BEARly Resisting by Jenika Snow


BEARly Resisting by Jenika Snow
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (48 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Killian knew his mate was out there. Being celibate in hopes he’ll find his female hasn’t been a hardship, but he’s growing impatient.

And then he sees her. She’s human, gorgeous, and will be his. He doesn’t even know her name, but her smell is sugary and tells his possessive inner bear she’s supposed to be his in all ways.

Alice planned a weekend of relaxation, but instead, she found herself mated to a bear shifter. Alice doesn’t fight the attraction she has for Killian, not when she wants to be between the sheets with him in the worst possible way. Alice is single one day and mated to a growly bear shifter the next, but can it last forever?

I enjoyed this sizzling hot paranormal romance.

The steamy plot easily captured my interest. It had a strong heroine, a sexy alpha male, and crazy hot sex. Alice wasn’t looking for excitement but she sure didn’t run away from it either. I liked that about her. She had a naughty fantasy about having wild sex with a shifter. She was drawn to the right place at the right time and met Killian. He was a sexy bear shifter looking for his mate.These two had a wild night of hot shifter loving, scratching, biting and mating. Yes, they were true mates. This short story was a quick read. For the most part the only drama was Alice understanding that Killian meant business when he said he was keeping her as his mate.

This was a short book that seemed to fly by at a super fast pace. I liked the characters and the story. So looking forward to more books from Jenika Snow.

Summer Dreams by Delia Latham


Summer Dreams by Delia Latham
Publisher: White Rose Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Full Length (173 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

The Getaway Of A Lifetime…Kinda.

Summer Callihan isn’t in Cambria for the beach or the ocean or the pine-scented air around Paradise Pines Lodge. She’s there as a companion to her flighty cousin, Deah–with the understanding that they will have separate agendas the entire time. Summer just wants to be left alone to dream up the romance novels she writes under a pseudonym.

A Real-life Hero Who Rivals a Romance Novel…Really!

But never in Summer’s wildest writer’s imagination does she dream of being caught in an undertow and almost drowning, only to be rescued by a wealthy artist. And when Logan Bullard proves hard to shake, Summer fears for her heart–especially when Deah sets her sights on Logan.

A Cupid to pull it all together…?

But at Paradise Pines Lodge, what’s meant to be has a way of happening…at the best time and in the best way. Miss Angelina Love–who may or may not own the place–has an “in” with Heaven’s own “department of romance.” And she’s determined to see Summer and Logan together.

Logan, an artist, has been dreaming of an unknown woman who he longs to meet. In his dreams she dances before the ocean but is swept away by a huge wave. At this point he usually wakes up, but he’s aware this event will happen, he doesn’t know when, but it will happen.

Summer, an author, and her cousin Deah are on holiday at the Paradise Pines Lodge. Summer has a niche above the beach where she loves to write in peace. At the end of one session she decides to praise dance on the beach. This is when Logan’s dream comes true and he acts the hero and rescues her.

This book is inspirational in many ways more than religion. This story gave a feeling of warmth and love. The Lodge owner Miss Angie provided the right amount of stability in the background and Deah provided the conflict. This book was well written and a lovely read. The only problem I had was I felt at times the religious aspect was told not shown. Miss Angie’s Bible quotes were good and in context, Summer’s praise dance was visually wonderful, but when Logan and Summer talked to one another every other sentence seemed to have mention of God, which is not a natural way to speak in every day life. While religious talk is to be expected in an inspirational book, it seemed to be a little over the top.

This is an enjoyable read and provided the warmth, conflict and resolution to make it excellent.

Exit Signs by Patrice Locke


Exit Signs by Patrice Locke
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (332 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Researcher Tracy Price is trying to find a dead writer and forget a live musician.

Rock star Jesse Elliot is sure Tracy is demented, and she believes he wouldn’t recognize the truth in a lineup of Bibles. Their only hope is to stop trying to read each other’s minds and start speaking their own.

