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Friday, November 9, 2012

Holding On by Em Woods

Holding On by Em Woods
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (37 pgs)
Other: Masturbation, M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

One mistake is all it takes to ruin the rest of someone’s life. One stubborn best friend is all it takes to save it.

After a play scene goes bad, resulting in unexpected consequences, Reese Andrews is sure his dreams are over. Struggling with a harsh rejection from his parents and reeling from the life-altering news, Reese heads home to the one person he needs most.

Doug Hawks is excited to hear his best friend is coming to visit. When Reese shows up with all his belongings packed in his little car, Doug is both hopeful and confused. Is Reese coming home to stay…or leaving for good?

When Reese spills his news then runs, Doug takes on the challenge of convincing Reese he can still have—and deserves—a happily ever after.

Love isn't always pretty and neat, but sometimes that's just what you need.

Tackling the topic of love and debilitating illness is something some authors won't try. Not Em Woods. When I read the blurb for this book, I knew I had to read the book right away. I'm glad I did. Em Woods writes in a poetic way that I couldn't put the book down. I had to know what would happen between Reese and Doug. Had to. Woods managed to draw out emotions in me while reading that I haven't had come up in a while. Each page I became more and more invested in these two men. I laughed, cried and wanted them to get their happily ever after.

This book might not be for everyone. It's not a light and easy read. There are strong emotions and some serious issues dealt with in the pages. At first I pitied Reese. The guy was given a rough hand, but as the story progressed I realized I didn't pity him as much as I rooted for him to get what he deserved. Doug. Doug isn't a saint. Don't get me wrong, he's a good guy, but he's done things he regrets, but the interplay between Doug and Reese is so emotional. I loved every moment.

If you like a book that will reel you in and not let go even after the last page, then you might be looking for Holding On.

Damek’s Redemption A Legacy Book by N.J. Walters

Damek’s Redemption A Legacy Book by N.J. Walters
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (256 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Foxglove

Be careful when searching for the truth...sometimes reality bites.

Legacy, Book 6

Myths and legends are more than just passing interests for Sonia Agostino. She holds degrees in folklore and anthropology, and she comes from a family of Keepers, humans charged with helping paranormal creatures survive in the modern world.

Recently, her research—and her intuition—have led her to Chicago’s Inhibitions nightclub. Its enigmatic owner, known only as Damek, could be the one paranormal creature she has never seen. A vampire. Except he won’t see her.

Damek has good reason to refuse an audience with Sonia. One look at her and his gut reaction is she’s a serious threat to the simple, highly disciplined routine that keeps his bloodlust in check. Worse, she has unwittingly led vampire hunters far too close for comfort.

Yet when she stubbornly shows up at the nightclub a second time, he cannot refuse her. The force of their attraction explodes with erotic power—and danger. For when Sonia discovers that her suspicions were true, she finds her loyalties unexpectedly tested. And her choice will forever change both their lives.

Dr. Sonia Agostino has studied legends and folklore all her life. She knows something most people don’t: the creatures of fantasy – werewolves, vampire and such – actually do exist. She has first hand knowledge of some, but the one being she has always wanted to encounter is a vampire, and her research has led her to Chicago, and to a club called Inhibitions. She believes the owner, Damek, may be just what she has been searching for: the elusive vampire.

At first, Damek refuses to meet with her, but her persistance pays off when Damek becomes fascinated by her. Sonia is disappointed, though, because Damek could not possibly be a vampire. After all, she has seen him during daylight hours, something no vampire Is supposed to be able to handle. As Sonia becomes the target for the hunters, Damek does everything in his power to keep her safe. As they spend time together, he learns of the organization her family established, The Keepers, a group created to help paranormal beings live in harmony and safety alongside human society, and protect them from exposure. The more time Damek spends with Sonia, the more he comes to respect, trust and finally care for her. And there is something more than human about Sonia, but she is keeping that secret, as it is not actually hers to share. Can Damek protect Sonia from the hunters, while keeping his heart uninvolved? As they grow ever closer, will Sonia be the one to fill Damek’s empty heart and love him the way he wants? Can these two find a happy ever after in spite of the odds?

