Gift Of A Lifetime by Ana Raine


Gift Of A Lifetime by Ana Raine
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday (Christmas)
Length: Short Story (35 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Anal Play, Toys
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Ryo’s job at the Crooked Paintbrush is a way to make some money doing what he loves while meeting new people. But when Logan walks into Ryo’s painting class, he realizes there are some things that can only be described as fate.

More than just a handsome face, Logan proves to be exactly the kind of Master Ryo has been waiting for. The kind of man who will test his limits while providing some much needed love and safety.

Ryo hosts painting classes for singles looking for like-minded people. Even though he’s looking for a Master of his own, he generally enjoys the classes and watching other people find happiness. Logan was the most handsome man Ryo had ever met, and when Logan asks him out for dinner, Ryo feels like all his Christmas’ have come at once. Can Logan be everything he needs?

I enjoyed this hot and sexy short story. I found Ryo and Logan to be super hot together, and both liking exactly the same thing – kinky sex. I didn’t mind that Ryo and Logan got quite intimate fairly quickly after meeting – in such a short story they needed to move fast – but I really enjoyed how the author let them actually talk and get to know each other a little bit first. I was a little uncertain why neither Ryo nor Logan had met someone into kink earlier – the author made it seem like they both wanted something very deep and dark and unheard of with other men, and I just didn’t find that too believable. While they certainly both enjoyed BDSM and playing with toys, I didn’t find their kink outrageous or particularly dark. So I never really bought into the fact neither man had met someone previously who could give them what they wanted. This small bit of unrealistic plotting didn’t lesson my enjoyment of the story, however.

I enjoyed both men’s characters – Ryo was an eager and curious submissive, Logan a strong and caring Dominant. While I liked how compatible the two men were, I did find it a little unusual toward the end, reading some of the play-talk between Ryo and Logan. Personally, I prefer it when a Master builds his pet up and strengthens them. While I liked Logan’s tenderness and attachment to Ryo, Ryo seemed to need someone to use him and take over completely, and while it was very well written and is sure to appeal to many readers, I discovered it just isn’t really my thing. The care and love between the two men though is a wonderful thing to watch as is their hot, spicy sex.

For slightly kinky, very short Christmas story this was a good read and one I enjoyed.

Regifted by BJ McCall


Regifted by BJ McCall
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (42 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Fern has no idea the Christmas gift given to her on Christmas Eve is a regift. The perfume smells divine and unbeknownst to Fern it has an added benefit. The scent is packed with pheromones that attract werewolves.

Pace is spending the holiday weekend in the city, a lonely Christmas away from his pack. A major power outage plunges the city into darkness. Pace has a choice: spend Christmas alone or invite his new neighbor with the alluring scent for a candlelight drink…

Fern is the new girl at her work and so she’s left to close the office on Christmas Eve and then reopen it the following Monday. After Fern gives out small goodies to all her co-workers, her boss, Alison is the only one to reciprocate. Fern is thrilled, until she finds the bottle of perfume is a regift. What neither Alison nor Fern know is that the scent is actually a Mating Scent. When Fern bumps into a homesick werewolf, her Christmas plans are suddenly going to be a whole lot more intimate than she expected.

I found this to be a sweet and steamy Christmas short story. I loved how Fern and Pace got to know each other a little – chatting about their homes and upbringing, connecting emotionally – before jumping into bed with each other. I also loved the twist on the regifted pheromone perfume bottle capturing Pace’s attention and drawing him to Fern. It all just fit together so well and really appealed to me as a reader. I loved this story.

I was thrilled when – after having sex – the relationship continued to build between Fern and Pace. I thoroughly enjoyed watching them spend Christmas together, explore the city and really get to know each other. It made the romance feel so much stronger between them and also made the entire situation a lot more believable. I found the whole story realistic and fun, sexy and hot. I will happily read more stories both by this author and set in this paranormal world.

I found this to be an excellent short story, with interesting and fun characters and a solid, realistic plot. A great Christmas tale and one I will happily reread many times to come.

