Make a Wish by ED Parr


Make a Wish by ED Parr
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (36 pages)
Other: M/M
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

It’s the day before Christmas Eve and Nick Kringle is making deliveries on the main street of the city when a car breaks down at the intersection. He rushes to help him and comes face to face with the most delicious man he’s ever seen.

Amid the seasonal crowds and inclement weather, Dylan West gets out of his stalled car and tries to push it to the side of the road. Dylan’s down on his luck, but his hero Nick believes in magic and decides to throw a little Dylan’s way.

Can wishes come true? You bet—especially if Nick Kringle has anything to do with it.

A sweet read for a chilly evening.

I’m a sucker for Christmasy stories. This one hit the spot. The writing flowed well and the characters were interesting. For a quick read, it satisfied.

Dylan’s had a rough time. He’s getting over being shot and he’s having a hard time finding a job. Like super hard time. No matter what he does, he can’t seem to get ahead. I could relate to him. I’ve had those days and what seems like week-long moments of nothing going quite right. There were times I thought he got a little too far into his depression, but if that was the author’s purpose then kudos. There were just times I thought Dylan was almost too…he wasn’t even willing to see the bright side. Then there was Nick. Talk about the opposite of Dylan. Positive and willing to help. I liked him and his can do attitude. When the two got together, things heated up. The thing was, the circumstances were a little odd, but I could go with it.

If you’re looking for a short read for the lunch hour or a quiet night, then this might be the book for you.

Toys for Boys by KD Grace


Toys for Boys by KD Grace
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (50 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex, Toys, Spanking, Exhibitionism
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Alpha nerd Will Charles teams up with Caridoc ‘Doc’ Jones in a coast to coast walk across England reviewing outdoor gift suggestions for the Christmas edition of Toys for Boys—an online magazine dedicated to the latest gadgets to tickle a man’s fancy. Will is recording their adventures with the latest smart phone technology. Doc is reviewing the latest outdoor gear. The two quickly discover the great outdoors provides even better toys for boys, toys best shared al fresco, toys that, in spite of Will’s great camera work, will never be reviewed in Toys for Boys.

The boys are away and they will play…dirty.

I knew going in this would be a hot story. I had no idea how hot and I’m glad…in a good way. Toys for Boys was a delightful and sweltering surprise. I already liked the work of KD Grace and this one is no exception. She even has written herself into the story!

Doc and Will are great together, even when they don’t want to be that way. I loved how the guys were initially polar opposites. Will has charm to boot and when he turns it on… well… Doc wasn’t the only one helpless. I liked Will from the start. The writing flowed well, even when I wasn’t sure initially why the author had written herself into the story. Trust me, it all makes sense in the end and it’s worth the reward. Now writing herself into the book (or a character called KD) could’ve been considered a show of ego, but in this book it’s not. It feels more like a diary entry or a retelling to a friend rather than something one-dimensional. I’m glad the author took the story in this direction. Well worth the effort.

Did I mention it was a hot read? I’ll never look at tree branches, rocks, or even butter exactly the same way again. I won’t spoil the story, but oh… man… It’s sinful. The only thing that marred the story for me was the few typos. One character’s name changed spelling and it confused me for a moment. With another quick pass by an editor and this story will shine brighter. It already shines, but it can be brighter.

If you want a hot story that’s sinfully hot and involves nature, then this is the book for you. Recommended.

Love’s Opening Night by Jeff Adams


Love’s Opening Night by Jeff Adams
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (48 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Can an onstage love story lead to a real-life romance?

Jeremy Steele is a veteran Broadway performer. For his latest role, he’s dancing alongside a man he’s fantasized about for years, TV star Ty Beaumont. Jeremy knows better than to get involved with a castmate, but when Ty has trouble learning the complicated choreography, Jeremy offers to lend a hand. When a rehearsal kiss turns into something more, Jeremy can’t help but wonder what a celebrity like Ty could ever see in a Broadway chorus boy like him. Will a relationship with his crush make it past previews, or can it become a long-running hit?

A sweet romance based in the theatre and peppered with dance.

I was on the hunt for a sweet short story with plenty of heart. This book did the trick. I knew what I was getting when I started it and wasn’t disappointed. Jeff Adams has penned a nice story of two guys who were on a collision course to meet. The writing flowed well and I couldn’t put it down until the last page.

This book focused more on the emotional aspects of the story and characters. The drama was to a minimum, but for this story, it worked. Sometimes life is filled with simpler drama. I did like the rougher moments for Jeremy and Ty. Jeremy was portrayed very realistically and I felt for him quite a few times.

If you’re looking for a feel-good short story to read over lunch that will leave you with a smile, then this is the story you’re looking for.

Casual Car Cravings by Storm Stone


Casual Car Cravings by Storm Stone
Publisher: Deep Desires Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (46 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 2.5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Englishwoman Jemma James is regretting that her hot fling with Las Vegas bad boy Damon McDermott is about to a halt as a brief business trip approaches. With one day left, Jemma cannot resist her craving to experience Damon’s untamed passions again.

