The Queen’s Guard by Emma Jane

GUARD
The Queen’s Guard by Emma Jane
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (13 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Fetish (Guard’s Uniform)
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Jonathan visits Windsor Castle every weekend to watch one particular member of the Queen’s Guard, and when he spots the man at the local gay bar he knows he might just be in with a chance. As he watches the changing of the guard, he imagines just what he could get up to with his soldier.

Jonathan had a slight obsession with one of the Queen’s Guard from Windsor Castle ever since spotting him in a local gay bar. Every Saturday Jonathan goes to watch the changing of the guard, his harmless little obsession and the ritual that’s growing around it. Trying to go cold turkey, Jonathan decides to skip his Saturday ritual and instead goes out clubbing that evening. Bumping into Isaac, his soldier, quickly puts all his good intentions right out of mind.

Written in the first person perspective in Jonathan’s voice, I thought this short story had the air of a confessional. While I’m usually not a fan of first person writing, and it was a little difficult to feel a connection to Isaac as there was nothing about his thoughts/views, this was still an intriguing story. I enjoyed the different tone the author gave Jonathan and also found the story itself fresh and different. I also found myself a little disappointed with how speedily the sex was dealt with. While the build up and chemistry was fantastic, the actual event itself was quickly – almost dismissively – written. It’s possible that this was due to a word limit, or other constraint, but personally I’d have enjoyed this book far more thoroughly if there had been more description and time devoted to the scene when Jonathan and Isaac finally get together with Isaac’s Queen’s Guard uniform.

This is a short, sexy story filled with chemistry and charmingly written. I enjoyed the fresh perspective and novel concept of the story itself. An enjoyable, quick story.

Seven Steps To Heaven by Emily Moreton

HEAVEN
Seven Steps To Heaven by Emily Moreton
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (24 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Fetish (role-playing police officer)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Steve’s night at Heaven starts badly, what with finding a dead body behind the club where he strips and all that, but rapidly improves with the introduction of older, attractive Officer Monroe, the first cop on scene. That’s Step One. Steve’s problem is negotiating the steps that come after that. Like lunch dates, small talk and, oh yeah, his own massive uniform kink.

Steve was already having a crappy morning when he steps outside for a smoke – only to discover a dead body. The only upside was when the cops arrive one of them is like a walking wet-dream. Officer Monroe has a sense of humour, kind eyes and a few mysteries of his own. Steve finds himself hooked before he knows what’s happening and all too soon he’s realizing that maybe he has a thing for uniforms after all.

This is a character driven story – and Monroe and Steve didn’t disappoint me. With the guessing game of what Monroe’s Christian name is, and the ribald fun between the two men as Steve flirted with Monroe this book moves at a fast pace. I enjoyed the different spin on “the cop and the stripper”, and felt Ms Moreton did an excellent job of keeping the situation lighthearted.

The sub-plot of the murder and serial killer got lost a bit in amongst the sex and budding relationship between Steve and Monroe. Although it was light and there was a brief mention about them making progress, a part of me would have enjoyed it if there’d been a more firm resolution. This would have left it not feeling like a loose end for me. But the real aim of the story was the steps bringing Steve and Monroe together and in this I found the author masterful. There was an excellent blend of sex, fun and banter. Steve and Monroe didn’t just fall together and instantly work, there were boundaries and steps and I enjoyed watching them both navigate their new relationship.

I found this to be a fun, interesting read and I’d definitely look up more titles by this author.

Nurse Levi by L.J Hamlin

MEN
Nurse Levi by L.J Hamlin
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (20 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Levi is a nurse, and his days are pretty much the same, always working hard. His day changes when another nurse asks him to take over looking after one of her patients. Levi finds himself tending to Ash, an injured fireman and the sparks are there from the start.

Levi leaves work that day still thinking about Ash, but thinking he’ll never see him again. Fate, and maybe some sneakiness on Ash’s part, bring the men together again and the heat between them quickly grows.

Levi’s parents might have been okay with him being gay, but they struggled to understand why a man would want to be a nurse, not a doctor. Still, Levi enjoys helping people and is satisfied with his career. When Levi takes over a patient from another nurse who has to leave early, he decides it’s his lucky night. Ash is one smoking hot fireman, injured rescuing a kitten. Levi wants to do far more than patch Ash up, and soon the two men are both on fire for each other.