Damek’s Redemption is the latest in N.J. Walters’ Legacy series, and a wonderful addition to the line. I have always liked this world of fantasy mixed with reality, where your neighbor might be more than just the hot guy next door. This is the first of the series that doesn’t prominently feature the wolves, but focuses instead on the ancient vampire who is their friend and ally. Damek is old, one of the oldest, and I have waited for his story to be told. I like the edge in this, and the sense of things just waiting to happen around every corner.

Sonia Agostino is a smart, determined and strong woman. She has been wanting to meet a vampire, and hopes Damek is what she has been searching for. I loved that, for all her research and intelligence, she doesn’t realize that older vampires don’t follow ‘the rules’ and can be active during daylight hours. She also has secret of her own: she isn’t quite fully human, and it shows in her enhanced senses. I enjoyed watching as she discovered that Damek was more than she ever expected, and as she decided to reach out and accept all that he offers. I liked watching the two interact, and she was more than a match for Damek as they verbally sparred.

Damek is one of the oldest vampires in existence; old enough that he doesn’t fit the stereotypes seen in most lore and legend. He is lonely, and has been thinking that he has nothing left to look forward to. When Sonia walks into his club, and his life, he finds a new reason to exist, and he discovers that he can still feel and be happy, that there is a future for him. I enjoyed watching as Damek grows to love Sonia, and his determination to protect her, even while he realizes that he needs to know more about her, and the mysterious Keepers organization. I liked seeing this softer, more vulnerable side to the ‘all powerful’ vampire he shows to everyone.

This story is filled with passion, danger, secrets and some visits with old friends at Haven. The hunters present a clear and violent danger, willing to hurt anyone who gets in their way, paranormal or not. As the hunters close in on Sonia, the action escalates, and it is here where Ms. Walters’ story really shines, with building levels of passion, danger and hidden agendas ready to explode off the page. This has plenty of hot romance, layered with tender and sweet moments, and scorching hot bedroom scenes. The supporting cast, Sonia’s extended family, is superbly crafted, and I would love for Ms. Walters to tell some of their stories now that we have met them. There are some moment of tearful observaion, and moments of pure joy to counter balance, and the ending was perfect for this story. I do hope Ms. Walters continues the Legacy for a long time to come, and continues to bring new people to join theose we already know and love.

Checking It Twice by Jodi Redford

Checking It Twice by Jodi Redford
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Full Length (232 Pages)
Other: M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Fetish, Toys, Voyeurism, Exhibitionism Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Foxglove

’Tis the season for double seduction.

The only item on Jana Colton’s Christmas list this year is Kevin Monahan. Preferably naked in her bed. The delicious, hunky chef has been resisting her forever, but she’s pulling out all the sexy stops this holiday. Especially since his acceptance of an out-of-state job threatens to nix her quest to rock his boxers off.

Jana has always been Kevin’s personal Kryptonite, but giving in to her isn’t an option. Relationships are a four-letter word in his book. He cares far too much for Jana to let his emotional baggage ultimately break her heart.

With the arrival of his best friend, Nick Pappas, the balance of temptation shifts. From their past history of sharing women, Nick knows every dirty trick it takes to lead Kevin astray, and he’s not afraid to use them. Particularly since Nick’s convinced that Jana is exactly what Kevin needs to be happy and whole.

Their game of seduction quickly snowballs into something that feels an awful lot like love—in triplicate. But with Kevin dead set on leaving Michigan, there’s a real possibility it could be a blue Christmas for them all.

Jana Colton has only one thing on her Christmas Wish list this year: Kevin Monahan. He has been evading her attempts to seduce him for at least five years, but this year, she is determined to show him how much she wants him. Sexy master chef Kevin can’t afford to let Jana get close, because she is his one weakness, and he would die before seeing her get hurt. And with his sordid and shameful past, he can’t see things going any other way. Jana runs the adult shop in town, and when one of her suppliers surprises her with an in person sales visit, Jana discovers that love, in her case, comes in twos. How can she love Kevin so much, and still want the devilishly wicked Nick Pappas? Things get really complicated when she learns that Kevin and Nick were best friends for most of their life, until one misunderstanding and Kevin’s secrets came between them. Nick wants it all: Jana and Kevin, and a happy ever after with them both. Can Jana and Nick break down the walls around Kevin’s heart, and convince him he should stay with them?

