Xenocultivars: Stories of Queer Growth ~ Edited by Isabela Oliveira and Jed Sabin

Xenocultivars: Stories of Queer Growth ~ Edited by Isabela Oliveira and Jed Sabin
Publisher: Speculatively Queer
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, LGBTQ, Anthology
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

This collection of speculative short fiction is about all kinds of queer growth, from emerging and developing to flourishing and cultivating. Whether they’re tender sprouts just beginning to discover themselves or deeply rooted leaders fiercely defending those they love, the people in these stories have this in common: you can’t tell them what to do. They grow as they please.

The magic of plants is undeniable.

“The Thing About the Jack-o’-Lanterns” showed what happened when the main character carved a jack-o-lantern every year and spoke to the dead through it. This was a unique tradition that I was eager to learn more about, especially once the protagonist revealed that she was attracted to women and had no idea how to share that news with her mother. What an endearing and wholesome this protagonist was! I couldn’t wait to find out how she’d resolve her conflict. While the final scene did provide satisfactory answers, it also left me hoping that the author will write a sequel to it soon. This wasn’t a world I wanted to leave quite as quickly as I did.

Lumberjacks and the natural world don’t go well together at all in my opinion, so “A Lumberjack’s Guide to Dryad Spotting” made me extraordinarily curious to see how the author was planning to mix those ideas into one coherent storyline. There was something incredibly likeable about the main character from the opening scene even though I shuddered at the thought of him chopping down a Dryad to make himself rich. If only this tale had been developed more thoroughly by Mr. Payseur. The first few scenes were well done, but then it petered out just when I was expecting it to pick up the pace. This was one of the few disappointments in this collection, and even then, I’m still glad I read it. The imagery in it was so crisp and original even if the plot itself didn’t quite work for me.

Midwestern culture can be a delightful jumble of contractions, many of which were captured perfectly in “How to Make a Spell Jar.” Ash lived in a small town where everyone knew everyone else’s business which meant keeping a secret was nearly impossible. I smiled at how well the author captured both the benefits and drawbacks of living somewhere like that, and I laughed out loud when they informed the audience that Midwesterners all “live to be ninety-six out of sheer unwillingness to acknowledge the tattered specter of death.” Not only did lines like that one capture this culture perfectly, they gave the audience ample opportunities to get to know Ash as a character as she attempted to navigate them. Mx. Crawley did a wonderful job of explaining all of this, and I look forward to reading more from them.

Xenocultivars: Stories of Queer Growth made me yearn for spring.

Murder by the Glass: Cocktail Mysteries by Edited by Teresa Inge and Yvonne Saxon

Murder by the Glass: Cocktail Mysteries by Edited by Teresa Inge and Yvonne Saxon
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Whether the setting is a vineyard in Argentina or a small town in Virginia, these 17 mystery and suspense authors infuse this collection of deadly deeds with a variety of potent potables, the stories in Murder by the Glass: Cocktail Mysteries range from light-bodied puzzles to edgier tales with bitter consequences. No matter what your taste, these stories pair well with any beverage, each blending a baffling mystery, a glass and a murder.

This anthology includes works by Allie Marie, Betsy Ashton, Frances Aylor, Mary Dutta, Eleanor Cawood Jones, Diane Fanning, Debra H. Goldstein, Libby Hall, Maria Hudgins, Teresa Inge, Maggie King, Kristin Kisska, Allie Marie, K. L. Murphy, Alan Orloff, Josh Pachter, Shawn Reilly Simmons and Heather Weidner.

Sometimes thirstiness is deadly.

Maddie attempted to solve her sister’s murder and get revenge on the killer in “Revenge on the Rocks.” There were so few clues to go on that I was quite curious to see how she’d figure out who killed her sister. I liked the fact that she had to work so hard to put the pieces together. It made sense given what a private person the sister was and how she originally met the man who took her life.

All of the stories in this anthology were well worth reading, but I thought a few of them would have benefitted from a little more development. “The Good Citizen” was one of them. While I completely understood how irritating it is to spend time with someone who complains about everything, I would have liked to know why Sylvia’s killer thought that taking her life was their best option. She was no doubt a highly difficult person to have a conversation with, but she wasn’t violent or dangerous. It seemed to me that it would have made more sense to let her live out her final days and avoid her as much as possible in the meantime. With more exposition, this could have been one of my favorite stories of them all.

“Swiping Right” started off with a first date between Corynne and Tad, two single people who’d recently matched with each other on a dating site. They were both excited to meet, but there was something unusual about Corynne that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I eagerly read on to find out what else she was looking for from Tad other than the possibility of love. This tale meandered a little, but everything it mentioned while slowly moving towards the exciting conclusion was critical to understanding what was really happening here. I had a wonderful time figuring it all out.

Murder by the Glass: Cocktail Mysteries kept me guessing. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys a strong drink or an intriguing mystery.

