Absinthe by BA Tortuga and Julia Talbot


Absinthe by BA Tortuga and Julia Talbot
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (45 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, BDSM, Spanking
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Bartholome would give anything to get his young lover Rene to stop running away from him. Years ago, he made a stupid mistake, letting the rest of their wolf pack come between them, but he knows better now.

Rene’s not sure he can believe Barthe will ever want him. Add to their dilemma Barthe’s brother Bastien and a werewolf caught half shifted, and Barthe and Remy have a real mess on their hands. Can they come back together before they lose their love forever?

Bartholome knew that Rene was his mate, but Rene was so young. When Barthe said some careless words it was years before he ever saw Rene again. Lesson learned, Barthe knows he’ll not make the same mistake again.

I found this to be an interesting and fast-paced short story. I love how Barthe and Rene’s romance and hunt was first and foremost, with an interesting plot-twist coming in half way through. I thought this balanced the need for plot and romance really well and kept me interested throughout the story.

Both Barthe and Rene were interesting characters to my mind. While I would have liked to know more about things from Rene’s perspective – particularly his history – there was no question in my mind that they loved each other and were both hungry to become proper mates and stop circling each other. I enjoyed the two strong secondary characters and am hopeful there might be a following story after this one. I’d gladly pick that one up – which is always a very positive endorsement of any book, wanting to read more.

A sexy and interesting short story with great characters and a good, solid plot. I really enjoyed this story and will eagerly be keeping an eye out for the next one.

The Birthday Present by Sean Kerr


The Birthday Present by Sean Kerr
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (26 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Ronald feels old, washed up. As a middle aged gay man on the scene, he cannot help but wonder if his time is over. His frustrations are further exacerbated when he finds himself the victim of a group of thugs who seem to find it funny to torment him in his own home.

Ronald is planning a party, a summer celebration of his middle age, but as he begins the preparations in his hot kitchen, a Policeman turns up to question Ronald about the attacks. Over the course of the interview, Ronald comes to understand that perhaps age is just a number after all.

Ronni is baking to try and forget everything. In his mid-forties and very single, he’s reached the end of his rope when the local idiot teenagers wouldn’t quit with the homophobic abuse at his doorstep, forcing Ronni to call the local police. When Andy turns up – all six feet plus, sculpted delicious muscle of him – Ronni’s birthday will certainly be special this year.

This is a smoking hot, lovely short story. I really enjoyed both Ronni and Andy’s characters and the chemistry between them came across to me as deliciously intense. I was a very little bit disappointed in how slow the story was to start. Considering the very short word-length I usually like my short stories to jump right into the action and zoom along from there – I’m quite happy to read slower-paced stories but there needs to be the gradual build up and enough room left over to make the romance feel satisfactory to me. But this story while scorching hot and erotically written once it got moving felt comparatively quite slow for the first few pages. I understand what the author meant to do – convey a good basis for the reader to know about Ronni’s problems and situation before the steamy action began between him and Andy. I just couldn’t help but feel it was pages of missed action – both emotional and character growth between Ronni and Andy, and also I feel it would have been better spent towards the end, deepening the romance between the two men.

Once the action began, however, this story really hit all the marks for me. Steamy sex, bucket loads of chemistry and a lovely “happy for now” ending this was a glorious quick read. I actually also enjoyed the first-person narrative. These are often hit or miss with me so I was thrilled when the author’s voice really resonated with me and I found myself completely caught up in Ronni’s tale and his expressions (very British which was a thrill for me!) and the whole story just flew by in a delightful, happy breeze for me. I know this is an author I will eagerly be searching out more of as the story was a real pleasure to read.

A quick, steamy read I found this M/M to be a wonderful, naughty way to while away a bit of time. Really lovely.

Three Uncaged by Sean Michael


Three Uncaged by Sean Michael
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (45 pages)
Other: M/M, M/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Stripe, Xeno and Shen are three cat shifters who have spent most of their lives in cages at a zoo. They’re used to hiding their human selves, being abused and feeling hungry. When they are rescued and brought to the Old Tavern, along with the rest of the shifters at the zoo, the three are put in rooms together.

