Just Friends by Stacy Gold


Just Friends by Stacy Gold
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (58 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Taya Monroe is trying to pick up the pieces of her failed writing career and broken life after walking out on her cheating fiancé. The last thing she needs is a serious relationship. The last thing she wants is a fling. Then she runs into an old friend and ski partner—the one man she always wanted who never wanted her.

Ski Patroller Jordan Wiley is a single dad with zero time or energy for dating. When he reconnects with Taya, his attraction to her is even stronger than before she left him behind for a career in the city. But with a young son to think about, he’s determined to ignore his feelings. Again.

After a magical day on the slopes, a snow storm traps them in an avalanche of chemistry neither can deny. Will their friendship survive the weight of their passion or will they surface as more than friends?

Taya bumps into her old friend, Jordan, on the ski slopes. Years ago, after a tequila-fueled kiss, they’d both decided it was better to stay friends, though neither of them really believed that in their heart. Can this be the second chance they both hoped for?

I’m always a sucker for friends-turned-to-lovers styles of story and this one was a good example of it. I felt Taya and Jordan had a good, easy friendship even though they hadn’t seen each other in years and I liked the spark of their chemistry right from the start. It also helped make their interest in each other seem more genuine and believable.

Readers who enjoy a slow-build up to their romance should find this story very satisfying. I enjoyed how neither Taya nor Jordan just jumped immediately into bed after meeting up again. They’d each grown in the eight years they hadn’t seen each other and I loved watching them learn about each other again – the good and the bad. They’d both suffered disappointments, both experienced life, and while still themselves were each different to the kids they’d been when they’d last been close. I really relished learning about their characters and seeing them interact outside the bedroom before they got sexy with each other.

With a lovely Happy For Now style of ending I felt this romance story ticks a lot of the right boxes. I could definitely see the potential for a sequel/future story and while readers who prefer their endings to be Happy Ever After, I feel this is a more modern – and realistic – ending for where Taya and Jordan are in their lives right now. With strong characters and a lot of sizzling chemistry, this is a good read that I enjoyed.

May Erotic Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Her Dangerous Mistake by Erin M Leaf


Her Dangerous Mistake by Erin M. Leaf
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (138 pgs)
Other: M/F, Masturbation
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Moira is on the run—her apartment has been trashed, her bank account hacked, and someone is stalking her. Only one man is dangerous enough to keep her safe … that is, if she can convince him to help her. Neil Deven used to be her father’s best friend until betrayal turned him violent. Neil disappeared, and finding him might be the biggest mistake of her life, but Moira won’t survive alone.

Neil remembers Moira as a sweet little girl caught in the middle of her father’s criminal life. The gorgeous woman who shows up at his door is anything but a child, but he’s already got problems. Dragon shifters are a dying race with no way to change form, yet Neil’s powers keep growing. And Moira stirs long lost instincts—he can’t deny her need. He must protect the woman who will be his mate, or die trying.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

Couples Therapy by Ryver James


Couples Therapy by Ryver James
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (78 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Pleasure Isles is a dream come true for good-girl Keily Samuels, and she desperately needs an influx of cash to keep the B&B afloat. But reservations are slim, and the odds of getting a bank loan are even slimmer. When a drool-worthy, wealthy entrepreneur offers her enough money to keep her dream alive in exchange for weekend of sexual submission, she’s between a rock and a really hard place.

Landon Marx has wanted Keily since the first time he saw her at a hotel in Dallas. Having tracked her to Pleasures Isles, he’s reserved the entire B&B for a relaxing weekend of seduction, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get the elusive beauty right where he wants her.

But Pleasure Isles isn’t a normal B&B. There’s more cooking behind the scenes than bacon and eggs, and checkout time is about more than settling the bill.

Kiely is trying to keep her B&B “Pleasure Isles” afloat. Landon Marks has hired all four guest bedrooms for the weekend and is determined to make Kiely his. When he offers her an astounding amount of money for the pleasure of her company for the weekend, she’s too tempted to refuse. Can they each get what they really want from the time they spend together?

