A Night with Her Ex by Laura Jardine


A Night with Her Ex by Laura Jardine
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (36 Pages)
Other: M/F, M/F/F, Menage, Multiple Partners, Anal Sex, Spanking, Voyerism
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

One month ago, Amy McNeil was dumped, and she never saw it coming. How could she have? Greg had said “I love you” for the first time only two days before. So when she runs into him at a coffee shop, she demands an explanation.

Greg Kim couldn’t imagine it working out with Amy. He sees her as the sweet girl he’d take home to meet his mother, rather than one who’d agree to the open relationship he craves. To shock her, he challenges her to come to a party at his friends’ townhome—a party unlike anything Amy’s ever been to before. Greg will sleep with other people in front of her…and punish her when she does the same.

But Amy surprises him. She wants to finally act out her secret fantasies. Will this one night lead to the untold pleasures she imagines? Can she show Greg that it’s possible for them to both have everything they desire?

“Not what I expected” is an understatement.

This book was great as an erotic read but there was not much of an actual plot in this. There are some real positives to this short story, though.  The characters are very well written even though I wanted more fleshing out of their story. The length of the story didn’t leave much if any room for growth of the characters.

That being said, one of the primary things I loved was how the story didn’t fit into a normal mold. Amy gets dumped. When she next sees him she asks the obvious question. WHY? The answer opened something and gave their relationship a chance. It also reminded me why openness between couples is so important.

This short story may not appeal to readers who aren’t into multiple partner groupings. But those who like to reach for books with hot chemistry and even hotter sex, this will be gem. As I mentioned, this book as an erotic read was truly wonderful, eye opening and worth the quick read.

Oops by Anne Kane


Oops by Anne Kane
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (37 pgs)
Other: M/F, Forced Seduction
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Stephanie, Jackie and Caroline. The three women have been friends for years, and they’ve built themselves a nice bed and breakfast /ranch operation. But with less than a fortnight to Christmas, a ruthless banker has swindled them out of their beloved home. What will they do?

Well, kidnapping him and holding him hostage until he decides to do the right thing sounds like a good plan. Unfortunately, it all goes hilariously wrong when they discover they’ve kidnapped the wrong man. Bondage, obedience classes and more are needed to make sure there’s a Merry Christmas this year!

Caroline, Steph and Jackie had been swindled out of their ranch. Determined to get their property back they hatch the crazy plan to kidnap the jerk who stole it from them and force him to give it back. Only instead of Mr James Smithers, they end up kidnapping Mr Jebediah Smithers. And all too soon Jackie finds their crazy plan starting to unravel. How can they get their ranch and livelihoods back?

This short story starts off in a lighthearted, fun manner that really had me giggling. I had a bit of a wobble reading it near the middle – when the three ladies still didn’t truly believe they’d kidnapped the wrong man and tied him to the bed and Jackie starts touching him intimately. While the author wrote the story clearly showing they’d all end up on the same page and even hinted that Jebediah could escape his restraints should he choose to – it all just shaded just a little too close to a “forced seduction” type of scene for me to actually enjoy it. Readers who dislike kidnap/forced intimacy stories or find them to be a trigger should steer clear of this story. That said, even though Jackie didn’t seem to believe they’d made a mistake she and Jebediah sure managed to get hot and heavy pretty quickly – and both appeared to have a glorious time doing so.

Both Caroline and Steph watched the sexiness between Jackie and Jebediah, though neither of the other women joined in or even seemed to participate apart from watching. So personally I wouldn’t consider this a menage or group sex thing as such – but other readers might feel differently. The sex was hotly written and especially as the sex scene progressed it was clear both Jackie and Jebediah got more and more invested in each other as they became more intimate.

While the author made it clear to the readers that they shouldn’t feel even a speck of sympathy for James Smithers, I also couldn’t help but feel bad at the depths the women sank to in the effort of getting their ranch back. While I genuinely understood how desperate they were, I still felt their actions reflected a bit poorly on them and the strength of their characters. Obviously this short story was all meant in good fun, but I could understand if some readers are a lot more invested in the relationship flourishing between Jackie and Jebediah and a little less taken by the plot and lengths the three friends go to, to get their ranch back in their hands.

A very different and interesting type of Christmas short story, this is certainly a new plot twist that I’ve never read before. Fresh and unique, it certainly made me think and start a few discuss with other reading friends.

