Not All Chocolate And Cuckoo Clocks by Rebecca Cohen


Not All Chocolate And Cuckoo Clocks by Rebecca Cohen
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short story (132)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Neither of them wants to fall in love, but getting exactly what they don’t want might be the best thing to ever happen to them.

Mark hopes his boredom with his current job will be alleviated by a short stint in Basel, Switzerland. When he meets Steffen, who struck out on his own from an old-money family to establish an IT firm, Mark expects some fun, great sex, and a clean break when his job is done. The arrangement is perfect for Steffen, who has been content with casual after a betrayal—and has a taste for British men after attending university in the UK. But as they explore the city’s rich history and traditions, Mark begins to see Steffen as much more than a tour guide with benefits. If he isn’t careful, the trip meant to break the lull in his career might end up breaking his heart instead….

Mark landed a plush assignment for work and – better still – had been moved for three months to live in Switzerland to complete it. He could hardly believe his luck. Steffen is a Swiss IT specialist who has some fond university memories of the UK. When the two men meet through work they form an instant – and special – connection. Can Steffan show Mark just how much fun the small Switzerland town can be?

I found this to be a really fun and slow-paced, romantic story. I loved how Steffan had a dry and subtle sense of humour. I found it refreshing and just different enough that even had I not known this was set in Switzerland I’d have guessed it wasn’t a US-based story. I was also secretly pleased that the author added a lot of descriptions and history into explaining the small Swiss town under the guise of Mark being a visitor – as my own, personal, knowledge of Switzerland is depressingly small. Having Steffan guide Mark around allowed the author to impart massive detail without it feeling like an info-dump or brochure for the country made the story move much more smoothly that I was nervous about. Overall it really helped me assimilate all the new information and have a good, clear picture of the gorgeous little Swiss town.

I didn’t mind in the least that Steffan and Mark took their time getting to know each other. While I could understand that some romance readers wanting a ton of spice and plenty of erotic sex in their story might feel the pace here was a little slow, I personally was glad to get to know both the two main characters and the town (practically a character in itself, which I loved). Mark and Steffan formed a careful friendship first and this made the relationship feel a lot more realistic to me. I personally would have preferred a little more of their sexual chemistry to have shown through from their first meeting. I was delighted when Steffan very bluntly expressed his intentions and from there I thought the relationship grew at a good and realistic pace. While there was plenty of build up – almost too much, to my mind – the sex was hot and satisfying when it was consummated. Steffan and Mark both were emotionally as well as physically entwined and it made me chuckle that they both took so long to realize they were more than just a causal “few month long” fling. With a deliciously happy ending I found this story well rounded and perfectly satisfying.

While the story-line itself is nothing completely new and different, the setting and characters truly made this story memorable for me. I thoroughly enjoyed both Mark and Steffan and once the two of them had made their intentions clear the rest of the ride was glorious for me. I also truly loved the insights into Switzerland and loved the town and setting. The author has totally done justice to the location (to my mind, at least) and readers looking for a visit to another country with a lovely M/M romance on the side should definitely indulge. Recommended.

The Puzzle Box by CC Bridges


The Puzzle Box by CC Bridges
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short story (31 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Elementary school art teacher Cole Peters is expecting a lonely Christmas this year while his longtime boyfriend, James Carducci, is on deployment with the Army. However, a box from James contains puzzles that lead Cole on a scavenger hunt through the greatest moments of their relationship. Together with his best friend Liz, Cole works his way through each clue.

The final puzzle could lead Cole to a gift beyond his wildest expectations.

Cole and James had been together a long time, but with James deployed for Christmas Cole just doesn’t see the point in celebrating or getting excited about the holidays. When the first package from James arrived, Cole enjoyed the memories it brought back, but was confused. When the next package arrived, Cole realized James had organized something very special for them both to help celebrate this Christmas.

I found this to be a fun and sweet, sentimental Christmas story. I loved how Cole remembering all the special memories with James helped me as the reader to get to know James’ character as well as Coles – even though James wasn’t “on screen” too much, being deployed. This was a freshly unique manner of telling me about a character so important to Cole and showed me loads about their relationship without the need of having James be physically present – and I loved it. Even with James away for most of the book there’s a bunch of chemistry and one short but steamy sexy scene – enough, I feel, to satisfy readers wanting a bit more spice in their Christmas story, but at the same time not too much. The sensuality level was just right for me. Best of all, the romance and love between Cole and James was clear and just lovely to read, making this a deeply satisfying book on many levels.

