Ménage on Moone Mountain by Bella Settarra

Ménage on Moone Mountain by Bella Settarra
The Men of Moone Mountain Book One
Publisher: Etopia Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (267 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F/M, M/M, F/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Peppermint

Her legs can run, but her heart can’t hide.

While on the run from a violent ex-boyfriend, Brooke finds herself being looked after by Travis and Kent, two gorgeous bi-sexual cowboys. While every instinct she has tells her to keep running, the pull that these men have on her is so strong that she hesitates…and gives in. For now.

Travis Beaumont and Kent Freeman enjoy a loving relationship on Moone Mountain. But when Travis rescues the beautiful young Brooke Adams, both men end up falling for her. They’ve almost given up on their dream of adding a submissive girl to their “family” to make a ménage relationship. However, she refuses to tell them much about herself, although her nightmares and scars are a sure indication that the girl’s in big trouble.

When Brooke’s ex catches up with her, he’s intent on wreaking revenge. Can the love of her two cowboys give her the strength necessary to overcome his torment? And can the skill and courage of the two men lead them to save her before it is too late?

Kent and Travis are certainly a dynamic duo of sex, strength and confidence. These two together would be the undoing of any female’s will. Brooke does not stand a chance against their charm, yet he seems to hold her own and stick to her guns when it comes to them, as she refuses to put herself into another deadly situation.

Kent and Travis really are everything I would want in men. They are have great values and seem to just be all around good guys. Granted, Kent can push a bit too hard at times, but that is why he has Travis to help balance him out. They are only missing the submissive female of their dreams, and I so wish I was in Brooke’s shoes to be that girl to help complete their ménage.

Brooke is someone who you immediately want to protect and would be willing to fight besides. It is clear to me that she has had a rough past, but it did not break her the way it would many people. She still has inner strength and fight left in her. Enough that she ran to try to change things, shame she doesn’t think she can trust anyone, as the people around her truly want to help. They did not blame her for that and either could I. I just wanted her to realize that what she needed was right in front of her, as long as she had the courage to take it.

The plot of the story was amazing. With BDSM erotica I have read a few stories about a so called Dominant who is really a control freak looking to destroy what they see as a weaker person. I am glad Brooke did not let this happen to her, and I think it also helps teach people as well as prove to be entertaining. The dynamic definitely keep me interested from beginning to end, especially with the various twist and turns the story takes at times. I would definitely recommend you read it, and would certainly read it again myself.

Touching the Past by Ilene Kaye

Touching the Past by Ilene Kaye
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (129 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Three people are missing. Detective Zac Herrera knows their disappearances are connected. He needs psychic Mallory Woods to prove it and he’s hoping their past connection will convince her to help him.

Mallory Woods isn’t an ordinary accountant. The attractive Amerasian has a secret—the ability to see the past when she touches an object or a person—though she has resisted using her gift since a traumatic event in high school. Except she can’t turn her back on the missing victims, or Zac, the man she once cared about. But can he protect her from the evil reaching out for her?

As Zac and Mallory work together, their attraction blossoms. With a madman on the loose, will they survive to find out if they have a future?

Can Zac and Mallory move beyond the past to have a future together?

Zac and Mallory have a bit of a complicated past. They both had secret crushes on each other in high school, but never confessed their feelings for each other. Years later, Zac still can’t get Mallory out of his head. Zac needs Mallory’s help to solve his latest case, but deep down he knows his feelings would have compelled him to reach out to her eventually. Will Mallory be able to see Zac for the man he’s become, or will he always be the boy she tutored in high school?

The mystery surrounding the missing people wrapped up very simply and quickly. Most of Zac’s work on the case is behind the scenes, so readers who like the kind of mystery they can try to solve before the end will not be able to do that with this story. Mallory’s gift allows the villain to be exposed very easily. Then it was just a matter of time before Zac was able to bring the culprit to justice. I do wish that the mystery had been more detailed and drawn out. However, I still found the conclusion to be pretty satisfying.

Most of the tension in this mystery revolves around Zac and Mallory. Both of them were a bit hung up on the past and were constantly wondering if what they were feeling was real or just the memories of their crushes. They had great chemistry that Ms. Kaye built to the point that even simple actions were charged with sexual tension. I do like the fact that they didn’t rush into anything serious. They were renewing their acquaintance under some intense circumstances, and they both recognized that. I have no doubt that after solving the case, they’ll take the time they need to truly get to know each other and will be well on their way to a happy ending.