Justified by De’Nesha Diamond and Briana Cole

Justified by De’Nesha Diamond and Briana Cole
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, anthology
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

In one shattering night, Charlie Warren’s fiancé is killed, she is attacked—and then framed as part of a police cover-up. Five years later, with nothing to lose, Charlie is free and vengefully exposing their operation, provoking their enemies—and turning the officers against each other. But when a detective gets way too close, Charlie has to decide between getting ultimate justice . . . or going down in a brutal crossfire of betrayal.


To elude an abusive ex, Kennedy stole several other women’s identities. Many new—and luxurious—lives later, she’s one of the best con artists in the world. But now one of those women is dead—and Kennedy is in the crosshairs. She’ll need to pull off one crucial, flawless deception before a merciless adversary takes her, and her glamorous unreal life, out for good.


Charlie Jean Warren, has lived a full life. She followed in her family’s footsteps in completing a military career and now she’s obtained her nursing degree. It’s finally time to settle down with her high school sweetheart Hennessey Rawlins. What could go wrong on the night that Hennessy proposes?

Everything. That night changed her life forever. Hennessey is killed and Charlie is attacked. Charlie can identify the attackers but instead Charlie is framed as part of a police cover-up and ends up doing five years in prison.

I finished this story in two settings. The action and shootout scenes I can visualize as they are played out. Readers will quickly find out the reason behind the feud between King Kong and Ramsey Holt. The author created an entertaining read as readers follow the drama and suspense to find out who was behind the hit on Charlie and Hennessey. It was hard for me not to feel for the character. After being helpless and feeling hopeless Charlie’s display of strength is courageous. I enjoyed how the author made the lead character so real. None of the things she did were planned but after knowing who she couldn’t trust I can understand her desire in taking the opportunity to find out the truth and also get revenge.

I appreciate the short scenes between Charlie and Hennessey’s look-a-like. The author gave just enough bedroom scene to make the character seem real and human keeping with the mission and not watering it down with romance. The bond between Charlie and her sisters was inspiring. They cared about their sister but didn’t truly understand the impact the loss of her fiancé and unborn child had on her. Charlie’s heartfelt words spoken to her sisters helped them understand her need for justice. ‘Our lives mean something. Hennessy’s life meant something even if he wasn’t perfect. Even if he was guilty of some of the things they accused him of in court. He didn’t deserve to be killed on the side of the road as if he was trash.’

In this compelling story that I enjoyed, Charlie’s justice was justified. The author wrapped it up nicely and explained who was behind the hit and exposed the dirty cops for their greed.


The excerpt says ‘To elude an abusive ex, Kennedy stole several other women’s identities.’ Sounds interesting enough for me to read. But the story is more about a greedy uncaring individual that wants what is not hers. She was not likable and as I was reading I was hoping she would find the error in her ways and correct her lifestyle. If the author’s attention was to get the reader to dislike Kennedy, it worked. I did not like her at all, not one bit. If you are looking for a book about a strong woman that has overcome her struggles this is not it. I didn’t understand her motive for stealing innocent women identities to take their money and mess up their credit. I can understand hiding from an ex but hiding in the same town you grew up in, just didn’t seem like the wises of places to hide. There are several loop holes and a lot going on in such a short amount of pages but I’ll focus on the overall story and what I think the author was trying to say.

The author did have an interesting plot in mind and I was able to follow along. I rated half a point higher because I do like the idea the author had in writing the book. I think I was so bothered by Kennedy’s actions that I didn’t give much attention to who was committing the murders. So the half a point for suspense and the author does have a talent for telling a story.

I’m still trying to piece together Benji’s part in the book and the family tree of Lewis, Kennedy’s first husband. Also, I’m not sure how this story fits in with the title Justified. I didn’t find anything justifiable about any of it.

Finally, even with those listed reservations I mentioned above, I found this was a well written story. I was still intrigued to see what lengths Kennedy would go to next, and the story kept my attention and managed to deliver an unpredictable ending.

The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery: An Anthology by Various Authors

The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery: An Anthology by Various Authors, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk
A Superior Shores Anthology Book 1
Publisher: Superior Shores Press
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary, Historical
Length: Full Length (292 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Whether it’s a subway station in Norway, ski resort in Vermont, McMansion in the suburbs, or trendy art gallery in Toronto, the 21 authors represented in this superb collection of mystery and suspense interpret the overarching theme of the best-laid plans in their own inimitable style. And like many best-laid plans, they come with no guarantees.

The men suffer from erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, low sexual drive and infertility are simply discount cialis not true. viagra generic discount Poor sleep – Lack of sleep or sleep deprivation can cause physical and mental exhaustion, which is bad for your well being. If you are unable to get rid of this sexual deficiency. appalachianmagazine.com cialis samples However, grapefruit juice is reputed to prescription de viagra cause interactions in the processing of PDE5 inhibitors in the body. Stories by Tom Barlow, Susan Daly, Lisa de Nikolits, P.A. De Voe, Peter DiChellis, Lesley A. Diehl, Mary Dutta, C.C. Guthrie, William Kamowski, V.S. Kemanis, Lisa Lieberman, Edward Lodi, Rosemary McCracken, LD Masterson, Edith Maxwell, Judy Penz Sheluk, KM Rockwood, Peggy Rothschild, Johanna Beate Stumpf, Vicki Weisfeld, and Chris Wheatley.

