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Friday, October 26, 2012

Love Unexpected: Manlove Edition by Various Authors

Love Unexpected: Manlove Edition by Penelope Rivers, Erin M. Leaf, Sean Michael, Xondra Day, K. Williams, Rebecca Brochu, Shawn Lane, Giselle Renarde, Chrissie Lee, Alex Bowman
Publisher: Evernight
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (182 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Peppermint

Best friends make the best lovers? Indeed they do. There’s nothing more exciting than discovering that the person you already share everything with is the one you want sharing your bed.

Join us for ten tales of sexy and decadent discoveries as these gloriously hot men find all the love, lust and orgasmic delight they could ever want—closer than they expected.

Love can be a tricky bed partner. Sometimes it is hard to tell if you are falling into it or falling out of it. Especially when it sneaks up on you at the most unexpected time. This anthology took me on a journey of interesting affairs that were most certainly unexpected and welcomed.

Squeezable by Penelope Rivers

Squeezable was a very entertaining read that I went through quickly. Andy and Kevin had been friends for as long as they remembered. With a bond so close, the lines can get a bit blurry between friendship and more. I really enjoyed seeing these two create new lines and connectors within their relationship.

A Little Bendy by Erin M. Leaf

I have always been a strong believer that friends can make the best lovers. Josh and Ben discovered this when they decided to test the limits of the friendship. Now that Ben is newly single they have the perfect opportunity to find out if this theory is true. I really like the way they discovered their feelings for one another. The development felt natural, and even included a few uncomfortable moments when neither knew if they were really ready to jump in.

Being Stupid by Sean Michael

Henry and Parson both new they were gay; what they hadn’t known was that they may find what they need in each other. The fact that these two characters were comfortable with who they were made it easy for them to know what they wanted in and outside of the bedroom. Who would have thought that a barbecue to celebrates one's independence may turn into an eternal romantic development that may never be broken.

Quench by Xondra Day

This story mixed things up a bit. Bryan has long believed he is the last survivor until Joel wanders back into his life. Joel’s family has been long gone, and he seeks solace in a familiar surrounding. I think the relationship development within the story is perfect. I really felt like I could connect with Bryan’s sense of loneliness and completely understood why he would be so excited to welcome anyone, especially the boy next door. I also found myself wondering what would be next for this couple, which is always a good thing.

Coming Home by K. Williams

Who doesn’t love a man in a uniform? I am not sure if it is the authority, the tailor of the uniform or what, but a uniform can make a man simply irresistible. Craig has been sporting his marine uniform for four years. Once he finally makes his way home to visit his family and friends he gets the chance to strip the uniform off for something more comfortable: a naked man. I love Craig and Toby’s story from the fact that they had a friendship no one seems to understand down to Craig being Toby’s true hero. My heart went out to Toby at times because he seemed to be a true outcast, and I was so happy that Craig could make him understand how much he was worth.

Between Marriage and an Octupus by Rebecca Brochu

Interesting story about two partners who find love. I have to say at the beginning I was puzzled by Dylan and Tyler’s relationship. The author says they were partners, so I was thinking relationship partner not work partner. Then I discovered the misunderstanding, which helped me to understand. Other than this, I love that these two men find solace in one another. They seem to be the only consistent in each other’s lives so it was good to see that they can really find themselves in each other’s arms.

Getting Wade by Shawn Lane

Getting Wade again shows the strength of friendship and how it can bud into a great romantic relationship. Though I have to question the timing of the development I was happy Neal and Wade can finally share their true feeling. I have to wonder if the timing was right because of Wade’s emotional state when dealing with a recent break up. In the end I know both men truly cared for one another and would continue to for a long time.

Gypsy Psychics Can’t Be Wrong by Giselle Renarde

This was the first story that incorporated a truly dynamic plot in this anthology. I love the added mystery surrounding the Gypsy and her visions. While Marty may not understand or believe that someone out there loves him he respects the Gypsy’s foresight. Sometimes love is truly found in the oddest places and it takes a tragedy for Marty to realize how much he has.

