So I Married a Sorcerer by Kerrelyn Sparks


So I Married a Sorcerer by Kerrelyn Sparks
Embraced Series, #2
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (496 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Love at Stake series comes a novel of the Embraced—an epic tale of two star-crossed lovers destined for doom—or desire…

Growing up on the Isle of Moon, Brigitta knew that she was born with the magical powers of the Embraced—even if she did not know how to wield them. But she has finally learned the truth: Brigitta is the lost princess of the kingdom of Tourin. She was sent into hiding as an infant to escape the wrath of her half-brother, the king. And now he knows just where to find her. . .

Rupert is a notorious pirate and sorcerer. He’s spent most of his life plotting revenge on the evil king—and Rupert believes that Brigitta could be the key to finally destroying his enemy. But what begins as a kidnapping of the innocent beauty escalates into something deeper, and more passionate, than either captor or captive could have imagined. Rupert soon vows to protect Brigitta against the king—but will they survive long enough to find their happily-ever-after. . .or does fate have something else in store?

Well blow me down! That phrase is not exclusive to pirates. Not at all, in fact it’s a delightful twist in this series. With anyone who is Embraced in this world that Ms. Sparks has created, they find that they are endowed with unique powers, or curses depending on what side of the planet they live on. I know that Superman had a small talent for it but he had nothing on the hero of So I Married a Sorcerer. Rupert has a few tricks up his sleeve that Superman would envy.

The opening act of this hefty novel doesn’t give a reader a slow build up. One moment Brigitta is safe with her sisters as they go to visit their other sister who is about to have a baby and bam! The next thing I know, the heroine is kidnapped, and the adventure begins.

I wanted to give this tale a perfect rating like the first book but one tiny area held me back – I guessed what was going to happen! Granted, I probably couldn’t have done it without my reading the first book, but now that I know what the carry-over villain is capable of, I am seeking clues, hints and diabolical surprises. Yes, the heroine and hero were certainly bamboozled by the plans of the slippery criminal so they were surprised, but not me. The only other character that caught on earlier was Brody.

I like Brody. Brody is a fun character and his role and personality grows in this novel. I hope he gets a happy ever after some day. But I digress. Even though I figured out what was going to happen, I did get a short burst of shock when the choice of doppelganger was revealed. The one thing that really made me go, ‘Oooooh!’ was when Rupert had to seek out the final object to win the contest. It’s who they met that got the thinking gears whirring. And, sure enough, that tickling thread was pounced on later and created the absolute perfect hook for the next installment in the Embraced series. That’s going to be so COOL!

Rupert isn’t the only person who finds something important in this novel. No, Brigitta finds something too and it’s bittersweet. I can’t say what it is, but man, I wish something could be done to … fix or help that which was found. It broke my heart!

As for plot conflict, it’s a doozey, it’s effective and it’s encompasses a wide scale – sort of like the movies made by Cecil B. DeMille, the filmmaker. Okay so there were some areas that seemed to be too – perfect. I mean what were the odds that not one person, even the vile, ‘beady-eyed’ Hilda, noticed or suspected that Brigitta wasn’t as compliant, alone or as dumb as she lead them to believe? It worked for the story, and don’t get me wrong, I liked the outcome so I don’t want to rock the boat, but I did think that it was a bit too easy. Then again, if the suspense and stress were any more intense and sharp, I probably would have needed some chocolate therapy to recover. As it is, a glass of lemon/iced tea with lots and lots of ice was needed for when Brigitta and Rupert succumbed to their passions. As always, well written and fun to read.

Oh! I almost forgot! I really liked the full circle story arc! Yes, that was rather romantic and special and I adored the fact that Rupert, no matter how much time had passed, really didn’t shake that promise. He has such honor and integrity; he certainly wore the title of Hero well.

I didn’t talk much about Brigitta’s Embraced gift because I thought Rupert’s was way more impressive. True, hers played into the plot conflict rather well, but the hero’s talent rang my chimes. Can you tell?

