What to Do with a Bad Boy by Marie Harte

BOY
What to Do with a Bad Boy by Marie Harte
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (366 pgs)
Other: M/F, Anal Play, Spanking
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Mike McCauley had his soul mate for a precious time before she died giving birth to their son. She left him with the best boy a guy could want, so why is everyone playing matchmaker? He’s sick of it . . . until he meets Delilah Webster.

For some reason, the foul-mouthed, tattooed mechanic sets his motor running. He sees the loving woman buried within. But the closer they get, the more the pain of past wounds throws a monkey wrench into a future he’s not sure he can handle…

After reading this novel, the hero wasn’t the only one needing a cold shower. This story has scenes so hot, I swear the pages scorched my eyebrows.

What to Do with a Bad Boy is finally giving me what I want, Mike’s story. For such a fussy and fastidious housekeeper and father of such a cute little rascal named Colin, I never dreamed he had such sexy and kinky depths hidden in that big hunky body of his. Guess it took a woman with a hint of “bad girl” to get the hero to open up which means Del is the perfect woman for him. Ms. Harte made sure of that.

The internal conflict that holds Mike back is the memory of his first wife. Yes, he loved her and still does but he needs to move on. Even he thinks so. But he’s got this ‘ideal’ that he believes he must have and having any feelings or lust for Del seems so wrong, it scares him. The interesting thing about lust is the power it can have. In this story, it slams into Mike so hard he can’t help but ponder, wonder and salivate over ‘what if?’ That is the chink in his armor that Del slips through and the fun begins.

Del is quite a mix of brash, confident, mouthy and hidden deep inside, sentimental and purely feminine. She’s definitely on the rough side but that works perfectly when she bounces that attitude of hers off of Mike. I also like the fact that she’s capable, smart and willing to step out of her comfort zone for friends. There is a lot for a reader to like about the heroine.

The basic plot is focused on Mike and Del getting over their hang-ups in order to fall in love. Mike’s path is onerous because he has to truly, finally and completely reconcile his past with his present. That pivotal moment was a gut punch. It was well written, dramatic and powerful because it was full of intense emotion and pain. What a great scene. Del has to learn to compromise and trust that for once, she has the real deal, true love, and Mike isn’t simply going to go ‘poof’. She has a hard time with that transition of expecting failure to expecting success instead.

One thing about this book is the hotness of it. Once Mike realizes that Del can take anything he can dish out, he taps into sexual yearnings he’s always had but buried deep. With Del, he can be himself and once he realizes that, readers are in for some heat inducing scenes. Seems he has this thing for tying Del up and giving her orders and even spanking her when she’s ‘bad’. For Del, a tough and suffers-no-fools kind of gal, giving Mike that kind of power over her is a heady trip and one that shocks her because she had no clue she wouldn’t mind a take charge kind of guy to that extent. Throughout all the amazing sex scenes, Ms. Harte did something fascinating. She incorporated dialogue, both internal and external, throughout their mating. The author wrote them in such a way that a reader can’t simply skim over them thinking, ‘oh, it’s just another sex scene’. If they do skim, they’ll miss the growth of Mike and Del’s relationship. It’s interwoven so tightly it gives meaning to the sex and makes every single moment thoroughly readable. No mistake though; have the ice handy for a few of them.

The one character I could have done without was Grace. I understood why she was included in this story, she was a conflict foil. Still, she annoyed me. The fact that Mike’s mom acted the way she did annoyed me too. I expected better from her for some reason and the fact she kept on her stubborn blinders about Del just got my goat.

Colin was his usually rascally self. I enjoyed how the author got into his head and allowed me to follow his reasoning as to why Del would be the perfect mom for him. What he did to try to orchestrate it was adorable. All through the series, he was a lovable character and Ms. Harte made him shine in this novel.

I think this book could be read as a standalone but I wouldn’t recommend it only because I believe that the reading of it is more powerful after reading the previous three. Ms. Harte has been slowly seducing readers about Mike and Del for quite some time. If a reader wants the full effect, read at least the previous two novels. They’ll be glad they did.

Reading What to Do with a Bad Boy is like the perfect summer vacation – everything that could make the experience the best it could be, a reader gets. Mike and Del’s story is a home run and closes the series with a winner of a story. The romance is wonderful, the sex is deliciously wicked and all the characters provide that family feeling of continuity and connection. I definitely recommend this book to romance readers, especially those that like their books extra sizzling.

