A Kiss In The Dark by Shelby Morgen


A Kiss In The Dark by Shelby Morgen
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (44 pgs)
Other: M/F, Anal play, Spanking (very light)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Stranded. Nothing to warm her but the heat of his body. A stranger, holding her in the dark. She wanted things she had no right to even imagine. Ever since she’d taken The Purity Test on line the questions have been nagging her.
Have you ever had sex on the first date?

Had sex with someone whose name you did not know?

Had sex with someone whose face you never saw?

Had sex with someone where there was an age difference of more than 20 years?

No. Not her. She hadn’t done anything. Ever. Until the storm of the century dropped her in the arms of a stranger. Now she can’t get him out of her mind…

One dark and rainy night Jen had been completely daring. She’d thrown caution to the wind and allowed herself to be seduced by a complete stranger – no names, no exchange of details, no glimpses of his face and absolutely no regrets. Tom has been a widower for quite some time, so when Jen takes his hand in the dark he’s more than happy to follow her lead. Can they both find something they’re desperately looking for?

I found this to be a fun and romantic short story. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot-thread of the Purity Test running through the story and also enjoyed the slight differences to Tom’s character (being both an actor and quite a bit older than the standard hero I read about). I was a little disappointed in that I personally felt there were a few other plot aspects that were skimmed over a little bit – such as Tom getting back into his acting after a period of grieving for his dead wife. Admittedly this is a very short story and I can completely appreciate how the author probably didn’t have the time or word-count to go into depth on every little thing. I was actually exceptionally pleased with how Jen reacted to Tom’s career – but I couldn’t help but feel it was written as almost an afterthought, being just a few paragraphs right at the very end of the story.

I loved the characters in this story though. Both Jen and Tom felt realistic to me – with normal problems, worries and relatable lives. I found myself very quickly attached to them both and invested in their getting together and rooting for them to build a lasting relationship. As a happy, sexy and quick read this story really did cover almost everything I could want. The sex was hot and explicit without being over-the-top or unbelievable. I really enjoyed this and will happily look for more books by this author.

Shaalon by Ashlynn Monroe


Shaalon by Ashlynn Monroe
Married To The Aliens 3
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (55 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Shaalon knows she made a mistake, but she never thought she’d be sacrificed to an alien. Thrust in a cell with a blood thirsty male of Xerra’s warrior class, she expects a terrible death. Bracing for the worse, she never expects to see hope in his eyes.

Cayylen wanted a warrior’s death, not the disgrace of an execution. With a single sun cycle left to him his last request is to fuck the daughter of his enemy. He never expects his request to be honored, but the moment he looks in Shaalon’s eyes he realizes she is his mate.

The strength he gains from finding his woman is enough for him to break free, but he refuses to let her go. War has been coming for a long time, but will taking his woman hostage be the tipping point the warriors need to fight the system trying to end their lines.

I enjoyed reading this short, but romantic and steamy, fantasy story.

At first it was the tense and seemingly hopeless romance that captured my attention in this book. I really liked the characters, Cayylen and Shaalon and the strength that they both had to stand up for the right things in life. It made them more easy to relate to as sometimes it can be hard for me to really connect with the characters in a novella. The author did a great job with pulling me into the story and not just with the sizzling sex. Another nice aspect is how some previous characters from this intriguing series had brief cameos in this one. That really grabbed my interest and had me wanting to read the other two books in this Sci-Fi / Fantasy world.

This book was a great short read that filled my afternoon with pleasure just reading it. It was a nice romantic, passionate and exciting story that flowed easily and left me interested in the coming war on planet Xerra. I loved the hope and romance that was at the heart of this story.

As for a quick fantasy romance I can recommend this novella to anyone.

Peck Of Pickles by Lena Austin


Peck Of Pickles by Lena Austin
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (28 pgs)
Other: M/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Linc Halberg needed to get his cucumbers preserved using the county extension office facilities. The agent Pol Backstrom and the new scientist Marc O’Neil have had their eye on Linc and his farm for some time. Suddenly, there’s more going on in the back room than making a peck of pickles, and Linc’s in a pickle of a different kind. Summer in their tiny town may never be the same.

In the tiny farming township of Epping, Linc has had a bumper crop of cucumbers this year – enough that he’s actually booked the County Extension office and hired the preservation room for a day. He needs to pickle a peck of his cucumbers and the small setup in his home just won’t cut it this time. Pol, the distractingly handsome county worker is being visited by a new Doctor doing research in the small town. Linc can tell Marc and Pol are cooking something up, but he’s not quite sure what it is.

