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Friday, December 7, 2012

Blooming in the Wild by Cathryn Cade

Blooming in the Wild by Cathryn Cade
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (308 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Iris

Dangers in paradise…

Hawaiian Heroes, Book 3

On Hawaii’s Big Island to supervise a photo shoot for her sporting goods company, Bella Moran is looking forward to relaxing with her newfound family. As the island works its magic on her Ho’omalu blood, though, something strange begins to happen.

In her dreams, she is at one with the untamed rainforest, able to command the trees and flowers with a terrifying power. Unfortunately, she finds no rest in her waking hours, dealing with the sexy, boy-in-a-man-suit star of the shoot.

Joel Girand, star of his own TV adventure show, signed on for a relaxing weekend showcasing tropical camping gear. He never expected to fall for an uptight executive type like Bella, but there’s something about her lush native beauty that excites the wild places in his soul.

In Joel’s arms, Bella feels her civilized veneer peeling away. But when it becomes clear someone with a grudge against her family is using deadly force to sabotage the shoot, Bella’s frightening dream power manifests in the very clear light of day. And Joel must decide if his heart will let him stand back and let her sacrifice everything—even her life—for her native home.

What a long and wild ride! Unfortunately slow and cantankerous when Bella and Joel meet, there are so many twists and turns that it was easy for me to put this book down in favor of another. The good news is, I HAD to read this book, since I'd requested it for review. Boy, am I glad I finally did! Once you get through the personalities of the characters, you begin to see the mystery being revealed through the mundane activities occurring around the photo shoot.

Strong will + mystery + action all lead to some very HOT interactions.

Although this is a contemporary novel, set in the US (Hawaii, to be exact), the story assumes paranormal powers for our heroine, Bella. In fact, it outlines paranormal powers for her entire family. Once the reader accepts this, the story begins to get interesting. Bella’s unique powers center on the island - the forest to be exact. The link to the forest impacts almost every aspect of her life, from her temper to her safety, to her sexual experiences.

Joel, our hero, seems to be standard issue “adventure man”. While not a womanizer, he does not attempt to “smooth” his rough edges, nor attempt to disguise when he is interested in a woman. He is also very “nature savvy”, and is definitely more than a pretty face. His protective instincts seem to rise when around Bella.

Let’s add to the mixture the fact that Bella does not know the Hawaiian side of her family very well. Having just learned of her relationship with them recently, events that occur while on this work-related trip do not make sense to her, adding to the danger and urgency during the climax of the story.

To add to the Hawaiian aspect of this story, Ms. Cade uses Hawaiian words liberally throughout the story. While the meaning of many of them are common knowledge, she weaves in meanings or descriptions either before or after the Hawaiian words, ensuring her readers are not confused by any terms used throughout. The way she did this was unobtrusive, and a very nice touch.

In all, this is a mystery and action/adventure all rolled into one sweet treat of a story. The whipped cream and cherry topping it all off is the incredibly hot sexual relationship developing between Bella and Joel. When they finally come together, even the forest comes away satisfied!

Now, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t point out a few things. Bella and Joel took forever to get together. Even their first time together left a little to be desired. Also, when they finally do consummate their relationship, Joel finds a condom. I found I was asking myself “who packs a condom for a work trip to a jungle?” I am all for safe sex, and maybe I have just been on the wrong work trips, but this just seemed improbably to me.

There is plenty of violence within the story. Besides the violence occurring during the lengthy climax of the story (warning: plenty of action, violence and hot action await you during this portion of the story). There are other violent acts peppered throughout the story. Some appear to be relevant, some not so much, but they are there nonetheless!

It’s not speaking out of turn to say that Bella’s Hawaiian family comes through for her in the end. Their familial love and bravado underscore Bella’s actions during the climax.

While you may be confused to start, this book is most certainly worthy of any effort you make to turn the page. Before you know it, the focus will be on the effort to stop turning pages! Make sure you have a nice quiet block of time set aside so that you can enjoy this one cover to cover!

