Fall Hard by Zoe York

HARD
Fall Hard by Zoe York
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (128 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Jared Sutter has a simple rule when it comes to women: keep ’em happy and keep ’em at a distance. He’s got his reasons, and they all make sense until he falls for his neighbor and Cassie Bronson makes him want things he’s always kept off-limits.

He’s got his reasons and so does she, but when they come together and see the light of day, things will get explosive.

In concept, this is an interesting book. I won’t go into too many details so as not to spoil the surprises, but there are many. It’s a short book and a quick read, so if you’re looking for a fun, beachy read, then this would work.

The writing is interesting, but I must caution, there is an awful lot of telling rather than showing. I never got the feeling I was in the characters’ world, but more like I was watching a TV show. I’m not entirely sure what either character looked like.

Another thing about this book was the plot line. I can’t tell the secrets, so you can read them yourself, but I had a very hard time buying into them. He’s a marine. His situation wasn’t totally unbelievable, but I really had to suspend my disbelief. Then there was Cassie, the heroine. She seemed to talk down to him and act more like a mother hen than a love interest. I liked when they got together, but I wanted to see more out of her character. I kind of understood why she acted the way she did, but I thought she could use more rounding.

All in all, it’s a hot read and quick, too. If you’re in the mood for a short story with a hot marine, then this might be the book for you.

Fueled by Lust: Maxim by Celeste Prater

MAXIM
Fueled by Lust: Maxim by Celeste Prater
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (313 pgs)
Other: M/F, Anal Play, Fetish
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Verbena

A simple turn of your head can change your life forever. That’s what Maxim Telarius will soon realize when he spots a female cracking up passengers at an airport counter. What he didn’t expect was to find his potential mate when the counter comedian inevitably trips over a suitcase and practically lands in his lap. One innocent touch and he’s fighting through a powerful mating surge and begging her not to leave. One blink and she could be lost to him forever.

Skylar Grey is fleeing for her life with a mysterious object stuffed in her purse and no idea where’s she heading. When she spots a gorgeous hunk she just dreamed about, what’s a girl to do? Watching the guy twist on the floor in agony wasn’t what she envisioned. Should she run, or stay to help someone that seems extremely important to her survival?

They say things happen for a reason, good and bad. While the tragedies that had befallen Skylar over the previous 24 hours were certainly not good, they did put her on a path that led her to the one person who could answer all her questions, or at least help her find the answers. Running for her life from an unknown assailant and carrying something in her purse that’s important enough to get her boss killed, Skylar isn’t sure who she can trust or even where to go at this point. To top that off, the spirit guiding her on this journey employs less than appreciated means of persuasion to get her to do what it wants. There’s something she’s meant to do, she just doesn’t know what that is or where to find it. Nothing like embarking into the unknown, especially when it could get you killed.

When she runs into a sinfully sexy man who declares his intent to protect her, Skylar can’t help but accept his invitation. After all, the man is built like a brick-shit-house and could obviously handle his own. Surely it couldn’t hurt to have a beefed-up bodyguard, right? She had no misgivings that this gorgeous fella might actually be attracted to her. Girls like her didn’t get men like that. But she wouldn’t let that depress her, she’d just enjoy his company while it lasted. Besides, her spirit seemed to like the idea. Who was she to argue?

Maxim had searched one club after another, touching as many wrists as he could to try and find a compatible mate. When his quest turned up empty, he decided it was time to go home. After several failed attempts to contact his Insedi brothers via mind-call, Maxim realizes the delayed flight and questionable security of the plane were just a reminder of how unpleasant his trip home had been thus far, as well as how miserable the final leg of his journey would likely be, too. Why would his rotten luck change now?

Despite his sour mood, he finds his spirits quickly lifting when he spots a gorgeous female making her way through the crowd. Entranced by her beauty, he can only stare as she walks right toward him. Even though he’s sure he’s never seen her before—he’d definitely remember eyes like hers—she seems to recognize him. One misstep from her and he suddenly finds himself in a powerful Occasio surge. With his body nearly paralyzed in a mixture of pain and pleasure, he has no choice but to ride it out until the end and pray she doesn’t bolt. Thinking the beautiful woman would likely run like hell while he flopped around uncontrollably, he was totally shocked when instead she hovered over him like a mother protecting its young while curious onlookers crowded around. Despite the crappy day thus far, Maxim had just found a potential mate.

