My Lady of the Whip by Venetia Green

LADY
My Lady of the Whip by Venetia Green
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (113 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Forced Seduction, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Be careful when you pick up a whip. Your fingers curl about that seductive handle, your wrist flexes its subtle weight and then… Yes, you wonder what would happen if you plied those innocent leather strips against another’s flesh.
1348. The Black Death is sweeping medieval London, social order is collapsing and the virtuous Lady Elizabeth seizes a whip to defend her honor. But when death seems inevitable, Bess throws caution to the plague-ridden vapors to save the man she can never have—William de Montagu, the handsome, persuasive and soon-to-be-married Earl of Salisbury.

For such a compact story, there was an amazing amount of depth written between its pages. I’m not a stickler for historical accuracy; if the story is good enough, and the characters are strong and fascinating, then that’s good enough for me. However, the details that the author shared about the time in history for Bess and William certainly seemed real enough to me. I had to Google a certain word and then understood why it’s not a wonder Bess was horrified and grossed out at the beginning. If I was surrounded by people dying by the plague, I’d be freaking out too. Those were some seriously scary times and Ms. Green totally captured the feeling of panic, impending doom and its effect on a person’s psyche. I had no idea that kind of stuff went on, and if accurate, the author’s descriptions brought it to life for a reader. Praise be for modern medicine and hospitals!

That first chapter is important when it comes to the heroine. A reader finds insight as to her character. She might be a maiden, she might be sheltered to a degree, but she’s not without courage, fortitude or clever thinking. The author made that very clear which makes it perfectly believable for what comes later – Bess is a survivor.

The second chapter introduces William, the hero. The author wasted no time in alerting a reader to his impure thoughts and his mighty internal struggle to stand firm and deny his attraction to Bess. He’s supposed to be a good guy, a protector – yet he’s delightfully human and attracted. It was fun watching him fall during the course of the story.

The most sultry, sexy and enthralling scene was when William spoke to Bess but he made sure her eyes were closed. All he used were words, yet the effect was pure seduction. I really enjoyed that scene because it was very well written and hot – so hot the seducer became the seduced as well. That was one of the highlights for me in the novelette.

Fast forward a bit and what ends up happening to Bess is probably typical of the times. I wasn’t shocked but intrigued. The heroine truly was a survivor and she learned the lessons of survival extremely well. Her bodyguard, Wat, seemed sweet but reminded me of a hulking football player, especially the scene with the door. Don’t mess with Wat.

The chapter with the most whipping and binding and sexual hijinks was truly an eye opener for both reader and Will. One of the reasons that I liked it, and in fact, every sexy scene in the whole book, is because there are emotions affected in every single one. Nothing was gratuitous but a stepping stone towards the ultimate culmination – love.

The dialogue was clever and again probably accurate for the times. I enjoyed the tavern scene and the rough man-talk that took place there. Men haven’t changed even though the words to express their lusty pursuits have.

My Lady of the Whip has descriptions that bring to life the environment of the day; it’s as clear as the crack of a lash. Man’s taste for the crop has not changed over the centuries and Ms. Green told a wonderful story where its use is a focal point. I enjoyed the dynamics between Will and Bess and through the span of time, went through the motions of the dance of love – the meeting, the separation and the reunion (which was feisty to say the least) and the declaration of love. The ending was certainly unique, kind of funny but very, very happy. I enjoy a good HEA and Ms. Green delivered a solid one. I recommend My Lady of the Whip to all readers who are looking for something different or enjoy historical romances with a very sexy edge. This is a well-written tale that is titillating, sensual and erotic yet provides the heart and emotion of a solidly written romance. I’m glad I read it.

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Flux Orbit by Emily Veinglory

FLIX
Flux Orbit by Emily Veinglory
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (180 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

Kell is a high-priced male courtesan sent to spend a month with Jorihn Parr, captain of an old space station orbiting a flux planet. He quickly finds himself facing perils on every side. A business baron who operates outside the law wants to take over the station, and when they won’t surrender he is ready to attack with state of the art battleships. The planet below hosts alien life forms who put Kell in a new body and force him to act as their spy. The lives of hundreds of innocent people, men women and children, hang in the balance.

And in the middle of the maelstrom, for the very first time, Kell finds he is falling in love.