Purr by Crymsyn Hart and Anastasia Rabiyah

Purr by Crymsyn Hart and Anastasia Rabiyah
Publisher: Purple Sword Publications
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (66 pgs)
Other: M/F, Multiple Partners
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Just when Margaret thought it was safe to get back into the dating game, she meets Cole. Sexy as hell with a magnetism she can’t fight, Margaret gives in to temptation and spends the night with him. It’s when she wakes up that her whole world is turned upside down.

When Kevin discovers his sister, Gail, has been harmed, he rushes to her aid and finds her friend, Margaret, has also suffered the same fate as his sister. His inner tiger yearns to claim Margaret as his own, but also to defend his sister from the man who marked her for a tiger. Cole is their combined enemy and soon the claws will come out and the fur will fly.

After a big night out with some girlfriends, Margaret wakes up in the middle of the woods with a pounding headache and no real memory of how she got there. Finding a cabin nearby she goes for help, but the mysterious Cole has been waiting there for her. When Margaret returns back home she finds her two best friends have been attacked and are in hospital. Kevin, the brother of one of her friends, helps her to try and piece together that lost night and the larger ramifications coming from it. Questions pile up and Margaret feels her life spin out of control. Finding herself trapped between the two men, lusting for them both but unsure who to trust, Margaret’s single night of freedom seems to be changing her entire world.

Purr is a paranormal story with a bit of a twist – werecats instead of the more traditional werewolves. I like how the authors have changed up some of the more common threads in the paranormal genre and definitely made this story their own. The sex is smoking hot and peppered heavily throughout the entire story. Definitely not for the faint of heart, make sure you have some water or a nice cold shower nearby.

I found this story quite refreshing, not only for the world/paranormal rule changes the authors have made, but also the risks they took with the plot. This isn’t always a happy, fuzzy, warm story, but one where real loss and grief occur. While there is a happy ending, it’s simultaneously bittersweet in some instances – and yet I still finished this story with a sigh of satisfaction. For Paranormal lovers looking for something a little different, this will definitely hit the spot.

Wild by Mackenzie McKade

Wild by Mackenzie McKade
Whispering Cove Book 1
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (121 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Foxglove

Memories made her run. Family forced her home. Only love can make her stay.

Whispering Cove, Book 1

Ten years ago, a tragic accident drove Andie Adair away from her family, friends and fiancé in Whispering Cove. A dark secret has kept her away from the sleepy seaport village, until she receives an ambiguous telephone call from her grandfather. He’s in the hospital. Desperate to cling to her only living relative, she races home—and straight into the arms of the one man she can’t bear to face.

Sheriff Brody McGrath built a life without the woman of his dreams, but when the prowler he catches turns out to be Andie, he isn’t prepared for the onslaught of emotions—grief, regret, heartache, and love. There is no denying the old spark between them still burns brightly, but love may not be enough to defeat Andie’s demons and allow her to live again.

Wild by Mackenzie McCade is the first in the Whispering Cove series, a multi-author series from Ms. McCade, Cathryn Fox and Nikki Duncan. I love the world these three have created, with small town charm, detailed locations, and well-crafted characters. There is that feeling that you could meet these people in just about any small town, and they quickly become friends you want to see again. Ms McCade has a flair for hot romance with likeable characters, and she uses it well in this one.

Andie Adair never wanted to return to Whispering Cove, after all that happened ten years ago. When she gets an unsettling call from her only living relative, her grandfather, she drops everything and hurries back to find out what is wrong. What she didn’t expect was the strength of the emotions that returning brings out. When she tries to get into her grandfather’s house, she is mistaken for a burglar by the town sheriff, none other than Andie’s ex-fiancé, Brody McGrath. When Andie sees her grandfather, safe and healthy and happy to see her, she realizes that the old codger set her up, tricking her into coming back to Whispering Cove. But Andie is not sure she can stick around, because the memories are still so strong. Can Brody break through the walls Andie has built, and convince her to give them another chance? Can Andie finally lay the past to rest, and move on? Will these two have a long delayed happy ever after, or go their separate ways again?