Jay’s Addiction by Chrissie Lee

Sam and Jay’s story touched me on a deep level. Sam has fought hard for his sobriety because he knows that his addiction almost cost him his life. I was in awe about how Jay also discovered his personality flaws when dealing with Sam’s addiction. The personal and romantic development go hand and hand. I could read this story over and over again.

Diamond: The Men of Rock Candy by Alex Bowman

Cass and Damon’s story is my favorite on within the anthology. I love the buildup of emotions Cass feels when having to watch Damon dance for others. Having to watch them get to touch the man he wants. This got my adrenaline flowing to the point where I felt like I was leaning against the wall watching with Cass. It helped to lead up to an explosive encounter that is bound to leave a lasting impression.

All-in-all I really enjoyed these stories and the interesting characters they introduced me too. I would say read this anthology if you want to experience the magic associated with finding love in not necessary the most obvious place, but when and where it I is needed most.

The Last Man by Cheryl Dragon

The Last Man by Cheryl Dragon
Publisher: Decadent Publishing Company
Genre: Contemporary, Interracial
Length: Short Story (46 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Fuchsia

Jeffery Ellison and Monica Collins face off daily in Atlanta's family court system. Both want the best for their clients but they rarely agree. The sparks are obvious to everyone else, but Monica has been disappointed by men too many times. Jeff knows pushing her will only hurt the respect and trust they've built. A match with 1NS sounds like just the thing. The pair is off to Vegas for a legal conference and to enjoy their one night stands. Jeff does his best to spend time with her outside of work but he can't be sure she's his for the night. All he can do is hope that Madame Eve agrees with his heart and Monica will let her guard down long enough to see their passionate potential.

Opposing counsel Jeffrey Ellison and Monica Collins have a healthy respect for each other as well as being secretly in lust. Monica is a buttoned up, always professional woman who would not allow her secret desires to interfere with her working relationships. Although she dreams of being with Jeffrey, she will not allow herself to be. After winning a trip to Vegas and being setup on a one night stand by Madame Eve, Monica hopes to finally erase her craving for Jeffrey.

Jeffrey Ellison simply wants to be with Monica, she is his fantasy woman and he's hoping that this trip to Vegas will be everything he desires. Jeffrey has also won this trip which he believes was setup by Judge Monroe. Also, Monica's mom likes him and he's sure that she would not be opposed to the two of them getting together. He's hoping that his one night stand which Madame Eve also set up for him is with his fantasy woman Monica.

Jeffrey and Monica are really great characters, they each had a secret desire for each other but were unsure whether or not to act on it. I enjoyed reading this story, it flowed nicely and it was fun to see how their secret unraveled. The sex between them was hot and I found myself smiling while reading this story. Madame Eve sets you up with your perfect match, and as always with the one night stand series, Madame Eve always gets it right.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hurricane by Taige Crenshaw

Hurricane by Taige Crenshaw
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Interracial
Length: Short Story (148 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 stars
Revieweded by Fuchsia

When life gives you a second chance how do you decide what to do?

Julianne Locke knows the pain of loss and what it can do to a soul. She has refused to let any man close...until an accident puts a man in her path who will change her life forever. Keenan is the one man she cannot seem to keep at a distance. Whether it’s fate or coincidence that brings them together, Julianne cannot walk away from this man who pushes all her buttons and makes her want to believe in hope once again.

Keenan Callaghan’s first look at Julianne makes him forget that he’s supposed to be all about business. The instant attraction and connection he feels for her leaves him unsettled. He quickly comes to the realisation that he wants to know more about the woman who not only tempts him, but makes him forget all else but her. Julianne might be trying to keep him at arm’s length, but he’s a patient man. He knows the best way to weather a hurricane is to hold on and ride out the storm together...forever.