Readers looking for a super short, quick and sentimental Christmassy read should enjoy this story. I found it to be sweet and heartwarming, the puzzle pieces giving Cole a bunch of happy and loving memories from times past with himself and James. The happy ending was lovely and satisfying. This is a great, quick read that I really enjoyed.

December Erotic Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Rock My World by Lee Piper


Rock My World by Lee Piper
A Mondez Novel 1
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (240 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Bittersweet

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

High school teacher Grace Thompson didn’t want to be a mentor. And she sure as hell didn’t want to mentor Levi Mondez.

They got off to a rocky start, but it wasn’t entirely her fault. How was she to know he was the lead singer of local rock band, Mondez? How was she to know he considered her short temper a turn on? And how was she to know her best friend, Riley, would fall for him?

If he wasn’t so damn gorgeous it might have made the whole mess easier to handle. If he didn’t transform Grace into a blazing furnace of need, and if he hadn’t confused the hell out of her already bruised heart, life might have turned out a heck of a lot differently. She was screwed.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!!

A Gift Of Family by Tami Veldura


A Gift Of Family by Tami Veldura
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (32 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Scott Burke has always desired a big family, but as a divorced single dad, all he has is his young daughter, Lexi. He pours himself into raising her, half-convinced he’ll never find what he’s looking for. When Brennan Price strolls into Scott’s life, he’d better have enough patience for both Lexi and Scott if he intends to stick around.

Brennan has a huge family and a successful career, but no one to call his own. Wooing Scott and his daughter is right up his alley, though, and he steps up to the challenge to prove he’s enough for both of them. His attraction to Scott is immediate, but he recognizes a family man when he sees one and hatches a plan to win Lexi over. Her handsome father is sure to follow….

Scott had full custody of his beautiful toddler daughter, but he still longs for a large family, a solid, loving family unlike what he grew up with. When Scott met Brennan and his dog in the park one day, it finally looked like maybe he could build that family he’d always desired.

I found this to be a fun and happy short story. I thought the pacing was almost perfect – Brennan and Scott take their time to get to know each other and considering the short length of the story I felt there was an excellent balance between the chemistry and foundations being laid, then a very satisfying consummation scene. The characters – including Lexie and Jazz – were well drawn and I was quite invested in the four of them coming together as a solid family very quickly.

The sex scene was spicy and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It really felt like Scott and Brennan were committing to each other and to the small family unit they were building together. While the story was set in Christmas, I wouldn’t personally classify it as a “Christmas” story since most of the focus was on the characters and the relationship they built. This didn’t bother me at all – I personally was reading for the story, so the setting wasn’t as important for me.

A well written, happy and sexy short story, I feel this was a great and satisfying read. I thoroughly enjoyed Scott and Brennan’s characters and can happily recommend this. I’ll be keeping an interested eye out for more books by this author and would definitely try them again.

Drunk on Men, Vol 1 by Afton Locke


Drunk on Men, Vol 1 by Afton Locke
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (143 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

You may think it’s sloe fizz gin
But honey we’re sober, just drunk on men

When three African-American women meet at a resort on the Jersey Shore in the 1920s, they say goodbye to their old lives. Finding men as intoxicating as bootleg liquor, they pin their futures on happily ever after. But love can be worse than a hangover when the men’s flaws threaten to destroy them.

Hannah knows it’s time to replace her fiancé who died in the war, but the abrupt white man who rescues her from rough surf hardly fits the bill. Belle longs to ditch her latest meal ticket, but is the rich African-European owner of an upscale hotel out of her league? And while Edie struggles to face her upcoming arranged marriage, a rugged Hispanic-white fisherman decides to stake his own claim on her.

Three women from various walks of life meet at Wilmott Hotel. Will this bond of friendship bring about a strength that gives each woman needed courage to step outside of their individual comfort zones?

This is an enjoyable read with an interesting plot. The characters are likable and have a sisterly bond that gave me a feel good comfort. The bond of the trio felt like they could be my sisters or long time friends. The storyline flowed and kept my interest.  The women are all quite different, with Belle Longstreet who is from the street of Camden, New Jersey, Hannah Williams, who is on this trip as a gift from her family member (this is out of the normal for her coming from her farm life) and Edie Childers came to Ocean Promenade to marry the man who was chosen for her by her parents.

