Making His Move by Rhyannon Byrd

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Making His Move by Rhyannon Byrd
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (56 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

The Genius

Sophie Ward is a scientist with the looks of a geek and the fantasies of a hot-blooded siren. She’s wanted security expert Chris Riley from the moment he first came to work at the Blackwood Research Institute that houses her lab. And the more she’s gotten to know the gorgeous bad boy, the more she’s fallen into lust with him. But despite the encouragement of her best friend, Sophie has never had the guts to ask him out. Until the day a fateful fortune cookie sets the ball rolling….

The Hunk

Chris Riley is a man who knows what he wants…and it’s Sophie Ward. But circumstances have kept them apart for too long, and now his need for the adorable scientist is at the breaking point. She’s so shy, there’s no telling how she might react to the things he wants from her. Hell, she could even turn him in for sexual harassment. But none of that is enough to keep Chris from hungering for Sophie, and his patience is running thin….

The Moment

When a mishap finally brings their mutual attraction out into the open, the scorching intensity of their desire is enough to burn them to ash. But will they be able to make something of the wreckage when Chris’s past rears its ugly head? Or will they lose the best thing they’ve ever found?

Sophie Ward has been mooning over the chief of security, Chris Riley, forever. A fortune cookie finally pushes her to do what her best friend has been insisting: “Today is the day to take what you want.” Even cookies have accepted it’s time she made her move. Even though she’s terrified of being emotionally shot down, she knows it’s time to make herself ask him out. Çhris was thrilled when it finally seemed Sophie was going to ask for more, but when she backs out, he decides enough is enough. He’s wanted her for months now, and he’s tired of being patient. It’s time for him to make his move.

Readers who like a slow build up to their sizzling chemistry should find this story very appealing. I loved how Sophie and Chris didn’t just jump right into bed together, but we saw them first as friends and then in that awkward dance shifting from friends to more. Personally, I got a little tired of Sophie’s stammering and ignorance. While I love the character being unaware of her appeal and rusty in the romance department, I thought it a little much when she seemed to genuinely clueless to certain things. For an incredibly intelligent scientist, I questioned Sophie’s IQ a few times. Like who is confused when an almost-lover asks if you’re on the pill? He isn’t asking because he’s curious about your vitamin intake – he wants to know if you’re protected. I would think even the meanest intelligence would gather that, but Sophie managed to not understand what he was really asking.

I loved the sex. The author manages to make it both sweet and still incredibly hot. Chris’ attraction to Sophie is blindingly obvious, as is her need and desire for him. The BDSM is mild, but still very erotic. I felt the author could have eased into it a little more slowly – it genuinely felt a bit like after they’d become intimate Sophie changed from a shy, clueless little quasi-virgin into a rampant sex fiend wanting to be tied up and “not be used gently”. This shift in her attitude – while awesome – was quite brief to my mind and sharp enough to make me pause and wonder if I’d missed something. Despite being disappointed in Sophie a number of times (especially near the end when she loses her confidence) I really did like her character. Not all heroines can be strong, or trusting. While I was sad Sophie wasn’t one of these strong-minded, self-confidant women, I still found her likable and relatable.

While there are a few areas I personally questioned, I found this to be a fun, seriously sexy read and a good story. The characters were vivid and believable and the sex was smoking hot.

In From The Cold by Taryn Kincaid

COLD
In From The Cold by Taryn Kincaid
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (58 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Spook Raines is a burnt-out spy who doesn’t know he’s a fire demon with a twin in Sleepy Hollow.

Geneviève Mortimer is a will o’ the wisp who hunts demons to ease the pain of her troubled past.

When Madame Eve brings them together for a torrid 1Night Stand, will they be able to come in from the cold at last?

Spokane Raines – Spook – is in Paris on a mission. Genevieve Mortimer – Genny – is a demon hunter, and a damn good one, despite her outward appearance of a ditzy, free-spirited, carefree lady of leisure. And she’s hunting a tricky demon right now – Spook. Spook however has next to no memory of his time before the agency, and certainly he has no knowledge of the demon-blood coursing through his veins. Genny can sense Spook thinks he’s human, but she knows he’s not. But once they come face to face, the chemistry between them is undeniable and overwhelming. They both realise that with each other they can come in from the cold outside, and get some serious heat built up between them.