In Checking It Twice, Jodi Redford brings us back to the world from her holiday book from last year, The Naughty List. The main female here is the younger sister of one of her heroes in that one. I enjoy visiting this world, with its friendly people, and hot adventures. I enjoyed catching up with Lacey, Bram and Ryan and their growing family, and watch as Jana tries to have what she wants, not just for the holidays, but for always.

Jana Colton is smart, successful in business, and determined to have it all. She isn’t afraid to go after what she wants, and pulls out all the stops to get a reaction from Kevin. I liked that she isn’t afraid of her sexuality, and puts everything she has out there, risking her heart and happiness, even though Kevin is determined to move to Las Vegas to keep from hurting her. I loved watching as she discovered things about herself that surprised her, but she accepted her exhibitionist side once Nick brought it out. I liked that she refuses to back off, and she fights dirty to keep Kevin in town.

Kevin Monahan has a painful and bitter past, with shameful secrets that haunt him and prevent him from giving in to Jana. I enjoyed watching as he fought to keep her at arm's length, and loved it when she was able to breach his defenses, time and again. Kevin’s secret kink is watching, and when Nick Pappas shows up in town, things escalate to sizzling in a hot minute. Nick’s kink is exhibitionism, and along with Jana’s similar streak, they batter at Kevin’s walls until they come shattering down around his wounded heart. Watching the lengths Nick will go to help heal his friend and bring love to both of them is a delight – and really hot as well.

Ms Redford doesn’t dwell on the secrets from Kevin’s past, other than to give a glimpse into what caused him to be the way he is, shut off from love. There are several tear jerker moments in this one as well, balanced with some laugh out loud moments, and lots of screaming hot sex in strange and sometimes public places. The characters in this are all deliciously detailed, and the fun in this is never knowing what these three will do next. This is a holiday story for those who want to heat up the holidays, and love their romance in multiples. One warning, though, be prepared for just about anything, and keep the fan on high.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Billionaire’s Daughter by Mara Stone

The Billionaire’s Daughter by Mara Stone
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (92 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play, Fetish, Toys, Fisting, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

The Billionaire's Daughter (Part 1): Breaking Free

Claire Montgomery’s wealthy father has always given her everything she’d wanted – as long as she toed the line. When she refuses her father’s request for the first time, cancelling her engagement to the most successful bachelor at his firm, she discovers exactly how far he’ll go to punish her.

Fleeing to San Francisco she experiences true independence for the first time, sharing a house and working in a coffee shop owned by Jordan Hunter. Mysterious and powerful, Jordan's involvement in the BDSM scene both intrigues and frightens her and Claire desperately tries to resist her growing attraction to him.

Breaking her engagement has cost Claire her family. If she follows her instincts and submits to Jordan will she be risking her new found freedom?

The Billionaire's Daughter (Part 2): San Franciso Breeze

Claire's feelings towards Jordan confuse her. She’s always been raised to be a lady in the drawing room and a whore in the bedroom – at least, that’s what her mother said men wanted. But this? This is something entirely different.

Jordan focuses his sexual and romantic energy on Claire, training her and caring for her physical and emotional needs. She feels as though she must make the choice to commit to Jordan and his lifestyle or to walk away forever.

The Billionaire's Daughter (Part 3): Body and Soul

Claire is settled into her new life in San Francisco and has accepted Jordan as her Master.

A sudden call from her estranged mother, urging her to return to New York to help save the family business, leaves her feeling conflicted. How can she choose between her lover and her family? If she leaves Jordan now, will he still be there for her when she returns?

What do you do when you want to marry for love and your family fights you every step of the way? You leave.

The story line of the book was interesting. Written as a trilogy, it had definite parts. The first book, Breaking Free takes us from the lap of luxury into the waiting arms of Jordan, a local coffee house and BDSM club owner. The dialog was a bit off and the action choppy. I also had trouble with the suspension of disbelief at the coffee house when Claire gets in trouble for not being a good barista and ends up down in the dungeon having sex and taking over 40% of the company. It was too fast.

In the second part of the book, San Francisco Breeze, the flow was much better. The sex was sizzling and the events of the book were more orderly. The detail was very intense and the scenes were electrifying. The involvement of Claire in the business end of the coffee house takes on a smoother ride. She and Jordan come up with a great name for the coffee house with drinks named for BDSM signature flavors. It made me laugh and I was back to being hooked again. The blend of coffee house, sex club scenes and private moments made this segment my favorite of the three. It held my interest, felt realistic and had a good story line.