I found this to be a really fun short story. I loved the old-school, country town feel of it and found it to be quite realistic. Linc is pretty cautious – knowing that in the small town being gay is not necessarily a good thing or welcome from the few other residents. His reticence in saying anything, even when Pol and Marc lay out quite a few clues was completely understandable to my mind. The three men, however, are smoking hot once they finally get all on the same page and I really loved watching them all come together.

For such a short story quite a large amount of the story is the lead-up to the romance and introduction to the characters. I actually didn’t mind this as it really helped set the scene for me and it gave me a really good feel for all three men before they jumped to the sexy action – but I could understand if some other readers might feel the sexy-action part of the story got a bit of a short shrift because of this lead-up. The plot itself was fairly brief, but I found it quite interesting and while short – intelligent and logical.

All in all, I felt this was a really great short story and one that was deeply satisfying to read.

Taming the Cyborg by Anne Kane


Taming the Cyborg by Anne Kane
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (67 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Although he doesn’t understand why his brother chose to bond with a human female, Noah agrees to be the official cyborg witness at the birth of the cyborg/human couple’s first son. When he arrives on the human space station, he finds himself face to face with a female pilot, an unheard of occupation for a female on the cyborg home world of Terras Five. Hailey’s cute, she’s sassy, she’s sexy and she doesn’t automatically defer to him just because he’s male. Noah finds that combination irresistible.

After a night of amazing sex, Hailey heads off on a reconnaissance mission with her squadron, and Noah arranges to spend a little more time in the human world to get the sassy redhead out of his system. But when her ship goes missing, it’s up to Noah to use all the tricks of his cyborg heritage to track her down and rescue her.

Anne Kane captured my attention with this sexy Sci-Fi/Fantasy story.

Taming the Cyborg was a fast paced book that had me completely immersed in the plot that flowed smoothly from beginning to end. It was exciting and romantic with characters that I adored. Noah was a Cyborg who fell boots over heart in love with a sassy red haired human fighter pilot. Hailey was a spitfire who knew exactly what she wanted. I loved her strength and independent spirit. There was a romantic vibe when Noah immediately rushed off to save his little warrior woman. Of course, they had a few bumps to make it over but by the end of the story the author had me craving my very own bossy Cyborg to sweep me off of me feet.

I really enjoyed this short story and absolutely recommend it to anyone.

Free To Run by BA Tortuga


Free To Run by BA Tortuga
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (53 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

When forest ranger Gil gets the call that a rabid wolf is roaming his territory, he figures it’s just another stray coyote. Instead, he finds Rafe, a skinny, worn wolf shifter who also happens to be Gil’s lost mate. Gil thought Rafe was dead, killed by hunters years ago, so finding Rafe alive, if not well, comes as quite a shock.

Rafe never thought he would escape the compound where the crazy bastards who were trying to reform shifters held him. With a little luck and a lot of help, he’s made his way back to Gil, who he never forgot, no matter what those men did to him. The problem is, he’s not sure Gil knows what to do with a beat up former lover.

Gil and Rafe have to work together to recapture what was lost, and maybe find something new.

Gil can hardly believe it when a “rabid wolf” was called in to him. He’d been expecting to find some poor coyote, lost and alone, not Rafe, his mate whom Gil had thought long-killed by a hunter. Clearly starved and half-dead, Gil has no idea what has happened to Rafe, but now he’s found his mate again, Gil is determined to make it right.

This is a very sweet, slightly sad story that I really enjoyed. Definitely full of hurt/comfort style of plotline I instantly fell in love with Rafe – almost broken but still strong and firm in his own way. My heart broke for how Rafe had needed to build certain aspects of himself up and hide others, but it was delightful to watch him and Gil reconnect and be able to enjoy their love once more.

This is the second story in this particular series that I’ve read and I’m deeply curious about one of the secondary characters, Abby, and the crazy cult that she is trying to rescue the captives from. It’s clear her story-arc is kind of the glue keeping all the other stories held together and I’m quite curious what happens next in the arc. I was very pleased, though, that Rafe and Gil’s storyline is complete and so there’s no real need to read the series in order – though I expect the small snippets of Abby and the weird cult torturing these poor wolves would make more sense when the books are read in sequence.

I enjoyed how Rafe and Gil’s storyline wasn’t simply recovering from his release – but also how some of the plot focused on their relationship and working out some of their problems. This made it feel far more realistic to me and not simply a “kidnap and release” story but one of their relationship as a whole. I found the sex both hot and also remarkably sweet – the love they shared was deep and strong and I really fell in love with these two characters.

A wonderful, romantic and sweet story that I greatly enjoyed.

