Beginning January 1, 2013

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

October Book of the Month Winner ~ 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.

Read the Full Review here!

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Gamma’s Choice by Amber Kell

A Gamma’s Choice by Amber Kell
Publisher: Total E-Bound Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (60 pages)
Other: M/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Lisianthus

Sometimes werewolves are the good guys.

Kaden has always dreamt of cooking. His family scoffs at his wish to help out the war effort and think he's wasting himself joining a pack.

Gage is the Alpha of his pack and loves his mate Russ with everything he has. But, although the beta wolf loves him back, Gage isn't Russ’ mate. In a quirk of nature, their bond is one-sided and while Gage holds as tightly as he can, he can feel his lover slipping away.

Russ loves his Alpha, but a piece of him always longs for what could be. He doesn't want to hurt his lover-but how much better would life be if he could have a mate of his own?

Three men with different goals discover the difference between love and mating and how sometimes what you want may not necessarily what you need.

Perhaps the way to keep a war running smoothly is through a soldier’s stomach. Kaden believes this when he joins the war effort against the vampires as a kitchen helper.

Kaden is a Gamma, and because of his exceptional beauty most believe he’d rather be serving the pack on his back, but I loved that Kaden wanted to cook. He defied his family to join a pack and show off his culinary skills. When he meets the Alpha, Gage, he's surprised when he finds that he’s his mate, but doesn’t want to come between Gage and his mate Russ. Kaden gets major points for not immediately being all over Gage and trying to break up Russ and Gage.

Gage and Russ have a one sided mating and they both knew it was only a matter of time until Russ found his mate. Russ gets points for not immediately throwing Gage aside when he finds Kaden. The idea of triad of mates was intriguing and very well done.

This is the first in a new series and it has the makings of a great series. More backstory on the war would have helped this story but it wasn’t so confusing you couldn’t figure out what was going on. The love between the three wolves was explosive. I could easily see these characters falling in love, I loved that with such a short story that the author didn’t expect me to buy into lasting love instantly. Yes, they are fated mates and will of course love each other but it was nice that it was built up to and not instant.

If you love hot werewolf stories with hot men falling in love during wartime, you’ll love this story. So pick this story up and you’ll find yourself hooked and impatiently waiting for the next in the series with me.

Magic, Mischief and Mayhem by Alexandra O’Hurley

Magic, Mischief and Mayhem by Alexandra O’Hurley
A Berserkers Mate’s story
Publisher: Evernight Publisher
Length: Short Story (131 pages)
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Other: M/F, ménage, Anal sex, M/F/M, BDSM
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Bittersweet

Once inseparable, twin Berserkers, Eryck and Erulf, have been growing apart as Eryck’s magic continues to build. Teetering on the edge of an explosive realization, Eryck struggles with his emotions, especially when he dreams of Kharisma spending her nights in his arms. When one of those dreams turns into nightmare, his trust wavers. Yet the two have no choice but to trust her to lead them on a perilous journey.

Kharisma knows she’s a Berserker’s mate and has been expecting the two brothers to eventually come claim her. But she refuses to be held to a destiny she hasn’t chosen. Instead she wants to blaze her own path, as far from the brothers as possible.

When she gets a taste of what life with them is like, she runs. Overwhelmed, she has to decide if fate had it right or not.

What first caught my attention when I began to read Magic Mischief and Mayhem by Alexandra O’Hurley was the dictionary of terms and characters at the beginning, a delightful addition that helps understand the mythology behind the tale.

The story was a little slow at first. Except for Ewulf, Eryck and Kharisma were getting on my nerves. He was an alpha male bent on domination and being rude. She was a flighty girl, persistent in fighting against her fate. For a while, I even thought I could tell where the story was heading. I was wrong.

After Kharisma’s secret is out in the open and certain events take place, I was hooked. Eryck was still very dominant, but it was a dominance that I was beginning to fully appreciate (specially in the bedroom). Kharisma as well began to grow on me as the story unfolded and more details of her life emerged. As for Ewulf, he remained my favourite twin.

Magic Mischief and Mayhem is more than a complicated love triangle. The author easily introduces a greater picture filled with ancient battles and gods. They’re a splendid addition to an already good story (specially Odin and Freyja’s tale). Furthermore, as I had read previous Berserker Mate’s stories, I was happy to see old characters reappear.

