Sweet Inspiration by Linda Carroll-Bradd


Sweet Inspiration by Linda Carroll-Bradd
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (50 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Dependable Cadence Wills yearns for excitement. The owner of a yarn business, she is pulled in every direction by her demanding family. Haunting dulcimer notes draw her to a practice for the musical festival, and she spies an intriguing stranger.

Musician Rafe Frasco is a rover, bouncing from one competition to the next. Interest ignites at his first glance at the woman who is enthralled by his music. He is drawn to Cadence whose heart seems big enough to encompass everyone within her reach.

A fantastic opportunity for Rafe presents Cadence with a major problem—is she strong enough to negotiate the business deal that will take him away…maybe forever?

Cadence is getting very tired of being the reliable person in her family. If one of her sisters isn’t asking for her to organise the theme and menu for one of their parties, someone in her extended family is making some other request that gnaws away at her day. Determined to be spontaneous, she leaves her small shop for a quick walk in the sunshine. When a haunting melody captures her attention she follows the sound of the music, intrigued. She meets Rafe, a tall, dark and mysterious man who instantly steals her affections. Can this man be part of her future?

This is a lovely, sweet romance story with plenty of steamy chemistry. I loved how Cadence was a sweet, small-town girl. I felt a bit bad that she’d managed to allow herself to be used a bit (in a nice and kindly sort of way) by family and friends around her. Cadence sits on a bunch of committees, babysits at the drop of a hat for her sisters and acts as a counselor and go-between for far too many people. All to the extent where her own dreams and desires are stifled. I loved how when Rafe finally walks into her life Cadence’s own desires suddenly come into the fore and she gets the courage to finally go after some of the romance and adventure she secretly yearns for.

While the storyline is mostly very sweet and slow, there are a few steamy kisses and a passionate clinch. Rafe and Cadence spend the night together (completely platonically) too so I’m not certain it would be appropriate for teenaged readers – but all other age groups should find this a wholesome, character-driven and excellent romance story. Overall I found this story to be very wholesome and in some ways empowering. Sometimes very good people can find it difficult to say “no” when friends and family ask for favours or help and shelving their own dreams and needs in the process. I loved how Cadence decided to follow her heart with Rafe and start their adventures together. I found it to be a powerful, loving and very happy storyline and I really enjoyed it.

Readers who like a bit of steam and spicy kisses with their romance, but nothing too physical or sexy should find this a good balance with an interesting storyline and some memorable characters.

Petals by Reina M. Williams


Petals by Reina M. Williams
A Rancho Valle short story
Publisher: Rickrack Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (65 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Visit a small town with a heart as gold as the California hills! Settle in a cozy seat and enjoy these sweet, Austen-inspired stories of pride and prejudice, persuasion, and matchmaking in this modern “country village.”

Bennet Ray is home. She loves her grandma, their toy shop, and their cobbled-together family in the small Sonoma County town of Rancho Valle. But restless wanderer Bennet is afraid she can’t settle down, or be open to the love she wants. When her former high school nemesis Ryan Stone threatens her family’s business, and her feelings, can she face her past and find and way to remain in Rancho Valle?

After the death of her Grandpa and her Grandma’s stroke, Bennet decided it was past time to move back home and help her Grandma run the toy store. Even though her heart yearned to continue her music and travels, Bennet couldn’t turn her back on her the woman who raised her in a loving home. To help welcome her back, Bennet’s Grandma invites a number of the locals around for dinner, people Bennet grew up with and a few of her childhood friends – including Ryan. Can this be their second chance together?

This is a very sweet short story. I was a little surprised at some of the tension and conflict that was initially between Ryan and Bennet. While Ryan wasn’t exactly a prince charming, I didn’t feel as if he was quite the rude villain that Bennet initially made him out to be. Ryan seemed to me to be one of those men who doesn’t always understand how blunt his comments come across as – which while certainly not comfortable, is nothing too disastrous in my mind. What surprised me was that Bennet slanted a number of things Ryan said to her as if he were criticizing her and putting her down. Because of this I really didn’t understand why he appealed to her at all. In the beginning I felt like Bennet was a little over-sensitive and biased when it came to Ryan.