This is a spicy romance that reminded me a little of the older-style romances I read in my youth. The slightly reluctant heroine, the over-the-top bargain made by the hero and a shared weekend of spicy passion. While clearly a modern story I found it had many of the hallmarks of a vintage spicy romance novel. I feel Landon offering a huge amount of money to Kiely for a weekend of her time might be somewhat polarising for readers – while clearly tempting to Kiely who desperately needs the money to keep her business afloat, the deal left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth as it felt a little out-dated as a plot device. Having said that, there is an interesting twist at the end of the story – one that wasn’t surprising but did fit in well with the storyline to my mind. This twist turned much of the story on its head and readers who finish the entire story may find at the end that their initial thoughts have changed, which was extremely interesting for me as a reader.

There were a few small plot holes in the first half of the story, but again I found everything made sense right at the end. This story was slightly different from many others in that instead of having small things explained through the story the reader needs to get literally to the last chapter or so before everything all clicks together.

I also found a few editorial errors also jarred me from the story (a repeated sentence at the bottom of page 5, speech brackets when there was no dialogue etc) but overall the slow pace of the author’s writing was good and I found it easy to follow along with the story. Readers looking for a story about a handsome, rich man going after the woman he can’t get out of his head should be satisfied with this spicy story. Kiely might see this as a sexy fling and a cure to her money woes, but Landon – egotistical as he might be – clearly desires and yearns for Kiely.

While I took a while to warm up to the story and the characters, in the end this really was a good, solid story. It’s a rare type of book that I will probably enjoy reading more the second time around – now I know the twists I will be better able to appreciate the curves the story throws. An interesting and slightly different story, this was a good read.

Broken, Collared, and Ready for Revenge by James Cox


Broken, Collared, and Ready for Revenge by James Cox
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (88 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex, Toys
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Mistletoe

The collar comes off and all that’s left is a broken man.

Alexander Gentlemen has spent fifteen years with the collar on, beaten into submission, tortured beyond anything a human mind can survive. He’s fractured around the edges when his brothers finally save him. With the help of ‘One Nut’ Nigel, the collar is removed. He’s starting to remember the faces of those he’s killed and fighting the urge to murder everyone around him. But the one who put that clockwork device on him is still on the loose. With the help of Nigel, he tries to be integrated into a society he no longer understands.

Can he control himself long enough to get his revenge? Will Nigel be his savior or will Alexander embrace his darker side?

Alexander and his brothers live in a harsh world where one must fight in order to survive. Alexander is taken from the only life that he knows by the evil queen. He clings to the hope that is brothers will come and rescue him but as the years go by that hope grows dimmer until it is all but snuffed out. One day the unexpected happens and Alexander awakens from the terrible hell that the Queen has made of his life to see that his brothers have finally come to rescue him. After all that he has endured can Alexander return to some kind of normal life or is it too late for him?

The world that used to be has been destroyed and the evil Queen is using young boys to do her bidding. Stealing them as children and turning them into mindless drones used for her enjoyment and protection. Alexander was one such boy, but his brothers never gave up and fought to rescue him. As he learns to live again we see Alexander wrestle with emotions and new and different feelings. He is an engaging character and it was nice to see the relationship build between Alexander and Nigel. The two men form a special bond that grows deeper as they spend more time together. Their story is an intriguing read. While I got to see Alexander try to fit in and his feelings for Nigel grow I didn’t really get a good understanding of what is going on with the other part of the story. I knew that they were fighting as well as looking for the evil queen but never more than that. There are many unanswered questions that come up about that part of the story. I would like to have known how the brothers rescued Alexander and who their friends were as well as how the King ended up fighting the queen.

This story revolves around Alexander and how he strives to fit in now that he has been rescued. At times, it grabbed my attention while at others it felt as if it skipped important details for me. I enjoyed watching Alexander and Nigel come together but would have liked a bit more world building. Love is a strong emotion and it keeps Alexander alive through so much. Whether it is his love for his family or for Nigel, Alexander fights hard to keep it, it is what keeps him going. I enjoyed seeing that love help Alexander find his way back from the brink and give him something to fight for.

To Claim His Girl by Sam Crescent


To Claim His Girl by Sam Crescent
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (109 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Eli Waters has made his way back home from military school for one thing, and that is to claim Aria Dean. She’s one of his best friends, the girl who has been by his side through thick and thin.