Despite a few snickers from the clichés, I found this to be a really fun romp of a short story. Leave your brain behind, grab an icy cold drink and settle in for this fun ride. Filled with double entendres and witty repertoire this book had be laughing aloud and eagerly turning the pages. Levi and Ash are humorous characters and I enjoyed watching them come together. Really sweet without being sappy, I found both Ash and Levi to be softer, gentler kinds of characters. There isn’t much plot to speak of, but the characters and the building of their newfound relationship takes front and center stage.

A short, happy, fun story, this is an excellent introduction to M/M. With a sweet and almost tender sex scene and plenty of getting-to-know-you time before the big event I would strongly recommend this for readers who want to dabble in M/M but want something gentler to help ease them in. Like a good, summery drink I found this a frothy and happy story to read.

Dirty Little Secret by Ella Sheridan

SECRET
Dirty Little Secret by Ella Sheridan
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (164 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Peppermint

Cailin Gray transfers to the new Atlanta branch of her company to work for the senior vice president, Alex Brannigan. But before her job begins, she allows the anonymity of the big city to lure her into a night of dancing–and the arms of a mystery lover hotter than anything this country girl could imagine. When she wakes alone, his absence hurts more than she thought it would, but not nearly as much as walking into the office Monday morning and discovering her lover is her new, married boss.

Alex has one goal: help his best friend, Sara Beth, keep her inheritance. Their plan included a marriage of convenience–check–taking over the vice president’s position–check–and keeping the platonic state of their relationship secret until their position of power is solidified. That last takes time, but the resulting solitude weighs heavily. Until Cailin. He told himself a single night would have to be enough, but fate had other plans. Now he must choose between keeping his dirty little secret and fulfilling his promise to Sara Beth, or finding the strength to free them all from the secrets that bind them.

This story completely captured me from the very beginning and kept my attention until the very end. Cailin has a naughty side that no one but Alex ever got to experience, and once he got a taste, he did not want to give her up. I can honestly say that the relationship between those two was something out of my fantasies.

Alex is everything I want in man: sexy, strong, reliable and knows what he wants in life. Both his strength and reliability makes him endearing but they can also lead to his downfall especially as he puts others ahead of his own happiness. This is evident throughout the story as he continues to keep secrets. The secrets he keeps will not only effect his life, but can destroy others, so he must sacrifice his happiness and possibly Cailin’s to protect those he loves.

Cailin is a sweetheart who deserves the world. I cannot help but feel for her position. She finally left her husband and was looking for a fresh start to only get thrown into more drama. She clearly wants Alex for more than just a quick one night fling but she knows that her lust is misplaced. She may have been a bad girl that one night, but she refuses to be a person who destroys other’s lives for her own personal needs.

This story plot line is intriguing to say the least. Both Alex and Cailin as well as the supporting characters really do have a unique situation on their hands that requires them to be delicate and try to do what is best for everyone. The secrets in this story are so deep and juicy it is a bit difficult to review as I do not want to spoil it for the readers. This story is one I will hold near and dear to my heart and is well worth reading. I fully intend to read it again.

Best Laid Plans by M. Durango

LAID
Best Laid Plans by M. Durango
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (22 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Craig is happy with his life, even if running his own business and negotiating bank loans can be stressful. The closest thing he’s had to a serious relationship was with Ryan in college. After Ryan moved away, Craig hardly gave him a second thought. When Ryan shows up with Craig’s weekly liquor order, Craig’s thrown off his game and finds himself a little in lust.

Craig and Ryan had messed around together in college, but they’d both moved on. Now Ryan is back from New York and working as a delivery guy. Both have secrets about what they’ve done in the past ten years, but neither can deny the intensity of the attraction that still burns between them.

For a super short story I was delighted by how much plot and character growth was squashed into these brief pages. The author does an excellent job of short, snappy paragraphs that paint vivid scenes for the reader. I found myself catching up quickly on the history simmering between Ryan and Craig, and appreciating how neither man pounced immediately on the other – a very common way for authors to get the story moving. I enjoyed the tease about what had led Ryan back from New York, but would have liked a bit more meat to the snippets of explanation about this. The story of how he’d gone from financial whiz to truck driver was quite interesting and I feel could have been fleshed out just a little more.

Although simple and short, this story had an intriguing complexity to it and I found myself eagerly devouring it all.

Readers who are looking for a plot and character driven, quick read should be pleasantly surprised. While there is plenty of steamy chemistry and sizzling attraction, just the one sex scene means this book isn’t as raunchy as many and is a good way to ease newbie readers – or those who usually are skittish about M/M – and keeps it quite well rounded to my mind. An excellent, fast read and one I found deeply satisfying.

