Dancing With Fire by Maia Dylan


Dancing With Fire by Maia Dylan
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (77 pgs)
Other: M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

There is always a risk of being burned when you dance with fire…

Lucabella Strand is tired of waiting for the Firestone playboys to honor her request for a meeting. Raising rents, and hiring a musclebound douche-bag as a building manager to threaten and torment them is not how reasonable landlords treat their tenants.

Zac and Hayden Firestone have no idea they even own a residential building, and when Bella accuses them of unfair treatment they immediately deny it. Until she shows them her proof. She leaves both men reeling, but believing that she might be the one meant for them. Seeing her for the second time leaves them in shock.

A misunderstanding and a hidden secret quickly comes between them, and finding a way back together proves difficult. Will taking a chance and dancing with fire lead Bella to a future she had never thought she’d have, or will she be burned by love and left alone?

Zac and Hayden Firestone are completely taken about when firebrand Lucabella storms into their office and refuses to leave until she has some answers. Firestone Real Estate generally only owns business buildings, but they seemingly bought out the apartment complex she lives in a short time ago and have not been even close to good landlords. Lucabella won’t leave without her answers and the two brothers are completely stumped by her beauty and fiery passion. When she becomes involved with the two brothers, things become even more complicated.

I found this to be an interesting ménage story with a good amount of plot. While I found the clichéd response of the brothers when they found Bella doing some exotic dancing a bit disappointing, I couldn’t really blame them for taking everything at face value. Bella’s behavior was of course for a good reason and the brothers should have entertained that notion – but thankfully all that miscommunication was dealt with fairly early on in the story and acted as an excellent conduit for the three of them to learn about each other before the relationship really started to blossom.

Once all the doubting and frustration was over, the chemistry and sex really took off and the book became far more enjoyable to my mind. The ménage sex was wonderfully hot and I enjoyed the pacing of the relationship that grew between Hayden, Zac and Bella. I was a little surprised that once they all became intimate neither Hayden nor Zac seemed miffed at some of the “omissions” Bella had with them about her work. I felt some of that potential conflict was skimmed over because it happened right at the very end of the story and there was an awful lot of things happening all at once. I did like how the three of them really started to trust each other and while I felt the depth of love might have been a little soon it was lovely to see they were all on the same page and really getting emotionally – not just physically – committed to each other.

For a hot and action-packed threesome story this one was quite good. I enjoyed the sex and felt there was plenty of interesting plot to keep the pace and action moving forward at a good speed.

Silent Justice by Kallie Lane


Silent Justice by Kallie Lane
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (172 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

When Rena O’Mally is kidnapped by a violent underworld kingpin, she enters a world where her only means of escape is in her sleep. She knows her chances of survival and returning to the man she has fallen for are slim to none.

Blue Falcone, commanding officer of an elite taskforce, races against time to find her. Taken on his watch, Rena means more to him than a woman in jeopardy should, and it scares him senseless. Worse than that, when she manages to escape, her enemy keeps coming after her.

Blue wants her in protective custody and out of harm’s way, but Rena has other ideas. She plans to bait the trap to catch this madman. As Rena’s life spins out of control, she and Blue face each challenge together. Will love give them the strength to defy the odds, or will they lose each other in the fray?

For a story that is only one hundred and seventy two pages it sure did pack a punch. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time flipping pages. If my fingernails weren’t cut short I probably would have chewed them from all the never ending suspense. If you’re looking for a quick romance story filled with action then this will meet your needs.

Rena O’Mally, the heroine, was dealt an unfortunate deck of cards at life at a young age and made some choices that directed the course of her life. Caught up in a change of events that appeared out of her control she finally decides enough is enough and no longer wants to be defined by her past. I could feel the attempt of the writer to redeem Rena and make her appear as a strong leading lady. However, Rena was a delicate balance of vulnerable and strong-will qualities that, when mixed together, made her character more than tolerable but not completely admirable in my eyes. I just wished she had turned on her listening ears when she was told to listen. Her lack of listening skills was most annoying.