Unsure if they have just traded one cage for another, the three count on each other for comfort and protection. When they find they can share more than just comfort with each other, they very quickly become a collective. Now if only they knew if they were really safe, maybe they could start a new life together.

Stripe, Xeno and Shen had been caged together at the zoo. After their release they’d bunkered down together, though none of them knew exactly where they were hiding – or if it was safe for them yet. Stripe is determined to discover a safe place for the three of them, no matter the cost.

This is a lovely, somehow soft-hearted story. I really loved the care and protective instincts Xeno and Shen brought out in Stripe. Despite the fact Stripe was clearly the dominant between the three of them he was patient, gentle and really careful with the other two men. This lent the whole short story an air of comfort and softness to me, which I really loved. I think Stripe wanting to find a safe haven for the three of them, coupled with his protective urges really left me thinking it was more about the safety and emotions growing between the threesome and not just the sex, even though the sex was hot and enticing.

There is a clear hook for a following story of the threesome toward the end, while this short story does end on a good note and the threesome settled between Stripe, Xeno and Shen it’s clear there’s another story of the next stage for the three shifters that will follow on from this. While certainly not a cliff-hanger ending, it did feel to me strongly as if their story was unfinished and this normally bugs me a little. There was, however, enough of a happy and settled feel to the threesome that it didn’t leave me feeling frustrated at the end, just expectant for the next installment.

I found the sex to be deliciously hot and caring, it’s clear the three shifters are healing emotional wounds and building themselves up as well as sharing the physical intimacy between them. This came across to me as a gentle, loving and soft style of romance.

A hot and sexy read, I really enjoyed this paranormal, threesome shifters romance.

September Erotic Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Rock My Body by Lee Piper


Rock My Body by Lee Piper
A Mondez Novel 2
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Length: Full Length (256 pgs)
Genre: Contemporary
Other: M/F
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Bittersweet

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Twenty-two year old Riley Sears promises herself never to fall in love unless it’s with a guy who is long-term boyfriend material. She’s not crazy, her psychologist reassures her of that, but when faced with situations she cannot control, well, her anxiety skyrockets.

Enter Dominic Mondez, the hottest creature ever to grace pecs and abs. The notorious playboy propositions Riley with the best sex of her life—his words. However, after learning he never sleeps with the same woman twice, Riley’s decision becomes remarkably simple.

No. Way. In. Hell.

Sadly, traversing the murky waters of friends without benefits is far from simple, especially since Dominic is the lead guitarist of local rock band, Mondez. He is also tempestuous, a womanizer, and—even worse—inexplicably jealous. Dominic is bad for Riley in every possible way. Bad, bad, bad.

If only her body would listen.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

Rory and the Alien Groom by Jessica Coulter Smith


Rory and the Alien Groom by Jessica Coulter Smith
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (120 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Humiliation burns through Zwyk as he comes to the realization his bride has left him standing alone at the altar. When something seems too good to be true, it usually is. He should have known someone as vivacious as his bride-to-be would never settle for a paper pushing, XBox playing geek like him. While his heart isn’t exactly broken, his pride is wounded, and his confidence has taken a hit.

Rory hates that she had to tell Zwyk her sister has run away instead of marrying him. Well, she hates the pain her sister caused. She can’t exactly say she’s sorry the wedding is off. Maybe now she can make Zwyk see what’s been right under his nose this entire time — her.

This was another great book in the Intergalactic Brides Series from Jessica Coulter Smith. Rory and the Alien Groom was a short, sweet and very sexy fantasy romance that had me captivated from page one until the end.

Zwyk was unlucky in love until his fiance left him standing at the alter on his wedding day. He finally met the love of his life and the perfect mate in Rory. She was the little sister of the runaway bride so naturally this caused him to hesitate about jumping right back into another romantic entanglement. Luckily for him Rory didn’t have the same qualms. She was already halfway in love with the sexy purple alien. She just had to convince Zwyk to give their relationship a chance. Their romance hit a few snags here and there but Rory was persistent until Zwyk finally realized how short life can be and decided to take another chance with Rory.