Julianne Locke is part owner of Moments event planning, and she and her partners are expanding their business by building another facility, Moments Deuce. While walking through the new facility, Julianne is almost trapped by a fire that erupts. Fire investigator Keenan Callaghan is called in to investigate and is immediately attracted to Julianne. Julianne is also attracted to him but will not allow herself to give in because she is still carrying the hurt of losing her husband eight years ago. Julianne and her husband Charles were involved in a car accident that killed him and almost took the life of her unborn baby. Her daughter Marissa was born at twenty-two weeks and was not expected to live. Now for Julianne, it's she and her daughter together weathering any storm that may come their way.

Keenan Callaghan is an ex cop who after helping a fire investigator solve an arson, decided that he wanted to become an investigator. When he met Julianne in the hospital after the fire, he was immediately drawn to her and promised himself that once the investigation was done he would pursue her. He asked her to go out with him but she refused, however she finally asked him to go out with her after running into him and his niece while rollerblading with Marissa.

Hurricane is a story of love lost and new beginnings, Julianne and Keenan knew that they wanted to be together but she had issues. The story moved a little slow at first which had this reader a little bored, but then once they started to delve into why she couldn't allow herself to love again, it piqued my interest again. Hurricane is a good story and Taige Crenshaw is a great storyteller, I've read many books by this author and can say she is one of my favorites. The supporting characters were entertaining and helped to round everything out. I wouldn't say that Hurricane is a 'must read' but it is a pleasant read and one you may enjoy.

Lust by Victoria Knightly

Lust by Victoria Knightly
Erotic Tales of Long Livery Hall Book 1
Publisher: Torrid Books/Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (214 pages )
Other: M/F, F/F, Forced Seduction, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Lotus

It is 1858 and Dewy Kittow, the gamekeeper at Long Livery Hall, is torn between two women. His heart goes out to Lizzie Hudson, a young virgin working at a seaman’s mission in Plymouth. But it is Sir John Windlesham’s fractious daughter, Virginia, who demands more and more sexual enjoyment with him. He is anxious to put a stop to his adventures with Virginia in order to get Lizzie into his bed, but Virginia will not play ball.

Lizzie, meanwhile, is caught in the dilemma of wondering whether she would prefer to be bedded by Dewy…or a woman.

What’s a young servant to do when faced with an ultimatum from someone with the power to destroy his life unless he goes along with an unspeakable act demanded of him?

Dewy Kittow is a young, new gamekeeper for Long Livery Hall, trying his best to keep his job which he is hoping would be his lifelong job since he wouldn’t be inheriting his family’s farm. He is kind, conscientious, hardworking, and handsome, making him irresistible to the master’s daughter Virginia Windlesham who wickedly has her way with him at every opportunity. Lizzie Hudson, daughter of a Church of England vicar, has left her family home to make her own way in the world. She wants to show her father that she can survive without his help, by working at a mission and helping the poor.

While the main story is about Dewy and Lizzie, it also includes side stories of grown children who are testing the boundaries of their parents’ love and tolerance. A cast of characters including Virginia Windlesham (of course), her brother Albert Windlesham, Colleen O’Callaghan, Pastor Arthur Jenkins, Brigadier-General Sir John Windlesham, and his wife Lady Angela Windlesham all make important appearances throughout the tales.

I have to admit that I felt adventurous in choosing to review this book since I tend to shy away from historicals, feeling more comfortable with contemporary stories. It surprised me that I could jump into the action right away and that the historical aspect of the story just added to my enjoyment. Ms. Knightly weaves details of old England into the story so well that I felt as though I were in 1858. Descriptions and dialogue were blended together seamlessly for a wonderfully enjoyable narrative filled with action, angst, and hot sexy moments.

Lust gives us a window into the lives of people in 1858 England, the good, the bad, and the steamy. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a great erotic story in the past. I am so glad that I had the chance to read and review this book and will definitely look for more tales from Ms. Knightly.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mr. Fix-It by Gabrielle Holly

Mr. Fix-It by Gabrielle Holly
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (58 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Fuchsia

Deena can’t help but fantasise about the hot handyman she meets next door. She’s certain that the gorgeous blond has exactly the tool she needs.