The Queen’s Guard by Emma Jane

GUARD
The Queen’s Guard by Emma Jane
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (13 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Fetish (Guard’s Uniform)
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Jonathan visits Windsor Castle every weekend to watch one particular member of the Queen’s Guard, and when he spots the man at the local gay bar he knows he might just be in with a chance. As he watches the changing of the guard, he imagines just what he could get up to with his soldier.

Jonathan had a slight obsession with one of the Queen’s Guard from Windsor Castle ever since spotting him in a local gay bar. Every Saturday Jonathan goes to watch the changing of the guard, his harmless little obsession and the ritual that’s growing around it. Trying to go cold turkey, Jonathan decides to skip his Saturday ritual and instead goes out clubbing that evening. Bumping into Isaac, his soldier, quickly puts all his good intentions right out of mind.

Written in the first person perspective in Jonathan’s voice, I thought this short story had the air of a confessional. While I’m usually not a fan of first person writing, and it was a little difficult to feel a connection to Isaac as there was nothing about his thoughts/views, this was still an intriguing story. I enjoyed the different tone the author gave Jonathan and also found the story itself fresh and different. I also found myself a little disappointed with how speedily the sex was dealt with. While the build up and chemistry was fantastic, the actual event itself was quickly – almost dismissively – written. It’s possible that this was due to a word limit, or other constraint, but personally I’d have enjoyed this book far more thoroughly if there had been more description and time devoted to the scene when Jonathan and Isaac finally get together with Isaac’s Queen’s Guard uniform.

This is a short, sexy story filled with chemistry and charmingly written. I enjoyed the fresh perspective and novel concept of the story itself. An enjoyable, quick story.

Seven Steps To Heaven by Emily Moreton

HEAVEN
Seven Steps To Heaven by Emily Moreton
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (24 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Fetish (role-playing police officer)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Steve’s night at Heaven starts badly, what with finding a dead body behind the club where he strips and all that, but rapidly improves with the introduction of older, attractive Officer Monroe, the first cop on scene. That’s Step One. Steve’s problem is negotiating the steps that come after that. Like lunch dates, small talk and, oh yeah, his own massive uniform kink.

Steve was already having a crappy morning when he steps outside for a smoke – only to discover a dead body. The only upside was when the cops arrive one of them is like a walking wet-dream. Officer Monroe has a sense of humour, kind eyes and a few mysteries of his own. Steve finds himself hooked before he knows what’s happening and all too soon he’s realizing that maybe he has a thing for uniforms after all.

This is a character driven story – and Monroe and Steve didn’t disappoint me. With the guessing game of what Monroe’s Christian name is, and the ribald fun between the two men as Steve flirted with Monroe this book moves at a fast pace. I enjoyed the different spin on “the cop and the stripper”, and felt Ms Moreton did an excellent job of keeping the situation lighthearted.

The sub-plot of the murder and serial killer got lost a bit in amongst the sex and budding relationship between Steve and Monroe. Although it was light and there was a brief mention about them making progress, a part of me would have enjoyed it if there’d been a more firm resolution. This would have left it not feeling like a loose end for me. But the real aim of the story was the steps bringing Steve and Monroe together and in this I found the author masterful. There was an excellent blend of sex, fun and banter. Steve and Monroe didn’t just fall together and instantly work, there were boundaries and steps and I enjoyed watching them both navigate their new relationship.

I found this to be a fun, interesting read and I’d definitely look up more titles by this author.

Nurse Levi by L.J Hamlin

MEN
Nurse Levi by L.J Hamlin
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (20 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Levi is a nurse, and his days are pretty much the same, always working hard. His day changes when another nurse asks him to take over looking after one of her patients. Levi finds himself tending to Ash, an injured fireman and the sparks are there from the start.

Levi leaves work that day still thinking about Ash, but thinking he’ll never see him again. Fate, and maybe some sneakiness on Ash’s part, bring the men together again and the heat between them quickly grows.

Levi’s parents might have been okay with him being gay, but they struggled to understand why a man would want to be a nurse, not a doctor. Still, Levi enjoys helping people and is satisfied with his career. When Levi takes over a patient from another nurse who has to leave early, he decides it’s his lucky night. Ash is one smoking hot fireman, injured rescuing a kitten. Levi wants to do far more than patch Ash up, and soon the two men are both on fire for each other.