This is a fun, seriously sexy story filled with lust and amazing chemistry. I really enjoyed how when they finally came together Genny owned her sexuality and kept pace with Spook through every touch and lick. There are plenty of strong secondary characters from Sleepy Hollow. Readers who have read the previous novels will almost certainly enjoy the catch ups with all of them, but this shouldn’t detract first time readers either. Genny and Spook’s story is front and centre and while it might be clear there are other stories you’ve missed, I found I could happily read this without the others.

There is tons of backstory filled in here. I found the author’s creativity was awesome and was really impressed with the depth of her world. I did, however, find it a little disorientating to read an action packed, paranormal spy story chock-full of slang and ultra modern street-talk. The two don’t seem to mesh well in my mind and while the author does a good job of it, I found the slang terms and modern speech patterns disjointing to read while also reading about Spook kicking ass and finding a computer chip he’d been on a mission to find. Many readers might find this far more comfortable than I – even enjoyable – but I found personally it kept pulling me out of the strongly paranormal storyline.

I feel that readers who have enjoyed previous Sleepy Hollow books will greatly enjoy this – especially the extra background that is divulged. I also think this book should appeal to readers who are fans of Ms. Kincaid’s style and other books. This is a fun, seriously sexy read with plenty of plot, action and a whole host of varied and interesting secondary characters. A great read.

Knights Vampire by Kryssie Fortune

VAMPIRE
Knights Vampire by Kryssie Fortune
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (106 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

Betrayed by the Knight Defenders and murdered by his cousin, crusader knight Blaxton de Ferrers rose as a vampire. For nine centuries, he’s preyed on the people he once swore to protect. Gradually, as his emotions leach out of him, he forgets how to feel. Then he meets Harriet.

Harriet Mortlake’s a strong sassy woman who battles her weight and her temper. Her job is to seek out the ancient secrets of the castle that was Blaxton’s childhood home. Instead, she finds the love of her life.

When danger threatens Harriet, Blaxton steps in. Harriet and Blaxton, are a match made in heaven. Except… he’s a vampire and to fully claim her, he’ll have to kill her.

“I’m in a closed-up castle and surrounded by vampires. So why am I the one doing the biting?”

For centuries Blaxton has roamed the earth drinking from people whom he had once vowed to protect. He was betrayed by one his brothers and changed into a creature of the night. It took him meeting a feisty, hot tempered and strong minded woman, for his feelings to return one by one. After living centuries without feeling Blaxton was not willing lose this one chance for love.

The beginning was interesting and well written however one thing that put me off was the fact that it was an insta-love/lust. The passion and lust was evident from the first page and after a couple of pages it was love. I don’t hate ‘love at first sight’ tropes but sometimes it’s tiring to read. I like a little more build up and tension before the declarations of love.

The plot was well written but there were some facts about turning vampires that seemed inconsistent and incomplete. Nothing that ruined the story or stopped me from reading, it just stood out to me.

This is a story where a vampire knight, or warrior, meets his chosen mate. However, this story is not as simple as that. They have to go through a mad man to get to their HEA. It has a heroine with a strong sense of humor, and an equally volatile temper and spirit to match the strength of her hero.

A vampire and a human both with haunting pasts that build their present. A read well worth the time.

February Erotic Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Pressure Head by JL Merrow

HEAD
Pressure Head by JL Merrow
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full Length (260 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

Some secrets are better left hidden.

The Plumber’s Mate, Book 1

To most of the world, Tom Paretski is just a plumber with a cheeky attitude and a dodgy hip, souvenir of a schoolboy accident. The local police keep his number on file for a different reason—his sixth sense for finding hidden things.

When he’s called in to help locate the body of a missing woman up on Nomansland Common, he unexpectedly encounters someone who resurrects a host of complicated emotions. Phil Morrison, Tom’s old school crush, now a private investigator working the same case. And the former bully partly responsible for Tom’s injury.

The shocks keep coming. Phil is now openly gay, and shows unmistakable signs of interest. Tom’s attraction to the big, blond investigator hasn’t changed—in fact, he’s even more desirable all grown up. But is Phil’s interest genuine, or does he only want to use Tom’s talent?

As the pile of complicated evidence surrounding the woman’s murder grows higher, so does the heat between Tom and Phil. But opening himself to this degree exposes Tom’s heart in a way he’s not sure he’s ready for…while the murderer’s trigger finger is getting increasingly twitchy.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

Cast the First Stone by Katherine Halle

STONE
Cast the First Stone by Katherine Halle
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary, Action/Adventure, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Short Story (123 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Lilac

Julian Hart is a werewolf hunter. The murder of his parents at the claws of a pair of rogue werewolves left him as guardian to his younger sister, Zoe. Grief and rage drove him to become a hunter and prevent other families from suffering the same fate. His latest hunt leads him right into Alpha Stone’s territory, where his sister was turned against her will.