Of course, the novel also includes some very steamy scenes (the thought of Eryck watching from that chair still provokes goose bumps on me), which make the whole novel even harder to put down.

Magic, mischief and Mayhem is a great story, enthralling, fun and hot to read.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Flower Passage by Liz Crowe

Flower Passage by Liz Crowe
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (112 pgs)
Other: Ménage, Anal Play, M/M, M/M/M
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Fern

What would you do if the lover, brother, son, and friend you thought you'd lost forever was returned to you?

Brutally battered, emotionally and physically for the past two years, Tarkan Deniz has escaped his captors. When the Deniz family discovers the shocking truth they rally and do everything in their power to bring him back safely. But all have been affected by the tragedy of his loss and must come to terms with the new reality, each in their own way.

When Happily Ever After seems like a man can bring healing to all, but will he ever be the same man again?

Flower Passage is a story of love lost and regained, even if it takes a slightly different form than before.

Tarkan had been kidnapped when a bomb exploded through the Turkish Parliament building and subsequently tortured, seemingly forever. With the aid of a mysterious woman, he manages to escape, killing most of his captors. His helper murdered in the process. Disorientated, confused and in desperate straights he manages to get to safety but is seriously injured. Tarkan’s family and former lover, Caleb, are all informed and rally to find him, having thought him long-dead from the bomb. While Tarkan’s family search desperately for him, Tarkan hides in the Flower Passage to lick his wounds and readjust to the outside world. Caleb assists in this search, but he is torn. He is still haunted and in love withTarkan, but head over heels in love with his new partner, Adem. When Tarkan continues to hide, only Caleb can help bring him back out and into their lives once again.

This is the latest book in an ongoing series revolving around Tarkan’s family, but it’s not strictly necessary to have read the others first. The author does a good job of catching the reader up on the other couples/members though it does slow the pace of the story a bit. I was a bit disappointed that a very large portion of the book was dedicated to these other characters and not the main relationship between Tarkan, Caleb and Adem.

Despite this, the characters are extremely likeable and interesting. The bonds between the family members – new and old – are well drawn and it sucks the reader into the story. Written in an easy pace, the connections and love is clearly shown between the various pairings and family members. Still, I would have liked to see more of Tarkan and how he coped with the ramifications of his torture and captivity. The interactions between all the characters was vibrant and some of the scenes heart wrenching. The ending felt a little rushed, but overall the likeability of the main heroes as well as the major secondary characters made this an enjoyable read.

My Regelence Rake by JL Langley

My Regelence Rake by JL Langley
Publisher: Samhain Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical
Length: Full Length (360 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

Before you find your prince, you have to kiss your share of rakes.

Sci-Regency, Book 3

With his days occupied with duties as Captain of the Guard, and nights consumed with upholding his reputation as a rake, Lord Sebastian Hastings’s schedule is filled. There’s no extra time to be anyone’s bodyguard, but the royal family’s safety is a task he sees to personally.

Prince Colton Townsend has loved Sebastian for as long as he can remember, but he’s done pining for a man who has vowed never to remarry. So he consoles himself with the second love of his life—horses. Stable building and horse racing consume his every thought, at least until he’s stuck with Sebastian dogging his every step.

While looking over the prospects at an auction, Colton is trying to ignore his sexy, pesky bodyguard when he feels compelled to take on a bully to protect an abused horse. Sebastian is dragged into the fray, and their good deed sparks a string of nasty rumors.

There’s only one way to quell the political storm: marry. But instead of solving everything, Colton realizes his new husband is a bundle of secrets, none of which he’ll give up easily. Unless Colton makes one, last-ditch effort that could break his heart for good.

Sometimes love needs a kick in the pants to give it a jump start. Thus the scheming to get two men, Colton and Sebastian, together begins. Although the two are clearly meant to be together, their road to a happy ending is anything but straight and narrow. The two men must face their own feelings head on while dealing with a mysterious force that threatens not only their happiness but their lives.