Despite a few snickers from the clichés, I found this to be a really fun romp of a short story. Leave your brain behind, grab an icy cold drink and settle in for this fun ride. Filled with double entendres and witty repertoire this book had be laughing aloud and eagerly turning the pages. Levi and Ash are humorous characters and I enjoyed watching them come together. Really sweet without being sappy, I found both Ash and Levi to be softer, gentler kinds of characters. There isn’t much plot to speak of, but the characters and the building of their newfound relationship takes front and center stage.

A short, happy, fun story, this is an excellent introduction to M/M. With a sweet and almost tender sex scene and plenty of getting-to-know-you time before the big event I would strongly recommend this for readers who want to dabble in M/M but want something gentler to help ease them in. Like a good, summery drink I found this a frothy and happy story to read.

Dirty Little Secret by Ella Sheridan

SECRET
Dirty Little Secret by Ella Sheridan
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (164 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Peppermint

Cailin Gray transfers to the new Atlanta branch of her company to work for the senior vice president, Alex Brannigan. But before her job begins, she allows the anonymity of the big city to lure her into a night of dancing–and the arms of a mystery lover hotter than anything this country girl could imagine. When she wakes alone, his absence hurts more than she thought it would, but not nearly as much as walking into the office Monday morning and discovering her lover is her new, married boss.

Alex has one goal: help his best friend, Sara Beth, keep her inheritance. Their plan included a marriage of convenience–check–taking over the vice president’s position–check–and keeping the platonic state of their relationship secret until their position of power is solidified. That last takes time, but the resulting solitude weighs heavily. Until Cailin. He told himself a single night would have to be enough, but fate had other plans. Now he must choose between keeping his dirty little secret and fulfilling his promise to Sara Beth, or finding the strength to free them all from the secrets that bind them.

This story completely captured me from the very beginning and kept my attention until the very end. Cailin has a naughty side that no one but Alex ever got to experience, and once he got a taste, he did not want to give her up. I can honestly say that the relationship between those two was something out of my fantasies.

Alex is everything I want in man: sexy, strong, reliable and knows what he wants in life. Both his strength and reliability makes him endearing but they can also lead to his downfall especially as he puts others ahead of his own happiness. This is evident throughout the story as he continues to keep secrets. The secrets he keeps will not only effect his life, but can destroy others, so he must sacrifice his happiness and possibly Cailin’s to protect those he loves.

Cailin is a sweetheart who deserves the world. I cannot help but feel for her position. She finally left her husband and was looking for a fresh start to only get thrown into more drama. She clearly wants Alex for more than just a quick one night fling but she knows that her lust is misplaced. She may have been a bad girl that one night, but she refuses to be a person who destroys other’s lives for her own personal needs.

This story plot line is intriguing to say the least. Both Alex and Cailin as well as the supporting characters really do have a unique situation on their hands that requires them to be delicate and try to do what is best for everyone. The secrets in this story are so deep and juicy it is a bit difficult to review as I do not want to spoil it for the readers. This story is one I will hold near and dear to my heart and is well worth reading. I fully intend to read it again.

Best Laid Plans by M. Durango

LAID
Best Laid Plans by M. Durango
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (22 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Craig is happy with his life, even if running his own business and negotiating bank loans can be stressful. The closest thing he’s had to a serious relationship was with Ryan in college. After Ryan moved away, Craig hardly gave him a second thought. When Ryan shows up with Craig’s weekly liquor order, Craig’s thrown off his game and finds himself a little in lust.

Craig and Ryan had messed around together in college, but they’d both moved on. Now Ryan is back from New York and working as a delivery guy. Both have secrets about what they’ve done in the past ten years, but neither can deny the intensity of the attraction that still burns between them.

For a super short story I was delighted by how much plot and character growth was squashed into these brief pages. The author does an excellent job of short, snappy paragraphs that paint vivid scenes for the reader. I found myself catching up quickly on the history simmering between Ryan and Craig, and appreciating how neither man pounced immediately on the other – a very common way for authors to get the story moving. I enjoyed the tease about what had led Ryan back from New York, but would have liked a bit more meat to the snippets of explanation about this. The story of how he’d gone from financial whiz to truck driver was quite interesting and I feel could have been fleshed out just a little more.

Although simple and short, this story had an intriguing complexity to it and I found myself eagerly devouring it all.

Readers who are looking for a plot and character driven, quick read should be pleasantly surprised. While there is plenty of steamy chemistry and sizzling attraction, just the one sex scene means this book isn’t as raunchy as many and is a good way to ease newbie readers – or those who usually are skittish about M/M – and keeps it quite well rounded to my mind. An excellent, fast read and one I found deeply satisfying.