No Impact by Maia Dylan

No Impact by Maia Dylan
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (115 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

No impact on the target is the call that a sniper has missed, that their position is now compromised, and the firestorm it can bring could ultimately cost them their lives.

Riley Marksmen has wanted Marcel Cross from the moment they first met. He just had to convince Marcel that he wanted Riley just as bad. When his first attempt with Marcel results in no impact, he is convinced that a future with Marcel is worth the risk of trying again.

Marcel knows there is something between him and Riley. He just has to find the courage to take the gamble in the first place. When secrets are discovered, and a threat is revealed, it jeopardizes what they’ve only just started to build.

Can they find a way to the future they’ve targeted, or will their risk leave No Impact?

Marcel had been a Marine sniper and a man with no family, no partner and only a small number of friends. After mustering out though, he meets Riley, who runs a crew of construction workers. The two men are immediately drawn to one another. But can they manage to find some common ground?

I really enjoyed this story. Equal parts Army/Marine story and M/M romance I felt this book really checked quite a few boxes for me. I found the pacing really good, it moved along at a good clip – neither too fast nor too slow. And the chemistry between Marcel and Riley steamed practically off the pages – I was hooked right from the first few paragraphs.

Both Riley and Marcel are strong men – emotionally and physically, I enjoyed reading about how they each gave no quarter, sharing their bodies and hearts with strength and vigor. Reading about these two alpha men, and watching them not only fall in love with each other but also open themselves, share their vulnerabilities and hearts was really special. I totally commend the author on managing to balance the two characters so well, allowing them each to be strong and fierce, without being over-bearing or too dominating for each other. This was an excellent part of the book and something I genuinely loved to read.

Readers will also likely be pleased that there is a strong cast of secondary characters. I feel this will certainly leave options open for the author to write many more books. While this book is part of a series it’s the first I’ve read and I didn’t feel at all lost during it – it genuinely stands fine alone and can be read with no prior knowledge. I enjoyed reading the other characters almost as much as I liked Riley and Marcel, and would absolutely happily pick up any other books in this series by the author.

A sexy, fun and wonderful read full of interesting plot, strong men and great characters.

Losing It In The Closet by Michelle Graham


Losing It In The Closet by Michelle Graham
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (35 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Zach Hughes isn’t homosexual. He’s got a string of sexual conquests to prove it. The problem is he’s still attracted to men. He finally decides that the only way to get it out of his system is by having sex with a man, just once, and then he can move on. He turns to online hook-up site Losing It to find him a discreet gentleman to help him out.

A teacher at a Catholic school, Colin Montgomery has to be careful to hide his sexual orientation. Random meet-ups far from home are the only way he gets a date. And of course a relationship is out of the question.

From the moment Colin and Zach meet, sparks fly, and the two find they can’t get enough of each other, agreeing to meet again and again. But when they’re spotted out together by one of Colin’s students, their lives are turned upside down, and they’re forced to decide what’s most important—their love or public perception?

Zach was pretty certain that he wasn’t gay. He was sincerely hoping that if he finally caved – gave in to the homosexual urges he couldn’t get out of his head, that he could do the deed and then move on, live a normal, straight life. So he applies to “Losing It”, a matching system designed to hook you up with a no-strings partner and give you a special encounter. Colin is no novice to sex, but with a Catholic family and a job as a school teacher he’s in the closet. Deep in the closet. Can Zach and Colin risk it all and Lose It together?

I found this to be a fun and lighthearted, sexy short story. I thoroughly enjoyed both Zach and Colin’s characters, finding them interesting and quite different from the normal “boy meets boy” style gay characters. I honestly can’t recall the last time I read an erotic M/M romance where both main characters were in the closet, so that alone made this a very interesting read to me. Additionally, Zach wasn’t even certain that he was gay, genuinely enjoying being sexually with women (though nothing active in the story). Zach seemed to clearly think at least initially that he was mostly straight and he was merely curious about men, not actually bisexual.

