Falling Star Valentine by E. D. Parr


Falling Star Valentine by E. D. Parr
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (48 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Fashion photographer Dale Walker takes a train to his hometown, relocating there after nursing a broken heart for six months in another city. His train makes an unscheduled stop to take on a mysterious passenger.

For a long time, Valentine Steel has hoped to meet a man who will love him. When he sees Dale on the train, he’s overjoyed to find a vacant seat beside him.

Dale’s immediate attraction to Valentine has him on edge. He doesn’t want another broken heart, and yet Valentine is so magnetic that Dale’s frozen heart begins to thaw.

Valentine sets out to charm and capture Dale in his sparkling aura. He can’t let the chance to have Dale’s love slip away.

After a nasty break up, Dale is alone for Valentine’s day and has had enough. Determined to quit his moping and refusing to spend the lover’s holiday pining for his ex, Dale decides to leave the city. On the train, he meets a handsome stranger, Valentine Steel. Can these two men be exactly what the other needs?

This is an interesting short story to my mind. I was a little confused until right at the end about the mystery surrounding Valentine – his back-story is where the paranormal element comes into the plotline. Despite the fact most of the plot remains mysterious until the end of the story, I found it refreshingly unique – Valentine’s character and his “quest”. My confusion didn’t hurt my enjoyment of the story, though I would have liked to have understood the subtleties a little earlier on so I could enjoy the growing relationship between Dale and Valentine.

I felt the characters were well written. Dale is a fairly typical man and hero, unlucky in love and wanting to find his soul mate. Valentine, despite some of the mystery surrounding him was also interesting and I enjoyed reading about him trying to woo Dale and fall in love with each other. While there is plenty of steamy sex I didn’t find any aspect of the M/M relationship too envelope pushing. Readers who like a bit of spice with their romance should find this a fun and sexy read.

With a different plotline and two very interesting characters I found this to be a great read. While I would have liked the paranormal aspect of the plot to be a little less mysterious this is a fun and deliciously short read that has plenty of spice and romance.

Mating Heat by Jenika Snow


Mating Heat by Jenika Snow
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (46 pgs)
Other: M/F/M, Menage, Spanking, Anal Play
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Every shifter female goes through their mating heat, a time when they are most fertile, irresistible to the opposite sex, and unable to control their desires. It is a twenty-four hour period of intense need, and uncontrollable sexual appetites.

And I was that wolf-shifting female that just came into her mating heat.

But the two males I wanted to help ease me from this arousal-induced delirium, had never given me a second glance. Chase and Xavier, bear shifters, and leaders of our community’s security detail, are powerful and influential, and the ones I want…servicing me.

When they offer to help me out in the way I desperately need, I don’t know if it’s because I’m irresistible during this time, or because they want me for the female I am…the one that’s been in love with them since before I knew what the emotion was.

When Ophelia wakes up in her mating heat, she knows she’s in for a very rough twenty-four hours. Although having non-stop, unprotected sex with any male shifter would satisfy the lust overwhelming her, Ophelia only wants two men – Xavier and Chase. While Xavier, Chase and Ophelia had known each other for years, Ophelia is a wolf and both Xavier and Chase were were-bears. Can the three of them make it through Ophelia’s mating heat with their friendship – and maybe a new relationship – intact?

This is a super short but very sexy read. Although the two men are bear-shifters and Ophelia a werewolf, they all live together in a multi-shifter community that’s quite open and accepting. Obviously, the main thrust of the plot surrounds Ophelia going through her first mating heat – a twenty four hour period where she’s completely irresistible to all shifter men and where her heat can only be eased by the seed of her lover(s). Although I didn’t personally find the plot-device of her heat itself very sexy (it felt a little too close to metaphysically forcing the sex into the plot and onto practically any shifter male) the characters of Ophelia, Chase and Xavier were interesting and well written, and as they became intimate their chemistry and connection helped make the situation feel a lot sexier to me.