On the whole, So I Married a Sorcerer is a magical follow-up to an amazing new world that is just beginning to unfold. Ms. Sparks has created a rich, vibrant, imaginative and adventurous series in which the possibilities are astounding. I can’t wait to find out what new Embraced gifts will be revealed and how they’ll be used. The one thing that seems to be clear is, the author’s heroes and heroines are reshaping their world for the better, and the villains are fighting it every inch of the way. So I Married a Sorcerer is how great storytelling is supposed to be – epic, grand, exciting and full of fiendish plots. Love wins as it should and the happy ever after left me smiling. Now, how long do I have to wait for the next book? Too long.

Dark Blood by Christine Feehan


Dark Blood by Christine Feehan
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (496 pgs)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Zev Hunter was an elite warrior, a dark-blood dealer of death to Lycans who preyed on mankind. But he begins to question his past when he awakens in the sacred cave of warriors—and is soothed back to consciousness by the sensuously familiar voice of the woman who has haunted his fantasies for centuries: Branislava, member of the Dragonseeker clan.

Now, with a blood-sworn vow of honor, mercy and endurance, and under the influence of a siren as bewitching as Branislava, Zev begins to wonder what his purpose is, what it means for the future of the Carpathians and what it is about his rebirth that he has to fear…

If fans enjoy reading about those sexy Carpathians then they’re in luck because there are a LOT of them between the pages of Dark Blood. The reason that they’re all there becomes apparent as the plot conflict unfolds. It’s ambitious, large and deadly.

This is a refreshing read. I don’t mean that it’s light and airy, far from it. The last few books of the series were heavy on the sex and light on plot. Not so in Dark Blood. The threat is large, ominous and dark. Fighting is to be expected in Ms. Feehan’s novels because those vampires are evil guys. However, the typical antagonists are missing in this book. Instead the terror and horror stem from mage issues and the Carpathians are in for the fight of their lives.

The fight scenes are numerous, graphic, intense and well written. The sense of foreboding oozes off the pages and readers know something eye-popping is going to happen. They will not be disappointed.

Speaking of the final ginormous plot confrontation – I was exhausted after reading it. The hits kept coming and coming and coming. Here’s the thing. With all the non-stop action and the pummeling and damage that was inflicted upon the hero, heroine and their allies, it got to the point where I thought, “Where is this stamina coming from? With so much blood loss, how are they able to fight in peak condition? Is this even realistic?” There is no doubt that this is a paranormal story and the laws of physics and reality are suspended, but a little balance would have been nice. Despite those pesky questions, the writing was really good. Ms. Feehan’s imagination is diabolical, inventive and diverse, and she kept the action riveting.

My absolute favorite part was the gathering in the meadow. That was where I smiled the most during the whole novel. I was sitting on the edge of my seat for the rest – the suspense was quite potent.

For readers who enjoy the steamy, physical and passionate side of things, the author provides plenty of opportunities to appreciate how explosive Zev and Branislava are together.

Dark Blood is a hefty novel of substance. I am very pleased that there was more plot development, intrigue, suspense and thrills than in her most recent stories. This novel was a lot of fun for me because I got to see the strengths of those Carpathian men and women in action. It was nice to be reminded that they are lethal, alpha and amazing. And, when a Carpathian male meets the other half of his soul, a reader is treated to a wonderful romance. I wouldn’t say this is a standalone read, mostly because so many previous heroes and heroines from earlier books step up to the plate to stand and fight alongside of Zev and Branislava. The impact of seeing them again is more powerful for readers who have ‘known’ them. A new reader would only see a list of names and would have no cause for connection. This is a book for the fans, and it’s great.

Assassin Next Door by Eve Langlais


Assassin Next Door by Eve Langlais
Bad Boy Inc., #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (328 pgs)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

A killer with a white picket fence.

Suburbia, a great place for a man with secrets to hide–while investing in some solid real estate. The biggest drawback?

Neighbors.

In this case, a neighbor with sexy curves and a bright smile. Good thing she’s not his type. Single moms with annoying exes are on the do-not-date list.

Stay away.

Calvin wants to; it’s just not happening. He can’t help but find himself drawn to the chaos next door. And when danger threatens his suburban lifestyle, this assassin doesn’t hesitate to act.

Killing people is easy. Domestication, on the other hand, terrifies him.

Talk about romancing the gray area where the good guys are bad guys being good by being bad. This is a very interesting concept that Ms. Langlais is exploring in this first novel of her new series and I had a ball reading it. Some authors have a challenging time world-building in the first book of a series while telling a romance story and introducing a bunch of characters that are important or will become important in future books all at the same time. Not so for Ms. Langlais. This was one of the smoothest reveal and entry into a series I’ve read in a while. It felt so natural.