Anyone who has ever had a crush, felt betrayed, or been forgiven will appreciate Tracy’s struggle to claim the life she never knew she wanted.

Tracy’s carefully choreographed life did not include a romance with a musician.

Tracy is content with her quiet life as a researcher. She isn’t looking for love, and certainly never would have pictured herself in a relationship with a celebrity, but somehow that’s exactly what happens. What starts as an awkward, professional relationship slowly develops into a life altering romance neither Tracy nor Jesse could have anticipated.

Tracy is a really fun character. She’s a smart, funny, good-looking woman with a successful career, although I must say her penchant for strange snack combinations alternately intrigued and repulsed my taste buds. Even though Tracy has a lot going for her, she doesn’t seem to think much of herself. All her romantic relationships have been disappointing and she doesn’t anticipate that changing. At most, she imagines she might end up with someone who is just okay. I find that rather sad. Tracy is completely unprepared for Jesse. He is unlike anyone she’s ever met, and I like the way he challenges her to set higher goals for herself.

I really wanted to like Tracy and Jesse as a couple, but they never really gelled. I truly like them both as characters, but only separately. They never seem comfortable around each other. None of Tracy’s friends think her relationship is a good idea, but Tracy keeps insisting it is the right thing for her, at least at the time. However, I don’t believe she actually feels that way. She’s always waiting for the moment to escape and she’s determined to misunderstand everything Jesse says. Jesse is prone to be self-absorbed. In fact, I had absolutely no inkling that he likes Tracy until he called her up months after they had finished working together on his project. The chemistry just wasn’t there for me.

I really enjoy Ms. Locke’s writing style. “I hate it when eyebrows take it upon themselves to enter conversations.” Tracy’s inner dialogue is hilarious and lines like this had be laughing out loud throughout the story.

Despite my issues with the characters’ chemistry, I did enjoy reading Exit Signs. Tracy and Jesse are likable characters who have a bumpy road to a strange but ultimately happy ending. Fans of contemporary romance might want to give this book a try.

Out of Bounds by Melissa Klein


Out of Bounds by Melissa Klein
Out of Uniform Series
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (225 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Avery Madigan lives by a strict code of conduct that’s helped her rise through the ranks of navy pilots. Rule number one—never mix business with pleasure.

Lt. Commander Connor St. James never met a regulation he didn’t want to break, especially if it involves making love to a certain auburn-haired woman who’s starred in his dreams since the Naval Academy.

When their worlds once again collide, the impact is nothing short of incendiary and the rule book is thrown overboard. Can a vacation hookup change the course of their lives, or will competition send their love up in flames?

Lt. Commander Avery “Mad Dog” Madigan, retired Navy and Lt. Commander Connor “Titan” St. James, retired Navy, have been competing with each other for twenty years along with fighting their dangerous attraction to each other. These two make the pages of this novel sizzle every time they get close to each. They send the reader’s heart rate sky high and pump adrenaline full speed ahead.

Now, both of them are struggling to make a success of their civilian jobs in the competitive aviation business. Each of them has family issues that threaten to devastate. Moreover, Avery fears Connor has dealt underhandedly with her—that he stepped out of bounds in order to win a contract she desperately needed to keep her job.

The foreshadowing is a steady undercurrent that flows along with the current happenings of the story. Some of it is foreboding enough to create anxiety and to bring about a thorough dislike for Avery’s ex-husband who has to be one of the most self-centered people around. The author does a super good job of showing the reader who he is, even though we don’t ever really meet him.

The back story is sifted in at just the right times to augment and add special significance to the Avery and Connor’s relationship, to family “almost” wrecks, and to tried-and-true friendships. Also a subtle humor lightens the situations from time to time.

Out of Bounds is a page-turning story that is well-written with characters that seem SO real.

GOOD READING!

