Love Story of a Reaper by Elvira Bathory

REAPER
Love Story of a Reaper by Elvira Bathory
Publisher: Tiger Dynasty Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (46 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Waratah

What would you do if you found out that you weren’t like everybody else?

That you were special but only in a way that no one could find out about?

What lengths would you go to prove yourself to your family?

A family that you didn’t know you had?

Kymber was moving through life, with a part time minimum wage job and few friends. She was different from other people, and they treated her that way. She was happy with her life, though. Until the day she met Kheelan. That is when her life was turned upside down. She finds out that she isn’t even human, and that a family, she wasn’t aware she had, needed her to complete a mission.

As Kymber and Kheelan’s adventure progresses, will their focus on business remain professional? Or will their growing passion take over?

It’s always a bit more challenging to review a shorter read. The story line is intriguing, but didn’t have a lot of back ground. This isn’t a stand alone and the end will leave you waiting for the next one. I have to read the next one, just to see how Kheelan fills out.

Kheelan is a young Fae male that has a job inside a job to do. Kheelan’s father is a tyrant and his tough love leaves a bit to be desired. Kymber was more accepting of her fate than I’m sure most would be. But as Kheelan explains her life to her, things kind of slip into place. The loneliness, the isolation… how many Reapers do you have as friends? Kymber handles herself remarkably well and that is what is endearing to me.

Is it love at first sight… or lust at first touch? If you love magic and the Fae, then this cute little story will surprise you. Mix in some heated bed scenes, and you have a short story made for your reading pleasure.

Unexpected Vacation by Jennah Scott

VACATION
Unexpected Vacation by Jennah Scott
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (89 pages)
Other: F/F, BDSM, Anal Play
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

The one thing Savannah didn’t plan for on her wedding day was to be left standing alone at the altar. Runaway bride? Try runaway groom.

Haley had planned to stand at her best friend’s side through sickness and health, for richer or poorer…not to mention watching the woman she fell in love with marry a man she barely gets along with.

After Savannah’s wedding day falls apart Haley has to push all her intimate desires to the side and be the supportive friend she knows Savannah needs. But was suggesting they turn her would-be honeymoon into a vacation to Bora Bora her brightest idea?

When emotions boil over, desires are shared—hello, nipple play and oral teasing—and the sun and sand beckon. And two women discover they need each other more than they realized.

Sometimes there are second chances with the one that got away, but second chances are no guarantee of a different outcome this time.

Some friendships will always include an underlying sexual attraction even when you’re both sure that nothing will ever come of that spark. The chemistry between Savannah and Haley is smoking hot, but the little details about their friendship that popped up randomly made it even better. These anecdotes were well-placed and fleshed out their history together quite well.

While I appreciated all of the time spent on describing Savannah’s wedding day and the long history between these two characters, those sections interfered with the pacing of this story. In a full-length novel it would have been the perfect amount of backstory, but for something this length it made the plot feel uneven in certain places. It was slow to begin with, and then seemed to move a bit too fast at the end.

The premise of this story snagged my attention immediately. It was one of the most unique ideas I’d heard about in this genre recently, and I was curious to see how Savannah would recover from such a huge betrayal. It’s hard to discuss this part of the plot without giving away spoilers, but I was pleased by how this issue was dealt with. The ending left room for a sequel while also being satisfactory on its own.

I’d recommend Unexpected Vacation to anyone who is interested in getting to know characters well before things heat up. This is a nice, slow burn.

The Man He Needs by Sarah Masters

MAN
The Man He Needs by Sarah Masters
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (60 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal sex, Bondage, Abuse
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

Two mistrusting men who have secrets they’d rather not share…

After a drunken night out, Christian goes back to Alfie’s house for sex. The thought never crossed his mind that Alfie would hold him hostage in his cellar. Christian would never have thought he’d come to care for Alfie either—but as weeks pass, he does. Although he can’t explain how he feels, it doesn’t much matter. There’s no one out there to miss him anyway.

Alfie has his reasons for keeping Christian tied up, and they are heartbreaking. He’s had a terrible past, one no child should ever live, and the morning after the night he took Christian home, he snapped. He couldn’t bear for yet another person to leave him and, knowing what he was about to do was wrong, he did it anyway.
Despite their harrowing pasts, the two men form a bond and together discover that there is a way to trust…finally.