Werewolf protocol demands that he ask for permission before entering Stone’s territory and continuing his hunt. That leaves Julian with an unwanted entourage and fighting an attraction to a man he shouldn’t crave.

With Alpha Stone’s people dogging his every step and Julian resisting his desire for the very man he’s supposed to hate, his hunt uncovers secrets hidden within lies and a plot for vengeance that no one saw coming.

When the smoke clears, what Julian finds at the end of the trail will forever change his life and the lives of everyone he holds dear.

A human hunter and an Alpha werewolf are forced to work together to catch a rogue wolf, and as their passions are fueled, the roles of predator and prey get blurry.

I liked this tale a lot. The language is succinct and to the point. The pace swift and efficient. The plot clear and relateable. And the sex hotter than a midsummer’s day during a heat wave. The characterization made sense. That might sound like an odd thing considering the genre is paranormal, but here, regardless of the novella length, the people had distinct personalities, they kept personal things private, and they behaved differently based on who they were with.

Julian is a human and a hunter of werewolves who’ve gone rogue and either killed or changed people against their will. His past is bloody because of rogue werewolves, so his motivations are clear. Stone, on the other hand, is an Alpha with a deep, dark secret, which influences his decisions and actions. His desire for Jules complicates things. Real relationships can be messy. It’s not all sunshine and roses and epic love stories. This novella succeeds in creating a believable alternate world where everyone knows about werewolves, but as long as they do nothing bad, they’re treated like everyone else. Nice change for the usual scenario of either side dominating or hiding.

I liked how Jules was a human but in no way inferior to the werewolves, and not just because he was a hunter. His snarky attitude, his fearlessness, and his ability to forgive, it all made him a good, honorable man. Stone was harder to read, mostly because this tale is given to us from Jules’s first person perspective only. But he’s an Alpha who rules wisely but whose own secrets have made him afraid of his beast within. The plot twists born of this were handled exceedingly well.

In short, I have nothing bad to say about this. I simply loved it. Greedy, I wanted more. I’ll nonetheless be checking out the rest of Ms. Halle backlog of books. I recommend this to all lovers of M/M and paranormal, especially werewolves, and who like their men strong and smart, and their connections not quite insta-lust or insta-love, but still forming a formidable bond, expressed through burning hot bouts of delicious sex.

Vault of Sin: A Shot of Sin by Eden Summers

SHOT
Vault of Sin: A Shot of Sin by Eden Summers
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (139 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Toys, Voyeurism, Exhibitionism
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

Throw back a shot of pure pleasure.

Leo Petrova is between a rock and the hard place in his pants. Shot of Sin, the night club he owns with his two best friends, is short one bartender downstairs. The only available replacement is the upstairs bar manager—the one woman Leo knows he can’t take downstairs, can’t have, can’t touch. The one time he gave in to temptation convinced Leo that Shay’s no match for his sexual demands.

Only a select few know Shot of Sin’s guilty secret, that beneath the packed dance floor lies a very private sex club—the Vault. The place Leo can let his sexual proclivities run wild.

Shay Porter is curious as to why her boss, the king of mixed messages, seems almost desperate to keep her from discovering what’s on the other side of the guarded door at the back of the club.

Sliding out of her comfort zone and into Leo’s arms risks everything. Their friendship, the Vault, and most of all, their hearts.

A guilty secret that would make their life happy or miserable.

Leo, along with his two best friends, owns a very private sex club. When they are in need of a replacement bartender for the club; Leo’s partners suggest the bar manager upstairs.  Leo introduces her to the new and completely different scene in the club all the while readying himself for losing one more woman in his life because of this.

I was very much into the book from the start. It captured my attention with all the fun characters. Each character was so different but was an important part in the story as a whole. I loved Shay but at some point her attitude put me off and confused me. Leo was not the only one with an ego in this. Every now and then I would see Shay attitude come out. Men usually fawned and smothered her so I guess it is inevitable that you develop an ego.

That being said this story went smoothly and I truly enjoyed it.

This is not a low key BDSM book. It’s based around a sex club but it is not a hardcore BDSM book either. There was a lot of voyeurism and exhibitionism in it as well as a restraining scene and white hot passion that could burn.