It’s told in third person POV from both Lily’s and Calvin’s perspectives. The author efficiently used the right descriptions of emotions, action, and environments to engage a reader. I could understand Lily’s terror and feelings of being trapped. Calvin is a different story as he’s a man without much feeling, or, at least he wasn’t until he clapped eyes on Lily’s daughter, Zoe. I think her innocence, her instant trust, her smiling nature and bubbly personality simply bowled Calvin over. In a word, Zoe is adorable, and the hero found her impossible to resist. He tried being gruff, grouchy and tough and he said things that initially convinced Lily that was not a nice neighbor, but a reader sees it from his POV – it’s bluster and smoke. I enjoyed watching the hero’s initial discomfort morph into a protective zeal.

Lily’s external conflict comes in the form of her ex-husband, Brock. The conflict for Calvin is mostly internal until Lily’s conflict twists and turns to bisect the hero’s external conflict and they’re both drawn into a situation that is bigger than either of them realize, until it was almost too late. There’s where the suspense and mystery come in to play. The action stems from all the daring-do that Calvin’s role demands of him. At first his involvement is duty, and then it becomes personal. That gradual switch made for some very intense reading.

My frown comes from the heroine doing something stupid, twice. Yes, the author made her own up to it because being in Lily’s head, so to speak, I could understand her choices. They were rash and necessary to stirring the plot pot but still stupid. My very big grin came from the author throwing in little digs and references to another series the author is famous for. I admit to giggling out loud in a very unladylike fashion because I knew EXACTLY what she was talking about.

The interesting thing about Calvin is his line of work – his view on what he does for a living, how he does it and why. It’s the how that is freaky. The author almost makes it causal, la-ti-da and normal when it’s anything but. After what Lily has gone through, her character is ripe for accepting a man like Calvin. The author alludes to it enough times to make that clear.

When Lily and Calvin get more than ‘neighborly’, it’s detailed, hot and sexy. There is no doubt that they are physically compatible.

The final conflict is a doozy. It has drama, suspense, action and the body count keeps going up. With the satisfactory resolving of the immediate mystery in Assassin Next Door Ms. Langlais left one little plot thread dangling which I believe is, or will be, the background story arc. One thing is for sure, the author has effectively garnered my commitment to reading the next book in the series. This is getting good.

Assassin Next Door is full of exciting chills and thrills, grins and gasps and is a delight through and through. This romantic suspense book is an easy recommend because it kept me guessing, entertained and engaged. I enjoyed watching Lily and Calvin come together as an unconventional couple and how the author handled having a young child in the mix. It’s a well written adventure and I can’t wait to visit the folks at Bad Boy Inc. to see what they get up to next.

Fate’s Roar by Jalpa Williby


Fate’s Roar by Jalpa Williby
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (222 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Alstroemeria

Meet Shane.
He’s sexy, arrogant, and ruthless.
He’s used to women falling at his feet.
Settling down has never been an option.
But, fate has her own plans…

For ten years, he has watched over her.
He has vowed to protect Samantha… from the likes of him.
He is not supposed to fall for the one girl he can never have.
The girl who is off limits.
The forbidden fruit.

When Samantha suddenly disappears, Shane’s fury is unleashed as he fights for her life with fierce vengeance.

This book surprised me in a few ways. From reading the description and the prologue it definitely seems like the reader is about to embark on a story about guardian angels and forbidden romance, which is almost true but with a very unexpected twist. It is also book two in Williby’s Fate series, but both novels are stand alone and the prologue gives enough information about the first book that the second was still readable without having read the series in order.

If I had read the first book, I might have known about the secret life of our main character Shane, but it does make a nice twist if you have not read the previous novel.

Shane, Samantha, Damien and many of the other characters were interesting, but I felt like there could have been more attention to the details of each character. I wanted to understand them more as a reader falling into this story, but they remained rather flat until the last few chapters. Some aspects about the characters came out of left field, especially with the character Jared in this novel.