Staying was what Christian had in mind even before he was chained in the basement. After an amazing night together, Christian knew he had a connection with Alfie. He could already see them in a relationship and happy together. Unfortunately Alfie was too terrified of his past demons to see the same future so instead he chained Christian in the basement. Most people would have been understandably upset and freaked out at the turn of events but soon Christian realizes that he wanted to stay with Alfie anyway. Now he just needs to find a way to show Alfie the truth.

The Man He Needs is a very thought provoking novella. It’s too short to really develop the characters fully and the interactions between the two are minimal unfortunately. The main thrust of the story takes place in Christian’s head with a significant portion dedicated to Alfie recounting his sad history of relationships. Christian is the first person narrator and it’s hard to engage with his voice. I didn’t really understand what was going on initially and how long he had been held prisoner but eventually the details sort themselves out. Even still most of the story is told in Christian’s head and I didn’t really understand nor like the character. He recounts, for Alfie, a story about his last boyfriend beating him viciously and how he crawled away wondering why he was always a victim. He has a very “why me” attitude while repeating the same behavior that got him in trouble in the first place.

Granted, he couldn’t know that Alfie would hold him hostage so I can’t hold him responsible for that yet I still didn’t warm to him. Alfie is an easier character to pity with a horrible childhood and a pattern of men leaving him for being too clingy and needing love. And I did pity Alfie, considerably, so I was happy to see the two men work things out and realize their needs were very suited for each other. That said, the whole thing was definitely illegal and kind of freaky, not at all non-con in a sexy way; more of a border line serial killer way. However, it does end with a happy ever after so perhaps it doesn’t matter how it got there.

I found The Man He Needs to be a different story featuring two very emotionally damaged men. I think the success to the story for readers may lie in their ability to suspend disbelief. It’s hard to imagine that even though Christian liked Alfie, he would still have all those positive feelings after being chained in the basement for a month. Though perhaps true love really does win!

Ripper’s Torment by Sam Crescent

RIPPER
Ripper’s Torment by Sam Crescent
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre : Contemporary
Length: Short Story (119 Pages)
Other: M/F, Anal Play
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

A late night phone call was never supposed to cause so much torment.

Ripper will do anything for Chaos Bleeds, including cleaning up the Princess’s mess. When Judi calls him without thinking he answers and soon he has a dead body to hide, and a car to destroy. He will do everything in his power to protect the young woman. What he didn’t expect was the lust that hits him from being around her.

Judi never expected to sexually want a man after being used by a pimp. Devil and his crew saved her from hell but Ripper is throwing her head first into heave. Ripper’s touch makes her crave everything she’d given up on.

However, Devil adopted Judi as his daughter. No one touches or hurts the Princess of the club. What will he do when one of his most trusted men has claimed her for his own?

I loved it! Sam Crescent did a great job on this story. It had a good plot that pulled me in fast and made it interesting enough that I couldn’t put it down until the end.

This was Ripper and Judi’s story. Most of the main plot centered around their relationship while at the same time coinciding with another book from The Skulls Series. It was really exciting and easily kept me on edge with everything that was happening. Ripper and Judi kept their relationship a secret while carrying on one red hot love affair. So naturally it all blew sky high when the cat got out of the bag.

Oh My God! They had great chemistry, Sam Crescent really knows her stuff, and their sex scenes burned up the pages. I would say that this one was more character driven with the action being mostly peripheral in Zero, the coinciding book that has the Skulls in trouble yet again. Being character driven as this one was meant getting a close inside look at Ripper and Judi. That was just fine with me. We found some of what happened to Judi and how she came into the abusive situation that Devil had saved her from in the first Chaos Bleeds book. We see the aftermath of that abuse and how much she cares about her new family. Of course, I loved getting to see more of Devil. I loved Ripper. Such an alpha male, but sweet and tender with Judi.

As for the writing it was good. The plot flowed well. It was a fast read and I enjoyed everything about this one. So all in all, it was a great read for me. Loved it and can’t wait for more.