Kell’s only chance may be with a man he never expected to want, let alone need. Kell grew up as a paid prostitute and is very, very good at his job. His latest contract is to be help an uptight captain, Johrin, relax. Except while Johrin may be attracted to Kell, he feels guilty being with a courtesan, especially after hearing about Kell’s background. Kell can’t seem to get through to Jorihn and their relationship quickly ends, only to renew when Kell returns as Rally in a totally different body and looking nothing like he used to. Struggling to understand what and who he is now has consumed Kell but he must balance that with the needs of his new friends/masters, the Coil. Now only Jorihn can help Kell/Rally and the Coil against a much bigger threat.

Flux Orbit is a fascinating science-fiction story that balances tender romance and heavy science fiction without relying too heavily on one or the other. Instead both arms of the story are vitally important to its success. The science fiction aspects are pretty far fetched but in the most interesting ways. There is definitely some suspension of disbelief required to accept and go along with the many twists and turns the story takes but the emotional payoff is so rewarding that it’s worth it. It’s hard to talk about the main plot without giving away spoilers but suffice it to say the science fiction aspects are impressive but never overwhelming. Fans new to the genre won’t feel buried with too much jargon or bizarre concepts, just a few.

The romance itself is really lovely. Jorihn and Kell have an instant connection and a nice, if very brief, initial time together. The relationship that forms after Kell reappears as Rally truly becomes intense. Watching the two men dance around each other with obvious chemistry is very entertaining but also somewhat heartbreaking as Rally reaches out to Jorihn for help. The internal struggle and mental anguish rides the line of being too angst-driven but the author has such a deft hand with the drama that it never slides into overwrought. Instead it makes the depth of the characters and their relationship that much more meaningful.

I was surprised and delighted by Flux Orbit and it’s one story I whole heartedly recommend. It’s rare to find a story that has handles both aspects of the plot (romance and sci-fi) so incredibly well without sacrificing one for the other. The writing is stunning, evocative, and truly engaging. I couldn’t put this down!

The Teacher’s Wounded Heart by AJ Jarrett

TEACHER
The Teacher’s Wounded Heart by AJ Jarrett
Publisher: Siren BookStrand
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (133 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Lilac

Drew Hamilton is happy living a quiet life. Becoming a teacher was all he ever wanted and up until a few months ago that was enough to keep him content, that was before Cal Saunders moved in next door and changed everything. Drew feels like his life is spinning out of control, but falling for the tattooed god isn’t in his plans.

Cal knows the well dressed and mild mannered teacher is slumming it to be with a man who makes his living as a tattoo artist. Where he’s rough around the edges, Drew is smooth and sweet, everything Cal’s ever wanted. No matter how much Drew pushes him away, Cal won’t turn his back on what’s happening between them.

Drew knows he needs to let go of his past and move forward but fear keeps him paralyzed to do anything about it. He needs to figure it out soon before the only man he’s ever truly loved walks away.

A quiet teacher with a broken heart meets a gorgeous tattoo artist, and is swept away in a sexy whirlwind romance.

Both men’s characters are well depicted, distinct to show their differing personality traits. Drew Hamilton was burned by love in high school, the act freezing his heart and making him always expect the worst when it comes to people interested in him. He’s a teacher and a coach for the girls’s volleyball team, living vicariously through their enthusiasm. Cal Saunders has had no such bad experience, and is thus ready, willing and able to be reckless and wild with his heart and in his relationships. As a tattoo artist, he’s seen it all, and when he sees something he wants, he goes after it, carelessly doling out his love and affection, daring to expect the best possible outcome and a future together. The clash of these differing views on love and life is both erotic and bittersweet.

The plot revolves around the burgeoning relationship and the ensuing (melo)drama. There’s a precarious balance between being emotional and overemotional, between effective drama and overflowing melodrama. This tale dances on that knife’s edge. At times I felt Drew was being a bit over-the-top, crying all the time. Once or twice in a story is fine; after that it becomes excessive and the man feels, well, less manly. That constant crying never strikes me as true for a male character, which is why I couldn’t give this a full five stars. That endless blubbering just took me out of the story.

One thing I found pretty good about the plot twists was that Cal does finally decide Drew has hurt him enough, and leaves. This was a good choice because had he stuck it out with someone who was never going to give him his heart in return would have made Cal far too idealistic in the realism sense. No one really has that kind of patience when heartbroken. For me, that moment was realistic, forcing Drew to take action to change his life. Unyielding support would not have yielded the same results, I think.