The last thing he expected was to find himself flat on the floor in the middle of a crowded airport with his mate plastered to the front of him. But once he realizes who she is, he has no intention of letting her go. Using his suave skills, he manages to convince her to forgo the plane and the bus and continue her journey with him, alone, in a rented hummer. Despite her initial hesitance, she finally agrees. It turns out to be a decision that changes both of their lives.

Fueled by Lust: Maxim takes us on the journey of another special Insedi male as he finally meets the woman that can make him whole. Even though Skylar isn’t really looking for a man, Maxim is just what she needs. Together, they discover the meaning of true love, as well as the hardships and sacrifice that sometimes comes with it. Despite the challenges, neither is willing to give up the other. Working as a team, they uncover the truth and significance behind the artifacts Skylar found during the excavation in Rome, as well as what they mean to the Insedi people and their future.

Skylar has some supernatural skills that aid in their journey. While her abilities previously scared away past loves and earned her the “crazy” label, Maxim found her gifts nothing less than amazing. Skylar isn’t used to someone accepting her as she is. Her parents were the only other people who believed in her. When they passed away, her aunt and uncle used her abilities to convince a judge to lock her away in an institution because they claimed she wasn’t stable. To have Maxim accept her—weird talents and all—is more than she could have ever hoped for. Who was this mystery man and where did he come from?

I’m at a loss at this point. With each new installment of Ms. Prater’s Fueled by Lust series, I’m finding it more and more difficult to put the right words on paper to adequately do her work justice. Once again, Ms. Prater’s writing sucked me right in from page one. In truth, there have only been a few series that I’ve read over the years that touched me so deeply that I actually felt depressed because they weren’t real and even more so when they ended. Ms. Prater’s characters have certainly reached that status with me. If only…she definitely provides material that revs up my fantasies.

I love how Ms. Prater skillfully weaves in new characters with the old and makes everything blend so seamlessly. It feels like I’m watching a TV series and each new book is like a new episode. I don’t know how many she has in her, but I’m praying like crazy that it’s a lot. I will truly be saddened when this series finally ends. I am likely only one of Ms. Prater’s adoring fans and I think I can speak for all of us when I say, please don’t let it end! *smile*

If you haven’t checked out Ms. Prater’s Fueled by Lust series, then you are seriously missing out on some really good stuff. The men are amazingly sensitive to the needs of Earth women and it doesn’t hurt that they’re smoking hot. Each of her female characters have endearing qualities that make me love them just as much. I even love their pets! Barney is just awesome. They’re good stories about love conquering all told from a fresh and invigorating perspective. If you like a little science fiction to go along with your romance, then this series is for you. I absolutely loved this one just as much as all the rest. Maybe even a little bit more. It’s kind of hard to pick a favorite when they’re all great. Read one, read them all, just be sure to grab a copy of Fueled by Lust: Maxim, it is most definitely a worthwhile book.

In the Dark by Lyla Sinclair

DARK
In the Dark by Lyla Sinclair
Dark Minds Book 1
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full Length (181 Pages)
Other: BDSM, Forced Seduction, Anal Sex/Anal Play, Spanking, M/F
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

At the age of 11, Ana Villarreal suffered from unexplained blindness for over a week. During this time, a young man crept into her room, kissed her, and whispered words in her ear that sent a chill down her spine. Twelve years later, Ana is living in New York City, the youngest manager at her company, but work is all she has. She rushes home at night and locks herself in, afraid he is still out there, somewhere, looking for her.

Until she meets Damien through the company’s online help chat, and, eventually, asks him to call her. At first, he refuses to meet in person, claiming he’s a disfigured recluse who rarely leaves his house. When he finally allows Ana to visit him, she suspects the black surgical mask he wears to cover his “disfigurement” is a farce, but, still, she becomes obsessed with him. Even though she’s not allowed to see his face. Even though she must confront her fear of total darkness to be with him. Even though, in a moment of passion, he utters a sentence almost exactly like the one she heard in her bedroom 12 years ago.

There’s something about Damien that allows her to overcome her aversion to men. Only with him can her needy body find release. As Ana submits to his shocking demands, his claims seem more suspicious, and she must ask herself whether Damien is the love of her life, or her stalker who’s come to claim her, body and soul.

Our instinct is to always protect ourselves from harm, even if those hurts are purely of the soul.

I was very skeptical when I read the synopsis. Now, I can say for sure that this novel is not for the faint of heart. Readers who enjoy erotic romance, but don’t enjoy extreme and dark erotic, will likely not enjoy this one. In the Dark mostly certainly qualifies as a dark erotic novel with an added mystery and suspense. The mystery and suspense is more about the past but it influences the present.