There could have been other ways to add to the suspense element other than the heroine needing to be constantly rescued due to her in ability to follow directions. It was borderline unrealistic. The plot was not original no matter how many twists were implemented but it was still an entertaining read.

The hero, Blue Falcone, was your stereotypical commanding officer of an elite taskforce who develops feelings for the woman he’s supposed to keep watch over. He had all the connections necessary to call in for back up to save the day no matter how many times he needed to save the day. His team members were briefly introduced but weren’t well defined characters. I developed a stronger connection to Rena’s rescued cat, Tigz.

I did feel the connection between Rena and Blue. I always fall for that damsel in distress ploy, which is why I could tolerate Rena’s inability to listen. The pickles she got herself into allowed me to enjoy feeling those swoon-worthy moments of ‘Ooh! and Ahh!” because they showcased Blue’s amazing heroism.

The violent underworld kingpin just wasn’t going give up and that plot hook kept me riveted until the end. I had to see how Blue Falcone was finally going to save the day, once and for all. Just like the synopsis alluded to, will Rena and Blue’s love for one another give them the strength to defy the odds? Or, will they lose each other in the fray? You’ll need to read the story to find out.

As much as Blue was always racing against time, I wanted the time to slow down and the book to not end. I was content with the ending and pleased with the closure that was provided. I didn’t consider this book a waste of my time and would recommend it to others. This is another one of those books for which I didn’t need my morning coffee to wake up. 🙂

An Unwilling Suspect by Jo A. Hiestand


An Unwilling Suspect by Jo A. Hiestand
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (155 pages)
Rating: 4 stars
Review by Rose

McLaren’s fiancée tragically died one month ago. Trying to heal emotionally from her death, McLaren settles into a rented farmhouse in the woods near picturesque Lake Windermere, in Cumbria. But he’s barely had a chance to rest when Helen, the woman in the neighboring cottage, is killed…and is discovered near his front door.

Because McLaren had spent much of the previous day with her, and his snowy footprints lead to and from her house, he becomes the prime murder suspect in what the police label a frustrated romantic advance.

Motives for Helen’s murder are as chilling as the outdoor temperature. There’s the hands-on garage mechanic who’d like to put his hands all over her, the affluent fishing guide, and Helen’s former boyfriend who wanted to renew the relationship.

Can McLaren find the killer before the police jail him for murder?

This is the 7th book in the McLaren mystery series, and they just keep getting better and more intense. This volume begins with McLaren mourning the death of his fiancée—and his friends are worried about him. He is offered a place of refuge where he can deal with Dena’s death (and where there aren’t so many memories). What is supposed to be a quiet, restful time, however, turns out to be anything but when a neighbor he had helped gets murdered, and the clues point squarely at McLaren.

McLaren is at his best when he’s solving a problem, and here he has a doozy of one! Having once been a policeman, he knows how to deal with the locals when they come by, and he, along with his friend Jamie, sift through what they know and what they can learn in order to find out who killed Helen and who is trying to frame (and possibly kill) McLaren himself.

Ms. Hiestand does a wonderful job with the emotional and physical aspects of grief—I could feel the pain McLaren was going through. Her descriptions of the area as well are so well-drawn that I could picture myself right there.

If you’ve not tried the McLaren mysteries before, don’t hesitate to pick this one up. Even though it is part of a series, I don’t think a new reader would have any trouble getting involved in the book. 4 stars, Ms. Hiestand, and good job.

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Camelot Games by Oliver F. Chase


Camelot Games by Oliver F. Chase
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (418 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Stargazer

When a secret political machine maneuvers California war hero, Scott McHale and his beautiful activist wife, Angie into running for political office, an entirely new and frightening evil is unleashed upon the American public. As the wildly popular Latino couple’s success and independence grow, hidden kingmakers quietly put into play a plan designed to plunge the nation into chaos. Nothing and no one is out of bounds. Treachery and treason, murder and manufactured mayhem propel an unsuspecting Scott and Angie closer and closer to the Oval Office. But when Scott goes off script, he suddenly vanishes in a smokescreen of sexual innuendo and scandal. A bereft and bitter Angie is left behind to continue their golden legacy alone. Will she discover the truth in time to prevent civil war?