Another thing I liked were the supporting characters, Chloe and Brett. They behaved like real people. Chloe has been Drew’s best friend since childhood but even she has her limits of what she can bear from a sullen Drew, and Brett loses patience with a moping Cal, even though they are best friends as well. The realism of friendship, where sometimes you have to kick them in the rear-end, was a nice touch to the tale.

Overall, I found this story to be immersive, sexy, and emotional, mostly in a good way. I was invested in the characters, and the plot moved forward at a reasonable pace. So I recommend this to all those who love M/M romances with emotional depth and lots of hot and heavy moments.

Drawing the Devil by Jon Keys

DEVIL
Drawing the Devil by Jon Keys
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (145 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

A heart can live a lifetime in eight seconds.

Ever since his father caught him with another boy and threw him out at the tender age of sixteen, Dustin Lewis has been fighting his way up the national bull-riding rankings. He’s on the brink of qualifying for the National Finals when he draws Diablo, a notoriously rank bull—and the ride goes bad.

When bullfighter Shane Rees frees Dustin from the rigging of the same bull that nearly destroyed his face, he comes dangerously close to dropping his guard. Shane knows the potential consequences of being gay in a sport loaded with testosterone-overdosed cowboys, and the resulting scars of mind and body have left him with little self-worth.

Their near-death-by-bull first meeting sparks an attraction that awakens every last one of their personal demons. Yet as the National Finals draws closer, so do they. But they’ll have to overcome emotional highs, near-tragic lows, and bone-crushing danger before love can bust out of the chute.

Dustin didn’t know that a few seconds on a hellish bull would change his life. Drawing the bull Diablo was not in Dustin’s plans but he tried to make the best of it for his last ride in the rodeo. He barely survived with the help of a bullfighter, Shane. Shane is scarred from his last run-in with Diablo but soon discovers that his chemistry with Dustin is even more dangerous. The two men immediately hit it off but each have their own demons in the past they have to get through before they can truly be together.

Drawing the Devil is a somewhat classic gay cowboy story; two men in the heavily testosterone atmosphere of the rodeo trying to get away from their own pasts and current flaws to find a way to be together. While it probably shouldn’t matter, I find that male authors write very differently than female authors, especially in the gay romance genre. This isn’t a criticism but the language, tone, and feel of the books are very different. I could tell a man wrote DtD with the almost crude language used during the sex scenes. Again it’s not off-putting per se but simply about personal preference. I didn’t like the sex scenes, they felt vulgar with a down and dirty, almost porn kind of vibe. Lots of spit and holes and shoving. Likewise I found the characters very flat. I couldn’t connect with either one of them and didn’t really feel the chemistry and connection between them.

What really worked for the story was the authentic feel of the rodeo and supporting characters offered. I could imagine the scenes with the bulls and cowboys and almost taste the dirt that swirled when the bulls sped through the gate. The author has a real flair for description when it came to these scenes and I quite enjoyed them. I liked that characters were given more depth with their various issues. Between Shane’s scar, which really affected his entire outlook on life, and Dustin’s family past mixed with his ADD, these characters weren’t stereotypical. I didn’t really connect with them but I could appreciate the attempt at adding more depth and complexity to the classic cowboy character.

Overall Drawing the Devil worked for me in some areas and not in others. I found the relationship and sex scenes fell very flat for me but the rodeo setting really drew me in whenever my attention was flagging. I think this would appeal to readers that want a bit of a classic cowboy story but also enjoy the very male style of writing, especially during the graphic scenes. For the right reader I think this could be a real hit.

Fueled By Lust: Caelius by Celeste Prater

CAELIUS
Fueled By Lust: Caelius by Celeste Prater
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (316 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Verbena

Caelius Meron strips at Heat Seekers Male Revue just so he can find his mate. So imagine his shock when he finds her in a cooking class he was forced to attend. So what’s the problem? There’s twenty-two of them according to Rhia Brennan. Undaunted by her claim that he’s too young, Caelius battles every roadblock she places. But what if one may be too difficult to ignore?

Kallon Aceso knows exactly who should own his heart, but Ulixes Dionysus doesn’t appear to want it. But is it really something else buried so deep that it may keep them apart forever?