A very crucial part of this character’s identity was hidden from the readers for almost the entire book which can work, but there needed to be more allusions to what that character was hiding about himself, otherwise it jars the audience away from the story and when the information is thrown in, it looks a bit more like a last resort.

While in my opinion the characters could have been given a bit more attention, I really enjoyed the plot. A dangerous romance, forbidden love, and sweet, sweet tension built up rather nicely within this novel. Most of the scenes were written vividly for the audience to lose themselves in the world of the novel, and the editing was pretty clean.

The flow of the book with short chapters worked rather nicely with this story and there was very minimal head hopping between characters who would lead the narrative.

The spicy scenes were written wonderfully, and they were most certainly not cheesy. It was just enough information to bring on the heat, without becoming fully erotic. I would recommend this book to anyone 16 or older.

The book was a fast read, and it easily held my attention. I would put it down but could not wait until I could pick it up again because the tension was thick and it pulled me in!

Overall, Fate’s Roar is a book that I enjoyed reading and I would definitely consider getting my hands on the first novel in the series to tie up any lose ends. This book was a quick, spicy, and exciting novel that will be the perfect fix for a long car ride or plane trip!

The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka


The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (321 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Stargazer

Nobody knows what happened to Sarah Cook. The beautiful blonde teenager disappeared fifteen years ago, the same night her parents were brutally murdered in their suburban Ohio home. Her boyfriend Brad Stockton―black and from the wrong side of the tracks―was convicted of the murders and is now on death row. Though he’s maintained his innocence all along, the clock is running out. His execution is only weeks away when his devoted sister insists she spied Sarah at an area gas station. Willing to try anything, she hires PI Roxane Weary to look at the case and see if she can locate Sarah.

Brad might be in a bad way, but private investigator Roxane Weary isn’t doing so hot herself. Still reeling from the recent death of her cop father in the line of duty, her main way of dealing with her grief has been working as little and drinking as much as possible. But Roxane finds herself drawn in to the story of Sarah’s vanishing act, especially when she links the disappearance to one of her father’s unsolved murder cases involving another teen girl.

The stakes get higher as Roxane discovers that the two girls may not be the only beautiful blonde teenagers who’ve turned up missing or dead. As her investigation gets darker and darker, Roxane will have to risk everything to find the truth. Lives depend on her cracking this case―hers included.

Everyone has baggage, even those that we ask to help us.

Roxane Weary knows this better than anyone else. Working as a private investigator, jobs come and go, and she feels that she does okay, even well at her line of work. When Roxane is hired to complete one last ditch effort to save a man from his execution date, Roxane’s bank account and liquor cabinet are running low. When she begins the investigation, she has no idea of where it will lead.

The Last Place You Look is a wild ride from start to finish. The demons that Roxane faces are only compounded by the loss of her father and the frustrating family dynamics that are set into motion. While trying to remedy her past and understand her own future, Roxane struggles with keeping up with each day-although some days get away from her.

The character development, deep plot lines, and dynamic conversations all add to the depth of this wonderful read. The story is smooth flowing, full of energy and never a dull moment. Yet, the story flows and does not feel rushed or forced. As a reader, we experience life from Roxane’s eyes, we see how she analyzes the case, the developments and interestingly, when things go wrong, they go horribly wrong! Roxane is a person, a real character that the reader can fully comprehend. The ups and downs of the story do not feel like they were set to create a plot, but feel like a natural reaction to the world of the characters.

The story comes to a pivotal point when Roxane realizes that she cannot keep going on like she has, she must either back down or push forward-but there is no stagnation. This is a resolution for the reader-our lives will change and we can choose to have a direction of the flow or we can back down and crash with the waves-this is illustrated deeply by Roxane’s choices and the shaping of her development throughout the story.

The Last Place You Look is an amazing suspense story with a strong amount of action/adventure and an awesome amount of human character development-make sure you don’t miss this amazing read!

Engaged in Danger by Barbara Venkataraman


Engaged in Danger by Barbara Venkataraman
Jamie Quinn Cozy Mystery Book 4
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (226 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

Finally, life is good for reluctant family law attorney, Jamie Quinn–her father may get his visa soon, her boyfriend is the bomb, and her law practice is growing like crazy–but when she agrees to take on a high-profile divorce case, everything falls apart. What looked like an opportunity to work with her friend Grace and make some serious bucks has turned into a deadly game, one that could destroy their friendship and tear their town apart. Why couldn’t Jamie just leave well enough alone?