Ana’s past has never really left or rather she hasn’t been able to let go of it. She has a successful professional life. Even if certain aspects of her profession are affected by her past, she’s been able to build a successful career. Her personal life is a whole other matter.

Damien had a rough life thanks to his crazy mother. He is a self-proclaimed hermit because of a disfigurement that occurred when he was a child. He never goes out, but because of his intelligence he has money and time. He can do anything he wants. It made it a little unbelievable for me that in all these years he never really went anywhere. But being an only child may have made it a lot easier to feel comfortable without needing companionship.

Damien and Ana’s past made them who they are and it’s also what makes them a great couple. They understand each other a lot better than anyone else would have. Damien’s disfigurement makes him a lover of the safety that the darkness provides while Ana’s encounter with a stranger as a child, makes her fear the darkness and what it holds.

Ms. Sinclair did a great job with the plot. But I think the characters are not that easy to understand. For example, Damien is very, very adamant that Ana will hate him and even be repulsed with him when she sees his face. It became a little repetitious. Likewise, when Ana was asked about what else happened with her when she was a child, she was adamant that nothing happened. Her denial of what triggered her issues with the dark was a little over the top. It was refreshing when she finally admits to the reason behind her very legitimate fears.

Ana and Damien’s relationship started out through online chatting. I think that played a big part in not only getting them together but also in their trust with each other. They had time to bond outside of their ‘normal’ world. The mystery and suspense had me hooked right until the end.

Mauled by SJD Peterson

MAULED
Mauled by SJD Peterson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (67 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Anal Play, Fetish (leather), Toys
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Gunther Duchene aka “Gunny” and Macalister Jones aka “Mac” have overcome the obstacles of coming out and retiring from serving more than twenty years as Marines. Their exit ceremony is behind them, their wedding vows are made, and now it’s time for the honeymoon. What better way to kick off their marriage than enjoying the retirement gift Mac gave Gunny? With the leather pants and collar packed, it’s off to New York City and the Guards of Folsom club to celebrate—BDSM style.

Gunny has expressed to his husband, Mac, his desire to explore some leather fetish clubs. Obligingly, Mac buys Gunny some leather pants, a leather shirt and a gorgeous leather collar. Mac doesn’t want there to be any confusion who his lover belongs to. A work opportunity lets both men go to DC, so Mac decides it’s high time he and Gunny finally took their honeymoon, and New York has a bunch of leather clubs Mac is eager to introduce Gunny to. The two men have seen years of combat together, but now they’re retired, it’s time to focus on each other, and Mac has plenty of plans in that department.

Despite the shorter length of this novel and the solid nature of Mac and Gunny’s relationship, I really enjoyed the new sparks the two men shared. Their love and commitment is clear to see, but seeing Gunny interact with Mac’s parents, and watching how Mac worked to bring Gunny’s leather fantasy to life was almost like seeing new aspects of the two men come together. I also really enjoyed how much of the club was described and explained. Because this is Mac and Gunny’s first time at the club, the descriptions are a lot more detailed and longer than other books I’ve read. This helped me get a really vivid picture in my head and gave the book more depth to me.

A fun, sexy romp of a book, I think this book would appeal to BDSM novices as well as those well used to their kink. There is nothing I found overtly dangerous or envelope pushing to scare off new readers – but still plenty of sizzle and spark between Mac and Gunny to have even the veterans of erotica whet their appetite. Recommended.

Figure of Speech by Dana Marie Bell

SPEECH
Figure of Speech by Dana Marie Bell
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (190 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Lisianthus

When two hearts speak as one, no words are needed.

Chloe Williams has waited four long years for her mate to acknowledge her. Time and again he has turned her away for being too young, even when she was hospitalized, recovering from a beating that left lingering after effects. Now that he’s been turned into a Wolf, his mating instincts are kicking in big time. Chloe has to decide if it’s worth risking her heart yet again.

Ten years older than Chloe and dealing with issues she knows nothing about, veterinarian James Woods is about ready to howl in frustration. He’s been drawn to Chloe since she was a radiant nineteen-year-old college student, but the age difference held him back from making a move on her. Now his Wolf wants what’s his, and Jim is finally in a place where he can claim her.

Between meddling mothers, Hunter brothers, and a mystery that threatens to end Chloe’s life, they might find an opportunity to tell each other just how they feel. Or find themselves separated by more than just misunderstood words.