How close is the United States to the brink of civil war? The answer may surprise you.

Powerful individuals stand behind major corporations and influence the power play of American government. When Scott McHale is tapped to take up political office, he finds himself caught in the movement of a political shift that challenges everything he knows and his love for his country. When things begin to spiral out of control, Scott goes missing and his wife, Angie, steps up to take the lead in the reshaping of the American political landscape.

Camelot Games is an extremely well researched, deeply thought out and fantastic journey of choices that shape the United States of America. The political climate, the deep unrest and the desire to change the future is often seen in popular media today. Oliver F. Chase brings these ideas forward with the backing of a corporate superpower. Divisions begin within the political landscape immediately and the media is used as a tool to propagate the destruction of the United States.

Oliver F. Chase uses intense dialogue, deep backstories, and powerful characters to shape the story. Deep plots run throughout the story and the author sets the stage for each character shaping his or her own destiny with very real thoughts, concerns and fears. The author also leaves no stone unturned when narrating from the top of the hierarchy to those that are working in the trenches to change the world.

I found myself deeply engrossed in the story, making a connection with each character. The fantastic storytelling by Oliver F. Chase makes it so that the characters are fully formed-even characters that show up in small parts have very real life stories behind them. Even the hackers infiltrating the government systems have backstories and these are elegantly told so that the reader can understand why they have done what they have.

You don’t want to miss Camelot Games by Oliver F. Chase; this will cause you to take a long hard look at how the political system is set up!

The Bloom Girls by Emily Cavanagh


The Bloom Girls by Emily Cavanagh
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (256 pgs)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

A tender, heartfelt story of three sisters, their late father’s painful past, and the power of forgiveness.

When the news of their father’s death reaches them, sisters Cal, Violet, and Suzy Bloom have to set aside their own personal crises, and their differences, to gather in Maine. Responsible Cal, the oldest and closest to their dad, is torn between taking care of her family and meeting the demands of a high-pressure law career. Impulsive Violet, the estranged middle child, is regretting a messy breakup with a man she’s just now realizing she truly loves. And Suzy, the sweet youngest daughter, is anguishing over a life-altering decision.

Arriving in their father’s small coastal town, the Bloom sisters can’t help but revisit the past, confronting the allegations against their father that shattered their family nearly twenty years earlier. As they try to reconcile different versions of their childhood and search for common ground, they’re forced to look at their father’s life—and their own lives—with new eyes, or risk losing all they hold dear.

Nothing brings families together like the death of one of their own. Even when the family is fragmented and scattered, everyone will turn up for a funeral. However, when family is reunited, all the skeletons thought to be long buried are dug up and held under the lights for inspection. The Bloom family is no different.

When their father dies, sisters Cal, Violet, and Suzy come together to make arrangements and face their past. While all three know that there were accusations of impropriety leveled against their father while he was a teacher, none of them know the whole truth, only their own piece of the puzzle. As the truth comes to light – not only about the accusations made against their father, but the truth of his life after his divorce from their mother – the sisters are forced to reconcile what they’d known with what they now know. It’s not an easy task for any of them, since they’re each dealing with their own crises and baggage.

In a lot of ways, I can relate to the sisters. Although my dad didn’t have any deep, dark secrets when he passed, my younger sister had such a different take on the man he’d been than I had as the older sibling. Talking about our childhood shed a lot of light on things for both of us. So, watching how Cal, the oldest, and Suzy, the youngest, worked through things was fascinating to me. Violet, the middle child, was the one with the most to assimilate and accept, however. I did love how they each managed to take their anguish over their loss and use it to begin to work through the issues in their current lives. The one downside to this story was that there was so much sadness in their childhood, things that they didn’t know or understand, that caused them to not only push away from their father, but also from each other. It makes me wish they could have figured these things out long before they lost their father. But, in the end, that they figured them out while they still had each other, gave the story enough of a happy ending that you didn’t leave it feeling down. You feel hopeful for their future, even if you do feel for the missteps of their past.