The women were strangers but, due to a hotel fire alarm, the women find themselves in the same area of the hotel. Though each woman comes from a different background, the connection between the three ladies was a delight to read. Seeing their individual strengths being shared while also watching their fondness for each other grow is something that is rare these days. With all the reality shows on television of women screaming and going against each other this was a refreshing read. And though it seems the common thing between the women is seeking love of a man this did not cause any drama or arguing. The innocence of first encounters with the men makes for an interesting read, leaving you wondering if they’ve met the right man.

This is a quick read that brings about incredible women telling a good story of their life to each other. Their combined personalities help each woman find her strength and voice. They may have been through the bad, but their story shows that strength can come from numbers. They each have hurdles to cross but the author clearly shows that they don’t have to accept their fate but they can change the path that was laid for them. I enjoyed reading about their courage in how they didn’t let society determine who they should love.

I enjoyed the delightful story of Belle, Hannah and Edie and watching their friendship blossom. I look forward to the second volume of the series to see where the journey will lead the ladies.

Unlikely Hero by Sean Michael


Unlikely Hero by Sean Michael
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full length (204 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

When his three-year-old daughter is kidnapped, Eric Wilson doesn’t have many options, and time is running out. With nowhere else to turn, he reaches out to his ex, influential businessman Brock Vencenza, whose money and contacts might be able to save Josie.

Brock never got over Eric’s loss, and he’s more than willing to help when Eric needs him most. Together with law enforcement and private security, they embark on a twisting investigation to find the little girl—and who wants to hurt her and destroy both men in the process. Under the circumstances, confessing he still has feelings for Eric would be inappropriate, but Brock can’t deny what’s in his heart. He doesn’t know if their love can be rekindled or if he can even protect Eric and Josie. But one thing is certain: Brock’s determined to be the hero in reality that he is in Eric’s eyes.

Despite their love for each other Brock and Eric simply hadn’t been able to fit properly into each other’s lives. Even though it had been many years since they’d broken up when Eric called for help with the emergency of his daughter’s kidnapping, Brock dropped everything to help. Against all odds they both find themselves wanting to try once again to make it work. Can this time go better?

This is a strongly emotional story that I totally loved. I got immediately sucked into the kidnapping of Josie – Eric’s daughter – and couldn’t stop reading from there. Brock and Eric are both well-drawn characters and vibrantly jump right off the page. Even though there’s plenty of drama surrounding Josie’s kidnapping and the action that follows on from there, so much of the rest of the story is normal – kiddie pools and bedtime stories, eating cookies and regular bedtime routines. I feel the author did an amazing job of showing both the normal level of day-to-day living but also had plenty of action and family drama too. This made the pace of the story feel super fast but also helped make what could have been a completely unrealistic plot feel not just understandable, but relatable too.

The romance between Eric and Brock bloomed at what I felt was a lovely pace. Even though there was plenty of history between the two men, it was quite some ago, so I feel that the rebuilding of that relationship was critical. Instead of just jumping right back into bed, both men had plenty to re-learn about each other and I loved how this was given a lot of time and shown thoroughly. This chemistry between Eric and Brock, filling in some of the gaps and both of them understanding where they’d gone wrong in the past, this all helped me feel that the foundation of their new relationship – despite all the drama and action of other things going on in both their lives – really helped make me believe, thoroughly, in the new relationship they built together. It felt realistic and strong to me and I loved this. The chemistry between them sizzled and when they finally did become intimate together it was like the perfect culmination of all that had been brewing and growing between them. I felt it was perfect and I loved it.

While there is a lot of drama, action and the initial kidnapping of Josie, overall I found this to be a lovely, emotional and exceedingly well written story. The romance between Eric and Brock was strongly written and – despite the exceptionally dangerous circumstances – realistic. I could see both men as completely normal men in an extraordinary situation. Best of all their love and the coming together of their little family was a wonderful story and one I know I will eagerly and happily read numerous times again. Strongly recommended.

New Game, Start by C.S. Poe


New Game, Start by C.S. Poe
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (38 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal play
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Reclusive medieval scholar, Edgar Royal, has a crush. On a guy. Not a big deal, except that said guy, Walter Chase, is a famous online gamer who has no idea Edgar even exists. Edgar has harbored these feelings for nearly a year, and when Walter announces on Twitter that he’ll be visiting New York City as a guest at the GamerOn convention, Edgar decides he’ll be one of the thousands of fans who responds to the message.