Absinthe by BA Tortuga and Julia Talbot


Absinthe by BA Tortuga and Julia Talbot
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (45 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, BDSM, Spanking
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Bartholome would give anything to get his young lover Rene to stop running away from him. Years ago, he made a stupid mistake, letting the rest of their wolf pack come between them, but he knows better now.

Rene’s not sure he can believe Barthe will ever want him. Add to their dilemma Barthe’s brother Bastien and a werewolf caught half shifted, and Barthe and Remy have a real mess on their hands. Can they come back together before they lose their love forever?

Bartholome knew that Rene was his mate, but Rene was so young. When Barthe said some careless words it was years before he ever saw Rene again. Lesson learned, Barthe knows he’ll not make the same mistake again.

I found this to be an interesting and fast-paced short story. I love how Barthe and Rene’s romance and hunt was first and foremost, with an interesting plot-twist coming in half way through. I thought this balanced the need for plot and romance really well and kept me interested throughout the story.

Both Barthe and Rene were interesting characters to my mind. While I would have liked to know more about things from Rene’s perspective – particularly his history – there was no question in my mind that they loved each other and were both hungry to become proper mates and stop circling each other. I enjoyed the two strong secondary characters and am hopeful there might be a following story after this one. I’d gladly pick that one up – which is always a very positive endorsement of any book, wanting to read more.

A sexy and interesting short story with great characters and a good, solid plot. I really enjoyed this story and will eagerly be keeping an eye out for the next one.

Three Uncaged by Sean Michael


Three Uncaged by Sean Michael
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (45 pages)
Other: M/M, M/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Stripe, Xeno and Shen are three cat shifters who have spent most of their lives in cages at a zoo. They’re used to hiding their human selves, being abused and feeling hungry. When they are rescued and brought to the Old Tavern, along with the rest of the shifters at the zoo, the three are put in rooms together.

Unsure if they have just traded one cage for another, the three count on each other for comfort and protection. When they find they can share more than just comfort with each other, they very quickly become a collective. Now if only they knew if they were really safe, maybe they could start a new life together.

Stripe, Xeno and Shen had been caged together at the zoo. After their release they’d bunkered down together, though none of them knew exactly where they were hiding – or if it was safe for them yet. Stripe is determined to discover a safe place for the three of them, no matter the cost.

This is a lovely, somehow soft-hearted story. I really loved the care and protective instincts Xeno and Shen brought out in Stripe. Despite the fact Stripe was clearly the dominant between the three of them he was patient, gentle and really careful with the other two men. This lent the whole short story an air of comfort and softness to me, which I really loved. I think Stripe wanting to find a safe haven for the three of them, coupled with his protective urges really left me thinking it was more about the safety and emotions growing between the threesome and not just the sex, even though the sex was hot and enticing.

There is a clear hook for a following story of the threesome toward the end, while this short story does end on a good note and the threesome settled between Stripe, Xeno and Shen it’s clear there’s another story of the next stage for the three shifters that will follow on from this. While certainly not a cliff-hanger ending, it did feel to me strongly as if their story was unfinished and this normally bugs me a little. There was, however, enough of a happy and settled feel to the threesome that it didn’t leave me feeling frustrated at the end, just expectant for the next installment.

I found the sex to be deliciously hot and caring, it’s clear the three shifters are healing emotional wounds and building themselves up as well as sharing the physical intimacy between them. This came across to me as a gentle, loving and soft style of romance.

A hot and sexy read, I really enjoyed this paranormal, threesome shifters romance.

Rory and the Alien Groom by Jessica Coulter Smith


Rory and the Alien Groom by Jessica Coulter Smith
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (120 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Humiliation burns through Zwyk as he comes to the realization his bride has left him standing alone at the altar. When something seems too good to be true, it usually is. He should have known someone as vivacious as his bride-to-be would never settle for a paper pushing, XBox playing geek like him. While his heart isn’t exactly broken, his pride is wounded, and his confidence has taken a hit.

Rory hates that she had to tell Zwyk her sister has run away instead of marrying him. Well, she hates the pain her sister caused. She can’t exactly say she’s sorry the wedding is off. Maybe now she can make Zwyk see what’s been right under his nose this entire time — her.

This was another great book in the Intergalactic Brides Series from Jessica Coulter Smith. Rory and the Alien Groom was a short, sweet and very sexy fantasy romance that had me captivated from page one until the end.

Zwyk was unlucky in love until his fiance left him standing at the alter on his wedding day. He finally met the love of his life and the perfect mate in Rory. She was the little sister of the runaway bride so naturally this caused him to hesitate about jumping right back into another romantic entanglement. Luckily for him Rory didn’t have the same qualms. She was already halfway in love with the sexy purple alien. She just had to convince Zwyk to give their relationship a chance. Their romance hit a few snags here and there but Rory was persistent until Zwyk finally realized how short life can be and decided to take another chance with Rory.

