Taking Her Innocence by Sam Crescent and Stacey Espino


Taking Her Innocence by Sam Crescent and Stacey Espino
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Action/Adventure
Length: Short Story (110 pgs)
Other: M/F, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Viper has always been a bastard, a nightmare, death for hire. He’s known for his swift kills, so he isn’t surprised when he’s offered seven figures for a new hit. It’s supposed to be a quick find and eliminate. When his mark turns out to be an innocent twenty-year old with big blue eyes, he shouldn’t care one way or another, but he does. Viper wants to keep her for himself.

Viper was part of an elite team “Killer of Kings”. Usually an assassin, if the price was right, Viper would do whatever to whomever he was asked. It was just business. Pepper knew she was in a world of trouble, but when she opened her door to the assassin her life changed forever. Will he take just her innocence, or much more?

I found this to be a fast-paced, action-orientated erotic romance. I was a little nervous in the beginning as I found some of Pepper’s thoughts were a bit strange – for example when she’s attacked by another assassin, when Viper comes upon them and she finds out he’s there to kill her as well, she decides to throw her lot in with him because he hadn’t *actually* hurt her the instant he saw her. I know there needed to be a reason she found herself on Viper’s side rather than the other character – but I really felt there needed to be a bit more thought and a more understandable/logical reason behind it. I was grateful that the action and pacing moved quickly enough this small bump didn’t detract from my enjoyment either of Pepper or Viper’s characters or voices and I promptly found myself swept up in their story and carried quite willingly along with them both. I also really liked the small twists that happened throughout the plot – in particular the reason why Viper didn’t kill Pepper immediately was refreshing and an excellent plot-turn to my mind.

There is plenty of steamy sex between Viper and Pepper and I really enjoyed it. Nothing was too envelope pushing – just some delightfully steamy sex between two very willing parties. The action and plot twists kept the feel of the story moving along at a good clip and with regular intimate scenes I felt this story had a really good balance.

With excellent, layered and generally well thought-out plotting, vibrant and interesting characters and a great, fast paced series of events, I really feel this is an excellent blending of action and steamy romance. I am eagerly waiting for more books in this series.

Summer and the Alien Guard by Jessica Coulter Smith


Summer and the Alien Guard by Jessica Coulter Smith
Intergalactic Brides 11
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Urban Fantasy,
Length: Short Story (98 pgs)
Other: M/F, Masturbation
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

When her family is evicted from their home, Summer knows things can’t get much worse. She blames herself. She should have done something sooner, but now it’s time for drastic measures. There’s only one thing left to do, even if it means tying her life to that of an alien. She drives straight to the Terran Station.

From the moment he first sees the young Human step out of her car, Vordro is mesmerized. He’s never seen anyone so vibrant, so beautiful… or so troubled. He wants to be the answer to her prayers, even if he knows he’s too old for her. The thought of her mating with anyone other than him leaves a sour taste in his mouth. But moving Summer into his home proves to be far more temptation than he’s able to withstand.

When things get off the charts hot between them and Summer ends up pregnant, Vordro knows he’ll do anything to protect her and their unborn child — even if it means defending her from her own family.

If an alien romance story can be mushy, romantic, and character based in a quasi-Sci-Fi setting enough to be a hit, then Summer and the Alien Guard is a must have. This story was so easy to read, it was a pleasure.

It might read as a little too perfect but I believe that it’s because the hero, Vordro, is from a different culture. How they treat women, especially those that are future mates, is every woman’s fantasy on Earth. Who wouldn’t want a rich guy to sweep them off of their feet, listen to everything they say, feed them anything they wanted and take them to the Smithsonian museums on a whim? Who wouldn’t want a man to stand up for their honor with the speed and ferocity of a warrior? I think that’s sexy! And Vordro is all that, plus purple. Yes, in this book, Earth has had alien contact and now has embassies, dating agencies matching up human women with the Zelthranite’s, and Hollywood and the Arts have new inspiration and talents. It’s a fascinating backdrop for a romance.

The novella is definitely character based with the bulk of the conflict stemming not so much from their specie difference as from the disparity in their ages. Summer has no such qualms, but Vordro does. I like how it was resolved. Seems alien men are just as susceptible as regular guys to acts of chivalry, and hormones.

The external conflict comes from Summer’s family and the possibility that the council might not approve of their mating. I honestly was shocked when it was revealed who was involved in threatening Summer. I mean, I did expect it to a degree, but never anticipated it would include a certain person. I was just as shocked as the heroine!