Andie Adair is a strong and yet lonely woman. She blames herself for the tragedy in the past, and has avoided her hometown of Whispering Cove for a decade. She has avoided close relationships and has closed herself off from becoming close to anyone. But she never forgot Brody, and seeing him again brings all kinds of feelings rushing back. I enjoyed watching as she slowly opened up, learning to live, and love, again. I cried for her pain, but was glad she was able to finally let it go.

Brody McGrath is strong, handsome, and dependable. As the town sheriff, he stayed and never really gave up hope that one day Andie would come back. He is surprised to see her, at first, and his feeling come back, including his passion for her. I enjoyed seeing them work things out, and loved Brody for his perseverance and his understanding nature.

The story flows smoothly, with plenty of humor to offset the painful memories. The secondary characters are a delight: scheming senior citizens determined to have their way, and the townspeople are all as well written and the central characters. Although this is a novella, it has the depth and impact of a much longer story, and is a wonderful beginning to the Whispering Cove series. I look forward to reading the rest of the series, and recommend this for anyone who wants a quick but hot read to enjoy.

Hot Summer Sands by Rachel Leigh

Hot Summer Sands by Rachel Leigh
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (136 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Fern

Chef Michelle Hutton flees her controlling mother in the UK for the sun and freedom of Greece, longing for a new beginning and maybe just a bit of Zante's local heat. Sexy, pro-bono lawyer Sam Clarke might just be the one to teach her to let go. He's sexy, capable, and totally in control. And too damn hard to resist.

Sam Clarke and his best friend had once been the baddest boys to hit the local party scene-- sex, booze, and more sex--until his friend is killed. Sam turned his back on the blatant sexuality of the island years ago, but can't resist Michelle's desire to bask in the sun and explore the need that grows between them.

Michelle Hutton has packed up her life and headed for Greece to start again. After arriving she decides to stop in the bar for a drink before collecting her bags and starting her new life, Michelle stumbles into Sam Clarke, lawyer, hunk and all around walking wet dream. They hit it off instantly and Sam offers Michelle a job with his sister’s restaurant. The attraction between them is electric and instant – and soon they find themselves growing ever more intimate on the Greek hot summer sands.

This begins as a fun and lighthearted book. It’s equally about breaking out of the molds your family tries to force you in, discovering yourself and how long lasting and erotic a supposedly brief summer fling can be. Frivolous and fun, it was a pleasure to read about Michelle casting off her proper English manners and embracing the inner vixen that had lingered within her for so long. Sam falling irrevocably in love practically at first sight was also a joy to read. But when Michelle lets her overbearing and slightly twisted mother ruin her happiness all the way from England the book takes a bit of an unhappy turn.

I was torn about this conflict in the plot. While part of me understood and accepted the issues Michelle needed to wrestle with, another part of me disliked how much power Michelle continued to give her mother. Even after acknowledging the fact her mother was a conniving, manipulative and unhappy woman Michelle continued to let the vindictive venom her mother spewed to almost ruin her relationship with Sam. After Michelle had gone to such lengths to leave her mother’s expectations behind and living for herself – extremely happily too – falling back into old habits and allowing her mother to cause her to doubt herself didn’t feel quite right to me.

The first half and endings were very enjoyable though, and the conflict did add some well-written angst into the novel. Overall I enjoyed the authors style and characters and the book was a good read.

Leashed by Melyssa Jay

Leashed by Melyssa Jay
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (21 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Fetish, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

When Sage sees the man in the cage, she's hot and bothered. When she finds out he's a present from her Dominant to train as a submissive and work out her natural switch abilities on, her heat and desire go to volcanic levels. The new boy-toy isn't the only trick her Dominant has up his sleeve, but will she accept everything he has to offer?

Meeting your Master at a BDSM club with the promise of a special present sounds like a good night waiting to happen. But what if the present was way more than you bargained for?

Sage is meeting her Master at a club and he has several surprises for her. In a cage close by is Dale, a sub. He is her gift for two weeks. Delighted, she sets out to play switch and teach her new subbie how things are done.