Curvy, quirky Deena Stevens never quite fitted in. She feels especially out of place in the company of "The Botox Brigade"—the kept and polished women populating the upscale homes that border her organic farm.

Regardless of their differences, Deena’s neighbours seem to enjoy her company. They sit and chat when they come to buy Deena's free-range eggs and pesticide-free veggies. They even invite her to join their book club—despite the objection of Suzanne, who hosts the club meetings and clearly considers herself the queen of the group.

The book-clubbers peacefully coexist until a house call from sexy handyman, Bill, disrupts the monthly meeting. The women jostle for attention and superficial friendships are tested. Jealousies flare when the hot, handsome blond openly flirts with Deena and ignores the trophy wives. Suzanne has already set her sights on Bill, and when Deena reveals his surprising connection to her past, Suzanne gets territorial.

After their surprise reunion, Bill promises to keep in touch with Deena. Bill shows up at Deena’s door and a night of incomparable passion leaves them both craving more. When Suzanne discovers their tryst she begins crafting a plan to destroy the new love affair and steal the sexy handyman for herself.

Will Mr. Fix-It have what it takes to repair the damage?

Deena Stevens operates a farm in an upscale neighborhood selling her pesticide free vegetables and eggs to the women there. As a result, the 'Botox Brigade' which she lovingly calls them, has included her in their monthly book club meetings which is led by Suzanne. Not being as polished as they are, Deena is comfortable with the few extra pounds she wears and the haphazard way she wears her hair. This particular day, Deena was late as always for the meeting which led to Suzanne calling her and yelling about her tardiness.

Bill Swenson is the handyman Suzanne uses to fix things around her house, it doesn't hurt that he's tall, blond and gorgeous. Which is why Suzanne constantly finds things for him to fix; after all who wouldn't want such a beautiful man around? One look at Bill and Deena knew that he would never be interested in her until she took a second look and realized that Bill was her summer camp crush when they were fifteen.

This was a very good story, the author portrayed a not so perfect woman among cosmetically perfect ones and still showed how love can look past the surface. Not everyone is perfect but everyone deserves a chance at love, and Bill wanted Deena. Suzanne was the bitch you knew you would hate, especially with her snide remarks, and scheming ways. She couldn't stand that Bill only had eyes for Deena, especially when he had someone as perfect as her in front of him. Mr. Fix-It is an enjoyable read and if you do pick up a copy I hope that you will enjoy it as much as this reader did.

One Fiery Night by Em Petrova

One Fiery Night by Em Petrova
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (73 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Carnation

Firefighter Luke Puckett doesn’t want to get involved with anyone; not after his brother perished fighting a fire, leaving behind a wife and four kids. Then Luke pulls a woman and her child out of a burning house, and is stunned to find she’s his college ex. Though he fights to stay away, Luke’s desire for her lush curves is impossible to battle.

Josie Springer escapes the enormous house fire with nothing but the clothes on her back and her daughter. As she begins to recuperate from her losses, she finds she’s gained something bigger since Luke walked back into her life. She’s always held a candle for this lover who dumped her with little explanation.

While their relationship sears between the sheets, Josie and Luke still harbor personal doubts it will work—until a near tragedy forces them take another look.

Can the fire of passion between fire fighter, Luke and his ex-girlfriend from college, Josie rekindle the love they once shared? Can it heal the mistrust that ended the relationship years before? Can either just walk away after one more fiery night together?

After Luke saves Josie and her daughter from a raging fire that leaves them homeless, the two ex-lovers end up in each other’s arms once again and the heat smolders on in mutual passion. Josie is now a divorcee and successful in her career. All that stands between these two is a misunderstanding that leads to hurt and mistrust. The unfolding of the solution to their dilemma is a big part of what makes this story so appealing.