Overall, I found Touching the Past to be a quick, satisfying read that I read straight through. Mallory and Zac make a good couple, and I had fun watching them rediscover each other as adults. I recommend it to anyone looking for a light and entertaining mystery.

Safari Stew: A Blenders Mystery by Veronica Helen Hart

Safari Stew: A Blenders Mystery by Veronica Helen Hart
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (228 Pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

Doll Reynolds receives word that her missing husband, Barclay, has been discovered teaching in a South African university. Rather than call the school, she arranges a trip to confirm the information for herself. Six of her Blender friends join her for support. Old Howard arranges a luxurious safari as a side trip to either celebrate finding Barclay or to console Doll if she doesn’t. Either way, the trip leads to murder.

Many years ago, Doll Reynolds’ husband fell off a boat in the Galapagos and disappeared. But now, Doll learns that her missing husband has been found, teaching at a South African university. She decides that she has to go to South Africa to meet this man in person, and six of her friends rally to support her. Soon all of them are on their way to South Africa to learn the truth.

Safari Stew is told from multiple perspectives, each chapter focusing on a specific character, and the name of the character appears in italics at the start of each chapter. The group meets a film crew for a cooking show, also headed to South Africa, and this results in an even larger cast of characters. Over half of the chapters are told from Doll’s point of view. The others are from the point of view of three other women, one a friend of Doll’s and two from the film crew.

The characters are fairly flat and stereotypical. The murderer was easy to spot and that character was painted with no positive aspects. There are two minor characters who were more atypical and hence more interesting, namely Howard, the oldest of Doll’s friends, and Achi, the South African policemen. They added welcome spice to the story.

The plot had several different storylines, in addition to the murder itself. The pacing seemed a bit slow in places and some aspects were just dropped. But overall, it was interesting to see how the murderer was discovered and how the murderer ended up being tricked and deceived.

I learned a number of things about South Africa, some geographic and some cultural, and the time spent at the Haartsveld Game Preserve was very interesting. Readers who enjoy cozy mysteries set in foreign places are sure to enjoy following Doll and her fellow travelers on this adventure.

Sultry Southern Nights by Elle LeBeau

Sultry Southern Nights by Elle LeBeau
Publisher: Red Sage Publishing
Genre: Historical, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (227 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism, Toys
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Sultry Southern Nights is an historical, highly erotic and romantic story set in 1858-1860 Charleston, South Carolina and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a noir tale in which the heroes struggle to conquer their inner demons and overcome their enemies. Beth Franklin’s huge, tortured eyes still haunt Rafe LaRue as he recalls the announcement of his betrothal to Amanda Hamilton. Marrying an heiress allows him to save his plantation and position in 1858 Charleston society. But at what cost? Enraged that Rafe cannot quell is obsession with Beth, Amanda acquires forged papers proving Beth to be an octoroon, arranges Beth’s kidnapping, and lends her to Geoffrey Mandeville as his love slave. To her great shame, Beth finds herself submitting to her captor’s relentless seductions and lascivious demands. She hates Geoffrey. How can her body betray her so completely? Rafe believes Beth is dead. Only months later does he learn the depths of Amanda’s perfidy when she brings Beth into their household as her personal slave. Beth convinces Rafe of her innocence and that he will find proof of her heritage in the Ashley family Bible, now in the possession of her former mammy in Philadelphia. Will Rafe be able to find the Bible and prove that Beth has no black blood that would condemn her as a slave? Will Beth be able to escape Geoffrey and his heavily-guarded house? Will she be able to move beyond her trauma? Will Amanda and Geoffrey escape retribution for their evil actions? Sultry Southern Nights is a gripping, spell-binding tale of sex, violence and love.

It’s bad enough to have your heart broken by the only man that your young heart has ever loved but to also be stripped of your freedom and sold into slavery is the ultimate nightmare. New Year’s Eve 1858 Beth Ashley’s life takes a turn in to a life she couldn’t have imagined. How will she prove her heritage to show she’s not a slave? Will she be able to recover emotional from the vile treatment she has endured?