I was a little disappointed at how unrealistic some of the ending was, I felt the solution to Colin’s troubles was a little too easy in wrapping things up. The chemistry between Colin and Zach, though, was great and I loved the pace of their relationship and the slow, steady manner they both fell in love and committed properly to each other.

Readers looking for a slightly different style of M/M romance, with lots of sex and good, strong chemistry should enjoy this short story.

Don’t Shoot…I’m a Werebear by Angelique Voisen


Don’t Shoot…I’m a Werebear by Angelique Voisen
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (48 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Can a lonely city bear nurse his broken heart?

Bear shifter Barry Smithson is going native. Rejected by his boss and crush of five years, Barry’s going back to his hometown. Believing he’ll win over the love of his life with his animal’s ferocious nature, Barry decides to spend some time in the woods.

But Barry is not an outdoorsy kind of bear. He’s obsessive compulsive and terrified of open spaces. Tired and lost, Barry catches wind of a delectable scent, leading him to a human fishing for salmon. Hunger of the carnal kind hits him bone-deep. Once Barry gets a taste, he’ll want more.

Can Barry convince the human not to shoot him?

Barry wasn’t good at making – or keeping – friends. As a werebear he finds himself moody and grumpy far too often. Even though Barry has had a crush on his boss for five years, he’s not quite managed to make his attraction known, and then it’s too late. Deciding to go home to try and ground himself, Barry goes for a walk in the woods and meets Zack, and both their worlds are turned upside down.

Major kudos to the author for this title. I have to admit the title is the main reason I picked up this short story and I’m so glad that I did! While I felt the start of the story moved a little slowly, once Zack and Barry finally meet up everything moves along at a lovely pace. I enjoyed getting to know Barry properly first, learning about how he’s struggled with his werebear and life in general. I love that Barry had flaws, wasn’t some perfect, alpha hero – it made him feel more real to me and indeed I enjoyed Barry far more for his imperfections. It took a bit longer to really get to know Zack – but I loved his character as much as Barry’s by the end.

The plot of this story is mostly Barry coming to the realisation that he needs to stop running from his life, and then Barry and Zack coming together and I really enjoyed this. Both Barry and Zack are interesting and complicated characters, and I didn’t find the story at all lacking for only having a few other strong secondary characters. Some readers mightn’t like how there’s no sex to speak of until the second half of the book but personally I actually preferred to really get to know Barry and his situation first. And when Barry and Zack finally come together I found it well worth the wait.

I really enjoyed this story and found the sex hot and intimate, I loved the characters and generally found this to be an excellent short story and well worth the read. Recommended.

Dominating The Doctor by Laura Jardine


Dominating The Doctor by Laura Jardine
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (34 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Rick Sommers is back in town for his cousin’s wedding, and he has one goal for the weekend: to take Dr. Tiffany Albert to bed. The thought of her has been driving him absolutely mad since he saw her at a wedding last year.

Of course Tiffany easily succumbs to Rick’s charms. She’s had a crush on him since middle school, and now he’s finally noticed her. Some hot sex in his hotel room is a dream come true…although what she really wants is to submit to him.

When she accidentally reveals her deepest desires, she doesn’t expect him to agree. Or for their night together to be even better than her fantasies.

But is one night enough?

Rick had made the tough decision to break up with his most recent ex because he couldn’t turn down the potential for discovering what could really lie between himself and Dr Tiffany Albert. Even though Rick and Tiffany had gone to school together, it hadn’t been till he’d come home for a friend’s wedding that Tiffany had knocked him out with how well she’d grown up. And she’d been on his mind pretty much ever since. Tiffany had never fully got over her schoolgirl crush on Rick, and so when he offers to do every wicked thing she’s ever daydreamed about, she’d not strong enough to deny either of them.