This story is one that encourages hope and belief in the power and endurance of love. I was immediately involved with these intense and interesting characters. Ms. Petrova is a pro at spinning accurate and likeable characters and believable situations. This hot and passion-filled tale drew me in completely. I especially enjoyed the magnetism between Luke and Josie. Luke is a man any woman would want, with a personal power that is addictive.

Em Petrova never disappoints me. Here is an example of her expert prose: ‘Her words sank into the folds of his brain and hit an expressway to his heart.’ I enjoyed every minute of One Fiery Night and recommend it highly.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Two Mr. Rights by Sandra Sookoo

Two Mr. Rights by Sandra Sookoo
Publisher: Purple Sword Publications, LLC
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (118 pgs) Other: M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Mistletoe

If a girl can’t find one Mr. Right, is that because there are two?

Emily Anderson is ready for a change. Stuck with an unfulfilling job and a lousy love-life, she can’t wait to do something daring for her birthday. When a friend sends her to an exclusive resort on the shores of Lake Michigan, she vows to have a little “me” time. She doesn’t count on spending erotic moments with two men she’s lusted after for years.

Jonathan Franklin has always carried a torch for Emily, but they’d only dated on and off. When the opportunity to introduce her into his ménage lifestyle arises, he doesn’t waste time. Chemistry between them flares, and he’s thrilled that she accepts his friend Ben into their bed as well.

Ben Clarkson is Jon’s business partner and closer-than-a-brother best friend. He’s searching for the right woman for their ménage and wants to start a family. Having Emily in their midst heats his blood and brings the dreams closer to reality.

They’ll have to find common ground outside of the bedroom in order for Emily to find her two Mr. Rights.

Jonathan and Ben have a week to introduce Emily to their lifestyle and convince her that it is worth it to take a chance on a relationship with them. Emily is at a crossroads herself and must come to terms with her own life before she can decide on her future with the two men.

While I am a big fan of this author I had a hard time connecting with these characters and found it hard to lose myself in their story. Each of the characters seems to be the extreme of their personalities. Ben is a brash young man who says whatever comes to his mind and even though he truly is a nice guy under all his bravado he comes off more as a jerk and Jonathan is the total opposite, so overly sweet and overcompensating for Ben’s harshness that is becomes too much. Emily is so very naive and wishy-washy that is started to get on my nerves. She constantly second guesses the men’s motives for every little thing and cannot make a decision without knowing the outcome of things years in advance. All of this made this a dry and sometimes an annoying read for me.

I did enjoy the concept of the story and the character of Lynda, Emily’s best friend. From the interaction she has with Emily Lynda seems like a likeable character and I hope that she gets her story told. I also enjoyed the idea of Redemption Cove. It seems like a really nice community and I hope that we get to read many stories that center around this place. The strong friendship that Ben and Jonathan have is a wonderful thing and I enjoyed seeing them work through the rough spots that they encounter in this book. Friendship plays a big part in this story whether it is the men’s or the women’s it adds a nice touch to the book. I hope to be able to come back to Redemption Cove and find out more about its inhabitants and friendships.

The Riding Crop by Karyn Gerrard

The Riding Crop by Karyn Gerrard
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (21 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/M, Anal play, Voyeurism, Spanking, BDSM
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Plumeria

Gideon ‘Lord Craven’ Broyles pursues his naughty, nocturne adventures in the secret, salacious underworld of the east-end of 1887 London. The sexy and dangerous viscount will try everything just to have any kind of emotional reaction.

Olivia Durham is known as ‘Mistress Birch’ at the infamous club, The Riding Crop. Wielding a crop of her own, she coolly dispenses lashings to her male, aristocratic clients. Her world is shaken when Lord Craven makes a shocking proposal.

Is it possible two emotionally closed off people can find intimacy? What lengths will they take?

When you’ve exhausted all your avenues, yet still need more what do you do? Lust after the ungettable get of of course!

Lord Gideon Broyles, or Lord Craven as some know him, is sick and tired of the same old sexual escapades he’s been having for over a decade. After doing all the normal things like balls and assemblies what he really wanted, craved even, was something that moved him. Feeling devoid of emotion, Gideon was constantly searching for the one person, that one thing that stir his lust and filled his void.