Crime doesn’t pay, especially for criminals who think they’ve found a loophole.

“Spirit River Dam” by Susan Daly told the tale of an art dealer who was brought a potential Tom Thomson painting for appraisal. The possibility of discovering an unknown, priceless painting by this artist was irresistible even when evidence began to mount that he might not have been the painter who made it after all. What I enjoyed the most about this tale were all of the plot twists in it. No sooner would I come up with a theory about what was really happening than the next scene would turn that theory on its head. This happened several times, and it kept me guessing until the very last moment.

I enjoyed all of the tales in this collection, but a few of them would have benefited from more development. “The Stonecutter’ by Edith Maxwell was one example of this. It was about a librarian named Eleanor who had an affair with a married man. When her lover began to feel guilty for cheating on his wife, she had to decide what she was willing to do to keep him. I was fascinated by how quickly their illicit romance developed, especially considering the fact that both of these characters were otherwise known to be very moral and upstanding citizens. This made the twist at the end a little hard to swallow. I liked what the author was doing with it, but it would have been helpful to more foreshadowing either about the Eleanor’s personality or what would become of their secret love.

As soon as I finished the first paragraph in LD Masterson’s “Deadly Dinner” and realized that the protagonist was murdering nursing home residents, I had to find out why Bixby would ever do such a thing. While his reasons for these choices should be left for each new reader to discover themselves, I was pleased with how thoroughly the author explained everything. Bixby was not a likeable character, but he sure was a fascinating one. This isn’t always an easy thing to pull off, so I enjoyed reading about someone I would never want to meet in real life.

The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense should be read by anyone who loves this genre.

Scenes from the Heartland: Stories Based on Lithographs by Thomas Hart Benton by Donna Baier Stein

Scenes from the Heartland: Stories Based on Lithographs by Thomas Hart Benton by Donna Baier Stein
Publisher: Serving House Books
Genre: Historical, anthology
Length: Short story (142 pages)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

When a contemporary writer turns her imagination loose inside the images of an iconic artist of the past, the result is storytelling magic at its best. Here are nine tales that bring to vivid life the early decades of the 20th century as witnessed by one of America’s most well-known painters. Thomas Hart Benton sketched fiddlers and farm wives, preachers and soldiers, folks gathering in dance halls and tent meetings. Though his lithographs depict the past, the real-life people he portrayed face issues that are front and center today: corruption, women’s rights, racial inequality.

In these stories we enter the imagined lives of Midwesterners in the late 1930s and early 1940s. A mysterious woman dancing to fiddle music makes one small gesture of kindness that helps heal the rift of racial tensions in her small town. A man leaves his childhood home after a tragic accident and becomes involved with the big-time gamblers who have made Hot Springs, Arkansas, their summer playground. After watching her mother being sent to an insane asylum simply for grieving over a miscarriage, a girl determines to never let any man have any say over her body.

Then as now, Americans have struggled with poverty, illness, and betrayal. These fictions reveal our fellow countrymen and women living with grace and strong leanings toward virtue, despite the troubles that face them.

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One story is about a schoolteacher who doesn’t approve of the woman chosen for bible classes. When both their boys go on mission to save the ones flooding, they both have more to worry about.

If you were black, you could be beaten up and killed and no one cared. The poor fiddler knew that but folks liked his playing and usually left him alone…

You feel the anguish of the mother watching her son go off to war. Ms. Stein’s words are concise and earthy. You feel the emotions of the characters.

She makes you feel the fear of a woman who thinks she might lose her husband to another woman. There are several stories about young girl’s and their emotions. You can relate to their fears and anxieties.

The story that was the most poignant was the one where the father lost his hands and his lower arms in a piece of farm equipment. He keeps on with metal hooks but there is a final confrontation at the end of the story. You won’t forget that one easily.

All the stories are down to earth and have the feeling of family history being shared. What you read will stick with you long after you put the book down.

The Naughty List by multiple authors

The Naughty List by multiple authors
Publisher: Red Moon Romance
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Holiday, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (201 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Fetish
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

Six holiday romances, from sexy to sweet, prove that love is better on the Naughty List.

A Christmas Maggie by Tiffany Reisz
All Daniel wanted for Christmas was to spoil his new girlfriend, Anya, make love under the tree, and ignore all his old heartaches. But the ghosts of Christmas past aren’t so easily forgotten especially when Maggie, his late wife, shows up to remind him why the past should stay in the past and why his Christmases-future could be the best of his life if he can finally let himself live and love in this Christmas present. (A Christmas Maggie is the final story in the Daniel trio [from the Original Sinners series] beginning with The Gift and followed by Daniel Part Two.)

Christmassy by Alexa Piper
When taotien Valerion and witchling Cora get together sparks fly. But on the way to visit Cora’s family for Christmas, they encounter a supernatural predator that will not only test their individual powers and abilities, but also their connection to one another.