A year without Eli was difficult for Aria. She missed his warmth, his smile, his playfulness. But though she’s loved him for a long time, it doesn’t matter. She knows she’s not his type. She’s not blonde, or thin, or beautiful. She is just plain Aria.

But now he’s back, and he’s different.

With help from their friends, Eli is determined to finally claim Aria. Laying his feelings on the table, he makes sure Aria knows the truth. He’s not going anywhere. He loves her, and from the moment they first met when they were three years old, they belonged together.

Can two young souls fight for their love, or will outside influences tear them apart?

What a wonderful sweet romance from Sam Crescent! I really enjoyed reading it from the very first page.

To Claim His Girl is a friendship to steamy love story. I loved the main characters , Eli and Aria. These two determined young people realized that they loved each other and then had to stand up to almost everyone just to be together. They had an incredibly close bond since pre-school, not just with each other, but also their four friends. I really liked that closeness which made the story more special. They had to withstand a lot of pressures from their family, school, and secrets.

Sam Crescent’s excellent writing made this book a fluid believable read. Eli and Aria had known each other for a long time. Yet, it wasn’t until Eli got into trouble and sent to military school that he realized that Aria was meant to be more than his friend. It made it more romantic that he worked so hard just to come back for her. There was a lot of drama, from the usual high school politics, to family secrets, and self esteem issues for Aria. Luckily, it didn’t drag out and the reader gets to really relish in the close bonds of friendship and young passions.It’s actually not all that steamy for a Sam Crescent book either. This one was more sweet than sizzling but just as entertaining to this happy reader.

I both enjoyed and recommend this book for everyone.

Kiss Me, Cowboy by Carol Lynne


Kiss Me, Cowboy by Carol Lynne
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (59 pgs)
Other: M/M Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

It isn’t easy to cling to teenage promises when you become one of the forgotten.

For Eli Barron, Jesse Clooney has always been the one. From their first day of kindergarten through their high school graduation, the pair were inseparable.
So, when a situation arises that splits the two men apart, it’s up to Eli to keep the home fires burning as Jesse sets off to follow his dreams on the rodeo circuit.
But how long can a man continue to stoke the fire before the flames die out?

They say love is forever, but when you find your soulmate as a teen, it’s much harder to believe. Just ask Eli Barron who found the love of his life in kindergarten. When life happens and Eli is forced to say goodbye the only man he’s ever loved, will he be able to hold on? Or will he be forced to move on and give up on his dreams?

Eli is quite a catch. Although he’s loved Jesse since they were kids, he’s still able to allow his boyfriend the freedom to ride the circuit and try to make a living away from his abusive father. He’s so confident in Jesse’s love that no matter how difficult things get, he keeps hold of his faith and continues on. Jesse has no idea how lucky he is.

Jesse Clooney needs to get the heck out of town. Having spent his life under the scrutiny of everyone in their small town, as soon as graduation hits, he feels the need to flee. It’s not a choice he wants to make, but it’s one he feels like he has to make in order to break free of the stigma of being ‘that abused child’. Since the entire story is told through Eli’s point of view, it’s hard to know what’s really going on in Jesse’s head, although I want to believe that he thinks he’s doing the right thing, even if he really pushes Eli’s love to the limit.

Kiss Me, Cowboy is a short and intense story spanning many years. You really get to know Eli, his life, and his heartache over Jesse. That was the only thing that really bothered me about this story. Eli suffered so much waiting for Jesse to return and dealing with the disappointment as the narrative wore on. You want things to work out for him, but sometimes you also wish he said ‘enough’ and moved on to someone else. In the end, I’m happy that they managed to work it out and get their happily ever after. Jesse should be thankful, too, after the emotional roller coaster Eli took us on. All in all, a very emotional and passionate story.

Dragon King’s Prize by Angelique Voisen


Dragon King’s Prize by Angelique Voisen
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (73 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Leon is an anomaly, born to a family of hunters who believe all shifters need to die. When his family goes too far and uses a young dragon shifter as bait, Leon is forced to make the greatest mistake…or best decision of his life. Saved by an Alpha dragon, Leon wonders if Rashik is his captor or the one man he’s been searching for all his life.

Dragon King Rashik has been on the search for a stolen hatchling. He never expected to find a tasty and defiant human with steel in his spine. Humans hunt his kind for sport, yet Rashik can’t deny his attraction. Leon might be different but claiming the human could shift the balance in his clan.