My Regelence Rake is the third book in the Sci-Regency series by JL Langley. It’s been several years since the previous books were published so I didn’t remember all the details and previous relationships. Having read and remembered the previous books, or re-read the books, would likely be a big help to readers, especially as past characters figure prominently. That said, there is so much going on in the plot that I’m not sure reading the other books would have cured some of the confusion I had. One of these issues is that the plot has so many tangents and supporting characters that the main thread of romance and forward movement gets lost. Some of this is nice as many of the secondary characters truly steal the scenes with their engaging antics, but it also detracts from the main couple.

On the plus side, this is a definitely well written book. The author has a definitive style and always writes well-crafted, absorbing novels. This one is no different. The world building is good but familiar. There are some areas where the details run a little thin and too obviously convenient, some clear plot devices used to propel the story forward rather than natural, organic actions and reactions. Likewise the ending is a real disappoint, but I hold out hope for the fourth book of the series to help alleviate any disappointment.

Overall My Regelence Rake is a good story and a classic bodice ripper. Just so happens it’s all male bodices but it reads extremely similar to Harlequin romances, which the writing is well aware of and acknowledges. There is nothing surprising or especially unique to the story but it’s well written and engrossing with well developed characters. I think fans of the author and series will like this but I don’t think it’s as good as the previous books.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Make Me by Megan Slayer

Make Me by Megan Slayer
Publisher: Razor’s Edge Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (17 pages)
Other: BDSM, Anal Play, M/F, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

Dixie wanted out of the daily rut and a night to reconnect with her husband. What she got went far beyond her wildest dreams. Who knew a Tuesday night could be so white hot?

Some wishes really do come true. Pearls and a hot evening of unexpected surprises is just what Dixie is about to experience.

Those of us that are married often wonder just how much our husbands really listen to what we are saying. They make non-committal noises, change the channel and we are often left to our own fantasies between the pages of a book. Our main character Dixie in Make Me is in the same fix. She is having a crappy day and all of a sudden there is a present waiting for her that will change her day completely. Am I going to tell you what it is? Heck no. Why spoil the suspense? Suffice it to say that these seventeen short pages are filled with many thrills and spankable chills. Delicious.

Overall, the book was a fast lunch break read that I devoured like a bar of dark chocolate. Dixie was a character I could relate to and when her wishes came true, I found myself rooting for her completely. Zeke was a hunk of a hubby that actually listened to his wife’s secret desires and put them all out there on the table, or ottoman as the scene dictates. The sex scenes ranged from spanking to bondage and anal play with toys and were very hot.

There were only a couple downsides. First, it's a shame the publisher didn't create a cover that reflects the wonderful story inside. And, the dialog was awkward in a few places during some of the sex scenes, but didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book. In fact, I will be looking for more from Ms. Slayer.

Overall, the book was a satisfying read. If you like a book that will fit into a quick break in your day, then this one ought to leave you buzzing from a nice kinky interlude.

Infected: Lesser Evils by Andrea Speed

Infected: Lesser Evils by Andrea Speed
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (421 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.

Until recently, Roan was ahead of the curve when it came to reining in the lion that lives inside him. Now his control is slipping at the worst possible times. A new drug has hit the streets—one that triggers unscheduled changes in infected users. Street hustler Holden Krause gets attacked by one of his clients, then is surprised to find himself involved in an unwanted, unexpected relationship. And a serial killer begins targeting infecteds in their cat form—something that’s 100 percent legal.

To stop the murders, Roan has to work outside the law. But his newfound thirst for violence makes him worry he might be more like the killer than he thought, and his reluctance to talk about it with his husband, Dylan, puts an extra strain on their relationship. So Roan isn’t just fighting the killer and struggling with his mutating virus… he’s trying to save himself.

I get the impression that Ms. Speed loves to blow expectations and assumptions right out of the water because Infected: Lesser Evils does exactly that. The format is different, the ending is different and the players are juggled, jiggled and tested beyond endurance. In short, the whole reading experience is an exercise in amazement, thrills, chills and astounded disbelief at some of the things that happen. To say this book gripped my attention from the suspense is an understatement. I was taken hostage. I had this almost insane need to know what happens next, who it was going to happen to and who, if anyone, would survive. Talk about classic drama! I couldn't put the book down.

Expect to see most of the usual crew in this novel. The new characters need to be wearing red shirts because every one seems to be a target of something foul and hate-filled, even if not all of them die, they should have. But that's my inner vigilante showing.