Travel with these two Insedi as they both chase their hearts’ desire, only to be thwarted by misconceptions and mistakes from the past. Can they scale these insurmountable walls, or will they have to walk away and forever mourn what they could never have?

A super sexy hunk who knows his way around the kitchen, what more can a girl ask for? At first, Caelius’ attention seems too good to be true. Rhia feels herself falling fast for this Grecian God, but despite her body’s irrefutable attraction, her brain just can’t get past the age difference. Having been down the road to Heartbreak City before, she knows there’s no point in letting her allure override her common sense. However, a night of passion with the understanding that there’s not likely to be anything else doesn’t seem too reckless. After all, at her age, what’s the likelihood of ever having the a man like Caelius’ in her bed again? One look in the mirror reminds her that she’s too old, overweight, and parts of her have started to migrate south. A single night of mind-blowing sex will have to get her through all the long, lonely nights ahead. And after Caelius gifts her with an evening to remember, her expectancies come true. Or so she thinks.

Caelius has long awaited a sign from his conprobatus—his mating necklace—telling him he’s finally found his mate. Yet night after night of dancing at Heat Seekers Male Revue has produced no leads. When he accidently scratches his friend’s hummer and is forced to take cooking lessons as a form of punishment, he discovers that perhaps he’d been looking in the wrong place all the time. As soon as his gaze lands on Rhia’s voluptuous form, he expects that she’s the one. Too bad his necklace doesn’t seem to agree. When he finally manages to get Rhia alone and show her just how attractive she is and how she really turns him on, his disappointment quickly turns his hopefulness into despair. Despite what his heart feels, it seems Rhia is not a compatible mate. Rather than focus on what he can’t have and risk hurting her, he leaves Rhia the next morning and focuses on finding his true mate. Days go by and despite how many wrists he touches, he can’t get Rhia out of his mind. When his futile search for a mate brings him face to face with a psychotic stalker, Caelius decides it’s time to leave town. Perhaps putting some distance between him and Austin will accomplish two things: deter the crazy chick from the club and heal his breaking heart. He’s come to the realization that the problem must be him; he’s broken.

Well, Ms. Prater has done it again. She managed to steal my heart with yet another of her hunky alien men. This story even had a bonus as the good doctor manages to find his mate as well. While her other stories in this line have a hint of male to male attraction, this one has full man on man action so readers of strictly M/F beware. I don’t typically read a lot of M/M stories, but I didn’t mind this time because I already knew the characters so well and I was pleased when things worked out for them. As for Caelius and Rhia, once again I couldn’t help but fall in love with them. Rhia is closer to my age so it was nice to see that us older gals still have a chance at finding the man of our dreams. Despite Caelius’ younger age, his actions and behaviors really show his maturity. Just like all the other Insedi warriors, he knows the value of women and he doesn’t take his role lightly. Despite a lack of response in his mating necklace, he still wants to look over Rhia and ensure her safety. He struggles between wanting to follow his heart and needing to fulfill his purpose on Earth and obligation to Insedivertus. But all hope is not lost, a visit home to see his father and seek his wisdom presents a glimmer of hope that perhaps he’s not the one broken after all.

Ms. Prater has woven another wonderful story of love, triumph, and romance. Book five in her Fueled by Lust line, Caelius’ story most certainly lives up to the precedence set before. As Ms. Prater adds each installment, I find myself totally engrossed in the Insedi world. The characters have become like family and I’m totally eager to see what happens next. Who will find their mate and what obstacles will they face? While this story focused mainly on the internal struggles of both Caelius and Rhia, there’s still a bit of danger in the mix. The ending provides a couple of surprising twists, leaving me on the edge of my seat, anxiously waiting for number six.

For an exciting story full of passionate embraces, endearing confessions, and super steamy sex, be sure to grab Ms. Prater’s latest installment of Fueled by Lust staring Caelius Meron and Rhia Brennan. I loved this laid back tale that took me on an emotional ride as the characters battled internal demons that threaten to keep them apart. If you believe love conquers all, then you’ll be equally enthralled by yet another of Ms. Prater’s masterful fantasies.