The third part of the book Body and Soul takes on yet another twist. Claire experiences new sensations and must decide if she is going to remain with Jordan or help her family who needs her. This section was full of angst and the author did a good job of relating that. The story wavered again, however, as Claire encounters another man and immediately falls into bed with him. This felt a little off. As the story concluded, it went back to full speed and was fine, but I had a lingering sensation that it was more 2-D than 3-D and I wanted more character depth and emotion.

Overall, the story line was interesting and the premise worthwhile. The sex scenes were sizzling and the author’s grasp on BDSM was good. What I had trouble with were some of the scenarios. Whatever choices made in the story need to have a good foundation and dealing with the dynamics of BDSM, you have to keep showing character depth and how it affects the person emotionally. Okay, maybe not always, but in a coming into yourself tale like this, it helps the reader connect on a more intimate level. Moving from errant barista to business owner and sex slave all at once was a tough nut to crack. In the second book, emotion was well done, but in the first and third, more definition would have been helpful. A little more lead in would have made the difference. I did enjoy the coffee house play on BDSM. Having worked as a barista, I could totally see it and that was my favorite part about the book.

If you enjoy a BDSM novel with a bit of coffee house flair, then give this one a try.

Judging Jager by Amber Kell

Judging Jager by Amber Kell
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (125 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

Jager yearns to belong somewhere. Unfortunately fate takes a nasty turn and he's abandoned by his pack. Lost and alone, Jager looks for a place to call home and runs into an angry tiger instead.

Jager's heartbroken when his pack kicks him out. Despondent, he goes to visit his friends in the Moon Pack, hoping for some sympathy and maybe companionship for the night.

Ryder wants to find out what happened to his brother, Dare, but the pound puppies his cat shifter brother has fallen in with guard him with the ferocity of a bear protecting its cub. Determined to wait them out until he discovers the truth, Ryder doesn't expect to be enchanted by a sexy wolf in man's clothes.

A whirlwind seduction turns into a quest for answers and despite Ryder's protests, Jager dives headfirst into Fae intrigue. Ryder worries he'll lose Jager before they can even work out their issues.

The Moon Pack is back with a bang. The latest book in the Moon Pack series brings model Jager to the forefront. After being thrown out of his pack for handing over all his money, Jager attempts to lick his emotional wounds with a one night stand. Little did he know he happened to pick growly tiger-shifter Ryder. Ryder may have preferred tiger-shifters in the past but one look at Jager and he knows the man is his mate. There’s just a little problem of a kidnapped Alpha pair and his blind brother to deal with first.

It’s been a while since I’ve read any books in the Moon Pack series by Amber Kell and it shows. Book 10, Judging Jager, jumps right into the thick of the action without a lot of backstory or explanation. There are plot lines half finished and others beginning and ending so if you haven’t been keeping up with the series and remember most of it, jumping into book ten may be confusing at times. The ease of the writing and lack of any real intricate plot helps since the story is extremely basic without much characterization or plot. I let go of any confusion I felt, which was substantial, and just went along for the ride, as I like the flow and the character outlines.

Jager and Ryder are nominally the main couple here, but really there relationship has no substantial depth or interest. They meet, have sex, and are instantly in love and mated. They don’t need to talk or explore their feelings or wants. They’re mates so it’s an immediate and permanent connection. Once Ryder has decided they are mates, the story shifts into a pseudo rescue of previous characters that are being held hostage in another dimension. This leads to other half finished plotlines, clearly from other books, but really is unimpressive. Basically the couple could have escaped any time they wanted to but just…didn’t for some reason. So everyone walks in and walks out pretty easily without any problems. Perhaps having read the previous books in order would help with this issue since it seems important to clear up the kidnapping detail but it happens in the most mundane and almost boring way.

That’s not to say the book itself is boring as fans of the series no doubt will greatly enjoy revisiting a number of characters that slide in and out of the scenes and of course the rough, hot sex between Jager and Ryder. It’s an easy, almost guilty pleasure read. There are a lot of typos and head hopping between the third person narrators but I suspect no one that reads the series will mind. It’s a fun, super short read with some hot sex and continues the series. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who is new to the series (they should start at the beginning) but those following this author are likely to be happy.

