the hard way, when he casts the spell generations of wizards in his family have used to bring their mates to them. Because Chris is more than just a wizard, he is also wolf. His spell asked for a mate from a lineage as old as his, and a woman who can accept his wolf. What he got was Alannah Evans, a witch from a powerful coven. Alannah didn’t have any problems with Chris’s wolf at all. But his being a wizard, that could be a problem, because wizards and witches generally didn’t get along. When Chris, in his wolf form, saves Alannah from a killer, she has to decide whether to follow him to safety or run. As she gets to know him, she first begins to trust him, and then to care for him. But when an old enemy targets them both for death, can they survive to be together? When secrets are exposed, can these two magical beings adapt? Can Lana and Chris have a happy ever after in spite of it all?

Shadow of the Wolf is the first book in a new series from Dana Marie Bell, and it is a terrific beginning to what looks like a lot of fun. There is Ms. Bell’s usual mix of wry humor, magical danger and hot sex, gathered together with some intriguing twists and turns in the plot. The world of this one is well built, with characters that could live next door…well if your next door neighbors could shift into wolves or cast magical spells, that is. This book grabbed me from the first page, and I just couldn’t wait to see what happened next.

Alannah ‘Lana’ Evans is from a powerful family of witches, thoroughly modern and talented. She is strong, courageous and determined to live life her way. I enjoyed the verbal sparring between Lana and Chris, and the fact that she was never intimidated by either facet of Chris-his magic or his wolf. I loved her spontaneity, and her ability to adapt when necessary in order to protect and defend what is hers. I liked that she was able to accept that Chris was hers, as much as she was his.

Chris is such a strong character, lonely at first, and delighted with the turn of events as he finally meets his mate. I loved that, because of one little oversight, he gets something he didn’t bargain for in Lana. I enjoyed watching him slowly work his way into her heart, not with grand gestures, but by being himself, and showing her his true feelings. He is determined to stop Cole from harming his family and his mate, and his protective streak is plain to see. I loved that he was able to let Lana be who and what she was meant to be, and never really tried to keep her from being the independent and strong mate he needed.

There are several really surprising twists to this story, like the way the brothers accept things, and the typical sibling rivalry that gets silly at times. Then there is the turn with Gareth and his future, and Zach and his very shocking development. I adored the secondary characters in this book, and can’t wait for more in this world. I look forward to more about Gareth, Daniel and especially Zachary Beckett in the future. This one is for all of those readers who love some magic with their romance and like their stories hot. It may be autumn, but you’ll need to keep the fan on high for this one.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mihael’s Trial by Serena Yates

Mihael’s Trial by Serena Yates
Celestial Justice Series, book 6
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Paranormal
Length: Short Story (112 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Clover

What if you're the angel of loyalty and have to choose between doing your job supporting the greater good and making a life with your newfound soul mate?

Mihael is the angel of loyalty and knows right from wrong better than most. He is shocked when he is put on trial for upholding loyalty over compassion. A mysterious assignment on Earth is supposed to help him understand…

Francis Portillo is a teacher struggling to support himself and his sister's twin toddlers. Helping others is what he does, be it a bullied student or the somewhat confused stranger who signs up for his Spanish class.

Can Francis help Mihael learn the meaning of affection and compassion before it is too late?

When someone perfect drops down from Heaven, you have to say a seriously huge thank you to the Big Guy!

Mihael is an angel responsible for loyalty and is completely shocked when he is put on trial for upholding loyalty over compassion. A mysterious assignment on Earth is supposed to help him understand and this starts with seeing Arthur, a mortal, being bullied and asked to doctor numbers in the accounts he is working on.

This is the first book I have read in the Celestial Justice series which is about different angels falling in love. The first chapter took me a while to get into, I wasn’t completely sure what was going on or who was who, but that probably wouldn’t have been the case if I’d read others in the series.

Mihael’s love interest is language teacher Francis Portillo. Their meeting is sudden, with Miheal just appearing in front of him. They strike up a conversation and Francis discovers that Mihael has no idea where his is or why. He presumes he has some kind of amnesia and offers to help him. There are a few oddities about Mihael – his lack of ID, wads of cash – that Francis accepts maybe a little too readily, but perhaps that is just my suspicious mind.

Mihael’s Trial has good characters and an element of celestial paranormal. It took a while to get going but once the characters connected it flowed much better. The writing is elegant, the romance sweet and the sex scenes steamy. If you are a fan of this series then I am quite sure it will hit the spot.

Mako's Bounty by Diane Dooley

Mako's Bounty by Diane Dooley
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (32 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aster

For nine long months, at the behest of the evil Ravenscorp, Mako Dolan has been hunting the space pirate they call The Saint. Now she’s finally lured her prey to a one night stand with a mysterious woman—herself. But Vin Sainte is not at all what she expected. Far from being a ruthless space pirate, his main occupation seems to be rescuing nuns, adopting orphans and praying like a champ.

For nine long months Vin Sainte has been fleeing the bounty hunter from one temporary refuge to the next. Now he’s got Mako exactly where he wants her: weak from gravity sickness and ripe for conversion. Problem is he didn’t expect a foul-mouthed, hard-as-nails bounty hunter to be such a devoted daughter. His head on a platter is Ravenscorp’s price for her mother’s freedom.

They have less than twenty four hours. One will win; one will lose. Mako might be a fearsome predator, but Vin has the Lord on his side. Who will win the bounty?

Who would be the ideal match for an infamous galactic criminal? Why, the bounty hunter chasing him, of course!

Makiko "Mako" Dolan, also known as 'The Shark,' is a talented bounty hunter, but is frustrated the man she's been chasing for nine months continues to slip through her fingers. She holds nothing personal against the thief she chases, but desperately needs the bounty his capture would fetch to help secure the release of her mother, who's been held as a slave for payment for the ship Mako stole years before. To assure a meeting, Mako has the wonderful idea to subscribe to Madame Eve's 1Night Stand service in hopes of a date with him. What she doesn't know, however, is all is not as it seems.

Vin 'The Saint' Sainte has been hunted throughout the galaxy for crimes against the powerful Ravenscorp organization. But Ravenscorp is not what it appears to be and Vin has figured it out. The 1Night Stand set up was not coincidental, nor a surprise. He's well aware of the bounty hunter who's been chasing him, and he takes full advantage of the opportunity he's given in meeting her.

I loved the connection between these two, and I enjoyed the detail-packed story that was squeezed into only a handful of pages. Ms. Dooley does an excellent job of creating the familiar, yet extra-galactic environment Mako and Vin live in. Mako has not spent much time on Earth, and the descriptions off her experience is very well done, and made me appreciate the effect a different planet would have on someone from space.

I think I would have enjoyed the sexual relationship between these two a bit more if not for one thing - the prayers. Vin is nicknamed 'The Saint' because he was raised by a nun, and because of his religious beliefs - that's understandable. But, it was a huge distraction in what otherwise would have been powerful physical attraction, to have the male character stop to pray repeatedly in the middle of sexual acts. It took a lot away from the heat of the moment, and since much of the book revolved around the sexual connection the two shared, it was very distracting.

That said, Mako's Bounty is an enjoyable short story with two great characters and an enjoyable surrounding story. If you want a quick read combined with a well-developed story, this is a great one to check out.