One Indulgence by Lydia Gastrell

INDULGENCE
One Indulgence by Lydia Gastrell
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (274 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Lilac

When Henry Cortland, the Earl of Brenleigh, comes to London to fulfill his duty and take a wife, he also decides to first fulfill his most secret and suppressed desires. He wants to spend just one night with a man. A sultry encounter with a handsome stranger surpasses all his hopes, leaving him certain that he will live off the memories for the rest of his life.

Lord Richard Avery has grown tired of his endless string of casual relationships, yet an argument with his lover sends him right into the arms of a total stranger. But Henry is not like any lover he has ever had, and the attraction between them is more than physical. Richard wants more, but can their mutual attraction overcome Henry’s family obligations and sense of duty? Can Richard convince him to follow his heart rather than the demands of family and title?

A single night of pleasure with a stranger. One night to banish first-time desires. One hot, perfect memory to cling to forever. But what about love?

Henry is an earl who swore his now deceased father to marry and produce an heir. But he desires to be with a man just once, so he arranges to have sex with a stranger, Richard, who is gentle, kind, and patient. Their lovemaking could relight dying stars.

Both men have distinct personality traits. Henry’s a shy man, preferring the countryside over busy London. He blushes a lot and has no gift for lying. Richard, on the other hand, is a rake, wicked and bursting with life, even a bit reckless at times. He begins to realize his life, filled with casual sex, holds little meaning, let alone true love. He sees Henry, and begins to think he can change his life for the better. But due to their social statuses, their relationship, while starting innocent and sensual, turns sour and bitter soon. The author, Gastrell, uses small physical cues to describe the characteristics of these men, that become realistic when they, brokenhearted, act poorly and even cruelly. Yet they remain sympathetic and relatable.

For a long novel of almost three hundred pages, this tale has far too few instances when Henry and Richard are actually alone together. In fact, they have very few interactions altogether after their one night of indulgence. I kept waiting for these meetings that would have the two men learn more about one another to justify the love they grow to feel. Because they were kept apart through most of the book, I was left disappointed.

This story has a lot of other characters, which is both good and bad. Good because no relationship happens in a social vacuum. Especially in Victorian high society where decorum is the key and marital alliances unite bloodlines—and coffers. Plus, all these characters have unique personalities of their own instead of being just flat names in the background. Bad because Henry and Richard spend most of their time in the book engaged with other people and their messes. When that continued on to the last fifty pages or so, I lost all hope of an actual deepening of Henry and Richard’s relationship. Their confessions of love no longer felt believable. The sensual fervor, however, still did, because the beginning of the book showed so well the change both men felt at their one night together.

The historical context, the settings, the dialogue, and even the personalities of the cast—they all rang true. Gastrell seems to have an intimate knowledge of this era with all its intricacies. To be honest, once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. This tale brought out a whole host of emotions from me, from delight to frustration, from elation to sorrow, from anger to numbness. And that is how I judge a good book, one that draws me in, and doesn’t let go until the very last line.

Overall, this is very good historical romance, one that I have no doubt I’ll remember for a long time to come. The sensual scenes and the continuous emotional tension running throughout the tale was indeed very well told and shown. I was fully immersed into the tale, and I recommend this to all lovers of M/M and historical romances.

Unsettled Lust by Elle Saint James

UST
Unsettled Lust by Elle Saint James
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (279 Pages)
Other: M/F/M, Anal Play, Toys, Voyeurism, Menage
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Jessica Hoyt escapes heartbreak and job loss after her ex-fiancé knocks up, then weds, her employer’s daughter, shotgun style. She moves to Enclave, Montana to start over with a possible new job opportunity. Meeting Garrett Campbell and Seth Dawson her first night in town brings about unsettled lust between the trio and a wickedly satisfying relationship begins.

Garrett and Seth have a long-standing reputation for non-permanence with women. Their ex-fiancée burned them years ago with unforgivable betrayal, but Jessica has her own heartbreaking story, and the two men are smitten with her from the moment they meet.

Jessica explores their ménage lifestyle enthusiastically. While some disconcerting mishaps follow her initially, Jessica soon makes several friendships at Old West Town, settling into her new life. Until trouble in the form of her ex-fiancé demanding something she’s unwilling to part with threatens to put her in jail and possibly drive the lovers apart forever.