Loving a Ghost by Marisa Chenery


Loving a Ghost by Marisa Chenery
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (25 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Jordana’s dream of meeting hunky romance cover model, Grady Timmins, comes to an abrupt end when he dies in a tragic car accident in her city. She’d known she would never meet him in real life, but that didn’t stop her from mourning him, anyway.

Her sorrow all-too-soon changes after Grady appears to her in ghost form, unable to leave her apartment. As love springs between them, Jordana will do anything in her power to keep him at her side.

Sometimes celebrity crushes can be more than just a fun fantasy about someone you’ll never meet.

Including so much backstory about Jordana’s life was a good decision. My first impression of her was that she was a sweet and lonely woman. It was nice to have that gut feeling about her confirmed because it made it easier to understand why she made certain decisions later on in the plot. Loneliness can drive people to make all kinds of choices that they might not otherwise be brave enough to try.

The one thing I never understood about this story was why Grady ended up being drawn into Jordana’s life after he died. They’d never even met while he was alive, so it didn’t make sense to me that he would haunt her home instead of the home of one of his friends or relatives. I otherwise enjoyed the plot quite a bit. This was a big sticking point for me, though, and it’s something that I wished would have been explained better by the author.

With that being said, the chemistry between Jordana and Grady was undeniable. They were both great conversationalists, and their banter made me eager to see what would happen once they figured out that ghosts can’t touch people or objects the same way a living person can. The anticipation of wanting to see them together but not being sure how it would be possible made it hard for me to stop reading. I simply had to know what would happen to them next.

I’d recommend Loving a Ghost to anyone who is in the mood for a sweet paranormal romance tale.

Seduced by the CEO by Lexie Davis


Seduced by the CEO by Lexie Davis
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (158 Pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Multiple Partners, Anal Sex, Forced Seduction, Spanking
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

Kristin Marsh landed her dream job with Bosk Entertainment as a CPA. She had everything she could really ask for and then some. However, when her mysterious boss calls her into his office to sign a confidentiality agreement, she didn’t know what to expect.

Micah Bosk was know for his strict ways in the boardroom, but this dominant man dabbled in the kinky lifestyle associated with bondage. It lead him to purchasing The Black Rose, a hot spot fetish club in the heart of Denver. But when the smart businessman looks over the books, he discovers the numbers simply don’t add up.

Micah seeks Kristin’s help with his financials and slowly introduces the good girl into his kinky world. She’s sexy and strong, perfect for what he wants in a sub, but she has reservations about a no-strings affair with her boss. He can show her the naughty pleasures he enjoys but will her need for commitment be a deal breaker?

All the ingredients for a smoking hot kinky read: a contract, burn the cover off chemistry and a BDSM club.

While the plot of Seduced by the CEO wasn’t new, it was the characters that won me. They were different. “Draw me in and hold me captive to the story” different.

When Micah finds that the accounts for the BDSM club that he owns don’t add up, he calls on the one person who can surely find the cause. But can she handle his needs?

When Kristin gets a contract from her boss, demanding ultimate secrecy and discretion, she signs it without a second thought. What she comes to realize about her boss, and herself, is an eye-opening surprise.

The story flows well and the characters were well developed. The story kept me interested to the very end. This is a character driven story and the author kept them in the forefront with snappy dialogue and hot chemistry.

The ending indicated that there may be a second book. It wasn’t what I expected. While I’m not personally a fan of suspense and waiting, sometimes I find a series worth waiting for.

Excellent read with more than a few pleasant surprises.

Gift Of A Lifetime by Ana Raine


Gift Of A Lifetime by Ana Raine
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday (Christmas)
Length: Short Story (35 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Anal Play, Toys
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Ryo’s job at the Crooked Paintbrush is a way to make some money doing what he loves while meeting new people. But when Logan walks into Ryo’s painting class, he realizes there are some things that can only be described as fate.

More than just a handsome face, Logan proves to be exactly the kind of Master Ryo has been waiting for. The kind of man who will test his limits while providing some much needed love and safety.

Ryo hosts painting classes for singles looking for like-minded people. Even though he’s looking for a Master of his own, he generally enjoys the classes and watching other people find happiness. Logan was the most handsome man Ryo had ever met, and when Logan asks him out for dinner, Ryo feels like all his Christmas’ have come at once. Can Logan be everything he needs?