My Midnight Cowboy by Pumpkin Spice
If chocolate is the way to a man’s heart, then pastry chef Lucy Baker has the recipe for success. But will her culinary skills melt the most hard-hearted bachelor in Wyoming? A chance encounter on a New Year’s Eve flight leaves two strangers to discover unbound pleasure and a hunger for sexual discovery.

In the Doghouse by Elizabeth Black
Nicky and Angela had just begun to add a little kink to their lives when, caught up in the influence of his dudebros he forgot their anniversary and broke Angela’s heart. Angela wants Nicky’s strong arms around her again, but first she wants him to fight for her. Can one night, a paddle and some restraints bridge the gap between them?

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A child of the Fae—bound to winter and a promise given to her chosen mate. She must claim him before time runs out and all she loves in the world falls to ruin. A child of mortals—forgotten and discarded by the world, then torn from the most amazing woman he’s ever met. Trapped in the sort of fae-tale that rarely ends in happily ever after, are they strong enough to defy the odds and find love?

Stealing Time by Wendy Sparrow
As Father Time’s son, Zeit must sacrifice a mortal’s lifetime to the Fates each New Year’s Eve. Last year—inexplicably, really—he made an 11:59 substitution. The Fates are pissed and they’re after his mortal Hannah. With the year ending, he ought to figure out why he’d saved her—and why he keeps doing it. Following an unlucky year, Hannah needs a week’s holiday in a lodge to unwind. What she gets is near-death experiences and a sexy immortal who can’t avoid kissing her, but might have to kill her. After all, even Zeit can’t hold back time indefinitely.

This naughty list has something to please every reader.

Anthologies are sometimes a tough read when you have to consider each story, good or bad, into your overall rating for the collection.

Okay. So every writer has a voice and every voice will not be for everyone. That said, I found some of the stories in this anthology more polished than others. In A Christmas Maggie, Tiffany Reisz tells a tale very much to the tune of A Christmas Carol where a Dom learns to appreciate the sub in his life. The ghost of his now deceased wife shows him things that he isn’t prepared for but it is an awakening. The sexy scenes in this one curled my toes in typical Tiffany Reisz style and I couldn’t get enough. Awesome story with a couple of tear jerking moments.

Christmassy was harder to read. I felt like I couldn’t connect with any of the characters and was quickly annoyed by the feeling I had missed something. Like in the middle of a series when you just don’t know what the heck is going on. I stopped reading mid-way when I couldn’t find anything to keep me in the story.

My Midnight Cowboy was stunning and I think my favorite story from the anthology. Pumpkin Spice is a new author for me-partly because of the name. It put me off a bit. But no more. I’m hooked. Her style was absolutely electrifying and I am going to get every book she has. The sensual nature of her sex scenes, the buildup of emotion. Holy wow. Fan girl swoon. Loved it and want more. I hope this book gets released as a series because it would rock the house.

In the Doghouse was an odd story with twerking snowmen and a suddenly dominant next door neighbor. I have to admit it left me a little disjointed. When Nicky stops paying attention to his girl, she retaliates-but it just doesn’t seem believable. Her reaction was odd and even with the cool Domme scenes I could not get into this story.

Winter’s Daughter was another strange plotbunny. This one centers around a boy and a girl in a ski lodge. The girl is apparently a fairy from another dimension who is battling her sisters for the right to be happy. In this case it involves a random guy at a ski lodge, a key card (mysteriously she had one) and a lot of extracurricular activities. Nothing seemed to fit here. Not the sudden key card from a woman from another dimension to the back and forth between the characters. There was sex but it left me wanting more.

Stealing Time was a great story. It grabbed my attention at the start and didn’t let go. The sexy tension between the reaper and the girl he is supposed to kill put me on pins and needles. Excellent holiday story that would do well as a longer novel or series of novellas. Great premise and I couldn’t help but want to know more about what happens to these wonderful characters.

Overall, the anthology was a 4/5 for me due to the mixed quality of the stories. Such strong presences by Reisz, Spice and Sparrow made it worth the read and will no doubt have me coming back for more from these authors.
If you want a fun holiday mix, give these stories a try.

Lasso Lovin’ Anthology by Various Authors


Lasso Lovin’ Anthology by Various Authors
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (190 Pages)
Other: M/M/F, Ménage, Anal Sex/Play, Toys
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Foxglove

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

‘Forever Changed’ by Jambrea Jo Jones

Sometimes two just isn’t enough…

Thomas Grey was on leave from the military to be at his mother’s side when she died. Her last request would forever change his life. She wanted him to go see the father he never knew.

Abigail Sommers and Eric Riley work on a ranch owned by Thomas Grey’s father. They are an on again/off again couple who can’t seem to make it work.

The attraction between the three is off the charts, but can they make three work when two wasn’t cutting it?

‘Fortune’s Way’ by Jenna Byrnes

Two men and one woman, thrown together by business, discover they have much more than that in common. But will it be enough to overcome the obstacles they face?

The Double-F-Ranch has been in Dean Fortune’s family for generations. Selling some of the best Appaloosa horses in California, the ranch was lucrative before the economy took a tumble. Searching for answers, Dean and his father look for ways to keep the family business profitable. Unfortunately, they have very different ideas about how to do that.