This was a very quick read for me and I was surprised when the book reached its happily ever after ending. I wasn’t ready for it to end. I liked Vordro’s personality. Sure Summer wasn’t as strong as a character, but she was growing, spreading her wings and the author made that quite clear. Under the unfailing support from the hero, Summer’s freedom to choose, to explore and to experience new things and people, and attempting things she never had a chance to before, all contribute to becoming the woman Summer was always meant to be. It’s a beautiful thing to see and the author made sure I knew it.

Summer and the Alien Guard was cute. It’s an easy read, had just the right amount of sexiness to get those juices flowing, and the pace was steady and solid. I just liked it. I hope other readers will give it a try too because there’s a lot to enjoy within its pages.

To Claim a Mate by Jennifer Denys


To Claim a Mate by Jennifer Denys
Publisher: Luminosity Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (60 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Toys, Anal Sex
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Cross the threshold of Balls & Chains, into a world where humans and shifters dominate and submit alike.

Cole Linley is a gay wolf-shifter. In order to appease the Alpha within, he has taken up the BDSM lifestyle and become very experienced. This placates his wolf to a certain extent, but his dearest wish is to find a mate—male, of course. Except, the question is, how to find one in a city surrounded by humans where other wolf-shifters are rare.

Then, one night, he enters Balls & Chains, a BDSM club he frequents, and immediately senses another of his kind. And not only that, it is the scent of a potential mate, Jared Gray. There is only one problem—Jared is collared by another Master.

Jared’s relationship shows all the signs of an abusive relationship. Can Cole get him away from the other Dom and show Jared the delights of BDSM when done properly and what it means to be a beta wolf to Cole’s Alpha?

Living in the city can take its toll on a shifter, especially an alpha like Cole. He enjoys his work and has a home where he can run free but most of all he keeps his beast at bay by going to the club, Balls and Chains. There Cole can let his alpha be appeased by playing with the subs that scene with him. Just like most shifters he longs to find his mate but he has lost hope. Then one night he finds just that at the club but the man that is his mate is already attached to another. Can Cole find a way to get Jared away from the abusive man playing at being a Dom?

To Claim a Mate grabbed my attention right from the start and continued to suck me in as the story continued. Cole is a good man and a well liked Dom. When he finds out Jared is attached, he does what he can and respects that the man is already in a relationship. I enjoyed seeing how Cole goes about wooing and getting Jared away from the abusive man. Because they are mates, their attraction is instant, yet Cole gives Jared time and space before he claims him forever.

Their story is nicely paced and I was quickly immersed in their adventure. The author does a good job of bringing these characters to life. Life seldom gives you what you want but can give you what you need. Cole and Jared learn this the hard way. I loved seeing the two fight for that love. I cannot wait to see more from this world and its inhabitants in the future.

Emotional Rescue by Lily Vega


Emotional Rescue by Lily Vega
Set in Stone
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal,
Length: Short Story (37 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Alistair, a human by day and a stone gargoyle by night, goes along with a scheme that could break his curse, but he risks losing the woman of his dreams.

After being burned by love, Kendra sets her sights on her employer’s hunky gardener for a down-and-dirty romp. Their physical connection has the potential to be the emotional rescue they both need, until Kendra discovers the secrets Al’s been hiding.

I’m always on the hunt for a good gargoyle romance and this pint-sized tale delivered a cute one. I liked the premise and the delivery and I’m thinking this might be the start to a very interesting series. If it goes on as it’s started, then I think readers will be in for a treat.

The basic premise is about a man named Alistair who is half man and half gargoyle. His lifestyle comes with challenges and sadness. Until he took the job of gardener, he didn’t have much happiness in his life at all. There’s a secondary character that refuses to even give him donuts. How cruel can a person be? Isn’t being cursed enough? What harm can a little sweetness do, right? Fortunately, a different kind of sweetness comes in the form of the heroine, Kendra.

I liked Kendra because she’s a dedicated worker, really likes Alistair and when the worst case scenario happens, somehow she instinctively knew he wasn’t as she was led to believe. I have to be ambiguous here because this scene where perceptions are corrected and revealed is a huge turning point in the story. Let’s just say is begins and ends with some sexy times until the door opens and the truth comes to light. In no way did I expect the chain of events to end up where they did. I was pleasantly surprised.