The Bloom Girls is a slice of real life. Families are complicated and complex creatures that harbor many secrets and harsh truths that are often ignored for a variety of reasons. It shows the many facets of a grieving family and how relationships evolve over time and distance. A bittersweet and heartwarming story of estranged sisters finding their way home again.

Claiming His Human by Doris O’Connor


Claiming His Human by Doris O’Connor
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (149 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Shifters defend their mates to the death…

Bear shifter Darius Longton never expected to find his mate in his favorite coffee shop, but one sniff of her scent in the air is all it takes for his bear to know the truth. This delicious, sinfully curvy redhead is his.

Too bad she’s human and far too fragile for his volatile bear.

Holly Trent cannot understand the instant attraction she feels for this man. One look from his heavy-lidded eyes is all it takes to set her knickers aflame with lust. However, she will not be another notch on his bedpost, no matter how much his voice alone makes her want to sink to her knees.

But when a customer gets heavy with her, everything changes. Darius’s defense of her places them both in terrible danger. Thrown headfirst into shifter council politics, it falls to Holly to save her mate.

This was another great paranormal romance from Doris O’Connor. I love all kinds of shifter stories, but the bears are my personal favorites. I loved this story and how the many plot twists kept me guessing and turning the pages until the end.

The best part of this particular book was the lovable main characters. Darius was a sexy growling bear shifter who was, at first, hesitant to claim his human mate. Holly was a human who was oblivious to the existence of the shifter world. Darius planned to charm her first but in the meantime he left the door wide open for a sinister plot to unfold. Holly was stronger than anyone realized and I really loved that about her character.

This book was very exciting and loaded with fast paced action, plot twists and scorching hot sex. It is the sixth book in The Projects series. This is the first book that I’ve read in the series , but let’s just say that my interest has definitely been hooked now. I think it’s worth going back to read the rest of the books so that’s what I am planning to do as soon as I can.

Bullied By The Boss by Sam Crescent


Bullied By The Boss by Sam Crescent
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (157 Pages)
Other: M/F, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Rex Donovan is an asshole. He gets what he wants, and right now he doesn’t want Nora Covington as his PA. After screwing all the other women who’ve worked for him, Rex doesn’t know how to handle Nora. She’s the type of woman that men don’t screw around with, and she’s also one of the hardest working women he has ever known. But instead of showing her any appreciation, he treats her like shit.

Nora hates her boss. He’s a horrible person. After a particularly bad incident in the office, she goes looking for a new job. She doesn’t want to work anywhere else, but she can’t take anymore.

But then an argument fuels a moment of passion between them, and for Rex there is no backing down. He wants her, and he’s going to have her, even if no one can know.

But secrets only last so long, and when Rex’s temper gets the better of him, all could be lost. Nora is pregnant with his baby, and now wants nothing to do with him. Is there any way for him to win her back?

Bullied By The Boss is a steamy stand alone novel by Sam Crescent. I always love her books and the vivid characters that she brings to life in my imagination. This one was extra hot and very emotional. This story was a definite page turner for me.

I’ve never wanted to smack the hero as bad as I did Rex for being so mean to Nora. Sam Crescent has a special talent for giving her readers a bad boy alpha hero who they will want to see redeemed. In the beginning Rex acted awful toward Nora. I hated him and so did Nora. I smiled when she finally stood up to the bully. It was then that Rex realized the real reason behind his actions is because he had been attracted to her all along. Nora was a nice girl who went out of her way to help everyone. She did not make it easy for Rex to earn her trust or her forgiveness. I liked that about her. It showed her strength.