Man Down by Tracy Tappan

Man Down by Tracy Tappan
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Contemporary, Action/Adventure
Length: Full (371 pgs)
Heat: Spicy
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Poppy

After being shot down by the Taliban on a Special Operations mission, a Navy pilot and Navy SEAL rescue a beautiful humanitarian doctor. While the three of them evade capture in a race for their lives across northern Pakistan, the two former boyhood friends heal a 10-year breach, and the pilot and doctor find a way to let go of their painful pasts to find love.

Content guidelines: Contains profanity and adult situations. Sensitive readers might find a scene depicting the death of a pet upsetting.

Filled with action, lots of military jargon and enough romance to satisfy, Man Down kept me turning pages from the start.

First, I have to say how grateful I was for the easy to use glossary in the book. One click on an unfamiliar military term took me to the definition, and one more click took me right back to where I was in the story. Loved that feature!

While the book was presented to me as romantic suspense, I’d be more inclined to call it an action novel with romantic elements. Yes, our H/h met near the beginning of the book and there was clearly attraction between them, but not much more than that until nearly the end of the book. And, actually, I didn’t mind that at all. One complaint I often have with fast-paced “thriller” type stories is how the characters manage to take time to heat up the sheets while their lives are on the line. That didn’t happen here, and made things feel more realistic and authentic. When they did finally get physical, though… WHEW! The heat was on for sure!

I’m not typically a fan of stories told through flashbacks, though, and this book is packed with them. I understand what the author was trying to accomplish, and that the information needed to be shared with the reader; the flashbacks were a fantastic way to put the reader in the moment and let us feel what the characters were actually going through (and some of the things that happened were incredibly horrific–note the warning in the blurb), but even so, the time jumps were frequently frustrating for me. Other readers may not have the same trouble with them.

The characters were interesting and well-rounded. I got very invested in them and worried a lot during their trip out of danger. I really enjoyed Farrin and how open and honest and caring she was. It was a little surprising, given her background, and I was pleased to see she hadn’t been permanently scarred by her treatment as a child. I was utterly horrified by Jason’s upbringing, though, and I read one scene right before bed that I couldn’t get out of my mind for some time after.

All-in-all I was impressed by this author. I’ve never read anything by her (and as an aside, this is part of a series, but stands alone just fine) but I fully intend on reading the next book. I have got to know what happens to Shane!

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C1PHER by Monica E. Spence


C1PHER by Monica E. Spence
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (100 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Revolutionary War re-enactor Mary Banvard must travel to West Point during a thunder storm to authenticate papers concerning Benedict Arnold’s betrayal of West Point. Poor visibility causes a terrible car accident​, and she blacks out. When a masculine voice awakens her, she discovers everyone around her is wearing Colonial clothes. Odd. Who is this guy with the queue and the glasses who looks so worried?

Robert Townsend looks like a Quaker shopkeeper, but he is Culper, Jr., General George Washington’s most important spy. When Lady Mary Banvard, his fiancée, awakens following a carriage accident, she begins ranting about missing papers and traveling through Time.

Together Mary and Robert stumble upon a threat to their lives, their happiness, and the security of American generations to come.

Studying the past is one thing. Suddenly waking up in it is quite another.

The dialogue was fantastic. There were several times when I chuckled out loud at the things Mary said after she mysteriously found herself living back during the time of the Revolutionary War. She has a sharp wit, and it shone through the conversations she had with Robert and other characters during her adventures. The only thing better than this part of the plot was how funny it was to see how everyone responded to the things she said that made sense in our times but were unintelligible a few hundred years ago.

I would have liked to see more time spent developing the romance in this story. The characters involved in it were so different from each other that I needed more examples of what they shared in common. They were both fascinating people. I simply wasn’t totally sure that they would make a good couple because of how often their personalities and interests conflicted each other.

Mary was such an interesting woman. I loved her spunky attitude and how unflappable she was when she found herself in the middle of a crisis. She’s the kind of smart and steady person I’d want to have around if there were some kind of emergency. Her calm approach to even the strangest situations she found herself in made me adore her from the first scene to the last one.

C1PHER should be read by fans of light science fiction and historical romances alike. This is a nice blend of both of those genres!