The movement around the room and descriptives of the club were right on. The interaction between Sage and her Master was delicious and you could feel the sexual tension radiate right off the page. Sage’s mastery of Dale in a wrestling match was unique and I liked the flow of the outcome. What bothered me a little through most of the story is that Sage is called nothing at the onset, and then you have her being called Chocolate, Mistress, Goddess and several other things. It isn’t until a good deal of the story is underway that we hear Sage is her name. That needed to be stated at the outset of the story.

The sex scenes were well done, Sage switching between top and bottom for both men was hot and the end scene was smoking. I liked the caging fetish at the beginning of the story and I think this author has a good thing going overall.

If you want a short read that will heat up your lunch break, give this read a try.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Scandal by Victoria Knightly

Scandal by Victoria Knightly
Erotic Tales of Long Livery Hall, Book 2
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (158 pages)
Other: M/F, M/F/F, F/F, Anal Sex, Voyeurism, Exhibitionism, BDSM
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Lotus

Mary-Ann Everdene, a maid at Long Livery Hall, loves sex with other girls, especially her best friend, Polly Vance. Nevertheless, she tries hard to fit the social norms through frequent sexual coupling with Colum Lanyon, the head footman. She knows that “normal” sex with Colum isn’t going to work in the long run, but Mary Ann is reluctant to cast him aside while she can still enjoy threesomes with him and Polly. The crunch comes when she and Colum are chosen to accompany their master’s daughter away from Long Livery, leaving Polly behind.

Does she want sex with a woman or sex with a man? That’s the big question that Mary Ann Everdene is struggling with as she samples each kind.

In her quest for the answer to this very important question, Mary Ann Everdene journeys through heartbreak and sexual exploration. She begins her exploration with Jenny Ellery, a maid from Long Livery Hall. Along the way, Virginia Windlesham, daughter of Long Livery Hall’s master, wreaks havoc into their lives and everyone else’s lives as well. Colum Lanyon is the head footman of Long Livery Hall and Mary Ann’s boyfriend. Polly Vance is Long Livery lady’s maid and a good friend of Mary Ann’s.

Mary Ann is a likeable person, always trying to do the right thing and standing up for those she loves. Colum is also a compassionate person with the way he cares for his Aunt Maud. It’s easy to see that Mary Ann and Colum should belong together. Or should they not? Both Mary Ann and Colum appear to be distracted by another person and they both begin to explore separately and together.

What I have been noticing so far in reading the Erotic Tales of Long Livery Hall books is the fact that they don’t take forever to get to the “good” parts. In fact, the very first sentence of the book and first scene is very erotic. The “good” parts are also liberally sprinkled throughout the book.

With each book that I read, I am thoroughly enjoying Ms. Knightly’s writing. For those who are entertaining reading this book without reading Book 1 first, it is entirely possible to read each of these books as standalone books. Characters from the previous book appear, but readers would not be lost since each book has its own stories which do not depend on knowing the stories of the other book. So whether or not you have read Book 1 of the Erotic Tales of Long Livery Hall, I highly recommend reading Scandal, Book 2 of the Erotic Tales of Long Livery Hall for a very erotic, exciting, and entertaining saga about the lives of some very interesting characters who live and work at Long Livery Hall in old England.

Shadow by Laurann Dohner

Shadow by Laurann Dohner
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (211 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Fuchsia

Beauty resents being labeled Gift Species. Everyone is way too overprotective, males aren’t even allowed to speak to her and so far true freedom eludes her. Then a big, sexy Species officer mistakes her for the enemy and takes her to the ground.

Shadow is dumbfounded. He has a Gift pinned under him—a big no-no. But Beauty is fascinated and wants to know Shadow a lot better. She is full of newly discovered, unrequited passion and he’s just what she needs to satisfy her curiosity.

For Shadow, sex means pain and loathing. For Beauty, it was enslavement and ridicule. Two lonely souls who have never known a lover’s touch, together in a cabin in the woods. Each touch, every discovery brings them closer to a life they never thought possible…beyond even their dreams.