Lance by Jet Mykles

LANCE
Lance by Jet Mykles
Indigo Knights #3
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (220 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal sex
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

Years ago Lance and Gordon fell in love when the bass player and band manager were part of The Might. The band was led by a rich, self important genius and everything was just great as long as no one rocked the boat. But Gordon chafed in the restrictive atmosphere and Lance was too laid back to test any boundaries. Gordon pushed for more; Lance fought any change. The final straw came when Lance acted out by sleeping with someone else. That was it. Gordon broke it off and was gone.

Now, Gordon’s invited Lance to join the Indigo Knights, a new band he’s managing. He’s made it clear that this is business only and that they’re not going to rekindle the flames of their past. But Lance has been so hung up on Gordon that he’s been celibate all this time. He wants no one else. He regrets how things ended, but he’s never had the chance to try to make amends.

This is his only chance. Can Lance convince Gordon to trust him again?

Sometimes love needs a second chance. Three years ago Gordon and Lance had a tumultuous break up and Lance still hasn’t gotten over it. Although he was the one that prompted the break up, he knows that the two of them could make it work again. Unfortunately Gordon doesn’t want to give Lance a chance. Now the two of them are working together again for the up and coming band, Indigo Knights, and they are forced to resolve their problems. However, Gordon’s stubbornness may prove to be too much for Lance to overcome.

Lance is the third book in the Indigo Knights series by Jet Mykles. It can easily be read as a stand alone though and I think I would actually have preferred it that way. The events happening in Lance’s book start before the second book, Champion which is Danny’s story, and continue on past the point where Danny and Cash fall in love. So the third book kind of starts before the second but ends after that. It’s a little confusing for anyone really familiar with the time line and I’m not sure why the author made that choice. Regardless fans of the series will want to see Lance get his happy ending, no matter what order it happens.

In this book the narrative jumps back and forth between the present and past. The scenes of the past show how Gordon and Lance got together the first time and what went wrong with their relationship. It’s more complicated and nuanced than just one event so it’s important to show the full extent of their previous relationship so readers can appreciate the true depth of feeling between the men and that the reconciliation is not simply a matter of forgiveness. I do think the story spent too long showing how the previous relationship fell apart and not enough time showing how they, as a reunited couple, would avoid those particular problems in the future.

This back and forth is not a new technique but it is employed infrequently so I appreciated the novelty of it, however, I honestly would have liked reading the story in a more linear fashion starting with building the relationship to break it down then rebuild it. The story as it is, is very entertaining and easy to read, as are all the books in Mykles rocker series. They read like popcorn reads – light, fun, and quick with no guilt. It’s definitely not the best thing she’s ever written but the formula she uses for these books is familiar and almost always works so it’s an easy book to recommend to fans.

Cody’s Dragon by K.M. Mahoney

CODY
Cody’s Dragon by K.M. Mahoney
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (205 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Lisianthus

How far is Cody willing to go to keep his dragon?

Kirit is lonely and he’s sick of coming home from the king’s assignments to a cold, empty cave. After searching for years for a mate, Kirit decides it’s time to try a new approach. Against the advice of all his friends, he heads for the human side of the world. There he finds Cody, and the man is everything he could ever want. It takes a little bit of persuasion, but he manages to talk Cody into coming back with him to Faerie.

Within a week of arriving, Cody is beginning to rethink his impulsive decision. He’s trekked across more terrain than he would care to remember, been summoned to meet a king, and flown on a dragon—not an experience he’s willing to repeat anytime soon. Kirit’s growly possessiveness is starting to wear on his nerves, and the unexpected hostility he encounters at the palace is almost enough to make him give up.

But Cody is stubborn. He may not be willing to admit it out loud, but Kirit has got under his skin. He may even, shockingly enough, love the big guy.

Now Cody has to decide what he’s willing to do to keep the man of his dreams.

Cody is human, and has no idea that dragons or the Fae exist, but he does know that he’s really into Kirit. I loved Kirit, he was so ready for a mate, and he just knew he’d find one in the human world.

He finds Cody pretty quickly, he doesn’t understand a lot of human concepts, so he doesn’t really understand what Cody does for a living, or that not every human jumps in bed with someone right away.