A Shot of Sin is perfect for the erotic lovers who like their sassy, stubborn women but also likes to see hints of BDSM without it overpowering the story.

Pyramid of Passion by Jorja Lovett

PYRAMID
Pyramid of Passion by Jorja Lovett
Publisher: Totally Bound
Length: Short Story (46 pages)
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Time Travel
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Bittersweet

Rosie Carter can’t decide—should she act on her feelings for her real-life co-worker or lose herself in the fantasy of her Ancient Egyptian lover?

Rosie Carter’s cleaning job at the museum is far from boring. She starts her night shift by finding the security guard, Nick, screwing a redhead in the office. Running from her attraction to him, she distracts herself with the newly acquired Ancient Egyptian exhibit.

The Gold of Valor catches her eye—a pendant bestowed on the Pharaoh’s soldier, Edifu. Its mystical powers transport her into the bedroom of the man himself, who thinks she’s a gift from the gods and worships her with his mouth, his tongue…

When Rosie wakes up back home she thinks it’s all been an incredibly erotic dream. Until it happens again. She rediscovers the joy of sex and a newfound confidence with her hunky warrior, but she’s caught between her fantasy life and reality. When co-worker Nick starts to show his true feelings toward her, Rosie has to decide what it is she really wants.

To be honest, I’m not much of a fan of time traveling novels, but Pyramids of Passion is something totally different. To begin with, it’s very well written. Ms. Lovett drew me into her story and kept me there with her vivid descriptions.

Even though there is a hot romance (or is that two?), at times I felt that the story was more about the main character herself, Rosie Carter, and her evolution as a woman, than a love tale. Furthermore, at one point in the novel, I couldn’t help wonder why Rosie didn’t research Edifu’s past and cast her doubts aside. However, with that said, Rosie is an endearing character and I was rooting for her from the start.

Her male counterparts are equally engaging. They’re not only attractive, or mannequins to serve a purpose. They felt like real people.

Pyramids of Passion is a hot, sensual read with a happy for now ending. I will certainly be looking for future stories from Ms. Lovett.

Bearing Up by Eden Royce

BEARING
Bearing Up by Eden Royce
Carnival Magic #1
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (61 pgs)
Other: Light BDSM, M/F
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

Hard-working assistant bank manager Ellie is having a hard time getting over getting dumped by her cheating ex. After a particularly tough week, she visits her best friend Tippett at work, at a local carnival.

There, she plays a boardwalk game run by a mysterious and intriguing carnival barker and wins an adorable stuffed teddy bear. Later that night, the bear shifts into a tall, gorgeous ginger lover with the ability to make her forget everything except the passionate games he wants to play. Her teddy is the gift that keeps on giving!

Who knew an adorable stuffed bear could give you the best night of your life.

After a hectic and rough week in both her professional and personal life, Ellie visits her friend who works in the carnival. Little did she know that the cute and adorable teddy bear she won would give her what she craved.

This short story was passionate and sexy with a touch of shifters and magic. It had BDSM but a very, very light form of it that some readers will like. I liked Ellie. She was a hard-worker who needed a push to pursue what she wants in not only her personal life but her professional life as well.

The hero of this short story, this was an interesting twist on a paranormal. I’ll try to say this without spoiling it for other readers. I wanted to know more about the hero. Yes, there was some info that clued me into the hero but, I wanted to know more about this particular paranormal aspect of the whole story.

The premise caught my attention the storyline held it to the end. This book is perfect for any erotic lovers looking to unwind with a short and hot read.

Gemini by Clancy Nacht, Thursday Euclid

GEMINI
Gemini by Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense, Action/Adventure
Length: Full Length (240 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

Cass Manning is a serial monogamist, grad student, and identical twin to Paul, a drug-addicted prostitute. Fleeing his unfaithful boyfriend, Cass returns to Houston after years away only to be drawn into danger before he’s out of the airport.

When Paul dies under suspicious circumstances, Cass must rely on one of Paul’s clients, Kilo, a mercenary willing to protect Cass in exchange for sex. Together they have a chance to bring justice to the corrupt heart of Texas’s political power structure, but Kilo’s mysterious past may tear him from Cass when he needs him most. Even if they outlive their untouchable adversaries, how does a polite academic find lasting love with a soldier of fortune?