There is only one thing that I can say after reading Laurann Dohner's ninth New Species book, and that is 'WOW'. This book grabs you from the start and does not let go of you until the last page is turned, and you are still left panting for more. Shadow can be read as a standalone but to get the full New Species experience I strongly suggest you start with her first book Fury and work your way through.

Beauty at one time was called Mud by the man who owned her, she is a Gift Species created for the sole sexual enjoyment of rich men who pay the asking price. Gift Species are weaker and half the size of other species, and cannot defend themselves. Beauty is half human and half primate, and even though she has been freed she still feels like she is in a prison. Gift Species are guarded and cherished by their stronger counterparts because of their fragile nature.

Shadow is a New Species officer who was also freed and still remembers all the torture he went through when he was in the labs. His job is to make sure human intruders do not enter Homeland, and when he see a woman running he immediately gives chase. After grabbing the woman he realizes that it is Beauty the Gift Species.

Laurann Dohner has a way of making her characters so charismatic, so heartwarming that the reader is left wishing a New Species man would come and claim her. Shadow is a love story that made me laugh and cry, as well as experience every emotion he and Beauty shared. It was beautiful to see the innocence they had as they sought love and need in each other, especially since neither had ever experienced it before.

I knew Beauty wanted to be more than what she was told she had to be and I knew Shadow wanted her sexually but was cautious because she was a Gift. The supporting characters from previous books helped enhance the story and also helped to tie up all the loose ends. One of my favorite characters is Breeze; she is tough but comical especially when she uses 'human slang' which the other New Species don't quite get.

Shadow is a must read for everyone who enjoys reading a book that you cannot put down and that leaves you wishing for more, and also gives you a big dose of sizzling hot sex. Laurann Dohner gives you an alpha male character that is not only strong and protective but vulnerable, which makes the reader love him. Then you have Beauty that is supposed to be fragile but the reader could tell that there was more to her. Shadow is an excellent read, hopefully you will pick up a copy and see what I am raving about.

Wildly Inappropriate by Eden Connor

Wildly Inappropriate by Eden Connor
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Interracial
Length: Full Length (390 Pages)
Other: M/F, BDSM, Anal play, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed By Fuchsia

The farmer Cynda Avery must seduce in order to save her grandmother's home isn't what she expects. Daniel De Marco teaches Cynda about clingstone peaches and kinky sex. Can Cynda teach Daniel to see beyond the color of her skin?

Desperate to save her grandmother from an unscrupulous loan shark, Cynda Avery agrees to Daniel De Marco's wildly inappropriate offer--control of her body for two weeks in exchange for time to talk him into selling his untended peach orchards.

Handsome Daniel isn't the redneck farmer Cynda expected. From the feminine clothes he wants her to wear to the confident way he handles every problem to the kinky way he likes to tie her up to have sex, he makes her want to please him. When she finds the key to his mother's disappearance and spends a weekend in jail, will Daniel decide Cynda's an itch he's already scratched or could he cling to dark flesh like hers?

Cynda Avery stood in Daniel De Marco's yard with a chain around her neck tethered to the back of his truck. Half dressed and wishing she was any place but here, Cynda knew that she had to go through with this plan in order to save her grandmothers ' home. What she didn't expect to see was the gorgeous completely naked Daniel De Marco step out on his porch stroking himself.

Daniel De Marco didn't like the fact that someone else was sent to him to try to convince him to sell off some of his land. He did however find the woman chained to his truck intriguing and she also had a nice ass. Instead of unchaining her and sending her on her way, Daniel decided to play along but by his rules.

Wildly Inappropriate is a excellent book with lots of hot sex, and interesting toys. Daniel expressed his Dom tendencies and Cynda submitted to each and every one of them. The two of them sizzled and heated up the pages, I could almost see the smoke billowing up from them. The story wasn't just about sizzling sex, there was also the mystery of what happened to Daniel's mom, and also why Cynda was chained to Daniel's truck. The supporting characters like Daniel's brothers Colton and Eric, along with Colton's girlfriend Lila and his nephew Jonah added depth to the story. Even the villain Kingsley Dazza who was trying to take Cynda's grandmothers home was very well developed.