I found this to be a fun, slightly kinky short story. I was pleased that Rick and Tiffany initially came together simply because they’d both been in lust with each other for so long, but then when they were both in bed together they could open up and admit what they truly wanted from each other. While I admit Rick’s dirty talk was titillating, I could potentially understand that it could be misconstrued or considered a bit too strong (and unromantic) for two people who haven’t really known each other since high school. I personally feel there’s a bit of a fine art to talking dirty – walking a very fine line between using slurs in an affectionate manner – and a part of me wasn’t quite certain that there was enough affection behind Rick’s words to make the rude things be warm and meant with love. This was possibly because of how fast Rick and Tiffany came together and became intimate, but it could also be just the writing style and I wasn’t feeling all that I should. The chemistry between Tiffany and Rick, however, was very well done I thought and I could certainly get on board with how eager they were for each other.

I found the sex was really hot and well written. A part of me feel that the few secondary characters that were introduced weren’t really explored very deeply and so they didn’t feel as strong or important as I would have liked. I couldn’t fault the author though for making most of the focus on Rick and Tiffany and their story. Even though their relationship started very quickly their chemistry sizzled and was completely believable to me. Readers looking for an in-depth, well rounded tale might find this a bit too focused on the sex, and while I enjoyed the kink it wasn’t anything too outrageous or envelope-pushing, so some readers might find it a little tame for their tastes.

With great chemistry and plenty of sex, I found this to be a fun, short story with a bit of kink and plenty of good times.

Punished by H.C. Brown


Punished by H.C. Brown
Publisher: Luminosity Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (38 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Anal Play, Fetish, Toys
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Bad boys, bad boys

When Vice Detective Del Hood receives a call out to investigate a muscular, tattooed man in black hanging around the entrance to a sex shop, he believes the smart-mouthed Danny Rose is trouble with a capital T. Problem is the moment he pats him down and runs his hands over his hard body, a connection between them sizzles.

Could Danny be the arrogant, wisecracking sub of his dreams?

Detective Del Hood is called to a BDSM club when the owner is nervous about a strange man loitering. Del watches the man and when he goes to question Danny all Del’s instincts scream that this boy is the perfect sub for him. But Danny is looking for his brother and despite the instant and hot chemistry between himself and Del, Danny won’t let himself get sidetracked from helping his brother. Del finds he can help Danny out, in more ways than one.

I found this to be a sexy, super short hot story. The attraction and chemistry between Del and Danny was smoking hot and almost instant. I was kept a little off balance, as the point of view of the story swaps around from Del’s first person, to Danny’s third person, but the story-line was simple enough I managed to keep up with everything. I initially enjoyed the plotline of Danny searching for his brother, Thorn, but found that a large scene reuniting the two of them just before the middle of the book really bogged down the story to my mind. It felt a little like Del and Danny’s relationship and chemistry sparkled until Danny and Thorn were reunited, then the entire focus of the story switched to the brothers. Then afterwards the focus again switched completely back to Del and Danny. I feel if the scenes had blended together a bit better, or if the brother’s scene wasn’t quite as history and info-dumping, then the flow of the story would have felt a lot easier and smoother to my mind.

There are a strong cast of secondary characters, most of whom I found not only interesting, but intriguing as well. I have a feeling that Thorn and a possibly one of Del’s Dom buddies are being set up for future books down the road. I admit I found this book good enough and the concept fresh enough that I’d be interested in looking into future stories when they come out.

I also enjoyed the pacing of the sexual relationship between Del and Danny. Although they had chemistry and sizzle between them from practically the first page, they didn’t actually jump into bed until much further into the story. I found this extra time helped me get to know them both as characters before the sex over-rode everything else in the story. Danny is seriously into his kink – pain, predominantly – and some readers might find the power plays and struggles between Danny and Del a little too much for them. I found the sex and scenes were written tastefully but have to admit it’s a bit edgier and harder than you can often find in erotic romances. They don’t do a light spanking scene and move on, this book seems directed at readers who like a bit more edge in their reading material.

A hot, sexy and strongly kinky BDSM M/M erotic romance, this should appeal to many readers who want a bit more bite with their erotica.