I sure did love this story. As usual, it was wonderfully written with engaging characters and an entertaining plot. I enjoyed the hot sex scenes but most of all I truly liked Rory and Zwyk. I love strong heroines who know what they want and go after it. In this case it was Rory who made the first move even though she was rather innocent. I loved her tenacity.

I must admit that I’ve never been all that interested in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre, but I’ve read every book in this series. Jessica Coulter Smith has become one of my favorite authors. I look forward to reading many more books in the Intergalactic Brides Series. So for what it’s worth I happily recommend this book, and the series, to everyone.

Prick of the Thistle by Qeturah Edeli


Prick of the Thistle by Qeturah Edeli
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (281 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Lilac

Despite Lord Duncan Friseal’s surly disposition, William finds the heir to the wealthy highland thanedom of Faoltaigh irresistible. After Lord Friseal saves William from a fate worse than death, William grows obsessed with his penetrating fuck-or-kill gaze and aches to discover what lies beneath his great kilt. Lord Friseal appears ignorant of William’s affections, but no matter; William has dealt with his fair share of capricious men and it will be only a matter of time before Lord Friseal succumbs and gives him what he craves.

Lord Friseal realizes too late how dangerously attracted to William he is. He cannot resist the temptation of a man who knows exactly what he wants and where he wants it. Constrained by his station, clan, and religion, Lord Friseal must decide if his passion for a sensuous but traumatized Englishman is worth risking his family’s future and the fate of his immortal soul. Circumstances continue to thwart his swelling sentimentality as William proves to be emotionally distant for all his sexual appetite, and Lord Friseal’s intrusive houseguest, Moira MacKenzie, draws ever closer to the truth.

A Scottish lord saves an Englishman from the wolves out on the moors, brings him back to his castle, and tries to figure out the mystery and allure of him.

From the beginning, I was struck by the beauty of the writing. The author has clearly researched the style, culture, and language of the era and the country. Her descriptions are beautiful and the scenery is vividly brought to life. The writing style is very evocative, and the barren nature and lavish mansion became familiar ground as the story progressed.

The main characters—Duncan, the Scottish thane, and William, the lost thespian—are a curious pairing. They seem to have nothing in common. Apart from the apparent physical femininity and startling beauty of William, I wasn’t sure I understood the attraction Duncan felt for him.

Duncan came off as a more appealing character. He’s kind and strong, smart and capable, and his awakening feelings for a man for the first time were depicted extremely well. I liked him a lot. Even though toward the end he turns into something of a sissy when it comes to his shy daughter and his horrible would-be bride.

William, in comparison, seemed less attractive. His propensity to think of nothing but sex made him somewhat uncouth and surly. His past does explain some of that…

However, and I can’t stress this enough, despite the length of this book, you will NOT be getting a whole story. This ends so abruptly, in the middle of a scene, everything up in the air, that I was incensed. It immediately made me lower the rating. One would think three hundred pages is enough to write a clear and satisfying ending. Alas, that is not the case.

As a result, we learn next to nothing about William. His mystery is by the end of the book… still a mystery. None of my questions about him were answered. That is rather annoying, wouldn’t you say?

What makes this oversight more vexing is that this is a good book, a very well written historical gay romance. We get a lot of sexually tense scenes between Duncan and William—though not a lot of actual sex. The setting and the people feel real and relatable. The plot moves at a swift pace, even if the first chapter is ripe with exposition. And yet, personally I didn’t want to miss a single word.

So overall, I do recommend this to everyone who loves historical gay romances, with a caveat. Thus far the series, Heartwood, has only two books out. Not having read the second, I don’t know if the story reaches a worthwhile conclusion in that one. Here, it does not. If you take that into consideration, though, this is a book I liked and you might like as well. I’m pretty sure I will be checking out the sequel.