I was extremely pleased when this stopped still fairly early on in the story. It was quite a relief when Bennet began to see Ryan as he truly was – not the best communicator, but not rude or mean either. From here their romance blossomed wonderfully and by half way through the story I was feeling quite comfortable and invested in both Ryan and Bennet.

Readers who like small-town stories should really enjoy this. There is a strong cast of a number of secondary characters and plenty of that lovely small town/old fashioned feel to this story. Add in that it’s exceedingly sweet – one small, non-descriptive kiss at the very end to seal the happy ending – and I feel this is a good story for readers of all ages. This is the sort of story I would happily recommend to my mum or grandma, or even a teenage reader.

With great characters, an interesting plot revolving around Bennet coming home after quite a few years away and the beginning of a beautiful romance between Bennet and Ryan, I feel this is a good book with a number of things to appeal to a wide range of readers.

Claw And Ollie by Angelique Voisen


Claw And Ollie by Angelique Voisen
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (48 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Can a broken cat find redemption?

Tabby shifter Ollie can charm his way into any safe and into the pants of any eligible bachelor…once upon a time. Now Ollie’s merely a shadow of his former self, terrified of facing the outside world. Ollie craves seclusion, until his heart starts longing for a mate to make him whole again.

One glimpse is all it takes for jaguar shifter Claw to know Ollie’s the one man he’s been searching for his entire life. Knowing Ollie needs time to heal, Claw’s kept his distance. When an enemy from Ollie’s past resurfaces, it’s up to Claw to get his hands dirty. Claw doesn’t mind, as long as he gets his reward in the end. Ollie will become his, no matter what happens.

Ollie was an ex-thief and had made plenty of mistakes in the past. Having more than paid for them, he’d hidden himself away, determined not to be involved with anyone or anything ever again. Only his brother, Orange, had kept in touch, trying to not let Ollie lose touch entirely with the outside world. Eventually Orange brings Claw around to Ollie’s apartment, determined that together, Ollie might finally try to reconnect with his life again if Claw is by his side to keep Ollie out of trouble. Can the two shifters come to some kind of arrangement?

I found this to be an interesting short story. I really enjoyed the depth and complexity of Ollie’s character. There was plenty of back-story to him which I found a little difficult to follow at times, which I presume would have been far clearer had I read the previous stories. That said, I could understand enough to follow along, I was just left with questions. Ollie had been captured and tortured while performing his last job (I didn’t really ever understand why – or how that connected to Ollie’s brother, Orange) and was rescued by Orange, Orange’s mate, Mal and their friend Claw. This understandably had left Ollie with emotional and physical scars and plenty of baggage. Watching Ollie try to deal with that, and learn how to move forward again, was interesting and an excellent set-up for this book.

I found Ollie’s character to be interesting, layered and complicated, which I loved. Also because of this I could similarly appreciate Claw being a fairly simple character in contrast. I was pleased Claw tried to walk a balance between being genuinely sympathetic of Ollie’s situation and difficulties, without walking on eggshells or pandering to (a very understandable) well of self-pity. I think the author did a really good job of helping Claw negotiate between these two things and I ended up really liking and respecting Claw and feeling like he was exactly what Ollie needed to come out of his shell and start living life again. I couldn’t help but feel, though, that Ollie made some stupid decisions – going out alone at night to the enemy territory after having multiple death threats – I really felt Ollie should have known better than to act so stupidly – especially considering he’d already been kidnapped and tortured in the not too distance past.

I also found a number of grammatical/editing errors that jarred me somewhat from the flow of the narrative and this certainly lessened some of my enjoyment of the story. But I have to say that the characters were interesting and kept my attention, and most importantly I continued to want to know what happened next. A little over half way through I had to just disconnect my brain, suspend disbelief and simply go with the story, and as a bodyguard-slash-paranormal-mate style story this really was mostly enjoyable.

Readers who are sticklers against “too stupid to live” sort of moves and find even small editing errors ruin a book for them might want to give this a miss, but I genuinely feel readers who just want something fun, sexy and full of alpha-hero-shifter type characters can probably find a lot to like with this sexy paranormal story.