The tale moves quickly due to its shortness in length so a reader might feel short changed in development, depth of character or have a hard time believing in their expertise in handling fancy tech and stealth maneuvers for people who have no training as warriors, on any level. Yet, it didn’t stop me from enjoying the overall tale because it was fun, Alistair and Kendra were likable and I thought they were perfect for each other. Their dialogue entertained me and the resolution is filled with hope and promise. The ending is a kind of happy ever after. I mean, it’s sweet, succinct and alludes to an exciting potential future. The one thing this short story did is whet my appetite for more. I consider that a win.

Emotional Rescue is very aptly titled. It’s a short-shot of fun and romance with a nugget of adventure to tickle a reader’s imagination. I am glad I read this little book and think it’s a perfect afternoon indulgence.

Wish You Were Here by Asta Idonea


Wish You Were Here by Asta Idonea
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (54 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

​​The death of Oakley’s sister has left his family broken and buried beneath their grief. In an attempt to get out from underneath their pain, they rent an isolated cottage in the Cotswolds. For Oakley, it’s an exercise in futility. He doesn’t see much hope for things to get back to the way they used to be, and he’s bored and restless as he waits out the time until he can return to the city and university. All of that changes when he meets local boy Bobby, and the connection between them is instant. Within a few days, Oakley is ready to walk away from everything to stay with Bobby. However, Bobby has problems of his own, and they might be more than the budding romance can survive. But they might also give Oakley a new perspective on his own situation.​

Life might not seem beautiful, but it’s a wonderful ride if you open your eyes.

I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I opened this book. I knew it would be interesting when I finished the first chapter and raced right through to the second without a second thought. The writing captivated me and I wanted to know how this person, Bobby, could exist where he did in the conditions he did. I was certainly drawn in.

I liked Oakley, too. Bobby’s initial reaction to him amused me. “What kind of name is Oakley?” It’s a very young person thing to say. But I liked Bobby and Oakley both. Oakley has been hit hard by the passing of his sister. He’s dealing with the remorse of living while she isn’t and feeling he’s not reacting correctly. He’s very human in his reactions and I wanted to hug the poor guy.

This isn’t a super hot story from a sex scene point of view and that’s fine. It worked for me and the story.  If you want a short story that you won’t soon forget, one with heart and remarkable characters, then this might be the one for you.

Owned By The Club by Sam Crescent


Owned By The Club by Sam Crescent
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (60 pgs)
Other: Multiple Partners, Anal Play, M/F
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Rosie needs money, and she needs it fast. She took a loan out to install a café for her dream book shop, and the money was stolen. The only way she can save herself is to go to the Old Boyz, who own the local bar. They’re dangerous, and she knows it will cost her, but there has to be something she can do for the five men who could be her saviors.

Pops has wanted Rosie for years, and he knows his friends do as well. The Old Boyz are not like other men. There are five of them, all best friends, and they have a craving to share one woman. With Rosie needing their help, Pops knows he finally has a chance to claim her for all of them. She is the one woman they all want. Now they just have to convince her that being with five men will be the best thing that has ever happened to her.

But how can Rosie love five men? She hasn’t had the best experience when it comes to relationships, and she doesn’t think she’s right for them.

It’s up to Pops, Billy, Marshall, Gavin, and Ethan to prove to Rosie they mean business. Surely there’s no chance of her saying no. Who could?

Rosie has heard the stories about the Old Boyz – “you take one you take them all” – but the guys had never been anything but good to her. So Rosie swallows her embarrassment and goes to see Pops when her little book shop is in desperate need of an infusion of cash. Pops, Billy, Marshall, Gavin and Ethan all make their thoughts crystal clear. They’ll help her out with the loan, but she’ll belong to them – completely and totally. Is Rosie up for it?

I really enjoyed this story. In some ways it’s like a mad fantasy – five men loving on one woman – and who wouldn’t want that? But a part of me wasn’t too sure to begin with. I mean, logistics alone had me curious how it would actually work. I was pretty happy that I gave this story a shot because it really did work out well to my mind. The guys weren’t cardboard cut outs, they were each fairly distinctive and particularly as the story progressed I found I liked them all for different reasons. I fell in particular love with Gavin. He reminded me a little of Eeyore, gloomy and pessimistic but soft, caring and really tender underneath it all. And in his own way Gavin was even more in love with Rosie than anyone except possibly for Pops. The characters in this story were vibrant and really made the story shine to my mind.