Wow! The author had such a great set-up for this plot. Jessica is starting over after the worst betrayal ever. Luck is with her though as she hooks up with two hot cowboys. Of course the author threw in some suspense and angst filled drama to keep things interesting. Her sexy cowboys, Garrett and Seth, are wary of the relationship because of a bad relationship from their past. Then trouble follows Jessica to town. Her smarmy ex shows up looking to cause all kinds of trouble.

First of all, I liked the characters in this book. Jessica was the kind of heroine that I enjoy reading about. She’s strong and smart and knows how to take care of herself. Instead of waiting for someone to save her she went ahead and did it for herself. Also, she was a plucky gal who wasn’t shy about propositioning a cowboy wearing big boots, if you know what I mean. She was new to the menage lifestyle, yet she was game to try it and even initiated the game. So I really liked her and that helped me to enjoy the story even more. Then there were the guys and I liked them both. I felt that Garrett was more sexy but if I had to choose just one it would have to be Seth.

This scorching hot book had a good plot and the writing was pretty much flawless. It had a good suspense to keep things interesting in between plenty of steamy love scenes. Only making it better is that I realized this book is part of an already ongoing series. It’s the fifth book in the Montana Double Riders Series. That is a series that I’ve somehow missed until finding this book. Oh well, I look forward to catching up…

I enjoyed every single page of this sexy menage story.

Mate with Me by BJ Wane

MATE
Mate with Me by BJ Wane
Publisher: Smashwords Edition
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (280 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Menage, Anal Play, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Waratah

Damien LaRue has spent the better part of two hundred years trying to atone for an act he’d been driven to commit shortly after master vampiress, Isabelle Sartre ended his life in 1815. Because he can never forgive himself, he plans to ‘meet the dawn’ soon, never intending to claim his mate. However, he hadn’t counted on Abrielle Chirac’s tenacity and her utter faith in him. When a strange mark suddenly appears on her breast, Abby discovers that she is destined to become her guardian’s mate. She’s determined to use her body to break through Damien’s wall of resistance. She wants the man as much as her body craves the vampire! Unfortunately, Damien’s will is stronger than her attempts at seduction, and it isn’t until she’s attacked by rogues and Damien brings her to his home for protection that she gets the chance to finally become his in every way.

Damien isn’t the only one to have a run-in with vampire rogues. Jacob Carter has spent decades longing to find his mate, but when he finally does, it’s to rescue her from one of his own. Grace Larsen is shocked to discover an immediate sexual response to the vampire who comes to her rescue. But ignoring her body’s desires, she refuses to believe that Jacob is any different than the vampire who tormented her. However, when Jacob is critically wounded from a rogue attack, Grace is left with two choices—watch the man she has grown to care for die, or use her body, the one thing she’s withheld from him, to save him.

In time, Damien, Jacob and their fellow vampires discover that their nemesis, Isabelle, is behind the rogue attacks. But before they have any hope of permanently ending Isabelle’s existence, they must resolve the issues that keep them from completing their mating bonds.

These bonded mates will have to fight their past before they can embrace their futures.

Finding a new author is like finding buried treasure. I thought this was a amazing read, even though when I picked it I had no clue what I’d be reading, really. It didn’t have a cliff hanger nor does it seem like it will be a “series” book. Instead, the author very cleverly wove three stories into one read. They are separate stories but by the end they all mesh together to make one well developed novel. That was just one thing that pulled me in and kept me there.

I met three women in the same situation but who handle themselves differently. Abby, Grace and Cat are human women and mates to vampires. Abby is a ward who’s been around vamps most of her life and is all grown up now, Grace is somewhat naïve and a sheltered homebody and Catlin is a bar owner. The brethren are a group of male vampires who watch over the city and are destined to be mated. The way the group of men are described almost reminded me of another series. The book lost a bit of its originality with that but it was the only drawback. There was plenty to keep me reading beyond that similarity.

What awesome play with words, as sexy alpha males try to contend with their equally stubborn human mates. The wise cracking, the teasing among the characters was a good fit, almost as if I could close my eyes and see the story playing out. There was one wee twist that threw me for a second, then I completely agreed. There is a bit of danger as a old nemesis the brethren thought dead shows herself. The hot scenes were all wow, yep, I needed to fan my face. There was some hints of BDSM but not much mostly the alpha male tendencies. Oh, I just fell in love with Tasha and Micah.  The ending was surprising, but HEA. I enjoyed it and it listed as a favorite. Enjoy!