The author has crafted a skillful story that is highly entertaining. The characters in this novel are seemly real. I enjoyed the love and determination that Rafe LaRue had towards Beth, though he made the horrid decision to marry Amanda Hamilton to increase his financial status not knowing the calamitous domino effect it would cause. The author keeps it coming. When I thought all was well and life was good for Beth and Rafe another unpredictable domino would fall.

The writing is enjoyable and I even learned a lot of new words while reading. The book is inundated with vocabulary that caused me to keep a dictionary handy. The plot is engaging and many twist to move the story along. Amanda Hamilton is a egotistical minded woman with sexual desires that cause her to seek consolation in various men. It’s okay for her to find pleasure but she took things to a completely different level to stop her husband from seeing the woman he loved. Awesome job on creating such a villain. Amanda was an unlikeable character and her sole purpose was thinking of herself and what pleased her; how others felt did not matter.

I like the surprise at the end. The conclusion that Beth came to was inspiring to see that she grew from her harsh treatment as a slave and wanted to do something she felt in her heart was a way to help other that have been treat badly.

This is a recommended book that tells a tale of jealously, shame, deceit, remorse and best of all, a man that is determined to be with the woman he loves. How can you pass up a book that includes all this?

My Brother’s Killer – A Psycho Thriller by Mitsie Ann

My Brother’s Killer – A Psycho Thriller by Mitsie Ann
Publisher: Amazon Digital
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (23 pgs)
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Stranger Beside Me

Devastated and traumatized by the death of his only brother and from a bad marriage, hardworking fiction author Gil Hardy retreats to a small town in Colorado to heal. He finds love again in the arms of Cara Watson.

One look at Cara and he was immediately mesmerized. She was everything that he was looking for in his ideal companion. However, lately their relationship has been on the rocks. She is tempestuous as she is beautiful. Beneath her layer of beauty resides a stranger that he wants to uncover. She is haunted by secrets and scars from a morbid past. Gil does not know that on the inside of his soon to be ex is a diabolical woman waiting to erupt. It doesn’t take long before he sees her dark side.

Will he ever get the chance to unravel her secrets before it is too late to save himself? Fate brought these two troubled souls together, but will fate intervene once more to keep them apart?

What does a always on the edge, twice divorced alcoholic and a crime thriller author have in common? As you read My Brother’s Killer you will find out that they share plenty of drama and also an underlying secret.

Gil Hardy is a crime thriller author who is finally making a name for himself as an author. His parents were taken away too soon due to a drunk driver and he hasn’t gotten over his brother’s unsolved murder that happened five years ago. Presently he is about fed up with his jealous, spit-fire girlfriend Cara. Gil is ready to call it quits but Cara sees things differently.

The author writes an interesting story with lively characters that moves the story along fairly quickly. Even though Cara isn’t a likable character she adds flavor and spice to the story. The suspense is one that is fairly easy to figure out. The story is along the lines of a Lifetime movie. A relationship that starts out good and as the story goes on the person’s true colors start to show, and you can’t help but to keep reading to see how bad the disaster turns out. Just as if I was watching a movie and talking to the characters on television I found myself telling Gil my advice but just like the character on television, he didn’t listen.

There were a few things that I personally got hung up on. One was the scene at the police station after an altercation the police officer advises Cara and Gil to patch things up. I found that advice disturbing as well as Gil not pressing charges being that his property was vandalized. In addition he has evidence of physical bruises; bruises that still were visible on him after weeks had passed. Also, I was puzzled that Lizze is Cara’s best friend but also Lizze is close enough friends with Gil to visit his home without Cara. These are minimal things that I personally found as a glitch but I still enjoyed the overall story.

The writing is good, the story held my attention and a resolution was reached for all in the end.

Sorrow Lake by Michael J. McCann

Sorrow Lake by Michael J. McCann
Publisher: The Plaid Raccoon Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (314 Pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

Detective Inspector Ellie March of the Ontario Provincial Police is called in to investigate when a man from the village of Sparrow Lake is found shot to death, execution style, in a farmer’s field in rural eastern Ontario.

Leading an inexperienced team of detectives, she probes beneath the wintry surface of the township to discover the victim had a dark secret–one that may endanger others in the community as well.

For young and enthusiastic Detective Constable Kevin Walker, the chance to work with Ellie March is an honour, until the situation turns ugly and unexpected betrayal threatens to destroy his promising career.