Regardless of the consequences, Rashik is king for a reason. Once he sets his sights on Leon, Rashik will do anything to claim him.

All his life Leon just tried to survive. Living in the shadow of his father, the mighty paranormal hunter, was not always a good thing especially when he did not believe in his father’s ideals. Leon always believed that the shifters had just as much right to be in this world as the humans did. When Leon goes against his father and the other hunters by saving a baby dragon he finds himself under the protection of the dragon king. Just what will happen to Leon now that he is among the dragons. Is he safe or has he just traded one prison for another one?

Leon’s story grabs you right from the start. He leads a hard life living amongst the hunters and believing that the shifters have a right to live. Being beaten and ostracized, Leon takes one last chance to do one thing right in his life and that decision leads him to Rashik and his dragons. From the very beginning the two feel something going on between them and they must figure out just where they each stand. I enjoyed watching the two find their way to each other and their happy ever after. They live in a world that is divided yet the two men find a way to come together and fight for what is right. Not only do we get to see Rashik and Leon’s relationship build but we also get to see Leon grow and find himself as he fights to protect the baby dragon. There are those that are full of hate in every race and Leon finds that he must be on guard at all times. Love and trust are key to Leon and Rashik’s relationship and the two must realize when to let their guard down and let that love and trust in.

The author weaves and intriguing story full of adventure and emotions. I quickly found myself engrossed in their story and as with any good book it left me wanting to return and see more from this world and its characters.

Cowboys Don’t Come Out by Tara Lain


Cowboys Don’t Come Out by Tara Lain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (200 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

Rand McIntyre settles for good enough. He loves his small California ranch, raising horses, and teaching riding to the kids he adores—but having kids of his own and someone to love means coming out, and that would jeopardize everything he’s built. Then, despite his terror of flying, he goes on a holiday to Hana, Hawaii, with his parents and meets the dark and mysterious Kai Kealoha, a genuine Hawaiian cowboy. Rand takes to Kai’s kid brother and sister as much as he drools over Kai, but the guy sports more prickles than a horned toad and more secrets than the exotic land he comes from.

Kai’s earned his privacy and lives to protect his “kids.” He ought to stay away from the big, handsome cowboy for everyone’s sake—but since the guy’s just a haole on a short vacation, how much damage can he do? When all of Kai’s worst fears and Rand’s darkest nightmares come true at once, there’s not much chance for two cowboys who can’t—or won’t—come out.

They say opposites attract and there aren’t two men more different than Rand and Kai. But when the two men finally meet and discover an undeniable attraction, will the two closeted cowboys find a way to overcome their fears and find happiness? Or will they allow their stubborn pride and obligations come between them? Hop a flight to Hawaii and come find out.

Rand is my kind of guy. Although he’s so far in the closet he might wind up in Narnia one day, he’s content with the life he’s living. He puts all his energy into running a little tourist ranch and raising horses. His loyalty to his crew and his love of his parents made me like him even more. He’s a good guy who only needs to meet the right guy and he’d finally have it all. Kai truly is that right guy.

Kai is an interesting guy who is hiding a secret. Unknown to anyone, he is sole provider to his much younger brother and sister. Working as a trail guide, he does everything he can to provide for the kids and keep their situation quiet. While this is admirable, it does cause Kai to act a little suspect at times. Until this book, I’d never heard of panilolos – Hawaiian cowboys. And then I met Kai and was entranced. There is so much history in Hawaii and I have only scratched the barest surface. It added an interesting dimension to his already complicated character.

Cowboys have long been a favorite subject of mine, seeing as I’ve spent most of my life in the southwest, so Cowboys Don’t Come Out was a natural choice for me. Although, at times, there was a bit of unnecessary melodrama due to a few side characters, the overall story was sweet with a few heartbreaking moments near the end. It was an excellent start to the series.

Just a Cowboy by Julia Talbot


Just a Cowboy by Julia Talbot
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (88 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

Can an old-fashioned cowboy and a young man on the run from his dark past find a future together?

Herschel is a simple rancher who believes everybody deserves a second chance, which is why he tends to hire underdogs—like Dalton, a young cowboy who needs all the support and TLC Herschel can offer.