Chloe Williams is a changed fox after an attack four years ago, and the whole time she’s been pining for her mate, who at the time was human. Now, he’s a wolf and he can’t deny his pull to mate with the younger Chloe.

James Woods is a great hero, it’s obvious that he loves Chloe and that he just needs to get out of his own way. As soon as that happens, they really start to build a relationship, and really pull together when outside forces are out to get them. I really think the mystery of who is after these two leads to some great moments of action and suspense.

This is fourth Halle Shifters book, and I definitely recommend reading the others. The author does give a lot of background, but all the characters from past book that stop by were much easier to understand since I’ve read the others.

Chloe and James were fantastic together, and I look forward to seeing them in future books, and definitely want the conclusion of the overall mystery. I enjoyed the way this book ended with a little bit wrapped up but I definitely want to see how the author finishes out the overall story arc. This is a great story and I highly recommend it.

The Playhouse by Katey Hawthorne

HOUSE
The Playhouse by Katey Hawthorne
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (117 pages)
Other: F/F, Toys
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Summer has been Lily McBride’s favorite time of year since she was a kid, because that’s when the Brookesville Playhouse opens its doors. Now that she’s an adult and works as their tech director, Lily wants more for her beloved Playhouse: a larger audience, a longer season, and exciting shows to draw new patrons.

This year, though, she also wants Genevieve Mason, a pretty starlet-in-the-making from the local university, recruited for the season’s tech crew. Genny throws her heart and soul into the place too, adding her own dreams of representation to the ‘must-have’ list, and using her sweet voice and surprising flare for pyrotechnics to draw the crowds in droves. They work so well together, it’s not long before their summer crush blossoms into a steamy affair.

Lily’s falling hard, but always feels like Genny’s holding something back. And then there’s the dreaded Brookesville Arts Council—supposed to be a support system for all things cultural, instead dragging the Playhouse down with their old-fashioned stubbornness. There are a lot of hurdles to jump and egos to deflate before they can get what they want, both for the theater and from each other.

There’s something to be said for a summer fling. If only Lily knew if this was what she was having or if something else was going on with the mysterious Genevieve.

It was nice to see so much time devoted to introducing Lily and Genevieve to the audience before anything happened between them. I got to know both of them pretty well during these introductions. I also had a chance to see how they interacted in platonic settings. Both of these factors made the events of later chapters even more gratifying than they might have been otherwise.

I had trouble keeping track of how all of the characters knew one another. Some of their connections weren’t revealed right away which was confusing. Having that information earlier on would have made it much easier to remember who was who, especially when it came to characters that only popped up occasionally. If not for this issue, I would have given this story a higher rating.

The paranormal subplot was nicely done. At first I wondered if this book had been mislabeled because this part of the storyline didn’t show up right away. It was worth the wait, though, once I realized what Ms. Hawthorn had been building up to all along. Including this twist made sense out of certain things that I’d initially found puzzling due to how often the plot jumped around, so seeing how the paranormal scenes fit in with everything else was satisfying.

I’d recommend The Playhouse to anyone in the mood for a tale that heats up slowly.

Goal: A Mate by Selena Illyria

GOAL
Goal: A Mate by Selena Illyria
Publisher: Etopia Press
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (162 Pages)
Other: M/F, Toys
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fuchsia

When you meet your true mate, you’ve got to take the shot…

Werewolf Pack Princess Kelly is overwhelmed with her new business, trouble with the rival cat shifters, and trying to ignore the attraction to her best friend’s younger brother. By bidding on Brandon in the Bachelor Auction, she thought she was just doing him a favor, saving him from the craziness. But now that she’s won him, her wolf wants to mark him as her mate, and she’s starting to lose control. So when he whisks her away for his birthday weekend, how can she refuse? Every kiss distracts her. Each caress sets her on fire. And every whiff of his scent makes her wolf want to take him where he stands.

As a former hockey player and werewolf, Brandon knows all about being pulled in different directions. And he knows exactly what he’s asking for when he pursues a relationship with the already overwhelmed Kelly. She may be five years older than he is, and the daughter of his pack’s Alpha, and his sister’s best friend and business partner, but none of that matters. There’s only one person he wants to spend his birthday with, and he’s not going to let her refuse. And when Brandon has his eye on the goal, there’s nothing that can stop him…

Brandon is a wolf shifter who has always known that Kelly was his mate, however since she was his sister Reenie’s best friend and older than him he chose to make her his friend as well. He wanted her in his life and he didn’t think that she saw him as mate material, so if he had to settle for friendship that’s what he would do. However, due to a series of events Brandon had to let Kelly know that he wanted her as a mate or risk losing her for good.