The Viper by Kele Moon

VIPER
The Viper by Kele Moon
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (261 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Marcos Rivera is a fighter. A gang member. Someone who has seen the dark side of humankind and survived. He has lost family and gained enemies. He has stolen cars and destroyed hearts, stripping one for money and the other for pleasure. His past is haunted and his future is bleak.

Until her.

Katie Foster is a high school history teacher. Smart, strong, and sexy. She is a woman Marcos shouldn’t want. Shouldn’t touch. Shouldn’t love. He met her in Garnet, a backwards, hick town that’s the last place in the world he wants to be, but he finds himself going back for a taste of the forbidden.

Katie represents all that is good in the world, and Marcos knows he’s nothing but trouble for her perfect life. He fights and he screws. He commits crimes and he breaks the rules. He will never change and he will never escape his gang lifestyle.

Or can he?

What happens when two different people from two very different walks of life risk it all by giving into the passion that threatens to consume both of them? Can a woman who only knows how to play it safe give her heart to a man who lives hard and loves harder?

Will she survive The Viper?

This is the kind of book that I love to read! I’ve been a huge Kele Moon fan. I loved her Battered Hearts Series. It was the first time I’d ever read a MMA themed romance and I found myself hopelessly hooked. I enjoyed the series, and Moon’s writing, so much. This book begins a new spin-off series called Untamed Hearts. It lived up to all my expectations and then some.

Fate brings Marcos Rivera crashing into Katie Foster’s life. There is an immediate attraction that neither one of them can deny, even though Marcus tries to shut it down. Of course, Katie is determined so eventually she gets her chance. That part was so romantic.

It’s the typical good girl / bad boy trope that I tend to get into easily. I will say that this one had a great back story for Marcus and his cousin Chuito. Then throw in the angst and the drama of how hard it is for Marcos to catch a break …. anywhere. Yet, what stood out here for me wasn’t so much that as it was the romantic relationship itself and how Katie and Marcos accepted each other without needing to change the fundamentals of who they were. She knew Marcos was a bad boy capable of doing bad things. She still wanted him just the way he was. Now, Marcos does end up being a little reckless in a way; there was that bit of melodrama. But mostly he ended up giving her strength to stand up for herself and to take a chance on them. Oh and less I forget, the sex was hot!

That’s about all I can say without giving anything away. So let me just say that it had a good plot. The writing was smooth and flawless. The book flew by way too fast for me, and I will be going back for another read soon. Lastly, the characters were vibrant, capturing my interest and pulling me into their story. It was easy to have some real feelings for them. Katie was strong, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with Marcos. It was easy to love him.

On a side note, the series continues with Chuito’s book up next. He does have a dark side. I can’t wait. If you liked Moon’s Battered Hearts Series then you’re going to love this one just as much. If not then it can work great as a stand alone book too. It gets a big recommendation from me.

Pleasure Android 7.1 by Ela Stein

DROID
Pleasure Android 7.1 by Ela Stein
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (18 pages)
Other: M/F, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Zola is dismayed to discover that for her 40th birthday her friends teamed up to purchase her a hot sex droid. She refuses to let herself get attached to a machine, and tries her best to avoid the temptation. He is programmed to overcome such resistance and knows how to wear down defenses and sell himself like a pro using his perfect charm and impeccable skills. Though she suspects it’s nothing more than a sales pitch, she begins to question whether beneath his perfect manufactured exterior is genuine feelings and desire.

Milestone birthdays deserve really special presents. If only Zola’s best friend had surprised her with something other than a sex bot.

Zola has a well-developed personality that reveals itself immediately. The premise of this story was just unusual enough that I completely understood why she was so wary of her birthday gift. How she communicated that uneasiness, though, was what made me like her even more. She had a slightly snide sense of humor that worked beautifully in this setting.

It would have been helpful if Zola had more time to think about what she wanted to do with her sex droid. She is completely opposed to the idea of even having him in her home at first, and I was never completely sure of what made her decide to take another look at the issue. Had she been less opposed to it in the beginning her new way of thinking would have made more sense to me.

The sex itself was incredibly hot. The chemistry between Zola and her droid is sizzling, especially once she realizes everything that he’s capable of. There were a few things about the sex bot that I was a little unsure of at first, but all of my questions were answered satisfactorily once they got to know one another. It wasn’t clear to me if the author is planning on turning this into a series. If she does, though, I’d be interested in hearing more from these characters.

Pleasure Android 7.1 is a good choice for anyone in the mood for something quick but satisfying.