Room Service by Nikka Michaels

SERVICE
Room Service by Nikka Michaels
Publisher: Cobblestone Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (17 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Bondage, Spanking, BDSM
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Lilac

When Dr. Seth Coleman catches the gaze of handsome conference speaker, Carson Randall, he is intrigued. After the speech, Carson introduces himself and hands him his business card. Seth discovers the card holds more than Carson Randall’s information; on it Carson has written his room number.

For as long as Seth can remember, he has focused his attention on being a doctor. But now he has the chance to focus on his own needs. Will Seth take the safe route and socialize with his co-workers at the conference or will he accept the handsome speaker’s invitation?

Two doctors meet at a medical conference, with hot glances exchanged. A calling card with a room number is surreptitiously passed. A night of debauchery and kink lays ahead.

Cobblestone Press’s Blue line is all about graphic erotica. This short story is exactly as promised, due to its length perfect for a work commute or a lunch hour quick read or a kinky bedtime story. A short story doesn’t make for deep characters but Seth and Carson are compelling nonetheless.

There a few editing oddities but the writing is evocative and sexy to the point of smoldering hot. All in all, this tale delivers: Attractive guys, sensual bondage and S&M, and a sweet, sweet surprise at the end that made me smile.

Blood Possession by Brandy Roark

LOOD
Blood Possession by Brandy Roark
Publisher: Red Sage Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (174 pages)
Heat level: Spicy
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Being attacked in an alley is one thing, but when your attacker bites your neck and drinks your blood, that is a whole different story. When Forensic medical examiner McKenzie Adams is turned into a vampire against her will, the normal life she led is suddenly shattered. Her sexy and charismatic assistant Ron comes to her rescue when he finds her in the alley in the arms of her new maker. He manages to get her back to the safety of her apartment, but not before it’s too late to save her mortality. The next morning McKenzie wakes as a fledgling vampire. She is confused by the attack and chalks it up as a dream, until Ron convinces her of the truth. He also has another revelation—he is a vampire as well. Even though McKenzie is in shock, with the help of Ron, she begins to adjust to her new life. But the happiness is short-lived when her maker, Aaron, comes for her. His blood courses through her veins and he is hell-bent on getting her back. Aaron gives her an ultimatum—she must come with him, or Ron dies. McKenzie has to say goodbye to everything she knows and loves to be thrust into a lonely existence, where she must fight her unwelcome desire for her maker. He is a cold-hearted creature, but she craves his touch like a drug. Can Aaron change his cruel ways and become a man she can love, or will he be the true death of her?

McKenzie Adams is a forensic medical examiner that comes across a body with no blood. Later she is attacked. The attack opens up a world that McKenzie did not even know existed.

Thankfully her handsome assistant Ron is there to help her and walk her through her new life in being a vampire. I found it a little too coincidental that Ron was in McKenzie’s life at the right time to be her knight in shining armor.

I enjoyed the novel. I wasn’t crazy about it, but it was readable and it kept my interest. I can’t really put my finger on why it wasn’t my favorite, but maybe there were a few holes that weren’t touched on or filled in. McKenzie is a young single female and from her description of being sun-kissed, chestnut colored hair down her back and curvy in all the right places I am sure she attracted many men. Her mother and sister Missy were mention but no friends or any type of social life, which seemed odd. And when she’s assaulted and later taken away from her home, Ron is the only person who noticed.

There were several moments when the book was kind of slow, like the author was trying to stretch the book out. The eating, watching movies, and sleeping…I was ready to read some vampire action. There also were a few things that stood out as odd. For example:  If Aaron has full access to humans to feed at his residence why did he travel so far away from home to bite McKenzie and other victims?

The vampire maker and their bond with their fledgling proved to be an interesting plot. I like the author’s writing style. It was easy to follow and I wasn’t lost in the teaching of the vampire life. There were a few twists in the book that I didn’t see coming. The author did a creative job with the alpha male story line. McKenzie had two men in her life and I had a hard time deciding who I wanted her to be with. In Blood Possession you have romance, along with the gore and blood that comes with any vampire tale. There is cruelty to the human prey/blood-givers and the author adds spice that could risk McKenzie’s life for trying to help them.

Blood Possession was a likable read that was entertaining.