Jemma is blown away by this man; his sensuality and stamina know no bounds. He takes delight in pleasuring her and driving her wild. But even after their passions are spent, their night together is spent bonding, with touches of light humor. She even discovers Damon’s playful side.

Despite how close she feels to Damon, the fact that Jemma is keeping a big secret from him mars their otherwise perfect night together. Yearning to get closer to him, more so now than ever, Jemma knows it’s only a matter of time before Damon finds out about what she’s really doing in Las Vegas.

But it’s not how long she can keep the secret that troubles her. As she lies in Damon’s arms, her real predicament is how much longer can she keep her secret before it ruins her ability to enjoy even the welcome escape of his embrace?

A hot story for a lazy afternoon.

I didn’t know what I was getting into when I started this book. I read the blurb, but I didn’t realize it was part of a serial. Had I known there were more books before and after, I might have looked at the book with a different understanding. Still, there is enough heat in this book to sizzle the reader screen.

Jemma and Damon have chemistry. Once they’re together, they ignite. When they’re apart, all they can think about is each other. I liked the idea of these two people on a collision course with each other. There was the makings of a great short story.

But there were some quibbles. The story straddled the line between hot and erotic. Some phrases used made me think it was a hot read, but then other things like the mention of anal sex were added which nudged it toward the erotic side of the spectrum. For readers who want heat, then this might be a tad too hot. If you’re looking for down and dirty erotic, then this might be a tad tame. Another quibble was the writing. While it flowed, there were more than a few typos. I was ripped out of the story trying to figure out what the author meant. This might not be a problem for some readers, but was for me. With a little more polishing, this book could shine. Also, this book is part of a serial. I have nothing against serials, but had I known going in, I might have tried to start with book 1, rather than book 3. I got confused on the storyline and felt more than once that I’d missed something. If you’re considering this book, don’t hesitate to pick it up, but go for book 1 first.

If you want a hot read that’s enough for a lunchtime read, then this might be the book for you. It’s hot, short and the characters sizzle.

Save Jake Venice by Asher Oswald


Save Jake Venice by Asher Oswald
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (41 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

When I heard Jake Venice had taken his life, I felt like I died with him. Suffocated by the fluff and fakeness of the plastic faces at his funeral, all I wanted to do was join him…wherever he was now.

I woke up the next morning with one last chance. Somehow, I was put ten days back, and I had one shot to try and save Jake. I drove across the country to find him, but when I did…How do you convince someone to hold on who’s already let go? How do you bring light to someone committed to the darkness? I have ten days to try.

A complicated topic tackled in a short story.

I’m a sucker for short stories and even more of one for tortured heroes. This short story certainly delivered on the tortured front. My heart bled for Jake.

I commend the author on tackling a difficult topic. There are some people who look at the world through the lens of depression and can’t see a way out. There are others who need order and logic, but can’t comprehend emotion. That’s Jake. The author wrote him in a fashion that made me both love and hate him. I didn’t like how combative and sharp-tongued he could be, but I’ve known people like Jake, so in that sense he was realistic. As for the other hero, I appreciated his desire to stick with his mission.

That said, this wasn’t the kind of book I might have picked up otherwise. There were rough edges to the characters and the ending wasn’t what I expected. If you’re looking for something fluffy and light, then this might not be the short story you’re wanting. But if you want something a little coarser, then this is the kind of story you’ve probably wanted for quite a while.

April Fiction Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Highland Hope by Madelyn Hill


Highland Hope by Madelyn Hill
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (241 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

“Remember, lasses. Through Hope, Faith, and Honor, ye can rule,” were the last words Lady Hope MacAlister’s father spoke before dying. Those very words direct her every action and thought. Sword fighting and leading the men of her clan was second nature to Hope and she has little time for herself or any thoughts of love. Until Aidan MacKerry is captured spying on the clan.

She is beautiful, strong, and quick to pull a sword. But when he kisses her, all thoughts of the lairdship Aidan MacKerry seeks flee his mind. When the enemy continues to undermine Hope, Aidan is determined to aid her—only he didn’t think he’d lose his heart to the Laird of Wild Thistle Keep. When the enemy reveals Aidan’s secret, he must fight for his right to be laird and prove, despite their differences, he loves Hope.

The enemy refuses to back down and continues to threaten not only Hope, but the security of the entire clan. Only together will they be able to save the clan and save their love.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

Orion’s Way by DC Juris


Orion’s Way by DC Juris
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (45 pgs)
Other: M/M, BDSM, Spanking, Anal Sex
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Orion is a vampire with a tragic past. After running away from abusive parents at the tender age of sixteen, he was turned by a ruthless elder vampire and forced to torture and sexually abuse human feeders and submissive vampires. Though that’s all behind him now, he still lives in the shadow of what he was, and it’s cost him the loyalty of Xavier, the human feeder he loves. Malagan is Orion’s closest friend–the vampire who saved him from brutality all those years ago. Malagan knows the dominant side of Orion–the side Xavier needs–is still there, lurking below the surface. But if Orion’s going to find his way back to who he ought to be, he’ll need help. And Malagan is just the man for the job.