Platinum Passion by Jennifer Lynne

PASSION
Platinum Passion by Jennifer Lynne
Gods of Love 1
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Genre: Contemporary Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (49 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/M/F, Ménage, Anal Play
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Waratah

Three people. One erotic fantasy. And a twentieth wedding anniversary like no other.

Jeannie longs for the return of passion in her marriage. Jake craves new excitement in the form of another man. Pothos is one of the erotes and an aspect of Eros, the ancient Greek god of love, and this couple’s distinctive yearning has called to him. By the power of the erotes he intends to rekindle the flame of Jake and Jeannie’s passion in a night of desire that will be the ultimate platinum anniversary gift.

And when the gods of love decide your marriage needs a boost, they never do it by halves.

How many couples through the years fall into the trap of complacency with one another? Too many, and it’s really no one’s fault, it is what it is.

What if there were an entity out there listening, ready to help a couple in need, a couple who have lost their passion but not their love? Jennie seemed to conjure her fantasy right from the book she was reading. Pothos was the very meaning of sexual power and passion. He oozed it. Moreover, he was going to help Jake and Jennie get back what they’ve lost.

I really liked this book, it was easy to follow and get caught up in. The emotions were palpable and readers will have a hard time not finding Jennie at the middle of a pleasurable epicenter.

The story is very easy to identify with. Jake and Jennie are over worked and not taking time out for each other as a couple. Jennie tends to fantasize because in a dream you don’t need to think about repercussions or guilt.

This is a short read and it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed how the writer had the lead female reading when she started fantasizing. I’ve often wondered how many readers, including myself, substitute our name in for that of the leading ladies we read about.

There is a lot of love between Jennie and Jake. Intense, passionate, complete. Even Pothos felt emotions that he hadn’t felt in all his years. I’d love the chance to read the other books in this series. It can be a stand- alone and I liked that it wasn’t a cliffhanger. I enjoyed it and hope others who look for a bit of the mythical will also.

New Toys by Sean Michael

 

TOYS
New Toys by Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (100 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Anal Play, Toys
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Mistletoe

From shy men new to the lifestyle, to those in the know who are actively seeking it out, from first times, to one more time, these stories are sure to delight.

Five different men each meet their match in these stand alone Hammer Club short stories from Sean Michael.

From shy men new to the lifestyle, to those in the know who are actively seeking it out, from first times, to one more time, these stories are sure to delight.

I truly enjoyed this collection of short stories from Sean Michael. Each story pulls the reader into another world full of sexual tension and emotions.

Lion Tamer brings us a sweet young mans first experience at the Hammer club. Halloween is a grand time and at Hammer the men love to go all out. When Christopher comes dressed as a lion tamer he never imagined he would find a sweet wide eyed boy dressed as a kitten. Travis is more than ready to explore. He longs for much of the things that he has only read about. Can Christopher find a way to claim his kitten before he runs away?

I loved Christopher and the way he romanced Travis. He is a patient man who is more than ready to share and teach Travis. The two make a nice couple.

Sweet Cherry gives us another young man’s first time at the club. Rafe longs for things that he imagines he could find at the Hammer club but all he can do is watch from afar. When Bobby sends him an invitation to join him Rafe cannot resist. As the two introduce themselves the attraction is evident. Bobby is more than willing to share his world with Rafe. Watching their relationship blossom was a nice read. I loved Rafe and his curiosity to find what he wanted.

A is for Andy is a sweet pick up story. Even strangers can find more than just attraction at Hammer. When Andy comes in for a beer he finds more than he thought he would in A. The attraction the two have is strong right from the start and looks to be leading to more. The two are a nice couple and I enjoyed all the different nuisances of Andy’s personality and life.

The Favor is a great story about two men who are not only Doms but best friends. Watching their relationship turn into so much more was a great read. The intensity of their attraction shows through in all that they do. Lion is a great friend and a good man. When Erik needs a favor he is more than willing to help him out. The two find that their relationship goes deeper than they thought.

So Happy Together gives us Happy and Nic’s story. When Happy comes home to Nic and tells him that he has time off Nic decides to join him. Happy is an exuberant man so full of energy and excitement. So much that at times he needs to be centered and for that Nic must help him. I enjoyed seeing Nic help Happy find what he needs. Their love is strong and secure.

Each of these stories is a great read. It was nice to see the men interact and their relationships begin to take shape. As hot as these stories are we still get to see the love and romance between the men. Whether they are friends or strangers these men are stand up guys who are more than willing to take a chance and give it their all.