I loved how the story was about Cynda and Daniel but had back stories going as well. The lives of his brothers and nephew and the things they faced did not detract from Cynda and Daniel. Everything blended so well together and this reader enjoyed Wildly Inappropriate because of all the different elements to the story. I whole heartedly recommend Wildly Inappropriate, it's BDSM content is light but tasteful and it's just a really good read. See for yourself, pick up a of copy of Wildly Inappropriate, settle back in your favorite chair and enjoy.

Fluid Motion by Darien Cox

Fluid Motion by Darien Cox
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (103 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Fern

Darcy James' life blew up in her face after her husband disappeared with her newly acquired inheritance. All she has left in the world is the White Birch Inn, formerly run by her grandmother, so she takes over operations in the mountain ski village.

Still damaged from her husband's betrayal, she has trouble connecting with men. But while her emotions are damaged, her libido is not, and she begins spying on a gorgeous tenant who's moved into one of her suites at the inn.

But things become complicated when she discovers her tenant is not what he seems, possibly not even human. And that she's not the only one stalking him...

Darcy James is deeply intrigued by her new renter, Baxter Smith. With his smoking hot looks and voracious reading habits, even after a month of them being in such close proximity he remains almost totally a mystery to her. When they finally bump into each other neither feels like they make a particularly good impression. But when Darcy is approached by a pushy stranger blackmailing her to dish information on Baxter, she suddenly has to choose sides. While I found the start of this book meandered a fair bit the author manages to get a lot of plot hooks and questions bubbling in my mind.

This is a really interesting twist on a shape changer/other worldly style of story. The background is quite well thought out and explained in detail and certainly has a unique look to it. The long scenes of discussion, however, tend to slow the pace of action and romance, but the fresh outlook makes up for much of this. The sex is hot and the characters attraction to each other is well written and believable. There are also some amazingly unforeseen good reasons to have sex in the bath with Baxter that made me both curious and giggle.

Overall this was a fun story and definitely not your standard erotic romance. For readers who think they’ve read it all or are looking for something a little different – this is the perfect book to sit back and relax with.

The Virgin Huntress by Victoria Vane

The Virgin Huntress by Victoria Vane
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (92 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Plumeria

Desperate times call for devilish measures. When the object of one's passion has eyes for's time to take matters in hand!


Lady Vesta Chambers is accustomed to getting what she wants...and what she wants is Captain Hewett DeVere...

Coddled and pampered since her mother's death, Lady Vesta Chambers is beside herself when her father goes to London to prepare for her come-out and returns with a young bride of his own. With her world turned upside down, Vesta accompanies her godmother, Diana, to town where she is smitten the moment she lays eyes on a certain captain of the Seventeenth Light Dragoons.

But when the object of her passion has eyes for another...

Captain Hewett DeVere, younger brother and heir to Viscount Ludovic "The Devil" DeVere, has returned from the American war scarred, disillusioned, and looking forward to settling down to a quiet and respectable life. But when the handsome and straight-laced captain turns his eyes toward the widowed Diana, Vesta is prepared to take devilish measures to prove just how wrong he is.

And the Devil DeVere looks after his own...

Recruiting the aid of her godfather, Vesta vows to prove to Hew once and for all that she is no longer a little girl, but a woman with the passion of...a huntress.

What is one to do when the object of your affection not only doesn’t return your feelings, but has his eyes set on your relative? Trap him and give him no escape, obviously!

Book two in the Devil Devre series starts out with us meeting Vesta, the rather bratty protagonist of the tale and daughter to Sir Edward Chambers, who we met in the first book of the series. Vesta is soon to have her coming out and is upset at her father’s rather unseemly marriage to a young women he barely knew. Here we also meet Diana, Vesta’s godmother who helped raise her after her mother died. Both had hoped that Edward would ask Diana to marry him so they were disappointed when a new wife appears. In order to avoid any awkward situations, Diana decides to take Vesta to London earlier then planned.