The Viper by Kele Moon

VIPER
The Viper by Kele Moon
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (261 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Marcos Rivera is a fighter. A gang member. Someone who has seen the dark side of humankind and survived. He has lost family and gained enemies. He has stolen cars and destroyed hearts, stripping one for money and the other for pleasure. His past is haunted and his future is bleak.

Until her.

Katie Foster is a high school history teacher. Smart, strong, and sexy. She is a woman Marcos shouldn’t want. Shouldn’t touch. Shouldn’t love. He met her in Garnet, a backwards, hick town that’s the last place in the world he wants to be, but he finds himself going back for a taste of the forbidden.

Katie represents all that is good in the world, and Marcos knows he’s nothing but trouble for her perfect life. He fights and he screws. He commits crimes and he breaks the rules. He will never change and he will never escape his gang lifestyle.

Or can he?

What happens when two different people from two very different walks of life risk it all by giving into the passion that threatens to consume both of them? Can a woman who only knows how to play it safe give her heart to a man who lives hard and loves harder?

Will she survive The Viper?

This is the kind of book that I love to read! I’ve been a huge Kele Moon fan. I loved her Battered Hearts Series. It was the first time I’d ever read a MMA themed romance and I found myself hopelessly hooked. I enjoyed the series, and Moon’s writing, so much. This book begins a new spin-off series called Untamed Hearts. It lived up to all my expectations and then some.

Fate brings Marcos Rivera crashing into Katie Foster’s life. There is an immediate attraction that neither one of them can deny, even though Marcus tries to shut it down. Of course, Katie is determined so eventually she gets her chance. That part was so romantic.

It’s the typical good girl / bad boy trope that I tend to get into easily. I will say that this one had a great back story for Marcus and his cousin Chuito. Then throw in the angst and the drama of how hard it is for Marcos to catch a break …. anywhere. Yet, what stood out here for me wasn’t so much that as it was the romantic relationship itself and how Katie and Marcos accepted each other without needing to change the fundamentals of who they were. She knew Marcos was a bad boy capable of doing bad things. She still wanted him just the way he was. Now, Marcos does end up being a little reckless in a way; there was that bit of melodrama. But mostly he ended up giving her strength to stand up for herself and to take a chance on them. Oh and less I forget, the sex was hot!

That’s about all I can say without giving anything away. So let me just say that it had a good plot. The writing was smooth and flawless. The book flew by way too fast for me, and I will be going back for another read soon. Lastly, the characters were vibrant, capturing my interest and pulling me into their story. It was easy to have some real feelings for them. Katie was strong, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with Marcos. It was easy to love him.

On a side note, the series continues with Chuito’s book up next. He does have a dark side. I can’t wait. If you liked Moon’s Battered Hearts Series then you’re going to love this one just as much. If not then it can work great as a stand alone book too. It gets a big recommendation from me.

Pleasure Android 7.1 by Ela Stein

DROID
Pleasure Android 7.1 by Ela Stein
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (18 pages)
Other: M/F, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Zola is dismayed to discover that for her 40th birthday her friends teamed up to purchase her a hot sex droid. She refuses to let herself get attached to a machine, and tries her best to avoid the temptation. He is programmed to overcome such resistance and knows how to wear down defenses and sell himself like a pro using his perfect charm and impeccable skills. Though she suspects it’s nothing more than a sales pitch, she begins to question whether beneath his perfect manufactured exterior is genuine feelings and desire.

Milestone birthdays deserve really special presents. If only Zola’s best friend had surprised her with something other than a sex bot.

Zola has a well-developed personality that reveals itself immediately. The premise of this story was just unusual enough that I completely understood why she was so wary of her birthday gift. How she communicated that uneasiness, though, was what made me like her even more. She had a slightly snide sense of humor that worked beautifully in this setting.

It would have been helpful if Zola had more time to think about what she wanted to do with her sex droid. She is completely opposed to the idea of even having him in her home at first, and I was never completely sure of what made her decide to take another look at the issue. Had she been less opposed to it in the beginning her new way of thinking would have made more sense to me.

The sex itself was incredibly hot. The chemistry between Zola and her droid is sizzling, especially once she realizes everything that he’s capable of. There were a few things about the sex bot that I was a little unsure of at first, but all of my questions were answered satisfactorily once they got to know one another. It wasn’t clear to me if the author is planning on turning this into a series. If she does, though, I’d be interested in hearing more from these characters.

Pleasure Android 7.1 is a good choice for anyone in the mood for something quick but satisfying.