The Wolf Who Loved Her by Kasey Moone

The Wolf Who Loved Her by Kasey Moone
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (43 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Frumpy bookstore owner, Joni Watson, can't seem to catch a break. Business is bad. Her love life sucks. And a customer is seriously stressing her out with his bad attitude. Fortunately, he's gorgeous and sexy and willing to protect her from rogue werewolves bent on murdering her.

To werewolf Ian McNeal, Joni is a mystery he can't solve. She's talkative, clumsy, and human, not his usual style, but her scent is intoxicating. Why not seduce the mocha beauty? No doubt she'd satisfy his lustful more ways than one.

Jonalle Watson runs a small, independent book store specializing in magic and clairvoyance. One night Ian McNeal, alpha werewolf, visits in search of a particular book. Sparks fly between them and despite his arrogance Joni is attracted to his raw sexuality. Contrary to his “no sex with humans” rule, Ian also finds himself drawn to Joni. He’s determined first to avoid her and then only use her for temporary pleasure, but neither can deny the depth of their attraction when Joni is pulled into pack politics. Her store is attacked and her life is at risk; Ian finds himself desperate to protect her. Joni struggles with Ian’s over-protective tendencies and Ian has to work hard to keep his control when he realizes Joni isn’t just another lover, but his mate.

This is a short story with some steamy and explicit sex. A good, quick read it’s perfect to fill in a short space when one is in the mood for a sexy alpha werewolf story. There were a few editing issues – such as “kick her cautious life to the curve” – instead of curb — and others like it, but not enough to ruin the story for me. Readers also need to keep in mind Ian is written as very much an alpha werewolf male. He isn’t some charming, sweet modern man and so his thoughts might set up the backs of some women.

Having said that, the plot wasn’t just a throw-away thing to fill in between bouts of sex. Even though this is a short story it was detailed and the tension of the bad guys was real. The characters were also well drawn and not cardboard cut outs. The sex was steamy and their attraction and connection believable. A good, quick read for a lunch break or short sample of this authors work.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Lick of Flame by Cathryn Fox

A Lick of Flame by Cathryn Fox
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (105 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Dahlia

Where there’s heat, there’s a smoking-hot firefighter.

Boys of Beachville, Book 2

No man lights Madison Kelly’s fire quite like Sean Adams, the firefighter she’s been hired to guard during the Boys of Beachville calendar shoot. Though he stars in her hottest, steamiest fantasies, he’s the last person she’s going to tell. An accident left its mark on her, body and soul. But when she catches Sean looking at her like she’s water for a man dying of thirst, she wonders if it’s possible he might see the girl beneath the scars.

Ever since he pulled Madison from the fire that injured her, Sean’s been hot for her. Too bad she clearly has no interest in him—or so he thinks, until he sees a spark in her eyes that says she burns for him as much as he does for her. No more tiptoeing around the matter—a blatant seduction is in order.

Soon they’re igniting the sheets, but come morning Madison’s old fears and insecurities threaten to snuff the flames to ashes. Except Sean’s fuse has been lit, and he has no intention of letting her put it out. Ever.

Strong, independent, and trained, Madison is more than capable of holding her own against any type of threat; however, those threats against the heart are another matter. When she’s assigned security detail for Beachville’s notorious bad boy, her former cop instincts warn her not to get too close, but her duties to protect him demand otherwise. It is when her guard is down with the belief that he couldn’t possibly take interest in someone with both physical and emotional scarring that he takes advantage. For someone who is used to relying on her gut instincts, Madison is troubled by what they are telling her to do now – trust the playboy and give in to the demands of her body.

Their first meeting is forever seared into Sean’s memory as he remembers rescuing a broken Madison from a fire. Her job may have put her in harm’s way and his job was to take her out, but the recovery left him wanting the one woman who doesn’t want him. Madison may be the only woman capable of seeing the real Sean and there is a curious depth to her that makes him want to know more. Now it’s her job to protect him, but Sean is determined to take charge and show her there is more to him than his groupies and she deserves everything he has to offer including his heart.

While this story may the second in the Boys of Beachville series, each can be read and enjoyed as a standalone. In this story, a celebrated firefighter meets his match in a former cop. I loved that the female lead was also a uniformed professional and that they take turns essentially rescuing each other on different levels. There is so much potential for a higher level of angst in this story that I couldn’t help but feel a bit cheated. The restricting length of the story does a two-fold job of keeping a fast moving pace, but it felt hindering in the character, romance, and plotline development aspects. It was easy to connect with the characters and their situations, but overall I just wanted more and for their journey together not to have been quite so easy.