Some of the conversation felt a little stilted to me, I think because of the shifter-style of speech. Like how the guys sometimes called Ophelia “female” (for example: “Come here, female”), this didn’t feel or read as sexy to me. While I can understand the different pattern of speech could very well just be their style when in lust – it felt a little dispassionate to me; as if it didn’t matter that it was Ophelia herself the boys were having sex with, but any “female” in heat would have been just as good. It also read a little weird to me just how much Xavier and Chase did together at the same time, in multiple places they’d speak in unison, or do the exact same thing simultaneously. It made me feel a little like they were the one person in two bodies and that there was a special link or bond between them (and if this was so – why wasn’t this story written as a M/M instead?). While none of these issues individually detracted from the story, all rolled together it meant that there were a number of times while I read that I had to pause, either to remind myself that the different speech could be seen as shifter-ish or just take a breath to get back into the story. These things made the read a bit jolting to my experience and I usually prefer simply inhaling a wonderful shifter story, not being taken out of the moment by small twinges like this.

I really enjoyed the ménage relationship that built between Ophelia, Xavier and Chase. After “the talk” and they were all on the same page the love and lust binding the three of them together was lovely to read about and it was a pleasure to see their relationship bloom and grow. A steamy double penetration sex scene just rounded the story out wonderfully.

A hot and sexy ménage story that was good fun to read.

Broken, Collared, and Ready for Revenge by James Cox


Broken, Collared, and Ready for Revenge by James Cox
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (88 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex, Toys
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Mistletoe

The collar comes off and all that’s left is a broken man.

Alexander Gentlemen has spent fifteen years with the collar on, beaten into submission, tortured beyond anything a human mind can survive. He’s fractured around the edges when his brothers finally save him. With the help of ‘One Nut’ Nigel, the collar is removed. He’s starting to remember the faces of those he’s killed and fighting the urge to murder everyone around him. But the one who put that clockwork device on him is still on the loose. With the help of Nigel, he tries to be integrated into a society he no longer understands.

Can he control himself long enough to get his revenge? Will Nigel be his savior or will Alexander embrace his darker side?

Alexander and his brothers live in a harsh world where one must fight in order to survive. Alexander is taken from the only life that he knows by the evil queen. He clings to the hope that is brothers will come and rescue him but as the years go by that hope grows dimmer until it is all but snuffed out. One day the unexpected happens and Alexander awakens from the terrible hell that the Queen has made of his life to see that his brothers have finally come to rescue him. After all that he has endured can Alexander return to some kind of normal life or is it too late for him?

The world that used to be has been destroyed and the evil Queen is using young boys to do her bidding. Stealing them as children and turning them into mindless drones used for her enjoyment and protection. Alexander was one such boy, but his brothers never gave up and fought to rescue him. As he learns to live again we see Alexander wrestle with emotions and new and different feelings. He is an engaging character and it was nice to see the relationship build between Alexander and Nigel. The two men form a special bond that grows deeper as they spend more time together. Their story is an intriguing read. While I got to see Alexander try to fit in and his feelings for Nigel grow I didn’t really get a good understanding of what is going on with the other part of the story. I knew that they were fighting as well as looking for the evil queen but never more than that. There are many unanswered questions that come up about that part of the story. I would like to have known how the brothers rescued Alexander and who their friends were as well as how the King ended up fighting the queen.

This story revolves around Alexander and how he strives to fit in now that he has been rescued. At times, it grabbed my attention while at others it felt as if it skipped important details for me. I enjoyed watching Alexander and Nigel come together but would have liked a bit more world building. Love is a strong emotion and it keeps Alexander alive through so much. Whether it is his love for his family or for Nigel, Alexander fights hard to keep it, it is what keeps him going. I enjoyed seeing that love help Alexander find his way back from the brink and give him something to fight for.

To Claim His Girl by Sam Crescent


To Claim His Girl by Sam Crescent
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (109 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Eli Waters has made his way back home from military school for one thing, and that is to claim Aria Dean. She’s one of his best friends, the girl who has been by his side through thick and thin.

A year without Eli was difficult for Aria. She missed his warmth, his smile, his playfulness. But though she’s loved him for a long time, it doesn’t matter. She knows she’s not his type. She’s not blonde, or thin, or beautiful. She is just plain Aria.