Cody is just happy to be with someone who really seems to like him and care, he’s not a stranger to the fact that there is more in the world, although it’s never been confirmed, this helps him take to Kirit’s other nature easily. He’s not necessarily ready for Kirit’s world but because of his love for Kirit he goes for it.

Things are go a bit awry, some helpful people meddle in their love life with good intentions and it does help their relationship. I really love these two and the secondary characters. They add humor and color to the story and world.

I will be watching this series, and look forward to more books.

Getting Down To Business by Ginger Ring

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Getting Down To Business by Ginger Ring
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (89 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Tired of living life out of a suitcase, traveling auto parts sales representative Jessie Knutson jumps at the chance for a position close to home. When a flat tire keeps her from an interview appointment and the hot tow truck driver awakens her inner cougar, she realizes too much time away has done a number on her libido. Now the only position she wants involves being naked and pressed tightly against a hot, younger man whose eyes say she’s more than a roadside pickup.

BJ Spencer has no time for love with an auto parts store to run, though he yearns to find the right woman someday. So when the smoking hot redhead he rescues alongside the road gives him a sexy smile, he remembers sometimes a man needs to enjoy the finer things in life. Long legs encased in thigh-highs are definitely fine, but Jessie seems to be total perfection in a tempting package. BJ just might be able to make both business and pleasure work for him this time.

Stuck with no cell service and a flat tire on the hottest day of the year, Jessie Knutson is not having a good day. When Bernard Spencer – BJ – drove by and offered to help, relief warred with her instant attraction to the sexy man. Taking BJ up on his offer of shelter as a storm comes through, one thing leads to another and soon Jessie has forgotten all about her business trip and is enjoying the sensual heat in BJs arms.

A fast moving, fun romp of a book, this was a great read. I loved how despite the fact outwardly Jessie appeared like a helpless female she knew her way around a car, she just not keen to change a tire in a tiny miniskirt. I also appreciated the manners and almost sweetness of BJ. Blushing at a few innuendo-laden comments and raised with strict etiquette, BJ wasn’t your average rough around the corners mechanic. I was a little disappointed at how BJ kept a few secrets, and equally surprised and sad that Jessie didn’t call him out on it. That part didn’t feel very realistic to me. While a tantrum or over-the-top anger also wouldn’t have suited the situation it felt really as if instead of exploring the hurt/conflict the author glossed over it to give us more sexy chemistry. I also felt BJ and Jessie cooling things down mid-book, while understandable, was a bit off. This did increase the conflict and sexual tension between them, but also felt a little stilted or contrived to my mind. This didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the characters or the situations they found themselves in.

I thought the author did an excellent job of the chemistry and relationship building between BJ and Jessie and while I felt the plot lacked in certain areas the sex and affection between the main characters was very well written. Readers looking for a highly charged, erotic story should really enjoy this story to my mind. The plot was interwoven between the romance and while the scales tipped a little toward the “more sex” side, the book read quite balanced to me. A fun read with great characters and pacing.

Christmas With Caden by Nikka Michaels

CADEN
Christmas With Caden by Nikka Michaels
Publisher: Cobblestone Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday (Christmas)
Length: Short Story (28 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Paige Anthony is annoyed at spending Friday night at the company Christmas party. She’s bored until she spots the son of the boss, Caden Davis dancing and is intrigued.

When Caden saves Paige from the advances of his brother, she looks at him in a new light. A few sexy dances later, she manages to forget the horrible beginning of the night.

When she decides to leave, he offers to walk her home and admits he’s wanted her for a while. Will Paige’s attraction be enough to make her forget about holidays past and consider Christmas with Caden?

Paige hates her annual office Christmas party. Everyone goes to a club and gets completely drunk, then tries to either screw each other silly or pick up random strangers. Totally unprofessional and a pain in the ass, in Paige’s mind. The fact Harry Davis, her boss, and one of her boss’s sons both love such social events doesn’t make working life easier for Paige. But Caden Davis, Harry’s other son, is completely different. He’s sexy in an understated way and far more Paige’s style. They get talking and suddenly the evening of the Christmas party doesn’t seem like something to merely be endured anymore.