An extremely easy on the eyes read that wasted no time getting to the sexy core of the story. The BDSM theme is only slight in that the heroine’s hands were tied, so readers not into hardcore BDSM shouldn’t be afraid to give this one a go. There is also a potential exhibitionism scene with a risqué roof romp, which was absolutely sinful in the best possible way. The alternating point-of-views is very well done and served to magnify the sexiness.

There are more Boys of Beachville yet to discover and I would absolutely recommend this series to erotic romance readers in need of an easy, racy read.

Sweet Surrender by Jack Greene

Sweet Surrender by Jack Greene
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Historical, Sci-fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (28 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex, Multiple Partners, Masturbation, Dirty Talk
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Siris was being trained to be a pleasure slave, when, on the eve of his auction, his captors are attacked by a band of mercenaries.

Legar, a handsome and noble guard, fights with the leader of the mercenaries, the barbarian Rakurr over Siris. Before they kill each other, though, Siris convinces them to come to a mutually beneficial agreement.

He's a hot commodity in more ways than he realizes.

I love a book that grabs my attention and holds it there until the last page. Jack Greene writes those kind of books for me. Once I open the file on my reader, I'm snagged. Why? Greene writes with a fluidity I enjoy. The words leap from the page and make me feel like I am right there. I care about the characters and am totally on board for the ride. This book is no different.

Siris is a pleasure slave. He's there to make his lovers happy--except he's very young (eighteen) and he's a virgin. The idea of a pleasure slave that's been trained but is still virginal is interesting. I felt his fear when he's up at the auction and held my breath at each twist and turn. He's young, but he's memorable. I liked that. I thought about Legar once the book concluded as well. The guy is there to protect Siris and takes his job seriously. He has some scenes with Siris on a horse that let me tell you, you will need ice! I felt the depth of his caring for Siris and enjoyed their pairing. The third in this story is Rakurr. I could picture all three characters quite well, but holy moly, he's yummy. There's a level of trust between the three men that Greene writes with a tenderness and it's great to read about.

Don't get me wrong, it's not all smiles and sunshine in this book. There are moments of tenseness and some twists I didn't expect, but all in all, I am glad I got to read this book. If you want a book that's got plenty of heat and heart, then this might be the book for you.

Rose and Thorne: Every Rose Has His Thorne by Sean Michael

Rose and Thorne: Every Rose Has His Thorne by Sean Michael
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (45 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Fisting, Mild BDSM
Rating: 2.5 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

Rose has just lost his job as a bouncer -- apparently he's too scary for the job. He's working out at the gym and considering going back into competitive bodybuilding when he meets Thorne.

Short, slender and covered in ink, Thorne couldn't be any more different from Rose, but he feels a connection with the big man the moment they meet. As they spend the evening together, he believes they were meant to be. Now he just needs to convince Rose.

Sometimes a bad day can turn around with the prick of a thorn. Rose is having a bad day after being fired from his job as a bouncer for being too scary. Thorne happens to pick up the big man and is determined to make his night better. Although they just met, the chemistry is sizzling and something the two men can’t and don’t want to deny.

This is a Sean Michael book so you can expect certain antics to take place, shaving and fisting are long time standards in a Michael book, and Every Rose Has His Thorne doesn’t disappoint. Predictably you have a guy that hasn’t bottomed since high school and yet is getting fisted within hours on the first date (without any significant prep work either). So clearly the quick story isn’t going for anything realistic or believable, but more hot, fantasy erotica. The characterization is weak and the story relies on easy and fast stereotypes to set up the guys’ meet, then hops right into the plentiful sex.

Here you have Rose, the big bad bouncer and Thorne, the skinny inked kid who deftly manipulates and tops Rose almost immediately. A long night of non-stop sex and mild kink leads to a morning of more mild kink, this time body shaving, and more sex. It’s a case of love at first sight or sex anyway, so the story doesn’t include any emotional intimacy or happy ever after per se. More so like a promise of more kink and sex.