But now he’s back, and he’s different.

With help from their friends, Eli is determined to finally claim Aria. Laying his feelings on the table, he makes sure Aria knows the truth. He’s not going anywhere. He loves her, and from the moment they first met when they were three years old, they belonged together.

Can two young souls fight for their love, or will outside influences tear them apart?

What a wonderful sweet romance from Sam Crescent! I really enjoyed reading it from the very first page.

To Claim His Girl is a friendship to steamy love story. I loved the main characters , Eli and Aria. These two determined young people realized that they loved each other and then had to stand up to almost everyone just to be together. They had an incredibly close bond since pre-school, not just with each other, but also their four friends. I really liked that closeness which made the story more special. They had to withstand a lot of pressures from their family, school, and secrets.

Sam Crescent’s excellent writing made this book a fluid believable read. Eli and Aria had known each other for a long time. Yet, it wasn’t until Eli got into trouble and sent to military school that he realized that Aria was meant to be more than his friend. It made it more romantic that he worked so hard just to come back for her. There was a lot of drama, from the usual high school politics, to family secrets, and self esteem issues for Aria. Luckily, it didn’t drag out and the reader gets to really relish in the close bonds of friendship and young passions.It’s actually not all that steamy for a Sam Crescent book either. This one was more sweet than sizzling but just as entertaining to this happy reader.

I both enjoyed and recommend this book for everyone.

A Passionate Play by Jessica Lauryn


A Passionate Play by Jessica Lauryn
Publisher: Siren BookStrand
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (302 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

On the heels of a major performance, theater actress Alicia Coleman is attacked in an alleyway. She is struck over the head with a pistol and the blow causes her to lose her memory. Injured and afraid, Alicia struggles to remember the details of her life. The only person who appears to know who she is, is the man she fears may also be her attacker.

In the midst of several failed attempts to escape, Alicia comes to know the man whose home she awoke in and realizes that the two of them share a complicated past. Though Nick refuses to tell her much beyond her first name, a series of dreams, in which she and he are sharing a lot more than the second story of a secluded mansion, cause Alicia to suspect the most outrageous of possibilities—that the man holding her prisoner may actually be her lover. Surrounding threats, including that of a midnight intruder, cause Alicia to realize that proving her theory true (or not) may be her only chance of keeping her attacker from coming after her a second time.

As I was reading this story I was overcome with the sensation I was watching a Matlock or Perry Mason episode. I don’t know if you are familiar with either of those TV series but I used to watch them faithfully. Some episodes were better than others but I loved the “who done it?” and “why”. If you enjoyed either of those two TV shows like I did then readers will enjoy A Passionate Play!

This plot was full of mystery but I had to go back and re-read sometimes because I forgot or missed something and it wasn’t making sense. After a couple times of that I went and got a pen and paper to take notes making the pace slow when I came to those hiccups. Please note that it was worth the note taking and the hiccups didn’t take away from the story because, halfway through the book the pace dramatically picked up and stayed steady.

Do you ever watch a TV show and talk out loud to whoever is in the room and ask “Why did she open the door without looking?” Only to have whoever is in the room say “Because it’s a TV show and that’s how they wrote the script”. It happens to me all the time. I roll my eyes at the person in the room for stating the obvious and then I roll my eyes at the show yet I can’t take my eyes off the screen just in case I miss what happens next. Well, take that experience and apply it to this book.

This novel had me talking out loud and rolling my eyes yet I couldn’t put the book down! I felt like I was possessed by complete morbid curiosity. My husband was in the room and could hear me talking out loud “What? , What? , Who ?, Why?, What ?, Who? NO, NO, no”. He asked if it was a good book and I was conflicted with a “yes and no”.

Nick Lancaster is the hero. He loved Alicia, the heroine so much that he’d do anything to protect her on his own and in his own way. That was a talk out loud moment for me but that was what created the drama in the story. Alicia had amnesia until the end of the story so we only know the kind of person she was according to Nick. With the amnesia it was like we got to see the real Alicia since she wasn’t under life’s influence. Even without her memory she sensed Nick was the one for her. I could feel the chemistry and sensual tension between Nick and Alicia.