Christmas With His Best Friend by Doris O’Connor


Christmas With His Best Friend by Doris O’Connor
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (52 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

They’ve been friends for twenty years until … this Christmas.

How do you tell a sweet, naïve, and clearly vanilla girl that you like to tie women up and torture them for mutual enjoyment in your spare time? Josh Mackenzie has no idea, but when his best friend Emma walks in on him pleasuring himself, everything changes.

For Emma, coming face to face with her secret longings is mind-blowing. It’s one thing to fantasize about your best friend, but dare she take that leap into the unknown? Will it not ruin their friendship, and is—what would undoubtedly be awesome—sex worth risking that?

While Josh shares her fears, she is all he’s ever wanted in a woman, and he’s determined to show her that they can have it all. This woman is his to mark, cherish, and love forever, and he’ll prove it to her, one spank at a time.

Emma can’t help having erotic dreams about her best friend, Josh. She knows it’s futile, but she desperately wants to know what he gets up to when he stays out till 4am in the morning. One morning, Emma catches Josh masturbating and she just has to watch, enthralled. Now Josh knows that Emma is as attracted to him as he is to her, all bets are off.

This is a super hot, sexy “friends become lovers” style of story. Even though the sex starts quickly I enjoyed how the author showed that Emma and Josh had been friends forever and already had a good basis for their relationship to deepen and become far more intimate. I found it interesting and a little disappointing that while Josh definitely acted outwardly like a dominant, he had a lot of internal self-doubt. I could certainly appreciate his worrying that by changing his friendship with Emma to a sexual relationship might change things between them, it just felt odd to me how he could act all kinky and dominating eternally, but have serious self-doubts internally. The two sides of his personality just didn’t gel very well with me and I frequently found myself worrying if one or the other side of him was an act and not very real. This distracted me a fair bit from the fun and sexiness of the story and left me feeling a bit disappointed.

I liked the build-up between Emma and Josh. I felt the author did a good job with their chemistry, I could clearly believe and feel the sexual tension between them both, having been friends for so long and lusted after each other. While I felt the believability of the kink to be a little rocky, I did think it added quite a bit of zing between Emma and Josh’s sex and added intensity to the new aspects of their relationship. While there is definitely some kink I didn’t feel any of it was written in an offensive manner, nor was it too envelope-pushing in my opinion. And despite some initial nerves on both Josh and Emma’s behalf, everything was completely consensual and written in a sexy manner.

A fun, slightly kinky short story. I found this to be a good, quick read and enjoyed it.

The Christmas Letter by April Zyon


The Christmas Letter by April Zyon
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (48 pgs)
Other: M/F, BDSM, Spanking, Anal Play
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Will a Christmas letter be enough to restore his faith in love?

Dante had been serving his country faithfully as one of the elite SEALs when he got word of his baby sister’s death. To say he had been devastated would have been an understatement. He was taken out of commission, away from the only job he ever knew, to take care of the niece he only saw when he was on leave. He toyed with the idea of allowing them to put her with a foster family—for about two minutes.

Noelle Henry spat out form letters for children who wrote to Santa Claus each holiday season. When she read a letter written in crayon from a six-year-old named Molly Davidson she knew that she couldn’t simply send the child the standard letter, especially since she had known the child’s late mother. Instead, Noelle wrote a personalized letter for the little girl, something that would likely get her fired. She never anticipated what would develop between her and Molly’s new guardian, Dante Davidson.

Noelle loved her job reading letters children had sent to Santa and sending back customized letters to the kids. When she gets a letter from Molly – a little girl whom Noelle knows – her heart breaks. Molly’s parents had died and now her Uncle Dante took care of her. Noelle knew Dante was way out of her league, but that didn’t stop her from lusting over him. Determined to make this Christmas special for Molly and Dante, Noelle decides to play Secret Santa.