Sam Crescent’s writing was especially good on this one. The fast flowing story captured my attention on the first few pages. I loved the vivid characters, although with Rex it was more of a love to hate feeling. As usual, the hot sex scenes had me fanning myself. There was also an interesting appearance by Alaric from The Enemy’s Daughter.

I liked everything about this book.

Life in A Supermarket Basket by Michael Evanichko


Life in A Supermarket Basket by Michael Evanichko
Publisher: Crimson Cloak Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Full Length (176 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Alstroemeria

Vincent fidgeted as he waited in the ten-items-or-less lane, for he clearly had more than ten items in his dainty, little basket. As the line of impatient shoppers grew he was sure he’d be publicly humiliated for the sin of supermarket disobedience. The practice of stoning would resurface, only frozen Cornish-hens would be launched at his large frame instead of stones. If only he knew in a mere 7.34 minutes he’d be visiting the afterlife after being hit by a car, he would’ve checked his minor anxiety attack at the customer service counter.

As Vincent’s spirit rose above the mayhem, so too, did each of his purchased items, as each of them triggered a remarkable and occasionally embarrassing memory of his past. He was forced to examine his current state of unhappiness as he awaited answers to the lingering questions: Would his life end in the parking lot of his favorite grocer? Would he be accurate in the belief that heaven was non-existent?

Life in a Supermarket Basket contains elements of drama, suspense, romance and mystery, while narrated with sarcastic, comedic undertones by the protagonist, Vincent. It has elements of a Mitch Albom novel with touches of Augusten Burroughs-like humor. Each chapter is named after one of the grocery items, and begins with an illustration that foreshadows the events within the chapter. Life in a Supermarket Basket creates an environment completely relatable to a mainstream audience. Who hasn’t tried to sneak through the express lane with more items than allowed? Are heaven and the afterlife for real? And finally, we all have poignant food memories that piece our lives together like a puzzle.

Life in a Supermarket Basket follows the main character Vincent on his journey away from his average and sad middle aged life. After an accident at his local grocer, Vincent is forced to look back on his life in this humorous novel through the ghosts of grocery lists past.

The main character Vincent is a relatable man in his 40’s who has lost sight of what he really wants in life. As the reader travels with Vincent through his epiphanies of the past, an interesting picture is painted of a man who wants so much more.

Though the editing was a bit off at times, it did not take away from this oddly inspirational journey. References to religious beliefs were realistic and not at all preachy. This is not a conventional story about life and life after death, but rather it urges the reader to continue the journey through many strange and exciting twists.

The humorous quality of this fiction novel is definitely found within the pages. With Vincent there is no hiding the gritty details of life, and it is refreshing to see that one man’s discovery of soy milk can be another man’s discovery of self-worth.

A puzzle that comes together piece by piece, Life In A Supermarket Basket lived up to it’s excellent description. I would recommend this novel to anyone who wants a witty read that wraps up eloquently. No ends are left untied and it may just give readers their own grocery store epiphanies.

A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights by Peggy Jaeger


A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights by Peggy Jaeger
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (138 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

With Christmas just a few weeks away, Gia San Valentino, the baby in her large, loud, and loving Italian family, yearns for a life and home of her own with a husband and bambini she can love and spoil. The single scene doesn’t interest her, and the men her well-meaning family introduce her to aren’t exactly the happily-ever-after kind.

Tim Santini believes he’s finally found the woman for him, but Gia will take some convincing she’s that girl. A misunderstanding has her thinking he’s something he’s not.

Can a kiss stolen under the Christmas lights persuade her to spend the rest of her life with him?

When I started reading A Kiss under the Christmas Lights, the first thing that hit me immediately was the writing style. It is important to stress that if you are like me and dislike books that are written in first person point of view, please give this book a chance like I did. I admit that when I started reading the first page I was like, “Oh, no!”, and was about to decline the chance to read it. But, with the first Italian lesson on page two? I was drawn so completely into the story I forgot I was reading a first person point of view. That itself is a testimony to the writing style. I have to give praise where praise is due. I was shocked that I enjoyed the entire book considering my pet peeve over first person romance books. Well done Peggy Jaeger! I enjoyed how Ms. Jaeger incorporated Italian lessons throughout the story. I’m not Italian but I have friends that are and the author hit the nail on the head with how she described this Italian family in the book.