He definitely doesn’t expect to be singled out by the humble, gorgeous, out-and-proud heartthrob. And when it comes to dealing with people, Edgar’s skills are pretty nonexistent. Even with Walter giving all the right signals, Edgar lacks the courage do anything about the mutual attraction growing through their online courtship. He’s always been better with the written word, so maybe the perfect Christmas gift will say what he cannot. But if Edgar can’t get the present to Walter before the convention ends, he may miss out on the boyfriend of a lifetime.

Edgar is entranced by online gamer, Walter. Even though Edgar knows it is crazy, he can’t help himself and when he finds out Walter will be at the GamerOn convention – in Edgar’s own New York City – Edgar knows he has to go and at least look at his crush. One simple tweet turns into something so much more.

I absolutely loved this short story. Told in the first person, I found it funny, realistic and extremely modern (#JingleYourBells!) and laughed aloud in numerous places. I adored Edgar’s character – I found him humble, normal and extremely sweet. I could heartily sympathize with his anonymous crush on Walter and cheered the two of them on for every page as they met up and got to know each other. I was really excited that the story gave itself time to develop, it wasn’t just Edgar met Walter and they jumped into bed, the two men played games online and got to know each other a fair bit first, which really helped sell me on their romance.

This is a fantastic short story and I loved every moment – from Edgar’s shy awkwardness to Walter’s happy joy in life and enjoyment of simple things, to them sharing the same drink and helping each other to be better versions of themselves. This is a happy and sexy story that I absolutely loved. I thought the sex scene was meaningful and hot, the misunderstanding well-handled and not too clichéd, and the happy ending made me sigh and finish the story ready to immediately go back and re-read it all over again. While there are only really Walter and Edgar as characters, they fill each page and I didn’t feel any lack from there really only being the two of them. Indeed, I didn’t really find anything negative at all throughout the story.

This will be a keeper story for me and I strongly recommend it.

His Personal Stripper by Sam Crescent


His Personal Stripper by Sam Crescent
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (58 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

The moment Jack sees her curvy figure and blonde hair, he knows he wants her. Everyone has a price, he just needs to find out what hers is.

Rachel is completely broke and been out of a job for a long time. She’s nearly homeless when Jack propositions her. Being one of the richest men in the world, he’s used to snapping his fingers and getting what he wants—Rachel knows what he wants. He wants sex, and all kinds of dirty things. How can she deny him? She’s broke. Being whatever Jack wants is the only option.

Jack wants everything. Her company, her body, her heart, her soul, but first, he’ll settle for her stripping for him. He loves watching a woman undress and all he wants is to see Rachel’s lush body revealed to him. But what happens when Jack makes it clear he wants more than just a stripper and a fuck? He wants forever—Rachel as his wife, and to put his baby inside her.

From stripping to sex, can it end in love?

His Personal Stripper was another fantastic book by Sam Crescent.

This time around the author outdid herself by going with a sizzling hot but sweet at the same time plot for the seventh entry into her Curvy Women Wanted Series. Jack knew what he wanted from the first time he saw Rachel so he wasted no time in propositioning the down on her luck curvy woman. At first, I didn’t know what to make of his character following Rachel all over town and then offering her a deal she couldn’t afford to pass up. It wasn’t long in this fast paced story that the author brought out the feelings and showed me that he was a good guy. I loved how he protected Rachel. Now, I loved Rachel from the very beginning. Life had been rough on her. She was strong but not hardened by her adversities.

Excellent writing, romance, sex and rich characters. I look forward to more Curvy Women books in the hopefully near future.

Winning The Campaign Manager by Lucy Felthouse


Winning The Campaign Manager by Lucy Felthouse
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short story (44 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Cade Avery is running for a position on his local county council. He’s extremely good at what he does and is a valuable asset to his community. The trouble is, he upsets people, says the wrong things, and rides rough-shod over other people’s plans and ideas. His assistant, Mary, eager to improve Cade’s public image, hires him a campaign manager.

Quentin Rayworth is thrilled to be working with such a formidable public figure. It’ll be a challenge, but he’s confident he can help Cade to win the election, and knows that the achievement will look impressive on his CV.