This fun short story is full of holiday cheer and a cringe-worthy Christmas party that turns unexpectedly good. I was a little surprised at how quickly things moved between Caden and Paige. There was no middle step or breathing room between Paige fighting off Caden’s brother’s unwanted advances and then Paige and Caden sexy dancing together and getting in the mood. As a reader I felt I needed a bit more time between those two events to get my head around the scenes, especially as they were both emotional scenes but in totally different ways. Having said that, I thought the rest of the story was really well paced. Caden and Paige don’t just jump right into bed, there is some seriously sexy dancing and what I felt was a decent exchange of conversation for two people who already knew each other superficially.

For a very short story I thought this ticked many boxes. Caden and Paige are interesting characters that are well drawn for the small word count. I found the sex scene to be hot and descriptive and although the plot is thin, for such a quickie I can understand how difficult anything more complex would have been. A delicious little bite of a story for when you only have an hour or so to enjoy a quick read.

Masks of a Tiger by Doris O’Connor

TIGER
Masks of a Tiger by Doris O’Connor
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length Short Story (84 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking, Fire Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Waratah

Neeve doesn’t understand why any normal person would choose to wear a collar like a common house pet. So, the collaring ceremony of her best friend’s sister-in-law is the last place she wants to be, even if the hot men watching her send her insides aflame.

Never one for missing the opportunity to teach a bratty sub manners, Grisha intends to show the fiery little redhead the error of her ways. He doesn’t expect to see her drawn to the flame like the proverbial moth. When she hurts herself in ways that even a Dom of his experience finds hard to witness, he knows he needs to help her.

Will their sexual chemistry be enough to chase away their demons and burn away their masks? Or is the submission Grisha demands too much for Neeve to accept?

Neeve has a whole bag of issues to sort through. At first meeting her I could see she is hurting and a very angry young woman. She covers up her feelings with snarky and rude comments and walks around with a personality like a shield maiden. Little does she know she will be meeting her match.

The reason I really enjoyed this short read? It’s because of Grisha, his personality, the way he was able to read Neeve and be there for her, giving her the gift of being able to unwrap herself from her demons. Grisha showed his Dom style by taking the sub’s needs and putting them foremost.

As always because of the lifestyle, any book that shows checking the restraints, asking about safe-words and mentioning aftercare will always be on the top of my A-list. The scenes were both hot and I could tell the writer didn’t just put words down. This is book three so for readers who jump into the middle of the series, a bit of Grisha’s reasons why he is like he is might be missed. But it really didn’t take from the actual story, so it may be able to be read as a stand alone.

I picked up this book, because of the fire play, which turned out to only be a small scene but the content of the story made up for the small bit of fire. Readers who look for some variety in their BDSM but also want the love and erotic romance should give this novella a try.

A Thief and A Gentleman by Shady Grace

THIEF
A Thief and A Gentleman by Shady Grace
Publisher: Luminosity Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (44 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Stephanotis

A love-seeking man and a gold-thieving woman.

Oliver Nash is looking for a mistress. What interesting circumstances, to discover a ravishing thief trifling in his bedchamber. Her eyes arouse him, her passion ignites him, and her gall amuses him. Considering the circumstances, he gives her a bargain she cannot refuse, which unleashes her secret…and it’s about to change everything.

Can love’s glow surpass the glitter of gold?

A sexy adventure is how I’d sum up A Thief and A Gentleman. Oliver Nash is a rakish Regency gent and Freddie is a woman who knows what she wants, which makes her a fun character. I thought her name was really appropriate for her personality. She’s like almost a modern girl and the fact that she’s a thief makes you want to read on to see what happens to her.

You sense she’s going to be caught red-handed by Oliver, and you’re hoping that she is just to see the sparks fly between these two. There’s some humor in the story, and you know from the very beginning that these two are made for one another.

The dialogue is witty and the pacing fast. In fact, in its short 44 pages, it packs a lot of story. There’s also a slow build up to the sex scenes which adds to the tension. Once these two connect physically, the story becomes more smoldering hot.

If you’re a fan of historicals, especially those set during the Regency, and like your heroes to be rakes, this might be a good pick for you.