Kelly is the daughter of the Alpha and she knew that Brandon was her mate, but she didn’t think he saw her that way. She wanted him and needed him but did not want to ruin their friendship by taking that step then having it all go to pot. She would rather fantasize about being with him instead of risking it all by telling him she wanted him. Her father took that decision out of her hands which forced her to take action.

Goal: A Mate is the second book in the Bachelor Auction series by author Selena Illyria, the first one being Mate Not Wanted. Each book is a standalone however in my opinion the first book should be read simply because the characters are referenced in the second book. I enjoyed this book and the characters of Brandon and Kelly, but I must say that my favorite character was Reenie, Brandon’s older sister. She was quick with the comebacks, was no nonsense and cracked jokes when she was nervous which had me chuckling.

There were a few typos which was a distraction because I had to reread the line again to understand what the character was saying. Other than that the story was entertaining and I look forward to reading the third installment in the Bachelor Auction series. Hopefully it will be Reenie and Alberto’s story.

Too Hip For Love by Sindra Van Yssel

HIP
Too Hip For Love by Sindra Van Yssel
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (102 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, F/F, Multiple Partners, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Lisianthus

For years Karen has gone to Parker’s home every Saturday afternoon to be tied up, spanked, and aroused by the masterful Dom. She loves being his toy, but it’s all just play. While Parker loves to play with her body and her mind, he’s too good a man to play with her heart. And getting too wrapped up in one person would make it harder to have fun kinky times with others. But now Karen wants something more than a reliable top. She wants love, like her friends Craig and Alicia have, and a future with someone, even if she has to give up kink to get it.

Parker can see Karen drifting away from him. He knows she’s searching for something he’s not providing. For years Karen has been his rock – way more than a plaything. He wants what’s best for her, and if that’s not him, he has to accept it – unless he can change her mind, or they can change together.

Karen and Parker have a once weekly arrangement where they get together and she submits to him, but nothing exclusive or permanent. Only Karen seems ready to settle down, and finds herself jealous of Parker with other women, and Parker doesn’t really want to see her dating anyone else.

This is an interesting dynamic for a romance, they are already sexually intimate, and in some ways emotionally intimate, but they aren’t exclusive and neither is ready to admit that they have already found the perfect relationship in each other.

It was refreshing to see these two work for their relationship, they didn’t just meet and fall in love, they had to work on building a real relationship, and I rooted for them. I do admit the injury to get her into his house seemed a bit contrived, but it still worked to force them to face their relationship fears.

I loved all the sexual scenes, they were well plotted and very steamy. I definitely enjoyed the inventive scenes and Ms. Yssel seems to have done a lot of research into the BDSM lifestyle. There is one scene early on where Karen is tied up and multiple people, both female and male help with the scene and Karen purposely asks to not know who was involved.

I highly recommend this story and it was a great way to pass an afternoon.

Centerfold by Kris Norris

CENTER
Centerfold by Kris Norris
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Short Story (123 pages)
Other: MMF, MM, MF, anal play/intercourse, spanking, exhibitionism
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

Lights. Camera…die.

Detective Scarlet Reid has spent the past three months trying to make her alter ego, Ms. December, a ghost of Christmas past. Forced to become the sexy centerfold in a high-stakes undercover assignment, she’s spent more time pulling copies of her naked butt off the bulletin boards at the precinct than she has collaring criminals—and it’s far from over.

A deadly agenda. A gruesome new case has revealed a disturbing trend—one that has placed Scarlet on a list of possible targets. With limited options, she’s going to have to resurrect Ms. December—and her old partnership—which means facing the one man who stole more than just a kiss.

A love worth fighting for. Federal Agent Roman Kinkaid has some explaining to do. His final assignment with Scarlet changed him, and he’s been running from her ever since. But he’s ready to make things right—only he’s not alone. His partner and lover, Special Agent Aiden Cross, is just as invested and determined as Roman is to claim Scarlet as theirs. And they aren’t taking no for an answer, especially when their souls—and Scarlet’s life—are on the line.

They have three weeks to catch the stalker before Scarlet’s time runs out and they lose their one chance at a happy ending.

Angel is a centerfold. Okay, so the popular 80’s song by the J Giles Band pretty much became a reoccurring earworm throughout reading this sexy little short story.