Jamie’s life is good. Her father is getting a visa to come and visit, she loves her boyfriend, and the cases she’s getting are keeping spending money coming in. Then things all fall apart. Her boyfriend is going away on a job and will be gone for three months (THREE MONTHS?!?) and the new case she just took on is high profile and the man involved is dangerous like a shark. Not only that, she’s having a fight with her best female friend. How’s she going to resolve all this?

She starts doing research into the couple’s assets and she finds the wife knows nothing about them. He’s a lawyer but he doesn’t have an office or any jobs she can see. Where is all this money coming from?

The author has a talent for adding enough just enough odd facts to keep you interested and keep you reading to see where the story will go. Jamie is an independent woman who is afraid she may lose her boyfriend to the pretty young woman on the job and you can sympathize with her. She tends to assume things which can be dangerous in her business.

With Russians, money laundering, blackmail and more going around, there’s lots of pieces to pick up, tie together and then do something to fix it without getting hurt. It’s a good thing Jamie is a resilient person and bounces back.

This is a good cozy that romps through the lives of the characters and the case both. It’s just the right length and it has a surprise ending.

Taking Her Innocence by Sam Crescent and Stacey Espino


Taking Her Innocence by Sam Crescent and Stacey Espino
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Action/Adventure
Length: Short Story (110 pgs)
Other: M/F, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Viper has always been a bastard, a nightmare, death for hire. He’s known for his swift kills, so he isn’t surprised when he’s offered seven figures for a new hit. It’s supposed to be a quick find and eliminate. When his mark turns out to be an innocent twenty-year old with big blue eyes, he shouldn’t care one way or another, but he does. Viper wants to keep her for himself.

Viper was part of an elite team “Killer of Kings”. Usually an assassin, if the price was right, Viper would do whatever to whomever he was asked. It was just business. Pepper knew she was in a world of trouble, but when she opened her door to the assassin her life changed forever. Will he take just her innocence, or much more?

I found this to be a fast-paced, action-orientated erotic romance. I was a little nervous in the beginning as I found some of Pepper’s thoughts were a bit strange – for example when she’s attacked by another assassin, when Viper comes upon them and she finds out he’s there to kill her as well, she decides to throw her lot in with him because he hadn’t *actually* hurt her the instant he saw her. I know there needed to be a reason she found herself on Viper’s side rather than the other character – but I really felt there needed to be a bit more thought and a more understandable/logical reason behind it. I was grateful that the action and pacing moved quickly enough this small bump didn’t detract from my enjoyment either of Pepper or Viper’s characters or voices and I promptly found myself swept up in their story and carried quite willingly along with them both. I also really liked the small twists that happened throughout the plot – in particular the reason why Viper didn’t kill Pepper immediately was refreshing and an excellent plot-turn to my mind.

There is plenty of steamy sex between Viper and Pepper and I really enjoyed it. Nothing was too envelope pushing – just some delightfully steamy sex between two very willing parties. The action and plot twists kept the feel of the story moving along at a good clip and with regular intimate scenes I felt this story had a really good balance.

With excellent, layered and generally well thought-out plotting, vibrant and interesting characters and a great, fast paced series of events, I really feel this is an excellent blending of action and steamy romance. I am eagerly waiting for more books in this series.

Seal Wolf Undercover by Terry Spear


Seal Wolf Undercover by Terry Spear
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (292 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Review ed by Xeranthemum

Never be so foolish as to fall for the enemy…

Special wolf agent Jillian Matthews has joined the jaguar-run United Shifter Force to track down a deadly criminal. She’s even willing to work with PI Vaughn Greystroke―until the hot, growly SEAL wolf makes the mistake of getting in her way. Naturally, she shoots him. Who could blame her?

Vaughn Greystroke has always worked alone. But when a string of attempted murders puts him in the crosshairs, teaming up with the Shifter Force begins to sound like a good idea. Even if he has to work with alluring―and potentially treacherous―Jillian Matthews. Vaughn is a trained SEAL, after all. He can surely keep his distance from Jillian…no matter how much she’s getting under his skin.