Even Honey Expires by Carlene Love


Even Honey Expires by Carlene Love
A Sin Pointe Novel – 6
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (32 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

Sin Pointe drummer Will Cordero has good reason to keep his marriage a secret. In an age of no privacy, there’s too much danger and drama should he introduce Honey to the Sin Pointe masses and he’ll do whatever he can to protect her from that. Besides, it’s been pretty perfect having her all to himself. Until one day when he discovers a note she’s written that he was never meant to see.

Living in seclusion has left Honey feeling invisible, pushing her to the breaking point. The secret is no longer their shared adventure. While she is his one source of joy in a mad world, she needs out and he admits he must let her go. But he just can’t. One night, it all comes crashing down on them when Honey snaps, rocking Will’s world. Faced with a life or death situation, can he make the sacrifice and set his soulmate free in the name of love, or will he hold on until his, and her, last breath?

Will is a member of a avaunt guard band and it could be dangerous for the fans to know he is married. He keeps his wife Honey a secret – even from his bandmates. When he realizes he’s not being fair to Honey and is destroying their love by keeping her hidden, he decides it would be best to leave her.

Events beyond their control thwart Will’s intentions and the pair end up in extreme danger.

This book is unusual to say the least. A little bit of the paranormal, confusing Will’s decisions, although he isn’t aware of Honey’s out of body experience. His love for his wife comes across as wonderful and unselfish. He’s willing to sacrifice their marriage to enable her to survive. I did feel it was a bit on the selfish side that he wouldn’t leave the band for his wife’s sake, but had to admit this could also have had a bad effect on the marriage. Not bad, and I felt the length was just about right.

Three New Wishes by Sean Michael


Three New Wishes by Sean Michael
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (217 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, M/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Toys, Fisting, Spanking
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Come to Rainbow Island, where all your sexual fantasies will come true.

James, Guard and Damien continue to grant the sexual fantasies of their clients, but so far have been unable to make Rainbow Island work for their own relationship. Damien misses being home more often with his lovers, though, and Guard has been working on breaking down James’ defences. As the men move from one week to three week stays for their guests, can they finally make their own fantasies come true, too?

As always, three different fantasies are granted through Rainbow Island.

Tim is rich and bored now that he’s sold all his companies. A sometimes sub for the occasional evening, he’s searching for something more. He’s seen ‘lifestyle’ subs who indulge 24/7 and he’s curious to see if it really works. Full time Dom Rainier is brought in to give Tim the experience he’s been looking for. But Rainier has a secret – he’s been watching Tim in the club for years, just waiting for Tim to get serious before making his move. Can these two men find what they need in each other?

Mike has been hired to be a submissive for three weeks. He doesn’t know that much about the lifestyle, but has been assured that he won’t be damaged and that he can stop the proceedings at any time. He figures he can handle it, besides, the payday is too good to give up and will keep him off the street and fed for a long time. Dom Brendan is handsome and confident and the things he shows Mike have Mike more than a little turned on; in fact, they speak to something deep inside him. Could he have found something more than just another job in Brendan?

Angus and Robbie are a committed Dom/sub pair who want to spice things up a little and see if Puppy Play is for them. They’re excited and nervous to learn this new aspect from Sam, the puppy master that Rainbow Island has brought in to show them the ropes. They discover there’s more to puppy play than they’d imagined and not all of it is for them. Can they separate what they need from what they want and come out stronger than ever in the end?

Don’t miss out on these three new fantasies come true.

James, Guard and Damien are a trio who run Rainbow Island and help fulfill their clients’ deepest fantasies. Timothy was utterly bored. He had dabbled in being a submissive and after a very long time was ready to at least try out entering the lifestyle fulltime. Master Rain had been watching Tim, wanting far more than Tim’s usual “single scene and move on” style. So when Rain finds that Tim is willing to have the fantasy of something more lasting, Rain can hardly believe his luck. Mike was dirt poor, so when he was offered the opportunity of three weeks “working” on a private island and to be paid for it, he had no qualms about accepting the job. Mike had zero experience as a sub – barely even knowing what BDSM even really meant – but for three weeks on a sandy beach plus a generous wage, he was willing to take some risks. Brendan’s fantasy is to play with someone completely new to the lifestyle – no artifice, no mind-games, no preconceived notions. Can Brendan entice Mike into the lifestyle? Angus and Robbie had been together for a decade and were blissfully happy. They’ve decided to try out the fantasy of puppy play in the safety of the island. Can they both find satisfaction from this?