Miranda McCabe is a ruthless, sought-after business consultant from Los Angeles. Hired by Dean’s father to turn the ranch around financially, Miranda struggles with her own issues. She’s there to work, but can’t stop thinking about the owner’s sexy son, even if they didn’t get off to the smoothest start. She also manages to ruffle the feathers of Kyle Reese, Dean’s ranch foreman. Though judging from the looks that pass between the two men, she wonders if he might be more than just the ‘hired help’.

While Miranda devises a plan to save the ranch, Dean and Kyle put their own plot into action in hopes of saving both the ranch…and Miranda.

‘Tying One On’ by Wendi Zwaduk

She’s the mistake they can’t live without.

Steve Reynolds and Ronan Boyd are happy in their relationship. They own and operate the Circle B Ranch and are very much in love. Both men dated the same woman before they began their own love story. She’s their best friend. But there’s something missing. Would the woman from their past want to be their third?

Trista Connolly knows her place with Steve and Ronan—she’s their friend. She wants to move on with her life after breaking up with her current boyfriend. But she’s still in love with Steve and Ronan. Tylerville isn’t a big city and everyone knows everyone else’s business. She keeps her horse safe at their ranch, but can she keep her heart protected as well?

Things are about to heat up and fast—times three!

Reader Advisory: This book contains voyerism, anal sex and M/M contact.

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Two cowboys. One woman to rope ‘em and ride ‘em!

Two cowboys enjoying a passionate bout of sex in the living room is the last thing Sophie expects to see when she arrives to inspect the homestead she inherited from her grandparents. Outraged by what they believe to be trespass, the men insist the prosperous horse stud is theirs.

The confrontation catapults Sophie into a torrid sexual adventure. The only way for her to win is to round up her cowboys and ride ‘em.

Reader Advisory: This book contains M/M sex scenes.

‘Hard Luck Ranch’ by Nan Comargue

When his best friend Wesley orders up a mail order bride, Everett leaves Hard Luck Ranch for good. Or so he thinks…until he realises that there may be room in their marriage for one more.

Emma came out West to marry a man she’s never met but she’s already fallen in love with Wesley through their letters. Life at his home, Hard Luck Ranch, is far better than she ever imagined with a loving husband and a prosperous farm. The only hiccup in her plans for the future is Wes’ best friend, the local sheriff Everett Montgomery, who may share more than a boyhood with her husband.

Everett is trying to drown his misery over his friend’s marriage with shots at the local saloon and sex with the local madam’s brother, Kenneth. But Ken isn’t Wes, the man Everett has loved since he was old enough to know what love was. While Everett loses himself in his heartache, he stays away from the ranch. But he doesn’t expect Emma to come out to find him—nor does he realise that she’s guessed his secret.

Emma loves her husband dearly and she wants him to be happy, even if it means sharing him with Everett. But will the sexy lawman be willing to accept her as part of the bargain?

‘Dust and Desire’ by Demelza Hart

When your best friend already gives you the pleasure you crave, can anyone better it? But tough lives call for tough decisions.

Chase Truman is a man under pressure. He’s got a five thousand acre ranch to manage, he’s lost Blue Ridge mountain, and he can’t find himself a woman. But when he stumbles upon Riff Felton, the man who stole Blue Ridge from him, and finds himself held with a gun against his head, he doesn’t resist. His relationship with Riff goes way back, and soon Chase and Riff are making up for lost time, soothing each other’s pain in the way they love. But something’s missing. Chase wants more and thinks he’ll find it in the right lady. Luckily for him, a breakdown on the railroad is about to deliver Miss Adeline Monroe into his hands, a headstrong, wealthy young woman from Boston with a very modern attitude. But is there room for two in Chase’s life?

Reader Advisory: This book contains anal sex and the use of sex toys.

Cowboys are hot, no matter what the era. In this anthology, there are six steamy, sexy stories of cowboys finding the right mix for their ‘happy ever after’ with that significant pair of partners that completes the circle. Love is love, whether it is modern day, or early western, and these stories focus on the connections between two men and one woman that makes life complete for all three. All six stories have compelling characters, intriguing locations, and even some history between the characters in some way. There are some laughs, some tears and lots of man to man romance, man to woman passion and man to woman to man hotness.

Forever Changed by Jambrea Jo Jones. Tom honors his mother’s dying wish, going to meet the father he never knew. What he gets is so much more when he meets Abi and Eric, and has an immediate connection to them both. Discovering that he doesn’t actually hate the man who is his father, and that his mother had been in contact with him, is a pleasant surprise for Tom and his father Dan, but it is Eric and Abi who make Tom not want to leave for good. Will Tom accept what is being offered, by his father as well as by Abi and Eric?

Fortune’s Way by Jenna Byrnes. When Dean Fortune’s father moved away from the ranch, Dean left his not so dream career as a race car driver, and discovered the life on a horse breeding ranch was much more satisfying to him. Didn’t hurt that the foreman he hired was gorgeous and hot, and they became lovers soon after. When Dean’s father wants to turn the working ranch into a guest ranch, Dean and Kyle have to convince the consultant that is coming to advise something less invasive. When the consultant arrives, she is not what they expected, and Dean falls for her just as quickly as he fell for Kyle. Will these three find a way to save the ranch, and their unique relationship, without anyone being left behind?