I can’t say I was disappointed since I choose this book specifically for an easy to read, light on plot, sex fest. It’s a very typical book by this author and fans will know exactly what to expect. It’s short and to the point, which is sex, sex and more sex. If this sounds like what you’re looking for, go for it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Double Time: Sinners on Tour by Olivia Cunning

Double Time: Sinners on Tour by Olivia Cunning
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (410 Pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/M, F/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Toys
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Foxglove

Olivia Cunning delivers the perfect blend of steamy sex, heartwarming romance, and a wicked sense of humor in this menage story featuring the hottest guy in the Sinners band.

Trey Mills, the notoriously sexy Sinners rhythm guitarist, gives up his bisexual lifestyle and is swept into a hot, heady romance with Reagan Elliot, a female rock star sensation. But when Trey encounters Reagan's sexy bisexual roommate, Ethan Conner, he can no longer deny who he is or what he wants. Reagan heartily agrees to a solution that opens up a hot new world of sexual experience—and love—with the two men she wants the most.

Reagan Elliot can’t believe her good luck. When she sends a demo of her guitar playing in to a contest to tour with rock band Exodus End, she never expects anything to come of it-she only sent it as a sort of joke, at the urging of her friends after an evening of partying. When she gets one of the coveted five auditions, she is, in a word, stunned. While waiting her turn, she meets one of her guitar idols, Trey Mills, from her favorite band, Sinners.

The first time Trey hears Reagan play, he thinks it is a tape of Sinners’ lead guitarist, Brian Sinclair. Bi-sexual Trey has decided, now that Brian has married the woman of his dreams and has become a father, it is time to move on and forget the love he has had for him for at least a decade. In fact, Trey has decided it is time to give up men altogether, and when he meets Reagan, she brings with her a sense of peace and happiness that has been missing from his life. But giving up men may prove to be more than Trey can manage, especially when he meets Reagan’s roommate/ex-boyfriend, Ethan.

Then Reagan tells Trey the reason she and Ethan split is because she caught him in the shower…with another man. Trey is determined to forget that side of himself, but finds himself drawn to both Reagan and Ethan. When Reagan explains that it wasn’t Ethan’s sexual preference that upset her, but his hiding it, Trey is afraid he will lose her if she learns he is bisexual.

When Reagan begins getting treats, Ethan and Trey must unite to stop whoever it is, and they discover how difficult it is to stay uninvolved. Reagan decides that she will give Trey what he needs, even if it means she loses him forever. Can these three come to terms with the feeling each evokes in the other two? When the passion sparks, will Reagan discover her wilder side with two attentive and passionate men to care for her? Most important, will they be able to stop the stalker that has targeted Reagan once and for all?

Double Time is Olivia Cunning’s third book in her Sinners on Tour series, and the hottest so far. The world Ms. Cunning has built, filled with hot rockers and the women that love them, the fans, the groupies, and the insanity: all are well depicted and larger than life. Each of the band members, both in Sinners and Exodus End, are individual talents and I enjoyed learning a bit more about each of them during this storyline. I also liked seeing the behind the scenes lives of rock stars on tour here, and how at some times, they were just regular guys, who just happen to be famous.

Reagan Elliott is determined to be a musician, but not the kind her father would want her to be. Strong, talented and feisty, she is an individual with a ton of talent. She is smart, but a bit insecure, and I enjoyed watching as Trey was able to bring out her independent streak, and show her what she could really accomplish. She is sassy, sarcastic and just plain fun as a character.

Trey Mills is sexy, talented and hot. After years of unrequited love for Brian, he is determined to move on with his life, and finds in Reagan a sense of peace and completeness he never expected to find. He decides to make major changes in his life, and as he falls deeper in love with Reagan, he still feels bad that he hasn’t been completely honest with her about his dual sexual desires. When he finally come to Reagan and tells her the complete truth, then walks away rather than hurt her later, I was so proud of him. I felt that one scene showed just how much Trey had grown, as a lover and a man, and it made me cry just a little.

Ethan Connor is strong, loyal, and so very hot. A former policeman who wants nothing more that to help those who can’t help themselves, his one mistake was one that cost him Reagan’s affection. Ethan is loyal to his friends, especially Reagan, and he is determined that he will protect her, even from himself if need be. When Trey enters the picture, Ethan is tempted, and knows that Trey is interested too, but can’t move on his interest for fear of hurting Reagan, and ruining the friendship that has survived after what she sees as his betrayal.