A Perfect Beginning by Casper Graham


A Perfect Beginning by Casper Graham
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (65 pgs)
Other: M/M, M/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Brandon Miller is attracted to his superior, Jacob Connors, and the man’s boyfriend, Harold Collins, but he doesn’t want to insinuate himself into another couple’s relationship. Unexpectedly, the two men ask him out on a date and invite him into their lives.

Jacob Connors is having problems with his boyfriend, but neither men is willing to end things between them. Instead of working things out in an ordinary manner, their relationship becomes more complicated when they decide to add Brandon Miller into the mix.

Will Brandon be the missing puzzle piece that completes the relationship between Jacob and Harold? Or will the three men crash and burn together?

Jacob and Harold had been together for years, their rough, aggressive sex belying just how deeply they loved each other. As good as their relationship is though, it lacked any tenderness and they both knew they needed to add some to even though both out. Jason decided adding one of his employees, Brandon, into the mix might be exactly the sort of thing they needed. Harold isn’t as sure, but is willing to try anything to help their relationship be as perfect as possible.

I found this to be an interesting take on how a committed, solid, long-term couple could include a third person and alter their relationship into becoming a ménage. Jacob and Harold were both very self-aware and honest about the issues in their relationship, and while it certainly isn’t conventional to add a carefully selected third party to balance – they were certain it would work for them. And they proved to be correct. The two strong-willed, alpha males understood themselves enough to know they couldn’t – wouldn’t – change, and Brandon acted as quite the buffer between them. I have serious doubts this would work very often (if at all) in reality, but the joy of fiction is that – for me at least – it only needs to be logical, not necessarily realistic.

This short story also appealed to me as it showed and explained quite a few of the structural changes that need to occur when two become three. Jacob and Harold were both very open to each other of what sort of fantasies they were having when they decided to include Brandon, which I found helped greatly open their lines of communication – which is critical in a ménage. Also, they didn’t rush to immediately include Brandon in every aspect of their life. I was pleased to see that they took a more careful and realistic pace to the whole matter.

With a nice slow pace, I enjoyed watching Jacob, Harold and Brandon integrate their lives together and become a threesome. With plenty of steamy, descriptive sex and plenty of alpha like passion I feel this is sure to appeal to a large audience of M/M readers.

His Dirty Girl by Winter Sloane


His Dirty Girl by Winter Sloane
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (43 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Rob: We see each other on the eight o’clock train from Mondays to Fridays. Rush hour means there’s no room to maneuver or breathe. I first touch her by accident, not expecting her to lean towards me. No other woman has ever driven me insane with lust. A taste isn’t enough. I want more—her name for a start and eventually her heart.

Maddie: No names. We don’t even utter a single word. All we need is the language of pants and gritted teeth. We’re two lonely souls on the daily grind, strangers who meet at the crossroads. I tell myself I’ll stop eventually, but I keep coming back. He wants more, says he’s ready to give his name. I think I know where this is heading, but I’m certain this is one train wreck waiting to happen.

Three weeks ago Rob started doing his morning commute on the train. In the fourth carriage is a gorgeous woman, one whose name he still doesn’t know, but who manages to start his day on a serious high note. Grinding against each other in the packed rush-hour carriage, the two of them manage a number of intimate encounters with no one around them the wiser. But finally Rob decides he wants more, and when Maddie tells him her name, they can finally uncover what might really be between them both.

I found this to be an interesting short story. I liked how Rob and Maddie met on the train together – giving a definite zing to their morning commute to work. I also appreciated how their very public setting gave them both time to get to know each other a little before they indulged in the hot sex and chemistry blazing between them. I enjoyed getting to know both Rob and Maddie a little before seeing them try and take their relationship further.