The sex was also pretty hot. It was a little convoluted, with so many characters present, but I really didn’t feel like it was Tab A, B and C with Slot D – often one or more of the guys were happy to watch, or merely touch as they waited their turn. It read to me as sensual and sharing – not like a gang-bang or at all crude. This really helped save the story for me and eased all my earlier worries. I definitely felt like the romance and tenderness was present and that kept the story from being what it could have turned into – more pornographic than romantic.

Certainly a different style of story, I really enjoyed this and was delighted to find Rosie get her groove on with the five Old Boyz. A happy ending rounded it all out and I really found this a satisfying, hot and sexy read.

Dancing With Fire by Maia Dylan


Dancing With Fire by Maia Dylan
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (77 pgs)
Other: M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

There is always a risk of being burned when you dance with fire…

Lucabella Strand is tired of waiting for the Firestone playboys to honor her request for a meeting. Raising rents, and hiring a musclebound douche-bag as a building manager to threaten and torment them is not how reasonable landlords treat their tenants.

Zac and Hayden Firestone have no idea they even own a residential building, and when Bella accuses them of unfair treatment they immediately deny it. Until she shows them her proof. She leaves both men reeling, but believing that she might be the one meant for them. Seeing her for the second time leaves them in shock.

A misunderstanding and a hidden secret quickly comes between them, and finding a way back together proves difficult. Will taking a chance and dancing with fire lead Bella to a future she had never thought she’d have, or will she be burned by love and left alone?

Zac and Hayden Firestone are completely taken about when firebrand Lucabella storms into their office and refuses to leave until she has some answers. Firestone Real Estate generally only owns business buildings, but they seemingly bought out the apartment complex she lives in a short time ago and have not been even close to good landlords. Lucabella won’t leave without her answers and the two brothers are completely stumped by her beauty and fiery passion. When she becomes involved with the two brothers, things become even more complicated.

I found this to be an interesting ménage story with a good amount of plot. While I found the clichéd response of the brothers when they found Bella doing some exotic dancing a bit disappointing, I couldn’t really blame them for taking everything at face value. Bella’s behavior was of course for a good reason and the brothers should have entertained that notion – but thankfully all that miscommunication was dealt with fairly early on in the story and acted as an excellent conduit for the three of them to learn about each other before the relationship really started to blossom.

Once all the doubting and frustration was over, the chemistry and sex really took off and the book became far more enjoyable to my mind. The ménage sex was wonderfully hot and I enjoyed the pacing of the relationship that grew between Hayden, Zac and Bella. I was a little surprised that once they all became intimate neither Hayden nor Zac seemed miffed at some of the “omissions” Bella had with them about her work. I felt some of that potential conflict was skimmed over because it happened right at the very end of the story and there was an awful lot of things happening all at once. I did like how the three of them really started to trust each other and while I felt the depth of love might have been a little soon it was lovely to see they were all on the same page and really getting emotionally – not just physically – committed to each other.

For a hot and action-packed threesome story this one was quite good. I enjoyed the sex and felt there was plenty of interesting plot to keep the pace and action moving forward at a good speed.

Claiming His Human by Doris O’Connor


Claiming His Human by Doris O’Connor
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (149 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Shifters defend their mates to the death…

Bear shifter Darius Longton never expected to find his mate in his favorite coffee shop, but one sniff of her scent in the air is all it takes for his bear to know the truth. This delicious, sinfully curvy redhead is his.

Too bad she’s human and far too fragile for his volatile bear.

Holly Trent cannot understand the instant attraction she feels for this man. One look from his heavy-lidded eyes is all it takes to set her knickers aflame with lust. However, she will not be another notch on his bedpost, no matter how much his voice alone makes her want to sink to her knees.

But when a customer gets heavy with her, everything changes. Darius’s defense of her places them both in terrible danger. Thrown headfirst into shifter council politics, it falls to Holly to save her mate.

This was another great paranormal romance from Doris O’Connor. I love all kinds of shifter stories, but the bears are my personal favorites. I loved this story and how the many plot twists kept me guessing and turning the pages until the end.

The best part of this particular book was the lovable main characters. Darius was a sexy growling bear shifter who was, at first, hesitant to claim his human mate. Holly was a human who was oblivious to the existence of the shifter world. Darius planned to charm her first but in the meantime he left the door wide open for a sinister plot to unfold. Holly was stronger than anyone realized and I really loved that about her character.

This book was very exciting and loaded with fast paced action, plot twists and scorching hot sex. It is the sixth book in The Projects series. This is the first book that I’ve read in the series , but let’s just say that my interest has definitely been hooked now. I think it’s worth going back to read the rest of the books so that’s what I am planning to do as soon as I can.