I enjoyed this hot and sexy short story. I found Ryo and Logan to be super hot together, and both liking exactly the same thing – kinky sex. I didn’t mind that Ryo and Logan got quite intimate fairly quickly after meeting – in such a short story they needed to move fast – but I really enjoyed how the author let them actually talk and get to know each other a little bit first. I was a little uncertain why neither Ryo nor Logan had met someone into kink earlier – the author made it seem like they both wanted something very deep and dark and unheard of with other men, and I just didn’t find that too believable. While they certainly both enjoyed BDSM and playing with toys, I didn’t find their kink outrageous or particularly dark. So I never really bought into the fact neither man had met someone previously who could give them what they wanted. This small bit of unrealistic plotting didn’t lesson my enjoyment of the story, however.

I enjoyed both men’s characters – Ryo was an eager and curious submissive, Logan a strong and caring Dominant. While I liked how compatible the two men were, I did find it a little unusual toward the end, reading some of the play-talk between Ryo and Logan. Personally, I prefer it when a Master builds his pet up and strengthens them. While I liked Logan’s tenderness and attachment to Ryo, Ryo seemed to need someone to use him and take over completely, and while it was very well written and is sure to appeal to many readers, I discovered it just isn’t really my thing. The care and love between the two men though is a wonderful thing to watch as is their hot, spicy sex.

For slightly kinky, very short Christmas story this was a good read and one I enjoyed.

Give Me More by Jenika Snow


Give Me More by Jenika Snow
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Short Story (87 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

After running from an abusive relationship, Zoey tries to regain control of her life in a new town. She begins to find reasons to move forward, but Zoey can’t ignore her arousal for a dark and mysterious man—one that is clearly dangerous.

The moment Sergei sees Zoey, he wants her. She’s vulnerable and timid, but she has a strength behind her eyes. Zoey’s a fighter, a warrior, and he wants her for more than just a night in his bed. But how will she react when she finds out he’s part of the Bratva—the Russian Mafia?

Zoey knows who and what Sergei is, and even though she should be terrified, she can’t help but be drawn to him. It isn’t until her past comes back to haunt her that she truly sees the type of man Sergei is, and the lengths he’ll go to protect her.

Surprisingly good, decidedly dark, refreshingly romantic.

The Russian mafia and violence go hand in hand. However, this book is not just about violence. There’s plenty, even gratuitously graphic, but that’s not the only story here.

Sergei is part of the Bratva. Mafia is a mild word for him. Violence isn’t just a part of him, it’s his life.

But this is a love story like no other. The chemistry between Zoey and Sergei is off the charts.

The writer has the perfect balance between these two aspects of the story. Romance offset the violence and vice versa. That said, this book does not have the lovey dovey kind of romance. It’s a darker romance.

Short read but well worth the time. I had no choice but to pulled into this story. I was a willing prisoner to witness Zoey and Sergei’s story. I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to warn Zoey that this was likely a very bad mistake but I couldn’t, obviously, but at the same time, I had to see how the author played out their story. How could there be a happily ever after? It seemed impossible.

Something else I liked about this is that it has a little bit of a mystery/suspense aspect. It kept me one my toes. An easy recommend. A wonderful read.

Regifted by BJ McCall


Regifted by BJ McCall
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (42 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Fern has no idea the Christmas gift given to her on Christmas Eve is a regift. The perfume smells divine and unbeknownst to Fern it has an added benefit. The scent is packed with pheromones that attract werewolves.

Pace is spending the holiday weekend in the city, a lonely Christmas away from his pack. A major power outage plunges the city into darkness. Pace has a choice: spend Christmas alone or invite his new neighbor with the alluring scent for a candlelight drink…

Fern is the new girl at her work and so she’s left to close the office on Christmas Eve and then reopen it the following Monday. After Fern gives out small goodies to all her co-workers, her boss, Alison is the only one to reciprocate. Fern is thrilled, until she finds the bottle of perfume is a regift. What neither Alison nor Fern know is that the scent is actually a Mating Scent. When Fern bumps into a homesick werewolf, her Christmas plans are suddenly going to be a whole lot more intimate than she expected.

I found this to be a sweet and steamy Christmas short story. I loved how Fern and Pace got to know each other a little – chatting about their homes and upbringing, connecting emotionally – before jumping into bed with each other. I also loved the twist on the regifted pheromone perfume bottle capturing Pace’s attention and drawing him to Fern. It all just fit together so well and really appealed to me as a reader. I loved this story.