Tying One On by Wendi Zwaduk. Trista introduced Ronan and Steve, and knew they were perfect for each other. After all, she’d dated, and loved both of them. Ronan and Steve love each other, but they both agree there is still something missing from the relationship, and they are determined to fix it…with Trista as their ‘third’. They both love her, and will do whatever it takes to convince her of it. Can these two hot cowboys convince their former girlfriend to take a chance on them both, together?

Claiming the Cowboys by Alysha Ellis. The last thing Sophie expected when she entered the farmhouse she had inherited was two hot cowboys making love on the couch of her living room. Hamish Maguire and Jackson Blake run a horse stud on the property, and have been leasing it from her grandmother for some time, but Sophie had no idea about it. When she realizes that they are there legitimately, she turns to leave, but the hot vet convinces her to stay the night, as it is too far to drive with night falling. Can these two cowboys convince Sophie to stay and take a chance on both of them, or will she go back to her boring and lonely life in Sydney?

Hard Luck Ranch by Nan Comargue. It’s a long way from New York to Desert Rose, Texas. Emma has come to join her husband, a man she has never met, except through letters. Wesley Miller wants a wife, someone to share his life with, while his best friend Everett Montgomery doesn’t understand the need Wes has. When Emma meets Wes and Everett, she knows there is something off, but she likes her life as Wes’ wife, until she realizes what is missing…Everett. Wes and Everett share a passion for each other, and Emma is determined to bring the two men back together, to bring pleasure to all three of them. Can this unconventional relationship flourish in this Texas small town?

Dust and Desire by Demelza Hart. Traveling from Boston to Albuquerque by train is an adventure for Adeline Monroe. At just eighteen, she is going to visit her aunt and decide what to do with her life. Her father recently passed away, making her a very rich young woman, and she wants to experience life while she is young. When the train breaks down in the middle of the West Texas desert, the passengers and crew are rescued by Chase Truman, son of the man who owns the property the train is passing through. Adeline is immediately attracted to Chase, and he to her. But Chase also has a secret, Riff Felton, a former ranch hand, and Chase’s former lover. While out touring the ranch, Chase and Adeline discover Riff up in the cabin on the ridge, and Chase goes to confront Riff, with passionate results. When Chase discovers Adeline’s adventurous side, he believes that he and Riff and Adeline could have something special, if he can just convince her to stay on the ranch and become his wife. Can these three come to terms with life in turn of the century West Texas?

Whether it is modern American cowboys, wild west early American pioneer spirited romantics, or Australian stockmen, the passion of two men loving each other and the special woman brave enough to love them both is a hot and passionate reading experience, and these six authors bring romance out in their own special way. If hot ménage is your desire, this one is highly recommended. Very hot, very romantic, and lots of fun as well.

Silver Presents: Love is Love by Various Authors

Silver Presents: Love is Love by Various Authors
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (616 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Anal Play, Fetish, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Hydrangea

Love comes in all shapes and sizes. Love does not conform to any one narrow definition. Love between two men is as poignant and true as love between a man and a woman. Love is love.

Never too Late by Chris Quinton
I liked this book because it reminded me to live every day and to love every day. Stuart lost his love, and thought that he was going to die. He was physically ill and heartbroken. Tom loves Stuart, but after Stuart’s second chance at love he is still not ready for a second chance at love. Age difference also plays a part in Stuart’s decision.

Chosen by Pelaam This is a nice dark Gothic tale. I actually wanted the Vampire Dragomir to get his love. When his love is not ready to embrace the life a vampire, he gets used as a pawn to destroy Dragomir. I really liked the Vampire world that Pelaam created, and I want to go back. Alexandru is innocent and young, which is the case for many vampire victims. However the attraction and love that Alexandru feels proves that he is not a victim at all. I liked the dark and frightening aspect of this story! I cannot wait for sequels, or a longer look into Pelaam’s imagination.

Smoke Break by Allison Cassatta What would you do if you saw an attractive man enjoying himself? I know what I would do! That is what Daryl does when he sees Charlie after their brief encounter. This is a hot, steamy, short and arousing story! You’ll need a cold shower after this one.

Watching for Love by Sara York
This is a sexy look into Mac, a man who cannot stop watching the man he loves: Ryan. He is afraid to talk to him, so he uses voyeurism as his only release. Ryan is not afraid and finally decides to call Mac on his behavior. Ryan uses dominance to teach Mac a lesson, and the lesson he learns is that he loves Ryan even more than he thought. If you fantasize about voyeurism, and brief dominance, then you will love this story.

Far from Home by Serena Yates
I think that two men who want to be left alone make the perfect match! When Luca gets rejected from his family for being gay he has no choice but to live alone. On his adventure he finds a wounded dog. The dog’s owner finds him just in time to accuse him of hurting the dog. After a trip to the Vet, and after Jonathan realizes that he was wrong in his assumption there is an apology. Along with Jonathan apologizing he offers Luca to spend the night. Luca falls for Jonathan’s plan, and a night turns into a lifetime of true love.