Bullied By The Boss by Sam Crescent


Bullied By The Boss by Sam Crescent
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (157 Pages)
Other: M/F, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Rex Donovan is an asshole. He gets what he wants, and right now he doesn’t want Nora Covington as his PA. After screwing all the other women who’ve worked for him, Rex doesn’t know how to handle Nora. She’s the type of woman that men don’t screw around with, and she’s also one of the hardest working women he has ever known. But instead of showing her any appreciation, he treats her like shit.

Nora hates her boss. He’s a horrible person. After a particularly bad incident in the office, she goes looking for a new job. She doesn’t want to work anywhere else, but she can’t take anymore.

But then an argument fuels a moment of passion between them, and for Rex there is no backing down. He wants her, and he’s going to have her, even if no one can know.

But secrets only last so long, and when Rex’s temper gets the better of him, all could be lost. Nora is pregnant with his baby, and now wants nothing to do with him. Is there any way for him to win her back?

Bullied By The Boss is a steamy stand alone novel by Sam Crescent. I always love her books and the vivid characters that she brings to life in my imagination. This one was extra hot and very emotional. This story was a definite page turner for me.

I’ve never wanted to smack the hero as bad as I did Rex for being so mean to Nora. Sam Crescent has a special talent for giving her readers a bad boy alpha hero who they will want to see redeemed. In the beginning Rex acted awful toward Nora. I hated him and so did Nora. I smiled when she finally stood up to the bully. It was then that Rex realized the real reason behind his actions is because he had been attracted to her all along. Nora was a nice girl who went out of her way to help everyone. She did not make it easy for Rex to earn her trust or her forgiveness. I liked that about her. It showed her strength.

Sam Crescent’s writing was especially good on this one. The fast flowing story captured my attention on the first few pages. I loved the vivid characters, although with Rex it was more of a love to hate feeling. As usual, the hot sex scenes had me fanning myself. There was also an interesting appearance by Alaric from The Enemy’s Daughter.

I liked everything about this book.

Recon By Fire by Maia Dylan


Recon By Fire by Maia Dylan
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Action/Adventure
Length: Short Story (115 pgs)
Other: M/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

A sniper will employ a recon by fire technique when the position of their enemy is unknown. It can also be a tactic for two men looking to convince the man they both want for their future to take a chance on them.

Nick Jones and Aiden George are committed to each other. When they meet a marine medic who ignites a passion within both of them, they’re determined that he’s the third they never knew they were looking for.

Sam Wilson is plagued by doubts instilled within him at a young age. When he gives in to one night of passion with two servicemen he meets during an attack on the base, those doubts make him run. When he meets them again eighteen months later, the three must overcome Sam’s past, defeat an unknown enemy, and pursue the future Aiden and Nick are convinced they can all achieve together.

Will they be able to find their target in time, or will the fire of their love be left to burn out completely?

Aiden and Nick have been a committed couple for years now, but both men agree there’s just something about Sam that sets them both off. Neither Aiden nor Nick though know how to bring Sam to them without scaring the Marine off completely. Sam, for his part, can’t help the hot fantasies he has about both Nick and Aiden – but his difficult past makes it hard for him to trust that he’s enough for the two spunky men. Can they work this out together?

There’s nothing I love more than a hot military romance, and a M/M/M threesome just makes it all the more better. There’s an awesome and strong cast of secondary characters – the rest of Sniper Team Bravo. I loved the easy camaraderie between them all both out on the battle field and settling down to a “normal” life. I also found that there’s plenty of good plot for readers who don’t like their erotic romance to just be a string of hot sexual encounters. This book really felt like it ticked all the boxes for me – loads of character back story and emotional plotline, arson investigations, nefarious villains from people’s past. Add on hot ménage sex and this was a delicious read and one I will thoroughly enjoy for multiple re-reads in the future.

I was delighted by how layered and deep each of the characters were – not just Aiden, Nick and Sam, but also the other members of Sam’s team. It’s clear there are more stories coming up, and having missed the first two stories didn’t detract from my enjoyment of this at all. I loved the author’s tone and voice and really found myself swept up in the story and eagerly turning the pages. There was an interesting lead-in to the next story that I’m sure will hook a number of readers into getting the next story too.

A fun, sexy and hot ménage romance full of delicious military men that I feel is sure to appeal to many readers.