As for the plot, again I was thrown for a loop. Maybe I should have mentioned the plot first in the initial paragraph. I don’t know which I’m more excited about, the writing style or the plot. It was clever and original. The misunderstanding that is mentioned in the synopsis was so effective, I simply could not put the book down. It was worth every minute I spent reading. A Kiss under the Christmas Lights was a quick read and I just might read it a second time because I wasn’t fully prepared for what I was about to experience. It was unpredictable and yet I’m surprised I didn’t figure it out sooner than I did. Regardless, when I did figure it out, the revelation was priceless – absolutely the best misunderstanding one could invent. I’m dying to blurt it out but that wouldn’t be fun or fair to future readers.

The heroine, Gia, and the hero, Tim, are perfect for each other. They are an example of fate. They were destined to meet each other and fall in love. I loved where and how they met and I enjoyed how their story evolved especially that misunderstanding. I can’t wipe the smile off my face. The ending was so sweet my teeth ached. I was left feeling a happy book glow.

If it isn’t obvious by what I’ve already written then you’re missing the point. This is a must read, especially if you’re Italian and even if you’re not. I hope you’ll laugh as much as I did. I absolutely would be proud to recommend this book. I have learned a valuable lesson for the future. I won’t be so negative about books written in first person POV. A Kiss under the Christmas Lights was a sheer delight!

Recon By Fire by Maia Dylan


Recon By Fire by Maia Dylan
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Action/Adventure
Length: Short Story (115 pgs)
Other: M/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

A sniper will employ a recon by fire technique when the position of their enemy is unknown. It can also be a tactic for two men looking to convince the man they both want for their future to take a chance on them.

Nick Jones and Aiden George are committed to each other. When they meet a marine medic who ignites a passion within both of them, they’re determined that he’s the third they never knew they were looking for.

Sam Wilson is plagued by doubts instilled within him at a young age. When he gives in to one night of passion with two servicemen he meets during an attack on the base, those doubts make him run. When he meets them again eighteen months later, the three must overcome Sam’s past, defeat an unknown enemy, and pursue the future Aiden and Nick are convinced they can all achieve together.

Will they be able to find their target in time, or will the fire of their love be left to burn out completely?

Aiden and Nick have been a committed couple for years now, but both men agree there’s just something about Sam that sets them both off. Neither Aiden nor Nick though know how to bring Sam to them without scaring the Marine off completely. Sam, for his part, can’t help the hot fantasies he has about both Nick and Aiden – but his difficult past makes it hard for him to trust that he’s enough for the two spunky men. Can they work this out together?

There’s nothing I love more than a hot military romance, and a M/M/M threesome just makes it all the more better. There’s an awesome and strong cast of secondary characters – the rest of Sniper Team Bravo. I loved the easy camaraderie between them all both out on the battle field and settling down to a “normal” life. I also found that there’s plenty of good plot for readers who don’t like their erotic romance to just be a string of hot sexual encounters. This book really felt like it ticked all the boxes for me – loads of character back story and emotional plotline, arson investigations, nefarious villains from people’s past. Add on hot ménage sex and this was a delicious read and one I will thoroughly enjoy for multiple re-reads in the future.

I was delighted by how layered and deep each of the characters were – not just Aiden, Nick and Sam, but also the other members of Sam’s team. It’s clear there are more stories coming up, and having missed the first two stories didn’t detract from my enjoyment of this at all. I loved the author’s tone and voice and really found myself swept up in the story and eagerly turning the pages. There was an interesting lead-in to the next story that I’m sure will hook a number of readers into getting the next story too.

A fun, sexy and hot ménage romance full of delicious military men that I feel is sure to appeal to many readers.