There are a couple of intriguing threads to this one, and I enjoyed how Ms. Cunning wove them together. I liked the interaction between the two bands, and hope, once Ms. Cunning has finished with the Sinners, she gives us all a look at the boys in Exodus End as well.

I liked the way the stalker thread unwound, and was surprised at who it turned out to be; not who I expected at all. I loved Reagan’s solution for a happy ever after, one that worked for everyone concerned-Reagan, Trey and Ethan are terrific together, and the scene at the dungeon is beyond any I could have imagined. Do these three stop the stalker, tour the country and find true love? Read Double Time for the answers and beware, hot guys are around every corner in this one, with plenty of three way loving to heat up the night.

A Gift of the Darkest Magic by Ashlynn Monroe

A Gift of the Darkest Magic by Ashlynn Monroe
Publisher: Beachwalk Press, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (64 pgs)
Other: M/F, Bondage, Anal sex, Infidelity
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Verbena

Would you be willing to betray the person you love in order to save their life?

Clarissa's husband Matt is dying of cancer. They've tried everything that medicine has to offer, both traditional and experimental, and nothing's worked. Clarissa spends her days in the hospital, watching the man she loves slip closer and closer to certain death.

When her sister tells her she knows a way to save Matt, but it involves visiting a local club run by vampires, Clarissa is outraged that her sister would believe something so insane. But then she learns the truth.

Braden, the sexy and mysterious vampire who runs the club, does indeed have the means to save Matt, but he demands a high payment in return. He doesn't want money, her blood, or even her life…he wants something she never expected. Clarissa has a choice—spend twenty-four hours in Braden's bed or let her husband die.

But what she never foresaw was how much more the vampire would truly want after he'd given her the gift of the darkest magic.

Clarissa is desperate…

The man she loves is dying, their daughters will soon be fatherless, and she just can’t accept a life without her husband. But how far is she willing to go? When her sister waltzes into the hospital and starts spouting ridiculous tales of vampires and miracle blood, Clarissa is tempted to toss Caren out the door. And who could blame her? She sounded ridiculous.

Clarissa had spent thousands of dollars on supposed cures, only to watch her husband, Matt, continue to wither away. She certainly has just cause to doubt her sister’s declaration of a new-found miracle. Clarissa doesn’t believe in vampires. Her sister—God love her—has to be talking nonsense. Right?

Despite her misgivings, Clarissa allows herself to hope. One last shot. Surely Matt deserves that much. But if it worked, would he forgive her for what she’d have to do to get this miracle cure? Better yet, would she even survive entering the lair of a killer? Decisions, decisions, decisions. Clarissa embarks on an emotional roller-coaster that’s bound to spark the passions of any reader.

We don’t get to know much about Matt. Most of his interaction is limited to a hospital room where he relinquishes his grasp on life a little more with each passing moment. It’s not until closer to the end that we get a small glimpse of what kind of person he is. With what his wife does to save his life, you’d certainly expect any man to be upset, to say the least. But Matt handles things with reason and an admirable amount of understanding.

The character I’d liked to have seen develop a little more is Lord Drago. From the beginning, he certainly fits the bill of a cold-hearted killer with little to no humanity, and even less mercy. We get a slight glimpse of change in him, but there’s really very little time in the story to see a thorough character transformation.

What I liked about the story is the length to which Clarissa went to save the man she truly loved. I have to admire her for that. It would be a difficult decision for anyone. What I didn’t like about the story is that the character interactions just didn’t feel realistic to me. There were times when she was sarcastic or short tempered with Lord Drago, and then she’d go back to being afraid of him. I just had a hard time believing it at some points. Allowing for the context of her situation though, I was able to overlook those inconsistencies and did enjoy the story as a whole.

Overall, reading A Gift of the Darkest Magic was certainly worth my time. It made me ask myself questions like, “Would I have done the same thing in her shoes?”. I can’t say I was happy about the ending. But that’s my own short-coming. I have a love for vampires and would like to have seen Lord Drago make a different choice than he did.

If you’re looking for a touching, albeit short, story about one woman’s determination, one man’s ability to forgive, and a dark vampire with an overwhelming need to control, then been sure to pick up Ashlynn Monroe’s A Gift of the Darkest Magic. The sex is exciting; the vampires are dark, brooding, and intense; and the love of one woman for her man is heart-warming.