Detective Constable Kevin Walker gets called out on an early winter morning because a farmer has discovered a body in his field. The victim was shot in the head and Kevin recognizes him immediately as a fellow villager who lived less than two blocks from Kevin’s home. Kevin had been called out before to sudden deaths, but this is his first homicide. He is assigned as the lead on the case, in spite of his relative inexperience, but he is overseen by Detective Inspector Ellie March of the Ontario Provincial Police.

Sorrow Lake is a solid police procedural and the reader learns a lot about how a murder investigation is handled as well as exactly what it takes to make a case against a murderer. I really hadn’t realized just how many people are involved and how the evidence is gathered. I learned a lot.

It did take me a bit to get into the novel because of all the people who were introduced right at the beginning. Keeping them straight was a bit of a challenge, especially when I wasn’t sure just which of them would prove to be truly important.

I really liked Ellie March, and I enjoyed learning more about her background and history. I would have liked even more, as it really made her come alive. And Kevin is also a very likeable character. We learn a bit about him, but again, I would have liked more details to make him seem more three dimensional. I’m hoping since this is the first in the series that the succeeding novels will allow both of these fine characters to develop further.

The plot is a good one, and it took me awhile to figure out who the murderer was. I’d pegged someone else at first, so I was intrigued by the way the story unfolded. There was a very exciting scene taking place on the ice of Sorrow Lake and I held my breath through it. I would have liked a few more scenes like that which show rather than tell. Much of a police procedural involves meetings and reports, which is accurate I’m sure, but that can slow the pacing.

Sorrow Lake has done a great job as the first book in a new series. I am sure mystery fans will enjoy it and I look forward to the further adventures of Ellie and Kevin.

Cooler Than Blood by Robert Lane

Cooler Than Blood by Robert Lane
Publisher: Mason Alley Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full Length (316 pages)
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Jenny Spencer is missing after a violent encounter on a beach. Her aunt, Susan Blake, ask wisecracking PI Jake Travis to intervene. Susan and Jake had only spent one dinner together and both felt an instant attraction. Jake walked away. He was, and is, committed to Kathleen.

As Jake and his partner, Garrett Demarcus, close the circle on finding Jenny, they discover that Kathleen’s past ties to organized crime and Jenny’s life are strangely entwined. They fight a two-front battle to find Jenny and protect Kathleen.

But by protecting Kathleen, will Jake become the type of man she could never love? Does he have choice?

Paging Sam Spade…Cooler Than Blood will be your kind of read.

This book is great noir, but with a few funny spins and some interesting turns.

I’m not a huge mystery fan, but this book was definitely worth cracking. As I said, the plot has some interesting twists and turns and should not be missed.

I did have some issues with the book, though. Honestly, I’m all for conflicted characters. I rather liked Jake being conflicted about his feelings for Susan and his girlfriend, Kathleen. It added some great tension. That said, there is a lot of violence in this book and that might be off-putting to some readers. Also, it was a tad hard to get into the minds of the characters. This book is told in first person, for the most part, and I didn’t get the feeling I was with the characters so much as I was watching them from afar. I little more internalization to understand the motivations of the characters would be great.

There is suspense, mystery and intrigue. If those are the kinds of things you like to read, then this might be the book for you.

The Colossus by Ranjini Iyer

The Colossus by Ranjini Iyer
Publisher: Astor + Blue Editions
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (246 Pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

A diffident catering company owner, Max Rosen, learns of the existence of a coded research document authored by her late scientist father. This research is linked to health pills that were unearthed from the site of the Indus Valley Civilization in ancient India. The pills were once the mainstay of German pharmaceutical giant Berliner that Max’s grandfather worked for. And these pills were used in horrific Nazi era medical experiments.

When Max learns that the pills and the disturbing secret they hold may be the reason why her father may not have committed suicide as she has always believed, she embarks upon a whirlwind adventure to decode her father’s research and find his killers.

In a thrilling ride that takes her and Julian McIntosh, a history professor, across the world, she must keep her wits about her or face dire consequences at the hands of Berliner and other unknown forces, who will stop at nothing to keep the research from coming out. Even as she struggles with her feelings for Julian, Max must brace herself for startling discoveries— her father’s research may well reveal a frightening truth connecting Berliner, her grandfather, and perchance, all mankind. And the shocking reality about her father’s death is one she may never be able to face.