Poor Roan is inundated with all things bizarre. Readers will not be disappointed in his latest adventures. There's the classic Roan sense of humor, the sometimes self-destructive behavior, his love for Dylan and his missing of his first husband, Paris. But there's something new introduced too - hope and fear. I am not going to tell readers what inspired which, that pleasure will come from reading the book.

There's a new conflict that is drug induced. I get the feeling this is only the tip of the iceberg and I don't believe Roan is going to succeed in making a dent in it's existence. It's a hard pill to swallow - which is the only pill that is. (inside pun for fans of the series). Then there is the horrific cat-killer case that really disturbed me. I actually felt for the female cougar - she showed signs of being present or connected with her human side just a little bit. I wonder if other readers caught that?

And Holden! Poor Holden. Getting more interesting by the book, Holden. That man is totally indescribable. He's hot, snarky, secretive, deadly and a really great sidekick for Roan. But when the author put Scott and Holden in the same room, things really got interesting. I can't wait to see what Ms. Speed is going to do with those two. Hopefully something because the possibilities of great emotional conflict are abundant.

Speaking of emotional conflict - wow. Dylan and Roan have had their moments but Ms. Speed really got into their heads this time with some truly direct zingers that affected my feelings. I'm worried about Roan. In fact I'm frantic! Ms. Speed did not have the case wrap-ups come about the way she has in the past and the ending left me stunned. I'm in denial and I kept talking to the book like it would make a difference. With one chapter, Ms. Speed has guaranteed the next book to be an auto-buy. No fan of the series, who adores it as much as I do, will be left unaffected by this novel. There will be a long line of rabid fans waiting for the next book, I guarantee it. Is it too much to ask that the next book comes out in time for Christmas?

Once again, Infected: Lesser Evils includes plenty of gritty action, tough talk, fights, bites and blood. There are bad cops and good cops, a church with a bizarre offer and the best part, more fun with the hockey players. Grey, Tank and the gang are some of the most fun additions to this series. Ms. Speed had a stroke of genius when she created them. They provided many chuckles, snickers and guffaws throughout and I'm going to miss Tank. He's awesome. They all are, really.

Infected: Lesser Evils is a must buy. It's simply amazing and totally action-packed with conflict, revelations and excitement. There is some downtime where readers get a bit more insight into each character. As each book in the series progresses, everyone who populates it grows, changes and becomes more fully formed. It's a great series and I recommend it highly.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dane’s Restraint by J. J. Ranger

Dane’s Restraint by J. J. Ranger
Dumen Ranch Series
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (78 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Peppermint

With parents who own a Vegas strip club, elementary school teacher Sara Piermont has always steered clear of kinky. Now she's ready to sow her own wild oats and give in to the sexual fantasies taunting her. Her cousin's bachelorette weekend at an all-inclusive dude ranch seems the perfect place to let her hair down. And Dane Dumen is the rugged cowboy she has set her sights on for a weekend of uninhibited passion.

Dane loves to walk on the wild side, and sexy Sarah is the perfect muse for a fantasy weekend filled with restraints and other naughty things. Though he's never stepped over the line between a fling and commitment, Sarah proves to be a lure he can't resist. Dane quickly finds he's playing with fire and has to decide...rein in his heart or risk a permanent brand.

Sara’s first impression was that Dane is one sexy stud, and the horse isn't too bad either. Yes, Dane is just what the doctor ordered. A sexy cowboy to help Sara experiment with all her kinky secrets for the weekend before starting her new life.

One word can explain Dane:  yum. Most women have had a fantasy about a raunchy cowboy at one time or another and I am sure he would look like Dane. Not only are the looks excellent, but he has a personality to match. Even if his and Sara’s relationship is a brief fling, it is clear that he cares about her well-being and happiness. He is the type of man any girl can see herself falling in love with; I know I did and I did not even get to meet the guy. Well at least not physically, because in my mind I was Sara and was begging to be tied to the bed.

The relationship development in this courtship was right on point. Both parties knew what they wanted and how they wanted to get it. It displayed the type of relationship you expect from two adults who know who they are. Even though Sara was stepping out of her comfort zone, she still had an air of confidence that helped to move these characters and the story forward. I was so enthralled by the story that it seemed as if I'd only just started reading it, and then it was over. I would definitely re-read this story and recommend it to anyone looking to saddle up with a hot cowboy.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Love, Interrupted by Kat Black

Love, Interrupted by Kat Black
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (47 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Clover

Can a broken heart forgive, when the flesh can’t forget?