Platinum Passion by Jennifer Lynne

PASSION
Platinum Passion by Jennifer Lynne
Gods of Love 1
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Genre: Contemporary Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (49 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/M/F, Ménage, Anal Play
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Waratah

Three people. One erotic fantasy. And a twentieth wedding anniversary like no other.

Jeannie longs for the return of passion in her marriage. Jake craves new excitement in the form of another man. Pothos is one of the erotes and an aspect of Eros, the ancient Greek god of love, and this couple’s distinctive yearning has called to him. By the power of the erotes he intends to rekindle the flame of Jake and Jeannie’s passion in a night of desire that will be the ultimate platinum anniversary gift.

And when the gods of love decide your marriage needs a boost, they never do it by halves.

How many couples through the years fall into the trap of complacency with one another? Too many, and it’s really no one’s fault, it is what it is.

What if there were an entity out there listening, ready to help a couple in need, a couple who have lost their passion but not their love? Jennie seemed to conjure her fantasy right from the book she was reading. Pothos was the very meaning of sexual power and passion. He oozed it. Moreover, he was going to help Jake and Jennie get back what they’ve lost.

I really liked this book, it was easy to follow and get caught up in. The emotions were palpable and readers will have a hard time not finding Jennie at the middle of a pleasurable epicenter.

The story is very easy to identify with. Jake and Jennie are over worked and not taking time out for each other as a couple. Jennie tends to fantasize because in a dream you don’t need to think about repercussions or guilt.

This is a short read and it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed how the writer had the lead female reading when she started fantasizing. I’ve often wondered how many readers, including myself, substitute our name in for that of the leading ladies we read about.

There is a lot of love between Jennie and Jake. Intense, passionate, complete. Even Pothos felt emotions that he hadn’t felt in all his years. I’d love the chance to read the other books in this series. It can be a stand- alone and I liked that it wasn’t a cliffhanger. I enjoyed it and hope others who look for a bit of the mythical will also.

New Toys by Sean Michael

 

TOYS
New Toys by Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (100 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Anal Play, Toys
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Mistletoe

From shy men new to the lifestyle, to those in the know who are actively seeking it out, from first times, to one more time, these stories are sure to delight.

Five different men each meet their match in these stand alone Hammer Club short stories from Sean Michael.

From shy men new to the lifestyle, to those in the know who are actively seeking it out, from first times, to one more time, these stories are sure to delight.

I truly enjoyed this collection of short stories from Sean Michael. Each story pulls the reader into another world full of sexual tension and emotions.

Lion Tamer brings us a sweet young mans first experience at the Hammer club. Halloween is a grand time and at Hammer the men love to go all out. When Christopher comes dressed as a lion tamer he never imagined he would find a sweet wide eyed boy dressed as a kitten. Travis is more than ready to explore. He longs for much of the things that he has only read about. Can Christopher find a way to claim his kitten before he runs away?

I loved Christopher and the way he romanced Travis. He is a patient man who is more than ready to share and teach Travis. The two make a nice couple.

Sweet Cherry gives us another young man’s first time at the club. Rafe longs for things that he imagines he could find at the Hammer club but all he can do is watch from afar. When Bobby sends him an invitation to join him Rafe cannot resist. As the two introduce themselves the attraction is evident. Bobby is more than willing to share his world with Rafe. Watching their relationship blossom was a nice read. I loved Rafe and his curiosity to find what he wanted.

A is for Andy is a sweet pick up story. Even strangers can find more than just attraction at Hammer. When Andy comes in for a beer he finds more than he thought he would in A. The attraction the two have is strong right from the start and looks to be leading to more. The two are a nice couple and I enjoyed all the different nuisances of Andy’s personality and life.

The Favor is a great story about two men who are not only Doms but best friends. Watching their relationship turn into so much more was a great read. The intensity of their attraction shows through in all that they do. Lion is a great friend and a good man. When Erik needs a favor he is more than willing to help him out. The two find that their relationship goes deeper than they thought.

So Happy Together gives us Happy and Nic’s story. When Happy comes home to Nic and tells him that he has time off Nic decides to join him. Happy is an exuberant man so full of energy and excitement. So much that at times he needs to be centered and for that Nic must help him. I enjoyed seeing Nic help Happy find what he needs. Their love is strong and secure.

Each of these stories is a great read. It was nice to see the men interact and their relationships begin to take shape. As hot as these stories are we still get to see the love and romance between the men. Whether they are friends or strangers these men are stand up guys who are more than willing to take a chance and give it their all.