Enter Captain Hewett DeVere, younger brother of Viscount Ludovic DeVere, which we also met in book one and had a fairly large role in the marriage of his best friend, Edward. He also happens to be Vesta’s godfather and is asked to keep watch over both women while they stay in London. While Ludovic doesn't take anything seriously, Hewett takes everything seriously including the safety of his brother’s charges. The brothers share an agreement that Hew would marry and produce an heir so that Vic wouldn't have to chain himself to a woman and could continue his devilish ways. After meeting Diana, Hew has set his cap on her but little does he know that Vesta has him in her sights.

This book, The Virgin Huntress, was aptly named. The rest of the book shows how a rather clever Vesta plans to trap and steal away Hew and his affection from Diana. We also find out that Diana and Vic share a history that still simmers within them and most of the time becomes explosive when they are in the same room. This chemistry between the two made me very curious about what the past and future held for them.

I admit that I didn't really care for Vesta at the beginning, but once her plan is in action, my feelings towards her changed and I admired her fiery personality. Hew was lovable from page one, and met my expectations when he finally let himself see the real woman within Vesta. Everyone had a role to play and even the secondary characters, such as the servants, where charming. There were several swoony moments, including when Hew said to Vesta ; ‘“Taken as a whole, my love, you are infinitely greater than the sum of your parts—and everything I didn't know I needed.” He claimed her mouth now, deeply, passionately.’

All in all, this was a great piece by author Victoria Vane. She had me sighing, fanning myself and laughing out loud. This is not the first book I've read by this author and certainly won't be the last.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Barbarian by Georgia Fox

The Barbarian by Georgia Fox
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Length: Short Story (122 pages)
Genre: Historical
Other: M/F, anal sex
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Bittersweet

Lady Amias has a bad temper. She's been rejected by four husbands already and Stryker Bloodaxe could be her last chance to escape spinsterhood. Unfortunately he has the civility and refinement of a randy bull, and his remote manor on the wild, Cornish moor never housed a female unless she was a servant or a whore.

Amias knows Stryker doesn't want a wife, but he needs her bride purse and he's just desperate enough to take her on, reputation and all. Whatever is required to claim the haughty lady's dowry, this ruthless warrior will do it.

Except one thing.

He'll never give his heart.

Undaunted, Amias strikes a bargain with her barbarian. After all, he has other parts to share, even if his heart is out of bounds. He may think he's unlovable, his manor uninhabitable for a lady, but she hasn't earned the name "Ami the Unbreakable" for nothing.

Why deny it? I’m addicted to Georgia Fox’s Conqueror series. The Barbarian, her latest release, does not disappoint.

Reminiscent of the Taming of the Shrew in some ways, The Barbarian turned out to be an excellent read. I swept through the 120 page novella in just a few hours, liking both brutish Stryker and “Ami the Unbreakable“. Although, I must admit that at first my feelings toward the hero were conflicted, see-sawing between both hate and love. After all, submitting the heroine to cunnilingus while being watched by another man is not very gentlemanly! Then there was the fact that he did come off as brutish and a bit dumb but as the story progressed I easily felt myself falling for his charm, for as he himself says: “[…] however rough his manners, Stryker was not stupid. His wisdom was merely of a different kind to the sort she recognized.”

The plot of this story is not complicated. The love between Amias and Stryker happens fast, but Ms. Fox has a way with words that makes it believable that two such opposing characters could fall for each other so quickly and not sound fake or forced. As usual, the erotic scenes were first rate. Unlike other stories where the characters might have tried out different things such as toys or ménages, here, the love scenes turned out to be both tender and hot. It was easy to feel the chemistry between the barbarian and the lady form the start.

However, the only thing that puzzled me and left me a bit disgruntled was the two contemporary chapters at the beginning and at the end of the novel. Set apart from the bulk of The Barbarian, they felt like a message from the author, though to me it was not clear if it was a farewell or simply her way to tell us that there was really no end to her stories.

That aside, The Barbarian is a fun read for anyone with a passion for short, quick historical romances.