The last thing Frankie expects to find lurking in a pile of innocent—looking birthday cards is a letter from her estranged husband—the man who broke her heart and threw away their marriage for a night of drunken extra-marital sex. And the last thing she needs is to revisit those feelings of hurt and betrayal brought back by his words of apology and regret. After everything she’s been through, is it too much to ask to be left alone to try and build a new, independent life for herself?

Apparently it is. As letter after letter falls on her doormat, and the beautiful, eloquent words contained therein slip through her tightly constructed defenses, Frankie becomes a jumble of mixed emotions and desperate desire. Rage, sorrow, revenge and lust mix to make an explosive cocktail when Frankie and Mark find themselves face—to—face for the first time since the split.

The sound of a breaking heart can sometimes be so loud you can’t hear the truth!

Francesca’s world has been rocked, shattered, broken into a million tiny pieces. She is no longer living, she is simply existing, throwing herself into her work, scurrying away from her friend’s good intentions and barely looking after herself. Why? Because ‘he’ cheated on her.

I really, really enjoyed Love, Interrupted for several reasons. First the writing was lovely; elegant, rich and sensitive. The characters were wholly believable and certainly had me investing in them, and the theme – betrayal – was really well handled. It was realistic, the emotions eloquently portrayed, and the complex twists and turns of a heart, and head, in pain was beautifully put onto the page.

Francesca’s agony was tangible, as was her bitterness and confusion. My heartstrings actually tugged reading her story, and I completely understood why her friends, best friend in particular, had to take a stand. The flashbacks were hot and soul wrenching. They made me feel she really had lost the best guy ever!

Mark, when he finally appears, is everything she remembers him to be. I don’t want to give any plot details away, but suffice to say as a reader I was not disappointed in the least.

Ms Black is a new author for me and I will eagerly be on the look out for more of her books. Love, Interrupted is definitely a read I would recommend because of how totally the author had me rooting for the characters and how she didn’t shy away from tackling a complex range of emotions that could have gone wrong without the proper amount of thought and skill. Great read!

Master in Melbourne by Sindra van Yssel

Master in Melbourne by Sindra van Yssel
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (85 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Lisianthus

In Australia to get a break from an abusive ex-husband whose obsession has turned to stalking, the last thing Zoe is looking for is another relationship involving whips and chains. But then she runs into former Australian football player Nick Carrady. He’s sexy and the perfect gentleman—and a Dom. And Zoe’s submissive longings are reemerging—the ones that got her into so much trouble in the first place back in Texas. Fortunately all Nick can ever be is a hot, kinky vacation fling.

Nick finds the little American sub hot as hell. Her past means he has to be careful as he pushes her limits, but he has only a little time for bondage, flogging and sexual healing before she heads back to Texas. He has to convince her that the past doesn’t have to dictate her future, and hope that his passion and skill as a dominant lover can overcome her history and the ten thousand miles that’s about to come between them.

Zoe flees one Dom and isn’t looking for another when she meets hot Australian Nick Carrady. She’s fascinated by his Australian accent and he’s charmed by her Texas twang. He sees Zoe for the hot little sub she is and wants to help her heal in the short time she’s in Melbourne.

I loved Zoe for having the strength of character to get away and divorce an abusive partner, and where better to get a break but 10,000 miles away in Australia. She wasn’t too broken to take a chance on Nick, and that made the story flow instead of being stilted because of her doubts. That’s not to say she didn’t have doubts but Nick worked so hard to make sure she could learn to submit again. Nick was loveable from the moment he caught Zoe after she bumped into him, he is the type of hero we all want. He was a perfect gentleman and was willing to work to bring Zoe back into the world of sexual submission she craves.

The way the author describes Melbourne makes me want to get on a plane and go to all the places Zoe and Nick visited. I want to go to the Royal Zoo, see the gaol and try meat pies. This is a fast, sexy read that will have you falling in love and your heart racing.

If you’re in need of a hot story with a sexy Dom who knows how to fight for his lady this is the story for you.