There is no doubt that Nick and Alicia never would have had a happily ever after romance if she didn’t lose her memory because of what Nick did. I for one still couldn’t forgive him for what he did but what I feel doesn’t matter. Alicia loved him enough to forgive him. Part of the mystery was solved to conclude a happy ever after between Nick and Alicia but there is a bigger thread that alludes to a book two. Therefore the story did end with a happy ever after but I didn’t experience a book glow nor would Nick be on my list of book boyfriends.

This was a good book if you enjoy suspense/mystery romance stories. I’m glad that I read it and didn’t find it to be a waste of my time. I do recommend that others read A Passionate Play. I really think this story would be a great novel for a book club to read and have discussions about. I’d love to hear what others thought about this book. Even though my feelings were very conflicted about the plot, there was something about it that was irresistible and that was what kept me flipping the pages.

Dragon King’s Prize by Angelique Voisen


Dragon King’s Prize by Angelique Voisen
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (73 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Leon is an anomaly, born to a family of hunters who believe all shifters need to die. When his family goes too far and uses a young dragon shifter as bait, Leon is forced to make the greatest mistake…or best decision of his life. Saved by an Alpha dragon, Leon wonders if Rashik is his captor or the one man he’s been searching for all his life.

Dragon King Rashik has been on the search for a stolen hatchling. He never expected to find a tasty and defiant human with steel in his spine. Humans hunt his kind for sport, yet Rashik can’t deny his attraction. Leon might be different but claiming the human could shift the balance in his clan.

Regardless of the consequences, Rashik is king for a reason. Once he sets his sights on Leon, Rashik will do anything to claim him.

All his life Leon just tried to survive. Living in the shadow of his father, the mighty paranormal hunter, was not always a good thing especially when he did not believe in his father’s ideals. Leon always believed that the shifters had just as much right to be in this world as the humans did. When Leon goes against his father and the other hunters by saving a baby dragon he finds himself under the protection of the dragon king. Just what will happen to Leon now that he is among the dragons. Is he safe or has he just traded one prison for another one?

Leon’s story grabs you right from the start. He leads a hard life living amongst the hunters and believing that the shifters have a right to live. Being beaten and ostracized, Leon takes one last chance to do one thing right in his life and that decision leads him to Rashik and his dragons. From the very beginning the two feel something going on between them and they must figure out just where they each stand. I enjoyed watching the two find their way to each other and their happy ever after. They live in a world that is divided yet the two men find a way to come together and fight for what is right. Not only do we get to see Rashik and Leon’s relationship build but we also get to see Leon grow and find himself as he fights to protect the baby dragon. There are those that are full of hate in every race and Leon finds that he must be on guard at all times. Love and trust are key to Leon and Rashik’s relationship and the two must realize when to let their guard down and let that love and trust in.

The author weaves and intriguing story full of adventure and emotions. I quickly found myself engrossed in their story and as with any good book it left me wanting to return and see more from this world and its characters.

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.

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.

Make a Wish by ED Parr


Make a Wish by ED Parr
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (36 pages)
Other: M/M
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

It’s the day before Christmas Eve and Nick Kringle is making deliveries on the main street of the city when a car breaks down at the intersection. He rushes to help him and comes face to face with the most delicious man he’s ever seen.

Amid the seasonal crowds and inclement weather, Dylan West gets out of his stalled car and tries to push it to the side of the road. Dylan’s down on his luck, but his hero Nick believes in magic and decides to throw a little Dylan’s way.

Can wishes come true? You bet—especially if Nick Kringle has anything to do with it.

A sweet read for a chilly evening.

I’m a sucker for Christmasy stories. This one hit the spot. The writing flowed well and the characters were interesting. For a quick read, it satisfied.

Dylan’s had a rough time. He’s getting over being shot and he’s having a hard time finding a job. Like super hard time. No matter what he does, he can’t seem to get ahead. I could relate to him. I’ve had those days and what seems like week-long moments of nothing going quite right. There were times I thought he got a little too far into his depression, but if that was the author’s purpose then kudos. There were just times I thought Dylan was almost too…he wasn’t even willing to see the bright side. Then there was Nick. Talk about the opposite of Dylan. Positive and willing to help. I liked him and his can do attitude. When the two got together, things heated up. The thing was, the circumstances were a little odd, but I could go with it.