Check your brain at the door, settle down with a lovely spiked drink and enjoy this fun Christmas story. In some respects this reminded me of a very spicy, slightly naughty Harlequin Christmas book. A dedicated SEAL who comes home to look after his orphaned niece and bumps into the girl-next-door who he’s been crushing on. This story is slightly clichéd, but I still really enjoyed it, even if the storyline is a little tried-and-true. I chuckled a fair bit at how Noelle was trying to be secretive and devious – giving Molly the Christmas present she dearly wanted – and while Noelle managed it, she also got to snag the man she’d been crushing on since school.

Understandably, most of the plot revolves around Dante learning to take care of Molly and the start of Dante and Noelle’s relationship. While part of me wished the plot had been a little more fresh – or that the conflict and “twist” near the end had been at least a little believable – this had the definite feel of a comfort read to me. I was also a little disappointed that the editing wasn’t tighter. I found there were quite a few repeated words/echoes throughout the story and this jarred me out of enjoying the story a number of times. Having said that – I really enjoyed both Dante and Noelle’s characters and I liked their friendly, flirty banter. I really enjoyed how they didn’t just jump straight into bed, but talked and got to know each other a bit first.

Readers looking for a fun, “solider becomes an instant dad” type Christmas stories should give this a try. There is some mildly kinky sex – though it’s all kept fairly light – and plenty of chemistry between Noelle and Dante which should keep erotic readers satisfied and entertained. I enjoyed Molly, the little girl really adding to the story and not just being a part of the plot and left overlooked. Overall I found this to be a fun, sexy story and an enjoyable read. So leave reality and logic behind, have a drink and relax with this quick, spicy short story.

Treasure Trail by Nicole Dennis


Treasure Trail by Nicole Dennis
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (71 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Owner of Matey’s Tavern, a popular brewpub-tavern in St. Augustine, Florida, Derick Keyes loves his adopted hometown and job. He also harbors a crush on a pirate captain.

Tour guide for the popular Pirate Pub Walking Tour, Christopher Easton portrays a pirate captain as he takes visitors on a guided tour of St. Augustine, stopping at certain taverns for a pint of grog and tales of the golden age of piracy. With a little liquid courage, Chris breaks the cycle when he talks to Derick. Things change between them. Derick wants a chance for more with Chris.

During the Annual Pirate Festival, Derick creates a treasure hunt for Chris after “cursing” him. To break the curse, Chris must find four clues before the final battle on Sunday night. Only then can the curse be broken.

Matey’s Tavern is one of the oldest pubs in St. Augustine. Derrick is the owner and is very happy that his pub is on the regular route for the tourist attraction – the Pirate Pub Crawl. Captain Chris was far and away Derrick’s favourite tour leader, six feet tall of deeply interesting man, Derrick couldn’t deny his attraction to the Captain. But Derrick is painfully shy and doesn’t know how to approach Chris. Chris is certainly interested, but doesn’t know Derrick returns the attraction. Can these two men find their way to each other?

I found this to be a fun story, full of pirate lore and set in the lovely historical city of St. Augustine. I enjoyed how the author worked in a fair bit of history about the city without info-dumping and made it feel relevant and intriguing. Derrick and Chris are both really interesting characters and I found myself drawn into the start of their relationship quite quickly. Readers who like a slower pace to their romances should be as thrilled by Derrick and Chris as I was. I loved how they got to know each other a bit first, talking and spending time and not simply jumping straight into bed.

Readers who like pirate stories should also find this a fun and great read. While the re-enactments and pirate stuff is certainly part of the plot, I enjoyed how it was (for me, at least) a completely different way for the two men to come together. And while both Derrick and Chris talked about a whole lot of other things as they got to know each other, the theme of the pirate tours stayed strong throughout the story – it wasn’t just dropped as soon as the men got to know each other, and I found this quite refreshing.

For a hot, sexy and explicit read this story ticks a number of great boxes for me. I loved both Chris and Derrick’s characters and found myself quite attached to them both almost form the start. With a fun scavenger’s hunt, loads of pirate acting and games and a bit of history about the town of St. Augustine, I found this to be a fantastic book and a great read. I’ll happily be reading it many times to come.