Exposing a cheating boyfriend is not the worst thing to happen to Cass that day. Although he thought finding his boyfriend in bed with his female best friend was devastating, Cass is soon plunged into a life and death thrill ride with an uncertain outcome. Fleeing the scene of the great betrayal, Cass heads to Houston and the home of his estranged twin bother, Paul. Although Paul is a drug addict and prostitute, Cass has always wanted to help his twin. Except his help is not only unwanted, but too late. Within hours of arriving at Paul’s place, Cass watches helplessly as Paul overdoses. At a loss of what to do, Cass only knows to trust Kilo, a mercenary that Paul had called for help. On the run from unknown assassins with powerful political connections, Cass can’t trust anyone but Kilo. Instinctively Cass wants more from Kilo than just protection and a warm bed, he senses they could have a real future. If only they’re not killed first.

Gemini is an action packed, fast moving adventure. It relies heavily on suspension of disbelief and the ability to be immersed in the story without questioning the many plot holes and contradictory details. I found sometimes I could be on board with the story and enjoy the over the top action, hot sex scenes, and entertaining chemistry between Kilo and Cass. At other times I was pulled out of the story frustrated over huge leaps in logic and changes in the plot and actions that didn’t make sense. I struggled with this story. I found the beginning to be entertaining and engaging and could forgive some of the obvious silly details, such as the airport bathroom scene, pretty easily. Once Paul died though I started to struggle a lot more with the plot and some glaring logic gaps.

Kilo and Cass are great characters and I loved their chemistry. Their sex scenes were hot, sexy, and just about melted the pages explosive. They simply worked together and that helped to really overcome many of my qualms about the book. I didn’t like the overly convoluted political plot that didn’t seem realistic or believable nor the convenient details that allowed for the resolution. I did like how both characters seemed to change over the course of the book, bringing out different qualities in each other. Their relationship by far was the best part of the book and I only briefly mourned the change from their initial agreement and hot sex to a more equable partnership almost immediately.

I liked parts of this story, but was too frustrated by the nonsensical plot unfortunately. I think the key to enjoying this particular offering is being able to suspend disbelief and enjoy the near non-stop action without questioning the details and plot turns that it takes to get there. It’s similar to an action movie with so many explosions that sometimes the lack of logic isn’t a problem. It all depends on the reader and their expectations. I’d cautiously recommend this for readers who think they could enjoy it.

Faith by Angelique Voisen

FAITH
Faith by Angelique Voisen
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical
Length: Short Story (55 pages)
Other: F/F
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

In a society where a common servant girl doesn’t have much in the way of prospects, Faith’s plain appearance and sharp tongue make a good match even more unlikely. But finding a husband is the least of Faith’s worries when she finds herself caught between a beautiful swordswoman and her grotesque, monstrous prey.

Given as a reward to the huntress, Faith is beyond terrified. According to rumors, these less-than-human slayers share too many qualities with the creatures they kill for a living, but Faith can’t deny the strange spark between Valac and her.

Val used to think cutting away parts of her humanity was a worthwhile exchange for wreaking vengeance on the monsters who threaten her people, but lately she’s gotten tired of her profession. Val believes her assignment in a remote city in the mountains is simple until a servant girl’s arrival stirs emotions Val thought she’d abandoned long ago. If Faith is capable of invoking unbridled passion then the best thing Val could do is stay away, but when Faith’s life hangs on the balance, can Val risk all to save her?

Sometimes love shows up when you least expect it.

This book had a strong opening scene that described the main character gathering mushrooms early one morning outside of the city gates. What I found most appealing about it was how much it revealed about Faith and her society to anyone who paid close attention to what the narrator did and did not say about them. Within the span of a few pages I had a good first impression of Faith’s personality as well as a few theories about why the people in her community were so afraid to wander away from the gates. There is definitely something to be said for such subtle foreshadowing.

I would have preferred to meet a smaller number of characters in this story so that there could be enough time for their personalities to fully develop. Alternatively, the plot could have been stretched out into a full-length novel in order to explain the character’s backstories and relationships in greater depth. Getting to know so many characters in such a short period of time was overwhelming, though.

The monsters were creepy. They were described in ways that briefly sketched out what they looked like and how they could be expected to behave, but I was happy to see that there was still plenty of room for me as a reader to imagine what it would be like to stand next to one. In this case, that was a smart decision. While I don’t know if the author is planning to write a sequel, it would be interesting to see how she approaches these creatures in the future if she does.

I’d recommend Faith to anyone who likes sexy science fiction.