It’s soon clear that the two men are set to be an excellent team. That is, until Cade’s werewolf makes its intentions known—in Quentin, it has found its mate, and it will not rest until he has claimed him. But can Cade—and his wolf—win over the campaign manager?

Cade is not impressed when his friend hires him a campaign manager. Cade knew he’d never win any popularity contests, but he also knew he was excellent at his job and genuinely the best candidate for the job. Cade just hadn’t realised how much of a popularity contest running for election was, and he reluctantly had to admit that Quentin was the manager best suited to helping him win this election.

I thought this was an interesting short story. I was a little nervous that the pace of the story would feel a bit too fast, but the author did a good job in my opinion of explaining the speed with which Quentin and Cade got together due to Cade’s wolf-shifter. Cade’s wolf wants who it wants and nothing would get in his way – it made the very sudden and firm decision that Cade wanted Quentin and no one else and made it seem understandable. I was a little disappointed though that the paranormal aspect of the story did feel rushed to me. With the short length of the story I sympathize that there really wasn’t too much room for the author to take her time with world-building or long explanations on how Cade “knew” Quentin was his mate and nor was there a huge amount of time for Cade and Quentin to really get to know each other. It just came across to me a little muddled and unrealistic. Quentin’s reaction to Cade’s coming on to him just felt like too much of an about face – in the space of one scene Quentin changed from being excited and really wanting the job to being uncertain, uncomfortable and wanting to resign. As someone whose job was PR and image meant everything he clearly hadn’t thought how lasting less than a day in a new (and outwardly appearing very important) job would have been disastrous to Quentin’s career reputation. A lot of this side of the story just didn’t seem to have been properly thought through – the characters acting on impulse, not logic.

I also would have really loved the whole werewolf thing to have been explored deeper too. Again the short page count really hampered this, but just the speed and seeming ease that Quentin accepted that Cade was a werewolf, was destined to be mated with him and agreeing they should date – it all happened in the space of two scenes. While exciting and sexy, I felt after reading it a little like I’d been running – hard to catch my breath and I needed to reread it all to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. The pace was just a little too fast for my personal preferences.

That said, the chemistry between Cade and Quentin was amazing. The two men clearly lusted deeply after each other and even though Cade was being ridden hard by his wolf, I had no problems at all believing the two men would form a solid and lasting relationship. A part of me would have enjoyed knowing how the campaign turned out (did Cade end up getting elected? Did Quentin and Cade blitz the media and win in a landslide of votes, having turned public opinion in their direction?). I completely understand the campaign itself was not the main focus of the story – Cade and Quentin were, and rightly so – but I did feel that final question of how the campaign turned out felt a bit like unfinished business to me.

With interesting characters and some deliciously steamy sex, this is a great M/M with a large bite of paranormal that is sure to appeal to a wide range of readers. A few small bumps in the pacing had me wishing for more, but overall this is a great short story and I feel sure many people will eagerly devour it in one sitting.

No One Until Her by Lynn Burke


No One Until Her by Lynn Burke
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (48 pgs)
Other: M/F, BDSM, Spanking, Toys, M/F/M interaction, Multiple Partners
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Kaden Quinn has life by the balls and enjoys his side job as a Dom in a downtown Boston BDSM club. What he doesn’t want—or need—is a pseudo-sub trying to shred the veil that protects his painful past.

When untamed Livi Risso’s insatiable need to get to the bottom of a story leads her to an exclusive kink club, her curiosity ignites upon meeting a restrained Dom who refuses to touch her.

Kaden feigns disinterest while scening, but that doesn’t stop Livi from experiencing intimacy like she’s never imagined. When one misstep leaves Kaden shaken, will Livi be the one to break down his wall against love?

This book is seriously hot. Kaden isn’t a perfect hero. He’s got issues and I admired him for how he’d gotten through them. Livi is a good match for him. Their chemistry is off the charts and fun to read about.

There were a few typos and a couple of extra quotation marks, which was bothersome, but didn’t stop my enjoyment of the story. I liked that Kaden was flawed and trying to overcome his issues. That endeared him to me. I wish there would’ve been a few more flaws to Livi, though. She’s a tough as nails reporter, but she seemed almost too perfect. Still, I liked the story.

If you’re looking for a story involving a pain sub, then this might be the one you’re wanting. It’s hot, sweet, and will singe the screen.