I was thrilled when – after having sex – the relationship continued to build between Fern and Pace. I thoroughly enjoyed watching them spend Christmas together, explore the city and really get to know each other. It made the romance feel so much stronger between them and also made the entire situation a lot more believable. I found the whole story realistic and fun, sexy and hot. I will happily read more stories both by this author and set in this paranormal world.

I found this to be an excellent short story, with interesting and fun characters and a solid, realistic plot. A great Christmas tale and one I will happily reread many times to come.

Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton


Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery, Horror
Length: Full Length (708 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/F/F, F/F, M/M, F/M/M, Multiple Partners, Menage
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

In her twenty-fifth adventure, vampire hunter and necromancer Anita Blake learns that evil is in the eye of the beholder…

Anita has never seen Damian, her vampire servant, in such a state. The rising sun doesn’t usher in the peaceful death that he desperately needs. Instead, he’s being bombarded with violent nightmares and blood sweats.

And now, with Damian at his most vulnerable, Anita needs him the most. The vampire who created him, who subjected him to centuries of torture, might be losing control, allowing rogue vampires to run wild and break one of their kind’s few strict taboos.

Some say love is a great motivator, but hatred gets the job done, too. And when Anita joins forces with her friend Edward to stop the carnage, Damian will be at their side, even if it means traveling back to the land where all his nightmares spring from…a place that couldn’t be less welcoming to a vampire, an assassin, and a necromancer.

Ireland.

Ever have a book that gripped you so hard that it sucked you right into the author’s world and your own faded away? That’s what Crimson Death did to me. I only did the bare minimum of household chores. I read late into the night until it flipped to morning, grabbed a few hours of sleep only to wake up a few hours later to devour a few more chapters before having to slog off to work to simply come home to read and read some more until almost midnight the next night. Yeah, so, it took me two days to read, but what an amazing two days it was.

I’ve been following this series for years. I’ve watched Anita view everything as black and white; a character was either good or bad, no quarter. Monsters were bad, humans could be bad too but they were human. As the series unfolds, the heroine realizes that she can no longer ignore the ‘gray’ areas; life is a LOT more complicated, and messy and as she grows, Anita realizes that gray areas not only exist, they’re huge. It opens her up to accepting and doing things she never, ever, in a million years would think or do. Following her has been an amazing journey and that journey continues in Crimson Death. Sure, there are original fans that prefer her early years when it was all about the mystery, the horror, the suspense, drama and how it affected her. I mean, first person point of view really gets into a character’s head and the author has the daunting job of staying there. Ms. Hamilton has done Anita for so long, it seems second nature – I’m always right there with Marshall Blake, even when the blood flows.

This huge novel is no different when it comes to exploring her growth, both in her personal life and in her power. Yes, there is large section that explores Anita’s power’s connection to sex within her small group of loves and lovers, but before anyone scoffs at all the sex, be aware that there are a few astounding and earth shattering revelations that ripple through the rest of the novel stemming from all that erotic sex, which includes just a smidgen of voyeurism and exhibitionism from one of mine and Anita’s favorite people. Another warning to die-hard fans – be prepared to sniffle or cry or just get serious goosebumps on what happens. The one huge tragedy that affected me the most ends up being a turning point in Anita’s life that will have ginormous ramifications for future books. I didn’t want it to happen. All I could say was ‘no! no! no!, but of course Ms. Hamilton excels at writing the hard scenes – scenes for which a reader ultimately comes to the sad but resigned conclusion that it served a valid, crucial and necessary purpose. I don’t have to like it but I recognize Ms. Hamilton is staying true to Anita’s journey.

A lot of my favorite recurring secondary/primary characters populate this novel. There is one new character that sheds some light on Edward/Ted. It was actually humorous at times, which I didn’t expect at all. I think Anita was just as bemused as I was. Thing is, she has the ability to pester him in future books to satisfy her curiosity. I’m looking forward to what she finds out.

Of course the main villain and cohorts are truly evil, nasty, horrific, sociopathic and creepy. However, not all the cohorts are there willingly and how the author dealt with them kept my heart pounding with dread. This is such a powerfully, well written book, I could not remain unaffected.

This isn’t truly a standalone read because some of the things that occur are at their most commanding and powerful if a reader is personally vested in caring for certain characters from previous stories. If a person were to just start with this book, there are mentions of past experiences that provide Anita with the power she currently has, and they might be shocked by how erotic and numerous the sex initially is, but the main mystery of trying to figure out who or what is making all these vampires and why, can carry this novel by itself. It also might capture new fans and they might be inspired to read the series from the beginning or at least a few of the books that were alluded to in this one.