This leads him to the newest pleasure house called The Riding Crop. There isn’t much he hasn’t seen or done over the years, feeling as debauched as he can be including sexual encounters with men. While there he sees something he’s never experienced before, he’s never seen a man and a woman make passionate love. He’s never kissed nor pleased a woman like what he was watching. The show brought home the fact he was empty inside.

But then he sees her. Mistress Birch, in action. While he’s not so much interested in relinquishing control to her as is her speciality, he still wants her. Lust, finally.

Olivia Durham has had a rough life since she was a young girl with stars in her eyes. One mistake and her world crumbles around her and leaves her with nothing. Now she’s created a different life for herself in order to gain back the control she lost one dark night. But one thing she had no control over was her response to meeting another lost soul.

When I started this, I was going down a path that was very hedonistic. But when the door closed behind Olivia, locking her in the room with Gideon the book took a very different turn. It was sad mostly, but then turned into something beautiful and loving. I think Karyn Gerrard did a wonderful job with this very short story. I would highly suggest reading anything written by her after having completed this tale of the unexpected.

Perfect Mate by Mina Carter

Perfect Mate by Mina Carter
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (220 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Bittersweet

Monsters do exist...and they’re the good guys.

Lillian Rosewood leads an ordinary, boring life working as the manager of a psychiatric hospital. The highlights of her day, other than her skinny hot chocolate, are the hunky guards who work in the secure section. Until a late-night emergency is wheeled in.

Captain Jack Harper is insane, drop-dead gorgeous...and just had his abdomen shredded. Despite the fact they're not an emergency room, Lillian can't turn him away and risk a death on her hands. Unable to get the handsome soldier out of her mind, Lillian sneaks into the restricted area to check on him. What she finds is beyond belief. Somehow Jack has managed to heal himself from a near-fatal wound in mere hours.

When one of the doctors, Walker, attempts to rape her, things go from bad to worse. In the blink of an eye, Jack is loose and Walker is dead... and Lillian must accept a truth about her rescuer that will change her world forever. What if the patients aren't insane? What if their stories of secret government experiments and monsters are true?

I couldn’t put it down. I started reading “Perfect Mate” by Mina Carter a little after midnight and had to force myself to put it down and go to sleep at 3am. The next day, as soon as I had a chance I picked it up again.

“Perfect Mate” was a fantastic read in all senses. Ms. Carter easily mixed paranormal creatures of diverse nature turning what could have been an awkward situation into something that made all the sense in the world. Her descriptions were vivid and vibrant, ranging from gruesome to fun to sexy and easily sucking me into the surreal adventure the characters were living.

Never boring for a second, the story is a wild rollercoaster ride that had me dropping my jaw a few times, as unexpected event took place. However, I did feel that Lillian, was a little too unlucky at times.

Nonetheless, even throughout the frightening nightmare the characters were living Ms. Carter did not neglect the romance. Ever present, the growing desire between Jack and Lillian was so well constructed that I was on the edge of my seat, butterflies dancing in my stomach, waiting for their happily ever after to finally reach them. But, Jack and Lillian are not the only characters in this breathtaking tale. Darce, Antonia, Nic, Sanders… all of them managed to tug at my heartstrings and leave behind an array of unanswered questions which I hope is the foundation for future novels.

Perfect Mate is an engaging, fun, romantic read that will leave you wanting more.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mia’s Submission by Sandra Bunino

Mia’s Submission by Sandra Bunino
The Satin Rose Experience
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Length Short (27 pages)
Genre: Contemporary
Other: M/F, BDSM, anal play, bondage, spanking
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Bittersweet

Mia Lavender has been offered a promotion she can’t refuse—VP of Client Experience at New York’s exclusive BDSM club, The Satin Rose Experience (SRE). Mia's kept her submissive tendencies a secret, until now. She'll have ample opportunity to explore her fantasy, because to succeed in her new role at SRE, she will need on-the-job training at the hands of Asher Cane.