I sure did love this story. As usual, it was wonderfully written with engaging characters and an entertaining plot. I enjoyed the hot sex scenes but most of all I truly liked Rory and Zwyk. I love strong heroines who know what they want and go after it. In this case it was Rory who made the first move even though she was rather innocent. I loved her tenacity.

I must admit that I’ve never been all that interested in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre, but I’ve read every book in this series. Jessica Coulter Smith has become one of my favorite authors. I look forward to reading many more books in the Intergalactic Brides Series. So for what it’s worth I happily recommend this book, and the series, to everyone.

Celeste and the Alien Bartender by Jessica Coulter Smith


Celeste and the Alien Bartender by Jessica Coulter Smith
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (96 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Zanar has made himself a home on Earth, where he owns Stardust Bar, popular with both aliens and humans. There’s only one thing missing from Zanar ‘s life. Despite his best efforts to impress the human females he meets, he’s still without a mate. At the age of twenty-six, it isn’t dire for him to pair off and start a family just yet, but he’s lonely and ready to settle down. The last thing he expects is for Celeste to come into his life and turn it upside down.

Celeste is back on Earth, after having been abducted by an alien race five years ago. She’s spent those years as a slave on the planet Vaaden, where she had a precious daughter with her owner, Pynder. But when Pynder dies suddenly, his parents swoop in and snatch Sophie from Celeste’s arms before banishing her from their world. Celeste will do anything to get her daughter back, but falling in love with a bartender — or anyone else — was never part of the plan.

This was a great Sci-Fi/ Fantasy romance. The way that Jessica Coulter Smith was able to bring the characters to life in my imagination had me hanging on every word until the end.

The best part of this short romance was the emotions and amazing characters. I loved Zanar the sexy alien bartender. He was just so sweet and really cared about Celeste and her daughter. Zanar won my affection right away. I liked Celeste very much because she was strong and easy to relate to. This author always does an awesome job on the world building by giving her characters some real life struggles to overcome. For Celeste it was starting all over after being held captive for five years on an alien planet. She never let adversity define her and didn’t want to be seen as a victim. Yet even with her incredible grit and determination, it would’ve difficult for her to get her daughter back had it not been for Zanar.

I am a huge fan of this author’s writing. Her creativity and world building is exceptional. I adored Zanar and Celeste, and loved the small cameos from some of previous couples in the Intergalactic Brides series. Lastly, I loved the naughty sex scenes. Those are always a bonus for me.

This sexy fantasy romp had just about everything needed to make it a fantastic reading experience for this happy reader.

Opportunity Knocks by Julia Talbot


Opportunity Knocks by Julia Talbot
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (36 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Spanking
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Jordie owes all of his success in the music business to a deal he made years ago. Now the time has come to pay part of his debt, and the beautiful male demon who shows up at his door seems just the guy to collect. Mal is not just your average debt collector, though. He has secrets of his own, which he’ll be happy to share, if only rock star Jordie can believe in him.

Jordie had been a good songwriter, even before he’d made a pact with a demon, but there were tons of bills he needed to pay and songwriting was what truly made him happy. So he’d made a deal – all it cost him was periodically allowing a demon into his life to wring the sex magic from Jordie’s body. On holiday in Belize, Jordie answers a knock at his door, only to discover it’s that time again, and this time the demon on his stoop is especially delicious.

I found this to be a delightful and fun short story. I found it really refreshing that Jordie didn’t have a problem with the demon-deal he’d made – while Jordie is a fairly regular guy, he wasn’t swamped with guilt or anything over the pact he had made. I thought this was a surprising way to look on a deal with the devil, but more importantly I felt it freed up the story to really show-case the relationship between Jodie and Mal, which of course was the main part of what I wanted to read. So I was exceedingly happy about this.

My only minor complaint would be that I found the whole demon/muse/debt paying aspect of the story a little confusing. While I almost never like info-dumping, I found in this short story because we only see snippets of how the demon-realm works and how Mal and Jordie paid off their debts, I found I struggled to piece together how, exactly, it all worked. I can hardly believe it, but a small amount of info-dumping – with everything all in the one place and explained a little more clearly – would have actually been quite welcome to me, as it would have made it easier for me to understand how that side of this process worked. That said, this was a very small amount of the story and while the demon-deal is (in my opinion) the crux of the plot, I was very happy to instead focus on Jordie and Mal and their relationship instead.

While this was a short story I loved both Jordie and Mal’s characters and found myself almost immediately drawn to them both and their circumstances. I loved the heat of the sex and chemistry between them and overall found this to be a very enjoyable, interesting and spicy read.