While this is the third book in the Rainbow Island series almost all the book is focused on the three different fantasies being fulfilled. In that sense this story is very nearly a stand-alone book and can be read without any prior knowledge of anything. Only the very first few pages – and last few – give some much awaited (by me, at least!) closure for James, Guard and Damien’s ménage. I found it utterly wonderful to finally see the three men work things out. For these few pages readers who haven’t read the previous two books will still be able to understand what is happening – but these scenes will certainly mean a whole lot more to those who have been following the relationship between James, Guard and Damien. I must strongly emphasize though, that this trio – and the story arc over the three Rainbow Island books – is a handful of pages. The vast majority of this story are three stand-alone fantasy-fulfillment stories and can certainly be read without prior knowledge – so I feel readers absolutely shouldn’t be put off by the fact this is “book 3”.

I really loved how while Tim deep down was a submissive, he was a strong willed and deeply intelligent man. At a few points initially Tim didn’t even seem completely certain he was a “real” sub as many of his instincts were to analyse everything, to be in control and to be very intellectual in his approach to things. I felt that Rain was the perfect match for him – willing to be tender and slow – but hot and firm where needed. I felt Tim and Rain were both well matched and not the traditional stereotypes of a Dom and sub pairing. I thought this story was fresh and interesting and a lovely look on how diverse people in the lifestyle can be.

I loved the slow build-up of chemistry between Mike and Brendan. I enjoyed how Mike really only had a lay-person sort of understanding about the BDSM lifestyle, but he wasn’t body-shy or virginal in his reactions to sex. It actually read to me like a refreshing change – Mike was open minded about new experiences and Brendan was happy and eager to teach him new things. Mike and Brendan exploring each other – and learning together sexually – was quite delightful to read.

Angus and Robbie were a wonderful and committed BDSM-lifestyle couple. I’ve not read much about puppy play really, so I was extremely pleased that the scene was moved through slowly. Since Angus and Robbie are new and learning the ropes this made it much easier for me – a novice – to follow along and understand both what puppy play is and how it’s conducted. While I feel certain this type of fantasy and role-play won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, I strongly feel that it was written in a consensual, loving and kind manner. So I think most readers who are either curious – or simply have an open mind – shouldn’t find anything offensive or too strange in here.

There were a few typo’s through the story (a “Rand” instead of a “Rain” and “warm” instead of “warn” etc) and while I did find that a little jarring it wasn’t bad – or frequent – enough to actually drag me out of the story.

Overall this was an excellent read, with three short stories and a lovely bit of closure for Guard, James and Damien. A lovely book and one I will happily reread again in the future.

Ghost Wolf by Elsa Jade


Ghost Wolf by Elsa Jade
Wolves of Angels Rest – Book 6
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (94 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

The harvest moon is rising…

Corrine Ayres was a werewolf with a charmed life. Until her love was taken from her in a place called Mesa Diablo.

Javier Roque’s wolf never rose, so he left Angels Rest to make his own way. Until a deadly threat to his pack brought him home.

Can the widowed she-wolf and the tattooed bad boy missing his wild side find what they desire? Or will they lose everything before they can claim their fate?