Dalton doesn’t think anyone can forgive him for what he did, but Herschel seems willing to try. In fact, he might be the best thing that has ever happened to Dalton. He might even be the one to help Dalton trust in the future again. Just when he’s about to tell Herschel everything, all hell breaks loose. Herschel must help Dalton break free from everything that’s haunting him, or they’ll both end up alone.

Everyone deserves a second chance… or do they? If you ask Dalton, you might be surprised by his answer. What Dalton doesn’t expect is to run into the one cowboy that can change it all for him if he’ll only put forth a little effort and communicate. Can two very stubborn cowboys from different worlds find a way to make it work? Time – and a little love – will tell.

I loved Herschel from the very beginning. He’s your typical cowboy who only wants a simple life doing what he loves. Herschel can waver between big brother and father figure to everyone he knows and it’s quite endearing to see how he is with other cowboys. Watching him move from boss to lover with Dalton was a real treat.

Dalton has a habit of acting like an irrational child. While he’s young, he’s been on his own for a bit and should have a better handle on his reactions. That said, he’s a sweet kid and an excellent match for Herschel as he brings a bit of levity to Hersch’s stubborn ways. The older cowboy does a lot to help Dalton overcome his fears and grow into the boots he’s wearing in return.

Once Dalton is forced to face his past, things get hairy, mostly because the entire situation is a little dramatic. Dalton’s pregnant sister, his parents, and half the town where Dalton grew up only add to the chaos. This is one of those times where being a bit stubborn is both good and bad. Good because it gives you the drive to do what needs to be done, but bad as well because it keeps you from admitting to being wrong. In the end, Just a Cowboy, was a sweet and enjoyable story full of hot cowboys and a lot of craziness.

Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns by Tara Lain


Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns by Tara Lain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (226 pgs)
Other: M/M, Multiple Partners, Anal Play, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

Cowboy Danny Boone—a name he made up one drunken night and has regretted ever since—harbors a big past and yearns for a small future. A short, bright career as a champion bull rider almost ended in his death when his homophobic father discovered Danny was gay. Now Danny longs for a plot of land he can build a ranch house on and enough money to make up for some of the education he missed.

Danny also hides a preference for beautiful femmes who like to top—a combo rarer than a unicorn. Then onto the guest ranch where Danny works drives San Francisco decorator Laurie Belmont, a young man so gorgeous he makes horses gasp, and so ballsy he almost kills Danny’s attacker.

Laurie’s trying to find his way out from under the thumb of a domineering mother, helpless father, and rich, privileged boyfriend.

But no matter the attraction, their lives are worlds apart, and cowboys don’t ride unicorns.

Everyone has their own preferences and discerning tastes, but sometimes what you want and what you can actually get are on opposite ends of the spectrum. This is Danny Boone’s quandary – does he settle for what he can get his hands on or does he keep searching for that elusive man that will trip his trigger indefinitely? Should a cowboy search for his unicorn or stick with his ever-ready pony?

Danny Boone! I was so happy when I realized this was his book. I loved the relationship he and Rand had in the first installment and seeing him more fully fleshed out made me happy. He’s a great guy – solid, hardworking, reliable – and the best hand Rand has around. But he’s also lonely and looking for something more which made me sad to read. It was good going into the story knowing he was finally going to find his happiness.

Laurie Belmont. I wanted to like Laurie so much, especially once you learn about how his family and his boyfriend treat him. You don’t find many unrepentantly authentic characters these days and I was happy to see Laurie so at ease with the man that he was. However, since he’s very femme, at times, his actions and reactions went over the top. So much so that, at several points, he felt more like a caricature or stereotype rather than an actual character. The moments when he and Danny are alone, Laurie is most like himself and he’s really fun and lovable at those times.

Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns brings two very unlikely characters together under even more unlikely circumstances. Generally, those ‘deep, dark secrets’ don’t work for me, but Danny’s secret is of the kind that makes sense to hide in an effort to move past it. For the most part, he has done exactly that. The author does throw you a twist by switching up the sexual preferences of Danny and Laurie, giving you a less stereotypical romance between the two men. Even with all the drama, meddling parents, and other craziness, I enjoyed seeing Kai, Rand, and the kids again as well as watching Danny find his happiness.