If you’re looking for a short read for the lunch hour or a quiet night, then this might be the book for you.

Fire and Midnight by Sandra Renee Appet


Fire and Midnight by Sandra Renee Appet
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Full Length (212 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Daisy

He could be her best worst decision…

With a glass of wine in hand, Jane Keegan’s finger is poised to delete the account her pushy BFF created for her on “The Cowboys” escort service website. Sure, she’s lonely, but not desperate. Then an image of sky-blue eyes and warm, tanned muscles jumps off the screen. And she finds herself hitting the “Book Now” button.

After all, why not? She’s a free, divorced woman on business in San Antonio. There’s nothing to lose…except her nerve. Especially when Mr. Tall Dark And Incredibly Sexy meets her at a River Walk bar—and his only-for-you smile turns her insides into a quivering mass of second thoughts.

Ryan Zeigler is enduring one last escort assignment only as a favor before hanging up his Cowboys hat to run his own restaurant. Yet there’s something about the pretty New Yorker’s vulnerable grin and I’ve-got-baggage eyes that halts his usual dating M.O. in its tracks.

When Ryan sweetens the deal—no strings, no payment expected—Jane the good girl takes the bold step of letting her vixen out to play. But when it’s time to go home, her heart is at a crossroads. Is Ryan the real deal? Or is she letting yet another man take her heart for a ride?

Meddling best friends get their partners in crime into the most embarrassing and enjoyable situations. Copious glasses of wine, a pushy friend, and more than a bit of loneliness after her divorce, get Jane to try a Cowboy escort. Of course, she gets more than she bargained for from this unusual date and wraps up the year during the holiday season with more than one surprise!

Ryan Zeigler is hot, mature, a successful businessman, and one of the most caring, family-loving men to come across many women’s path. With his Spanish background, he offers a charming mix of San Antonio to Jane’s palette, and her activities. The chemistry between him and Jane is sparking with electricity…and self-doubt. The sex scenes leave that doubt in the dirt 99% of the time to produce consensual, empowering scenes that feel intimate and personal rather than run of the mill. This partnership is made to last and its shown through each intentional, confidence-building move that Ryan makes.

Jane, on the whole, is a woman who has seen better days in her personal life and her personal approach to life. She needs revitalising and to be shown how to enjoy life again. I love that Ryan is the man to electrify her into the woman she should be, but I hate that very often alcohol is behind her decisions. Often, she is very passive in the face of a fork in the road, and this smacks both of a lack of confidence, and of an old-fashioned approach to relationships.

Of course, family and Jane’s pesky self-doubt as the older, divorced woman, puts a spanner in the works for the couple, which they must overcome long-distance. A tricky obstacle. This was where the book was lacking for me. The magical date scenes, the beauty of place and atmosphere in the getting-to-meet-you scenes were wonderful, truly immersive. The obstacles the couple must overcome are more run of the mill – predictable – and take a long time. The book could have been a good third shorter and still covered the ground it aimed to, while making the plot much more succinct and enjoyable. For me, the book wandered too much after the first major obstacle and became more of a tick the boxes approach to traditional romance: marriage, kids, family life, working life, and the white picket fence. I suspect much of my reluctance here is due to my experiences and age. I’m not an almost thirty woman looking to settle down and I’m not looking for that traditional passive, inexperienced female and super-experienced male sex king, relationship. That’s not my ideal and doesn’t chime with my values.

For many others, Fire and Midnight will tick the boxes of their dream man and their dream life. Certainly, the locations of San Antonio and its River Walk are almost Venice-like in the beauty of the picture which is painted, and the loving relationship which is begun under its roofs. This place and lifestyle is what I fell in love with, and I’m sure many other readers will swoon at the chance to experience the lifestyle painted in the rivers, gondolas and eateries, all with splashes of Spanish charm.