Rock My Body by Lee Piper


Rock My Body by Lee Piper
A Mondez Novel 2
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Length: Full Length (256 pgs)
Genre: Contemporary
Other: M/F
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Bittersweet

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Twenty-two year old Riley Sears promises herself never to fall in love unless it’s with a guy who is long-term boyfriend material. She’s not crazy, her psychologist reassures her of that, but when faced with situations she cannot control, well, her anxiety skyrockets.

Enter Dominic Mondez, the hottest creature ever to grace pecs and abs. The notorious playboy propositions Riley with the best sex of her life—his words. However, after learning he never sleeps with the same woman twice, Riley’s decision becomes remarkably simple.

No. Way. In. Hell.

Sadly, traversing the murky waters of friends without benefits is far from simple, especially since Dominic is the lead guitarist of local rock band, Mondez. He is also tempestuous, a womanizer, and—even worse—inexplicably jealous. Dominic is bad for Riley in every possible way. Bad, bad, bad.

If only her body would listen.

Rock my body (A Mendez novel) by Lee Piper is a must read. It’s as easy as that. I finished the book last night after two days of binge reading and I’m in love. First with Dominic, then with Riley and with everything that has to do with this book.

Granted, I’m not a fan of first person point of view, but Lee Piper surprised me. She has mastered the art and I was drawn into the book and into Riley’s character from page one. I immediately connected with her. Her anguish, happiness, love, lust, I could feel all of it in my own bones.

The chemistry between the characters is insane and Ms. Piper knows how to draw it out. To say I squirmed a few times is an understatement.

But there is more. Though there is obviously a strong sexual connection between the characters, we see so much more. They are characters with flaws, good things and bad, tragic stories, which made my heart ache.

This is the kind of book that once finished made me crave for more. I’ll be reading Levi’s story next (although apparently I should have done that first) and can’t wait for the rest of the series to be released.

Celeste and the Alien Bartender by Jessica Coulter Smith


Celeste and the Alien Bartender by Jessica Coulter Smith
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (96 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Zanar has made himself a home on Earth, where he owns Stardust Bar, popular with both aliens and humans. There’s only one thing missing from Zanar ‘s life. Despite his best efforts to impress the human females he meets, he’s still without a mate. At the age of twenty-six, it isn’t dire for him to pair off and start a family just yet, but he’s lonely and ready to settle down. The last thing he expects is for Celeste to come into his life and turn it upside down.

Celeste is back on Earth, after having been abducted by an alien race five years ago. She’s spent those years as a slave on the planet Vaaden, where she had a precious daughter with her owner, Pynder. But when Pynder dies suddenly, his parents swoop in and snatch Sophie from Celeste’s arms before banishing her from their world. Celeste will do anything to get her daughter back, but falling in love with a bartender — or anyone else — was never part of the plan.

This was a great Sci-Fi/ Fantasy romance. The way that Jessica Coulter Smith was able to bring the characters to life in my imagination had me hanging on every word until the end.

The best part of this short romance was the emotions and amazing characters. I loved Zanar the sexy alien bartender. He was just so sweet and really cared about Celeste and her daughter. Zanar won my affection right away. I liked Celeste very much because she was strong and easy to relate to. This author always does an awesome job on the world building by giving her characters some real life struggles to overcome. For Celeste it was starting all over after being held captive for five years on an alien planet. She never let adversity define her and didn’t want to be seen as a victim. Yet even with her incredible grit and determination, it would’ve difficult for her to get her daughter back had it not been for Zanar.

I am a huge fan of this author’s writing. Her creativity and world building is exceptional. I adored Zanar and Celeste, and loved the small cameos from some of previous couples in the Intergalactic Brides series. Lastly, I loved the naughty sex scenes. Those are always a bonus for me.

This sexy fantasy romp had just about everything needed to make it a fantastic reading experience for this happy reader.

Opportunity Knocks by Julia Talbot


Opportunity Knocks by Julia Talbot
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (36 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Spanking
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Jordie owes all of his success in the music business to a deal he made years ago. Now the time has come to pay part of his debt, and the beautiful male demon who shows up at his door seems just the guy to collect. Mal is not just your average debt collector, though. He has secrets of his own, which he’ll be happy to share, if only rock star Jordie can believe in him.