Maxine Rosen is still suffering from her father’s alcoholism and suicide. She just doesn’t understand what went so terribly wrong in his life. But when she comes across her father’s coded research and she discovers that some very determined people are after her and her family, she decides that she really needs to find out the truth about both her father and her grandfather.

I like Max. She works as a caterer in a rather sheltered and limited world. All of a sudden she’s traveling, dodging assassins, and trying to solve the mystery of why everyone is after her father’s research. She meets Julian McIntosh, a professor who might be able to help her unravel things, but she isn’t sure why he is so eager to help. The dynamics between Max and Julian are complex and while Max is attracted to him, she doesn’t see at all why he should be attracted to her.

Max is scared, and with good reason, and she waffles between thinking she should just forget the entire thing and being righteously indignant that a big German pharmaceutical company should be able to intimidate her. Are they the ones who killed her father? I liked the way Max develops during the story. She is obviously in a world she’s never even thought about and it would be easy to retreat. She frequently confuses Julian by her actions, but as she gets more and more information she becomes stronger and more determined.

The plot is complex and there is a lot of information about the workings of diseases and various kinds of viruses which I found both fascinating and frighteningly believable. The pacing is fast and there are twists and turns at every corner. I never guessed the solution until it unfolded at the end.

Mystery lovers are sure to enjoy traveling with Max as she and Julian try to discover the truth of what happened in the Indus Valley so many years ago.

April Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Chaysing Destiny by Jalpa Williby

Chaysing Destiny by Jalpa Williby
Chaysing Trilogy Book 3
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (342 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Will you find your destiny? Or will destiny find you? Lesson One: Follow your instincts. Lesson Two: Trust no one. Lesson Three: Don’t hesitate. Truth is nothing but lies. Light is overshadowed by darkness. Hope is replaced by despair. Innocence is lost. Only anger and bitterness remain. Don’t miss this final installment as destiny’s path is ultimately unraveled in Chaysing Destiny.


The Swamps of Jersey by Michael Stephen Daigle

The Swamps of Jersey by Michael Stephen Daigle
Publisher: Imzadi Publishing, LLC
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (238 pgs)
Rating: 2.5 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Ironton, New Jersey has seen hard times before. Deserted factories and empty stores reflect the decades-long decline, that even Mayor Gabriel Richman, scion of one of the city’s leading political families, cannot seem to rectify. Now families are living on the street or in the shells of the old factories.

A week-long tropical storm floods the depressed city bringing more devastation as well as a new misery: The headless, handless body of a young woman in the Old Iron Bog.

Between the gruesome murder and an old factory suspiciously burning down, Detective Frank Nagler begins to believe that incarcerated Charlie Adams, the city’s famous serial killer, may have fostered a copycat killer. Determined to find the truth, he follows the case that leads into unexpected places.

A broken city flooded under a tropical storm has enough to deal with but when a gruesome murder is added to the mix will the city ever be able to recover from a place of financial ruin?

I can’t say this was the most exciting mystery I’ve read, but it was an interesting read that is well written. The author has away of creating scenes with detailed description so the reader has a good enough visual. The book has a interesting concept, but at times lost my interest. In reading the excerpt I thought the book would be more of a mystery about the body found in the local swamp, and the investigation in finding the killer. Frankly this book was more about the politics of the town and its financial decay.

The characters lacked depth and I just couldn’t find myself connecting. Detective Frank Nagler is on the hunt to identify the person responsible for dumping a young woman’s body in the Old Iron Bog. This isn’t a simple case for Detective Nagler because he ends up uncovering a lot of corruption along with having to confront a past relationship.

The story gives great detail, however there are parts where it went overboard. In the first part of the story there are about three or four pages describing the rain, flood and damages to the city of East Ironton. The description was given with such flair I was in awe of the author’s poetic flow in describing such a detail that I could visualize the continuous rain and for a brief moment I could imagine the rhythmic sounds while reading, however it does slow down the story.

Though this was a bit different from the suspense I normally read the conclusion was somewhat surprising. I didn’t suspect the killer so I guess this makes for a successful suspenseful read.

Though I wouldn’t really call this a mystery, the writing was pleasurable. I would recommend to someone that enjoys reading about town politics and cities with corrupt officials.