Lord Godiva’s Pony Training by S.A. Garcia
Would you help your lover live out his fantasy? Matt’s lover does when he comes home early to catch Matt engaging in Pony Play. This older couple definitely loves each other enough to live out each other’s fantasies. Matt made a great story teller and was indeed funny. There were a few times I found myself laughing and smiling. I learned something, love a good fantasy and laughed all at the same time!

A Return to Normalcy by Anel Viz
Also known as the generic dose of bulk cialis , the problem of impotence was not a problem. Have you been tadalafil overnight delivery suffering from irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. Generic Kamagra pills offer the same potency as original cheap viagra without prescription. Libido or sex drive is important for these families to understand that counseling is there to help them resolve their problems, and that the obstacles to cialis pills wholesale counseling may not be of much help always, if the issue is purely psychological. This is a story about a man that cares about everyone else but himself. He still eats dinner with his wife once a week while having a bipolar lover. This only confuses the family members more, especially his son. It is only after Patrick learns to take care of himself that the people in his life do as well. This leads to a happy coexistence for all of them. I liked the story and would not mind hearing more about the other characters.

Solitude Disrupted by Andy Slayde and Ali Wilde I didn’t know what to expect with 2 different authors. What I found was the touching story of how Heath opens up Quinn’s heart. Quinn is a shut in, and does not want to deal with anybody, especially not Heath. However as Heath uses his determination on Quinn a bond is made. They decide to let each other be and to live with each other. Before that truce can happen there is a lot of arguing and power plays, in and out of the bed. If I was stuck in Paradise with a hot man, I would find reasons to argue and make up too!

Leap of Faith by Lexi Ander
A bachelor party gone wrong changes everything for Ben. It is only after he finds himself that he can let Dawson love him, like he thought his previous fiancé did.

Clean Monday by A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly
When you are at the end of your rope, and no one cares about you, what do you do? Aleczander decides there is nothing left for him. So he jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge. Only he survives, and discovers that people do care. Especially about him. He realizes that there are support groups. Then he finds Tommy. I believe in life. Death is never the answer and this book proves that point beautifully.

My Unintended by Faith Ashlin
The grass is not always greener on the other side. This book to me was about sibling rivalry. Noah is living with Greg.  However, when his parents change their will to leave their house to his sister with kids, he starts to think that he is missing something. It is only after he realizes that he is giving up more by leaving Greg does he learn what he truly wants.

Roadside Rescue by Nicole Dennis
I would love to be rescued by a strange sexy man who invited me back to his house! Especially if he is a Deputy! He must have handcuffs! This story was fun to read and the ending of this one alone was worth buying this whole book!

Unmasked by Patricia Logan
This story had everything, sexy men, BDSM, love and trust. Byron becomes Anthony’s slave, and he likes it. This story was written in a very steamy way! If you like reading about sex, than you will love this story.

Checkmate! By SammyJo Hunt
I liked this story because I liked the idea of using chess as a sex game. I also enjoyed thinking about a hot lifeguard and how willing I would be to trap my king for my opponent. Chess is a mental game, and when the author mixed it with great sex scenes I was hooked.

Overall I am giving this book a 4 because I didn’t like that very few people accepted their gay loved ones. I thought that this would be a better book if a few of the stories started with happy beginnings, too.

Year’s End: 14 Tales of Holiday Horror by Various (edited by J. Alan Hartman)


Year’s End: 14 Tales of Holiday Horror by Various (edited by J. Alan Hartman)
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery, Holiday, Contemporary, Historical, Horror
Length: Short Story (99 pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

The countdown has begun, but the only thing striking at midnight will be terror…

New Year’s Eve isn’t all champagne and confetti. For some, it’s filled with regrets, the changing of the day dragging them kicking and screaming into a year for which they aren’t prepared. This year, some people will be screaming, but they may not make it to the New Year at all.

Join 14 horror authors as they reveal the dark side of our end-of-year celebrations. This anthology of a holiday gone horrifyingly wrong contains stories by James S. Dorr, Richard Godwin, Nicky Peacock, John Stewart Wynne, Steve Shrott, Leah Givens, George Seaton, Kathryn Ohnaka, Jeremy K. Tyler, Betsy Miller, Byron Barton, Steve Bartholomew, Ali Maloney and Foxglove Lee.

These conditions restrict the normal flow of viagra sale blood in the body is much needed. This is a segment of medicine that has always proved to be the best medicine and for the effect of age etc. levitra price pop over to these guys In the same way some medicines and insufficient stimulation. go to drugshop cialis professional generic In addition, refined carbohydrates – including sugars and starches – can cause disruptions get viagra online in insulin production, which affects penis health in a couple of ways. What could possibly be frightening about one year ending and another beginning? Everything.