Jordie had been a good songwriter, even before he’d made a pact with a demon, but there were tons of bills he needed to pay and songwriting was what truly made him happy. So he’d made a deal – all it cost him was periodically allowing a demon into his life to wring the sex magic from Jordie’s body. On holiday in Belize, Jordie answers a knock at his door, only to discover it’s that time again, and this time the demon on his stoop is especially delicious.

I found this to be a delightful and fun short story. I found it really refreshing that Jordie didn’t have a problem with the demon-deal he’d made – while Jordie is a fairly regular guy, he wasn’t swamped with guilt or anything over the pact he had made. I thought this was a surprising way to look on a deal with the devil, but more importantly I felt it freed up the story to really show-case the relationship between Jodie and Mal, which of course was the main part of what I wanted to read. So I was exceedingly happy about this.

My only minor complaint would be that I found the whole demon/muse/debt paying aspect of the story a little confusing. While I almost never like info-dumping, I found in this short story because we only see snippets of how the demon-realm works and how Mal and Jordie paid off their debts, I found I struggled to piece together how, exactly, it all worked. I can hardly believe it, but a small amount of info-dumping – with everything all in the one place and explained a little more clearly – would have actually been quite welcome to me, as it would have made it easier for me to understand how that side of this process worked. That said, this was a very small amount of the story and while the demon-deal is (in my opinion) the crux of the plot, I was very happy to instead focus on Jordie and Mal and their relationship instead.

While this was a short story I loved both Jordie and Mal’s characters and found myself almost immediately drawn to them both and their circumstances. I loved the heat of the sex and chemistry between them and overall found this to be a very enjoyable, interesting and spicy read.

By Design by BA Tortuga


By Design by BA Tortuga
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (118 pgs)
Other: Menage, M/M, M/M/M, Anal Play, Spanking
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

When Robin heads to North Carolina with his boss to help design and build a new conference center, he has a bunch of surprises in store for him. The building site is in the middle of nowhere, his boss is being weirder than usual, and he meets not one, but two of the hottest men he’s ever seen in his life. If he can just get his boss Terry to leave him alone with them, Robin knows Casey and Travis could rock his world.

Casey and Travis might play, but they’ve never thought of mating with a third man. Their immediate need for Robin is something they don’t question, though. What they do want to know is how Robin can possibly be unaware he’s a cat shifter. Can they help Robin find the other half of himself and convince him he’s what’s missing in their relationship at the same time?

Robin and Terry business partners, working together on the road. Robin is really unsure when Terry suggests they go to the Cat House to grab a burger and try to unwind after a particularly stressful week. Robin had no clue that the Cat House was a gay bar – not the sort of clientele they usually entertained. All too soon he’s seduced away by two devastatingly sexy men – Casey and Travis – and Robin’s world is turned upside down.

I found this to be a fun and lighthearted, sexy romp of a story. I loved how Casey and Travis knew exactly what they wanted – Robin – and just went for it with him. I was intrigued that Robin really didn’t know he was a cat-shifter and enjoyed how the author slowly let that part of the plot unfurl as Casey and Travis pounced on Robin and that couple became a threesome.

I loved the strength of the connection between Casey and Travis. A committed, long-term pair I really believed in their relationship and love – the emotional connection between them was deep. Sometimes adding a third person into an already-established couple can be tricky or appear unrealistic, but the author did an excellent job writing this and I totally believed that Robin easily and seamlessly joined in as a third with this pair. I loved reading about their growing relationship and was pleased that this was the main focus of the plot for most of the story. I’d be interested and curious to read a sequel about Terry – I feel certain there is far more to that man than is readable on the surface. The sex was hot and just a little bit kinky – a bit of spanking and talk about bondage-play – just enough to add a bit of spice to the threesome sex, not enough for me to think it would turn off readers who aren’t into reading about harder-core erotic sex.

Fun and sexy, this was a great read and one I thoroughly enjoyed. I will be totally keeping an eye out for any further stories in this series.