Unraveling a mystery always makes for a great plot. It’s how an author weaves the story that creates an experience to remember and Ms. Spear found a unique hook that I totally could get into.

When Jillian shot the hero, Vaughn, not only was it totally unexpected but once he figures out just who shot him, the sparks start to fly. What I found fascinating is there were so many people shooting at one time or another, I could never figure out who was the criminal. Who really was against whom and just who were the bad guys and where’d they come from and why in the world were they in this little town anyway? Then to find out not only who they were but WHAT they were just sucked me into the adventure. There was so much to find out in this novel that it was easy to keep flipping the pages into the wee hours of the morning.

Imagine my surprise when I found some of the characters were channeling Mel Fisher in their pursuits. That was another treat for me because I love stories like that. It’s a lure that many people would find hard to resist.

There are a lot of smiles throughout the story every time Jillian and Vaughn are together. Their dialogue was fun, snappy and gave me insight into their personalities. Then of course there is the romance which completely worked for me. I liked the heat and how it evolved their relationship towards the next step. In fact the author used a lot of scent references to engage a reader’s senses. There’s a lot of sensual imagery as well to keep readers who like the hot stuff very happy.

Ms. Spear delivered some action packed scenes that were well written, suspenseful and very believable. I mean, once I got to the part when the motivation was revealed, it was so human. This might be a paranormal romance story but the people are just like every other human you read about – including the criminals. This was a very down to earth kind of plot conflict and it worked, probably because one of the villains was so understated for most of the book. What a surprise!

Seal Wolf Undercover is an action story about people with motivations like folks that might live next door to you, except they go furry. Some of their problems are unique to being shifters but the way Ms. Spear writes about her characters never seem farfetched. Being able to relate to a hero and heroine’s emotions and cheer for them as they overcome challenges as they fall in love is one of the best things about this author’s books. Her characters get me every time. This was really fun read and a solid recommend to other paranormal romantic suspense readers.

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.

Spirit of the Crow by M. Carolyn Steele


Spirit of the Crow by M. Carolyn Steele
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical
Length: Full Length (338 pgs)
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

In 1836 John McGregor, a Scottish and Seminole half breed, kills a white man in Florida. The crime is worse when the man turns out to be an Army sergeant. Self-defense is no excuse. McGregor is angry––angry with God, the Maker and Taker of Breath, angry with the red man as well as the white. Among the Indians, this rage earns him the name, One-Who-Gives-No-Chance.

The hardened outcast hides among hundreds of Creek Indians being forcibly removed to Indian Territory. No-Chance ignores the human misery until a scream awakens a hidden memory. He risks exposure of his secret and intercedes for an injured woman in labor. The birth of the infant begins the redemption of John McGregor as he seeks to escape past demons and, despite the hardships, make a place for himself in Indian Territory.

John McGregor is half Scotch and half Seminole Indian. He looks mostly Indian but his blue eyes give him away. He got in a fight with a white man in Florida and killed him. It was self-defense but he’s a half breed and the white man was an Army sergeant. They’re after him. He joins Indians that are being taken to a different reservation and keeps his head down.

This book is factually accurate and covers a very painful time in the history of the US. The Indians were driven from the land they grew up in. They were promised goods and meat by the Army but it never came to be. Ms. Steele bases her story on the Indians themselves and while it’s a sad tale, it’s told well and makes you think of all their suffering.

Things start to go wrong when he notices a young pregnant woman who can barely walk. He tries to give her aid but when she falls, the soldiers are ready to whip her to get her to move again. He stops that and it takes the Indian Scout to save him from trouble. They leave the woman behind and assign John (No Chance) to get her up with the group later. Her husband remains behind also. The woman goes into labor, the men have no idea what to do, and while the baby lives, the mother dies. They bury her and join the Indians again.

Despite all the hardships and loss of hope, No Chance doesn’t give up. Trying to hide among the Indians is not so easy to do. They won’t give him away but they won’t stop the soldiers either.

The story reads well and keeps your interest. As you get into the spirit of the Indians, you can relate to their fear of the white man. No Chance has visits from his dead father. He needs his guidance. It’s all believable as you read it. No Chance ends up with a chance at the end of the book.

If you’re familiar with Indian history, this is a visit to the past with memorable characters. If you’re not, this story will be enlightening. Give it a try; it’s an excellent read.