Scarlet, aka Ms. December, is deep undercover when the book opens. Actually, she’s very exposed and is wishing for some cover. I had to laugh in the beginning because she is so clearly uncomfortable in her role as a play bunny being photographed in her birthday suit. She holds her cover well and thanks to a nasty little man who likes to watch, she gets some serious and sweaty one on one time with her partner, Roman. And then all goes to pot. No pun intended but readers will understand that line when they read the book.

Circumstances bring them back to the scene of a crime but it isn’t just Scarlet and Roman. Roman’s partner in and out of bed, Aiden, has feelings for Scarlet and is determined to keep her safe so he and Roman can show her they’re in it for the long haul.

The story was fun and well developed. The sex, HOT! Great dialogue and a villain who isn’t revealed until the very end. There are clues and red herrings but it was fun to guess along the way. This story had it all. What I liked best were the characters themselves. I wish I knew how Roman and Aiden became a couple. These guys are both heavy on the alpha side and both happy to give an erotic spanking when opportunity presents itself. Let’s just say they’re a tiny bit obsessed with Scarlet’s posterior. But it’s sweet and sexy at the same time. They truly dote on her and I couldn’t help but love watching them engage.

Something else I appreciated about this book is that Ms. Norris didn’t weigh the story down with tragic back stories for the characters. They are all in law enforcement in one form or another and the present is what’s emphasized rather than their pasts. I’m not saying how they came to be in the present isn’t important but where they’ve been isn’t as important as where they’re going. The only caveat to that is that I didn’t get to see how Scarlet came to be interested in Aiden before he enters the picture and she’s admitting to herself that she’s been attracted since the first time they met. That was glossed over but it didn’t kill the book for me. I was cheering for them as soon as Aiden walked into the room and started taking charge. It was intoxicating.

I could happily read more stories with Scarlet, Roman and Aiden at center stage. The chemistry was there and so was the love.

This is a quick read for someone who doesn’t have much time but wants a story that is totally satisfying. I’ll be checking out more Ms. Norris’ books to find other great stories.

Brokenhearted Beauty by Heather Rainier

BEAUTY
Brokenhearted Beauty by Heather Rainier
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (281 pgs)
Other: M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Brokenhearted and grieving, Leah Woodworth’s heart is filled with regret for never confessing her love to Patterson Elder. His loss haunts her dreams and she can’t set eyes on his brothers, James and Vincent without seeing his face. Having denied her attraction to them until it was too late, how can they possibly still want her?

James and Vincent were sure Leah was the one from the moment they met her. Patterson had always shared that belief, taking every chance to convince her that she was meant to be theirs. With Patterson gone, James and Vincent are deep in their own mourning and at a loss as to why Leah avoids them. When she is offered an opportunity that may take her permanently out of Divine, they realize time has run out and seize what may be the last chance they have to make her theirs forever.

When you read this book make sure you also grab a box of tissues. Leah’s book is a very touching story about loss and finding love again. Having been through the pain of losing someone like Leah did, not in the same manner but someone that I could have and should have; I could not help but understand her pain and just where she was coming from. Her story shows us that love is strong but you have to reach for it and hold on tight because you never know when it could slip from your grasp. Leah learns this the hard way, but thankfully she has two men that want nothing more than to help her to heal. Vincent and James are more than willing to let Leah make her own decisions and give her time but when it looks as if their time is running out what else can these two men do but fight for the woman that they love?

I cannot tell you how many times I had to stop and catch my breath with this book. The pain and the love that these characters have for one another is immense. Leah loved all three men and losing one before they even have a chance has her tied up in knots and not knowing where to go from here. The emotions that Vincent and James go through are just as strong. The three are wonderful together but Leah must figure things out for herself. She knows what her heart feels but can she give it again or is she just setting herself up for more pain? The love that the two men have for Leah is so strong and shows in everything that they do. I loved seeing how happy they could make Leah and how much that they cared for her.

Not only did I enjoy watching their relationship take shape but I also enjoyed seeing many of the other characters and their relationships grow. I am excited to see more from Kendry and Jared. It is obvious that the brothers are good men. I especially liked the moving scene where Leah listens one more time to Patterson’s heart. Like I said make sure you have those tissues handy.

This story had me right from the start and did not let go. The story moves along nicely and the characters quickly endear themselves to you. I am a big fan of the Divine Creek Ranch series and it seems that it only gets better with each new book.