I am a fan of Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, and I highly recommend this novel to fans that’ve followed her all this time. Crimson Death wowed me to the point that writing this review was a compulsion. I just HAD to tell you how marvelous and incredible Crimson Death was, and recommend it to readers with high praise and accolades.

The Kaiser Account by Louise Blaydon


The Kaiser Account by Louise Blaydon
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Genre: Recent Historical (1960s)
Length: Short Story (28 pgs)
Other: M/M, Masturbation
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

The life of an ad man in 1960s New York is all about risk-taking, but not until Evan Jones meets the man from Kaiser, Mark O’Brien, does he fully understand what that means…

It’s 1965. Evan Jones is an account manager for a major advertising company in New York City, engaged to the boss’s daughter in a halfhearted sort of way, gradually making his way up into the highest ranks of the company, and into the boss’s favor. The Kaiser Motors account is one they’ve been angling at for years, and Evan has absolutely no intention of letting it slip through his fingers.

But the man from Kaiser, Mark O’Brien, is not what Evan is used to dealing with and, moreover, is someone who hits him right where it hurts—in the long-repressed part of him that prefers men and is ashamed to admit it. When it comes to O’Brien, ‘going to any length’ has a whole new meaning, because O’Brien wants Evan—and worse still, Evan wants him back. O’Brien, in the space of a night, shows him something more than the staid life is possible. Can Evan take the risk and close the deal?

A closeted man and one he can’t quite figure out. Things can only get better, right?

Things certainly get better. I loved this book. I did. I liked the build-up between Evan and Mark. It was like watching a dance. The tension ratcheted up with each page. Ms Blaydon wrote well and I wanted to know what would happen next. I raced through this story.

Evan is very closeted and thinks he wants one thing, but when Mark shows up…he’s confused. I liked that things weren’t so perfectly mapped out. I had an idea the two would get together, but the how was intriguing. I’m glad I got to read the book.

My one quibble really isn’t much. I wish the book were longer. I liked the play between Mark and Evan and wanted to see where things would go. They’re great characters and I hope the author continues their story. I’ll happily read it.

If you want a book with heat and intrigue, but will work when you don’t have a lot of time to read, then you’ll want to pick up this book.

No Impact by Maia Dylan

No Impact by Maia Dylan
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (115 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

No impact on the target is the call that a sniper has missed, that their position is now compromised, and the firestorm it can bring could ultimately cost them their lives.

Riley Marksmen has wanted Marcel Cross from the moment they first met. He just had to convince Marcel that he wanted Riley just as bad. When his first attempt with Marcel results in no impact, he is convinced that a future with Marcel is worth the risk of trying again.

Marcel knows there is something between him and Riley. He just has to find the courage to take the gamble in the first place. When secrets are discovered, and a threat is revealed, it jeopardizes what they’ve only just started to build.

Can they find a way to the future they’ve targeted, or will their risk leave No Impact?

Marcel had been a Marine sniper and a man with no family, no partner and only a small number of friends. After mustering out though, he meets Riley, who runs a crew of construction workers. The two men are immediately drawn to one another. But can they manage to find some common ground?

I really enjoyed this story. Equal parts Army/Marine story and M/M romance I felt this book really checked quite a few boxes for me. I found the pacing really good, it moved along at a good clip – neither too fast nor too slow. And the chemistry between Marcel and Riley steamed practically off the pages – I was hooked right from the first few paragraphs.

Both Riley and Marcel are strong men – emotionally and physically, I enjoyed reading about how they each gave no quarter, sharing their bodies and hearts with strength and vigor. Reading about these two alpha men, and watching them not only fall in love with each other but also open themselves, share their vulnerabilities and hearts was really special. I totally commend the author on managing to balance the two characters so well, allowing them each to be strong and fierce, without being over-bearing or too dominating for each other. This was an excellent part of the book and something I genuinely loved to read.

Readers will also likely be pleased that there is a strong cast of secondary characters. I feel this will certainly leave options open for the author to write many more books. While this book is part of a series it’s the first I’ve read and I didn’t feel at all lost during it – it genuinely stands fine alone and can be read with no prior knowledge. I enjoyed reading the other characters almost as much as I liked Riley and Marcel, and would absolutely happily pick up any other books in this series by the author.

A sexy, fun and wonderful read full of interesting plot, strong men and great characters.