Tall, Dark & Alpha Boxed Set By Various Authors

ALPHA
Tall, Dark & Alpha Boxed Set By Various Authors
Authors: Afton Locke, Dawn Montgomery Delaney Diamond, Koko Brown, Eve Langlais, Eve Vaughn, Farrah Rochon, Paige Tyler, Randi Alexander, Sam Cheever
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (742 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Forced Seduction, Fetish, Toys, Fisting, Spanking
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Waratah

He makes your heart pound and melts your resistance away. He promises you a world of passion and you find it impossible to resist his dark charm. When he catches your eye across the room, you know he means business. He could be an executive, cop, shape shifter, or a bad boy looking for a little fun. Once he has you in his sights, you can’t get away—and after one sizzling night in his arms, you won’t want to. He’s Tall, Dark & Alpha.The alpha male is the ultimate indulgence…the richest dark chocolate…and we’re offering him to you in abundance.

Action packed and crossing multiple genres, there was something for everyone in this boxed set. I didn’t love every story but there were some that stood out and made reading the set as a whole well worth the time. I’ll highlight a few of my favorites:

Silver Tongued Devils by Dawn Montgomery

I was glad I didn’t have to pick a favorite genre to choose from, I’d have had a very hard time. This one is for the sci fi lovers. A decent length; not a short story but not a full length novel either. A really nice stand-alone. The scenes were not as explicit as I’d have expected. That being said, the story line actually carried it through, kept me engaged and wanting to continue to read. I enjoyed the three main characters; a bit more background to them would have been welcomed though. It was a nice read, I’d recommend it.

Crazy, Vampire Love by Eve Langlais

I’m so the lover of vampires and I adore Ms. Langlais’ awesome talent. I’ve read more than a few of her books and she still comes through with flying colors. Can you even imagine hearing voices and everyone that knows you thinks you’re crazy? So much so that 1) you believe you’re crazy, 2) they’ve actually locked you away. A smexy vamp has been doing what I’d say is easy feeding at the Institution for “crazy” people. When Zane’s compulsion didn’t work on Ella, I had to laugh. I could just imagine the look on his face. Priceless. Ella isn’t even sure that her visitor is real; after all she’s a certified loon herself. The thing she is sure about is the voices stop speaking when Zane is around. This was just a fun and easy read. Zane and Ella’s story goes to show you what’s on the surface don’t always run deep.

Two Cops, a Girl and a Pair of Handcuffs (The Badge Bunnies Series – Book 2)

I’ve wanted to read something from Paige Tyler for some time, and this was a very good opportunity. In this set Reed and Hayes are police officers and partners. Cilla is working the late shift at the coffee shop; she had been drooling and fantasizing about these lawmen for some time. The opportunity arises where they help her lock up and give her a ride home, in the name of protecting and serving of course.

This is the second book in the Badge Bunnies series but it appears to be a stand-alone.

A quick read, the story flowed well and characters were fun. There was a bit of BDSM included and that’s always a plus for me. This one was an immediate win for me because the Dom made her use her voice instead of just accepting a nod when she answered. The scenes were pretty hot and the writing created some fantastic visualizations, especially in one of the scenes. I’d recommend this and will be looking into obtaining another read by Ms. Tyler.

Chase and Seduction (Hot Country 1) by Randi Alexander

I almost started singing “I’m a little bit country”. Okay so what do you do when you are used to getting anything you want? Reno is more than happy not being in the “in crowd”, they’re both as different as night and day. One is quiet and calm the other is always on the move.

Of course Chase has a reputation that doesn’t help his pursuit of Reno, because she isn’t trying to be one of Chase’s latest conquests. But Chase is determined and he has set a course straight for Reno.

Chase and Seduction would not have been a book I’d have picked for myself to read, but it turned out to be a good story. I liked the writer’s style of writing, even though not in my genre. The story read well and characters were likable. Personally I think they would be good for each other, Reno calming Chase down, and Chase putting a bit of spark into Reno’s life. It was cute, sweet and fun. Enjoyable.

Tall, Dark and Apocalyptic by Sam Cheever

I so love the whole Apolcayptic theme that one and sci fi I’ve been snatching them up. I’m glad this one was part of the bundle. The way the story was wrote, you could just fall in the pages with the characters. The story struggled a bit at the start, but finally pulled me in and carried me to the exciting end. Easy read, well-paced. I’d like to read something else from this writer.

Overall, my impression of this box set was that it was totally entertaining and a group of well-balanced stories. I met some terrific new authors and stepped outside my comfort genre in some cases and I’m glad I did. Readers who crave the uber alpha male will likely enjoy these stories. Even though this boxed set is no longer available, the individual books can still be purchased from the authors involved.