Angsty vampires? Sign me up.

I like the work of DC Juris. I have for a while. I know I’ll get hot characters who can’t wait to get together and will probably have lots of sex before the story is through. This short story was no different. Well, no. It was different, but it worked. The writing was good and I read this in one sitting, so it was a great way to spend the lunch hour.

That said, I had a few quibbles. There were a couple of spelling errors that bugged me (form versus from, for example), but once I got to the next sentence, it wasn’t as much of a problem. Another one was the story itself. Malagan and Orion are solid characters and I suspect there are more stories in this world. If there are, then reading those would definitely be a good thing. I wasn’t lost, but I kept thinking I’d missed a few things along the way. This is a very short read and while one character is pining for one character, the interaction is with another. Now, its HAWT interaction. I loved Malagan. Strong, tough, but he knows what he’s doing. Solid. Orion was plenty angsty and was good for the story. But this felt like a taste test instead of a fully fleshed story. I hope there’s another story in this world, because that door is certainly left open.

Still, it’s a hot read and anyone who likes a short, meaty BDSM story won’t be disappointed. Grab a copy and see for yourself.

Falling for Santa Claus by CJ Anthony


Falling for Santa Claus by CJ Anthony
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (48 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

When Jack Frost’s aunt dies and leaves him her house in the tiny town of Great Falls, Jack seizes the opportunity to escape the rat race of Chicago for the quaint village he loved as a child. On his first night he’s welcomed by a baseball bat and a trespassing warning from Nick St. James—longtime Great Falls resident and infamous curmudgeon.

Jack wants to give Nick the benefit of the doubt—he can’t deny his attraction to the big man—but after several run-ins with Nick’s grumpiness and closed-off heart, he’s ready to give up. Only after discovering the secret Nick’s been covering up for years does he vow to break through Nick’s walls to find the loving man hiding behind them.

Satisfying for a chilly afternoon.

I’m all for a sweet story with a happy ending. Falling for Santa Claus delivers.

The writing was spot-on and snagged me from the beginning. I liked the characters and wanted to know what would happen to them. It was cute and sweet seeing these two characters come together. The town biddies are a treat, too. They help make the story memorable. Who doesn’t know a few individuals where are a tad too pushy and nosy? That relatable quality of the characters was great.

If I have one quibble, it’s the way Jack conducted himself. He tended to be hot and cold toward Nick. I understood exactly why he’d pull back, but the push-pull (while believable) was a tiny bit irksome. I wanted him to just decide what he wanted already.

Still, it’s a sweet story and a good holiday tale. The final result is satisfying and worth it. If you want a short read for over the lunch hour on a cold afternoon, then this is the book for you.

March Erotic Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Christmas Party by Shelby Morgen


Christmas Party by Shelby Morgen
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (37 pgs)
Other: M/F, Anal Play
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Cherie, office IT tech and unmitigated girl-gamer-geek, protects her privacy by telling the office matchmakers she has a boyfriend stationed overseas. Tech Sergeant Zakarias, the unit IT guy, tells the guys on base he’s got a girlfriend waiting back home. Both lies are designed to keep the two of them safely insulated from well meaning friends — and heartbreak.

When the two IT people voted least likely to ever get a date collide at Cherie’s office Christmas party, they decide it’s easier to ride the holidays out together than try to escape their own lies. They’ve got a lot in common, but is the chemistry they share enough to make up for all the reasons they’ve been determined to stay single?

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

March Mystery/Suspense Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Body in the Box by ER Fallon


Body in the Box by E R Fallon
Publisher: Joffe Books
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (227 pgs)
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

THE FRAIL BODY OF A YOUNG BOY IS FOUND DISCARDED IN AN OLD CARDBOARD BOX. EVEN IN A HARD-EDGED TOWN USED TO DEADLY CRIMES, THIS TOUCHES A NERVE.

New York Times bestselling author Da Chen has said E.R. Fallon writes the kind of stories that “. . . we stay up all night to finish.”

Who dumped the boy’s body in this desolate part of the city and why? And why is he missing his spleen?

BODY IN THE BOX is the first book in a gripping new mystery series featuring three very different homicide detectives.

Detectives Dino Cooper and Terry Jackson have been partners and friends for years. Now a new detective is drafted in to join them: Rebecca Everhart. They must quickly learn to work together on the biggest case of their careers, the disturbing discovery of the ‘Body in the Box’, as it’s known by the captivated media and the city’s worried citizens.

The case takes the three detectives deep inside the lives of Newark’s insular Eastern European immigrant community and the world of unlawful medical practices. It also brings back an eerie childhood memory of Dino’s, where a boy from his neighborhood vanished and was never seen again.

What appears to be a straightforward, modern-day murder case has more to do with the past than the present, and the detectives come to a genuinely unnerving — and life-threatening — conclusion.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!