A bad boy werewolf who isn’t a wolf sounds like it’s its own conflict. If that’s not intriguing enough, this story picks up with someone I met in the last book, Lost Wolf. Corrine has had the worst thing happen to her. The love of her life, her other half, for all intents and purposes now belongs to another woman and is mated to her courtesy of the hated Kingdom Guard. They destroyed the man she once knew and replaced him with a stranger. She had it all and lost it all. Both Javier and Corrine are tortured in different ways but they are both seeking something they believe is out of their reach – impossible dreams of happiness, love and fulfillment. At the point when I first watch them meet, they are both in a bad place in their lives and there’s no better hook than wanting to see them find their way to a happy ever after, together. But what is it going to take? That’s one of the questions that had me picking up this book, determined to find the answer. I already wanted peace for Corrine but how could Javier give it to her when he couldn’t find it for himself? Ghost Wolf has great hooks, awesome conflicts and a romance story that delivers a solid and well-earned HEA.

What I liked about this tale is that unlike the previous books, both the hero and heroine are part of the werewolf community. There are no secrets between them – they both understand werewolf culture. But Javier is an anomaly within that culture which is unique. Once again Ms. Jade has found a clever twist to make the paranormal genre her own. I enjoyed every minute.

The only thing that I felt was a disservice to Javier was his grandmother. Oh, there’s love, respect and a wonderful interaction between the two, but I just couldn’t understand why she didn’t want him in that little hut. Why didn’t she ever teach him anything? Why did she deny him? Why did she treat him that way when in every other aspect she proved she loved him unconditionally? How can he learn his way without being mentored? That was never explained so I was a bit bummed. There’s a story there that was never told and I felt the book suffered from the lack.

Except for that little dangle, I thought Ghost Wolf was a wonderful addition to the series and worth every minute of my time as I watched Corrine and Javier fall in love. Once again, the story celebrates what the power of love can do, even accomplishing the impossible. I continue to be impressed with this series and am enjoying myself tremendously. I wonder who is next?

Man on the Run by Carl Weber


Man on the Run by Carl Weber
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full Length (320 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

It was the night before his wedding, fifteen years ago, that the nightmare began for Jay Crawford–locked up for a crime he never committed. Now, he’s escaped prison and wants nothing more than to clear his name and protect his family. To get justice, he’ll need the help of the three best friends who have always had his back–Wil, Kyle and Allan. But a man on the run requires absolute trust…and Jay may just be setting himself up for the ultimate betrayal.

Jay Crawford has been locked up for ten years for a crime he didn’t commit. He’s recently escaped prison. Will he be able to clear his name as well as prevent the threat bring carried out of something bad happening to one of his children?

This book had me laughing out loud at the facial expressions and verbal conversations that took place. I could actually see the scenes in my mind as I was reading. The scene at the restaurant with Jay dressed as a lady are hilarious. The characters are from previous books by the author. Kyle Richmond is very close with Jay, and then there is Wil and Allen. Their friendship is tested during this book. At the start of the book the men didn’t seem as close but as the story unfolds and events lead to different circumstance and their brotherhood bond gets stronger.

There is suspense, sex and plenty of drama that made this a page-turner for me.

Of course it seems a little unrealistic, a man breaking out of prison and on the run needing his friends to help him for such a long period of time. What I found strange was the author didn’t give any details of how he broke out of prison. Jay Crawford broke out of prison to save his son who he thought was being threaten, but also to clear his name of being convicted of rape. Because of the title, I thought the majority of the plot would be Jay working to prove his innocence but the book consisted of each of the character’s home and work life in addition to their relationship with Jay.

As with the prior novels by the author, it is written in a good writing style, with an entertaining plot. And even though the plot itself was serious, it included humor. I enjoyed the connection between the guys. It went way beyond friendship and more along the lines of a deep brotherhood. The men exemplified true friendship by standing up, believing in and in this case risking their freedom to associate with a friend on the run from the U.S. Marshals. The bond between these four men seems to test the strength of their marriage vows. All that seems good and sturdy turns out to collapse under pressure.

The book has a surprise ending so I can’t really say there is closure. The book is open ended in leaving the story open for continuation. I would definitely make the next book a priority to read, if it is in fact a continuation.

I would recommend to readers that enjoy a fast pace read that has twists and a unpredictable ending.