During Asher Cane's very first training session with Mia, he fails to follow his own rules and has the hottest vanilla sex of his life. Mia needs training, and Asher is damned if he'll allow another Dom to touch her. Can Asher be the dispassionate trainer Mia needs to learn the exquisite give and take of dominance and submission? Or will her submission come only at the cost of his heart?

Mia’s Submission is a very short story that belongs to a series called The Satin Rose Experience. The story begins in a previous anthology called “Keyboard and Kink”, and although Ms. Bunino lets you in on what had occurred previously so that you’re not really missing anything, I found it difficult to connect with the characters.

Though, Asher is drool worthy and I was able to see his struggle for control of both his feelings and his dominant side, and Mia wants submission but is afraid of losing her heart, I still had the feeling I was missing more from both of them.

Nonetheless, Ms. Bunino does a great job describing the setting and submerging the reader into Mia and Asher’s game of lust and romance. You can catch glimpses of the feelings the characters have for each other and the difficulties they will be facing, but the story left me unsatisfied and wishing for more in an emotional level.The sex however, is hot and decadent.

Mia’s Subnission is a quick, hot read, entertaining for any moment of the day.

Hard Tail by JL Merrow

Hard Tail by JL Merrow
Publisher: Samhain Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (260 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

Finding love can be a bumpy ride.

His job: downsized out of existence. His marriage: dead in the water. It doesn’t take a lot of arm twisting for Tim Knight to agree to get out of London and take over his injured brother’s mountain bike shop for a while. A few weeks in Southampton is a welcome break from the wreck his life has become, even though he feels like a fish out of water in this brave new world of outdoor sports and unfamiliar technical jargon.

The young man who falls—literally—through the door of the shop brings everything into sharp, unexpected focus. Tim barely accepts he’s even in the closet until his attraction to Matt Berridge pulls him close enough to touch the doorknob.

There’s only one problem with the loveable klutz: his bullying boyfriend. Tim is convinced Steve is the cause of the bruises that Matt blows off as part of his risky sport. But rising to the defense of the man he’s beginning to love means coming to terms with who he is—in public—in a battle not even his black belt prepared him to fight. Until now.

Sometimes you get the love you need, not the love you want. Tim has been burying his real sexuality all his life. He wanted to be “normal” so he married his best friend and tried to make the relationship works. When she leaves him, Tim goes home to help manage his brother’s bike store and decide what to do with his life. Enter Matt, literally. Matt trips his way into the bike store and eventually Tim’s heart. Tim can no longer deny the truth about himself, even if the life he realizes he needs is not the one he thought he wanted.

Hard Tail is a funny and adorable story from JL Merrow. It’s very British, from the setting to the writing to the characters. It’s interesting, partly because I always learn something about the area when reading, and also because the storyline keeps moving. The two men don’t get involved right away, which makes a nice change from the usual immediate sex of the genre. They take the time to become friends first, of a sort. One of the main characters is in the closet and the other is in a relationship for the majority of the story. Due to these circumstances the two main men are kept apart up until the very end. This makes the external issues and characterization much more important to hold interest and keep the plot moving.

Once the two men do get together there is plenty of sex to make up for lost time. Fast forwarding from sex to true love is a hallmark of the romance genre in general but there is so much time spent on why these two men can’t be together that when they finally did get together, it feels a bit too soon. I would think both men would need time to settle and explore their true feelings about such dramatic changes before jumping into a serious relationship. However I do recognize that this is often an issue that most readers can ignore or overlook so I don’t think the pace of this relationship will bother anyone, especially with solid writing to help smooth over any problems.

Overall Hard Tail is a humorous and entertaining story. It has some good details and a fresh, interesting setting with good characters. Some of the characters feel a bit too recognizable and stereotypical, but this is a minor qualm and not one that significantly detracts from the story. Instead fans of the author should particularly enjoy this one.