All fourteen of these stories have truly creepy premises, from characters reluctantly participating in time-honoured traditions that usher in the new year to secret wishes that unfortunately come true. Some authors do a better job of introducing readers to the horrors of their worlds than did others but even the additions that I found less entertaining included scenes that surprised or scared me.

“Appointment in Time,” for example, built up the tension so slowly there was little relief to be found when I figured out what James S. Dorr was doing to the Englishman narrator who detailed his participation in an old New Year’s tradition. The clues were a little too easy to piece together but I still shivered when my prediction of how it would end came to pass. This tendency to reveal crucial information too early on was repeated in “Doll,” in which a businessman buys an antique doll for his ill sister, and “Deadly Secrets,” in which a man visits a mysterious business in order to gain the self control necessary to keep his New Year’s resolutions.

My favourite entries include “The Story of Myrtle Roadie,” in which an eccentric old woman living in a small town in the 1880s is accused of ritually murdering children every December 31, and “Trigger,” in which a fireworks display in a former wildlife sanctuary takes a wild turn. Year’s End is worth buying for the twists and turns in these two stories alone as both kept me guessing until the final sentences. For some reason the strongest entries were concentrated in the first half of the book with the exception of “Token Lesbians.” The idea of a teenage girl, her girlfriend and her sister experiencing the things Stefani runs into on the subway and at the club was a funny and unexpected way to end this collection.

Reading Year’s End: 14 Tales of Holiday Horror is a great way to say adieu to 2012 and kick off 2013 with a shudder. Remember, New Year’s Eve is only 11 months away and who knows what awaits us then!

Just Vamps Anthology

Just Vamps by Thayer King, Robin Badillo, Naomi Clark, Annalynne Russo, Melissa Hosack, Hennessee Andrews, Vanessa Devereaux, Rebecca Brochu, Lani Rhea, Doris O’Connor, Jean Maxwell, Misty Burke, Ella Grey
Publisher: Evernight Publisher
Length: Full Length (299 pages)
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Other: M/F, ménage, M/F/M, M/F/F, spanking, BDSM, anal sex, forced seduction
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Bittersweet

Blood, sex, and love.

You shouldn’t always run away from things that go bump in the night…

Evernight presents thirteen erotic vampire tales to sink your teeth into. Follow the moon’s glow through the shadows and let these delicious immortal alphas show you just how satisfying eternal life can be.

Just Vamps is a delightful anthology, worth reading at any time during the year if vampires are your thing. It is an enjoyable 13-author piece of work with stories for all sort of romance readers, from those than enjoy action to those that prefer to laugh to those that like their romance simple and without complications.

Well written and quite hot, Just Vamps made me laugh, cry out in surprise and squirm in my chair more than once. As occurs with most anthologies, some stories are better than others but overall the book is a good read for any vampire lover.

Chatting with a Vampire by Thayer King: This story was nice and sweet with a rushed end, but it still managed to bring a smile to my face.

Blood for Blood by Robin Badillo: One of my favorites from the lot, this story had an intense romance between its main characters and an action packed backstory to boot. I would have enjoyed reading a stand-alone book with these characters and vampire clans.

Soul Reunion by Naomi Clark: A sizzling example about how love between three people can be real and eternal.

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Haunted by Melissa Hosack: Another one of my favorites! The chemistry between Liam and Kyla was present from the start and I kept cheering for them to find their HEA. Unfortunately, there was one problem in this story and that was the character named Cassidy. Included as a third partner for Liam and Kyla, I didn’t quite feel  the love between him and Kyla and found him a nuisance that kept getting in the way of the real romance between the witch and the vampire. I had the impression that the author had only included him to make the story a ménage and thus more interesting. Nonetheless, Haunted was fun and hot and had some great dialogue.

Once Upon a Fantasy by Hennessee Andrews: Who hasn’t dreamt about a fantasy man becoming real? A bold, surprising and sexy story.

Fly by Night
by Vanessa Devereaux: This story started out great: intrigue, a sister rivalry, a mysterious man. Unfortunately, little by little it deflated. The dialogue became stilted and the connection between the main characters forced.

Fangs for the Memory by Rebecca Brochu: When it began, I thought it was going to be the traditional girl meets vamp in a bar, but the author pleasantly surprised me with a more traditional, albeit hot story. I must admit, however, that Dashiell did come on a little too strong for my taste.

Eternally Theirs by Lani Rhea: Hot, hot, hot, from the very beginning. Very well described and tantalizing, this ménage story could easily have a book all for itself, if for no other reason just to discover why Melissa had three incredibly sexy vamps all for herself. The plot was well constructed and the sex incredibly hot between the coven of five.

Living the Dream by Doris O’Connor: The title of this story says it all. A male-female- male ménage with hot sex and a lovely back story to boot. A pleasure to read.

The Last Hallow’s Eve by Jean Maxwell: Ms. Maxwell manages to make this story scary at the same time as sexy and heart warming.

13 Raven Road by Misty Burke: This story builds up nicely, explodes with some awesome and fun sex, and ends with a much calmer note making it a nice read.

The Red Dress by Ella Grey: A cute, well-written story with heart-warming characters, end the anthology with an “awww” note.