While I found Rob and Maddie meeting and playing on the morning train refreshingly different, the other two main plotlines of Rob’s crazy ex-wife and Maddie’s harassing boss were a little clichéd. Thankfully both were minor plotlines and didn’t detract at all from the blossoming romance between Maddie and Rob. I felt the pacing of the relationship between Maddie and Rob was realistic and I enjoyed it, ending certainly with an air of positivity. Apart from slight exhibitionist tendencies, there wasn’t really any kink to their sex – so readers thinking there might be edgier sex might be a little disappointed. I felt that the overall romantic nature of their sexy relationship made up for the lack of “dirtiness” that’s alluded to in the title.

A fun and very sexy story, I enjoyed reading about Rob and Maddie finding each other and coming together.

Teddy’s Bear by Keely Jakes


Teddy’s Bear by Keely Jakes
Team Paladin Book 4
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (52 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Teddy’s in shock after being kidnapped. Even more so when the shifter side that’s been dormant his entire life comes to life. At least his attraction to Dallas now makes perfect sense.

Dallas knows immediately that Teddy is his mate, but he doesn’t push himself on the other man. Being a soldier who barely finished high school, he doesn’t think he’s much of a catch, but he’s the only one who can teach Teddy how to deal with his shifter side. A side Teddy never knew he had. But Teddy’s also determined to return to his life in Chicago.

Can Teddy get a handle on being a shifter? Will Dallas and his bear be able to live in Chicago? Will Teddy change his mind about returning to Paladin?

Teddy has been kidnapped by the sadistic killer, Doctor Pain, and Dallas is determined to rescue him as quickly as possible. Dallas and Teddy’s half brother – Roane – are in hot pursuit, though Dallas is terrified they’ll be too late to save his mate. Teddy has quite a secret, one he’s kept all his life. The mountain lion hidden deep inside him – content for all these years to stay quiet and still – suddenly roars forward when Teddy’s life is in critical danger. And Teddy must face the consequences of his life altering forever.

I was pleased – though a little surprised – that the plotline of Doctor Pain (carried over from the previous Team Paladin book, “Jack and the Ginger with a Twist”) was dealt with quite promptly at the very beginning of this story. I felt really divided over this. On the one hand I completely understood it being dealt with immediately, as it was a thread left hanging in the previous book. But on the other hand, having it finished so quickly and early left me feeling a little like it was skimmed over. I felt like such a large plotline as the whole Doctor Pain thing settled so easily and quickly felt a little unsatisfying.

I was very pleased though that there was plenty of other new plot brought in. I thought watching Teddy learn about his mountain lion shifter – and learning pretty much from scratch how to control and use it – was extremely interesting. This clearly showed a lot of the world-building which I felt was somewhat lacking in previous books in the series, and it helped to give me as a reader a really clear idea of how this particular paranormal world worked. I also loved seeing Dallas and Teddy build on their relationship and find their groove on together. It was also refreshing to get out of Butte and the countryside for a little bit – when Teddy wanted to go home to Chicago and have Dallas help him get his life back in order.

While I feel this book probably could be just picked up and read without the previous installments, I really do feel as it’s the fourth book in the series that a lot of other stuff has happened. Particularly the Doctor Pain thing might not make a lot of sense (and seem completely superfluous) without having read the previous book. That said, while I genuinely don’t think a reader picking this book up cold will find the same enjoyment out of it, it certainly can be read and understood fairly well.

There is an epilogue that clearly leads into the next book – a fiendishly clever marketing plot, especially when it shows you exactly who the next book will be written about and setting up a hook to drag the readers in. I enjoyed this story and was pleased to see Teddy and Dallas get their happy ending. I’ll be eagerly waiting for the next book in this series.

Something Sweet by Sam Crescent


Something Sweet by Sam Crescent
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (51 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Camden has sworn off women. After having his heart broken, and his dreams crushed, he’d rather focus on his work, and not women. However, his closest friends won’t let him hide. They have a woman for him, and they intend to set him up.

Alyssa doesn’t need men. She has her friends, and her cooking, and her work. Children, men, and a future are just dreams she no longer believes she will ever need.

The moment they meet, sparks fly. Neither of them had anticipated finding love but now their future looked possible together.

Romance is in the air, and even as their friends worry about how fast they are moving, there is no way they’re going to stop. Will Alyssa say yes to his proposal? What will Camden think when he discovers she is pregnant.

Camden had been seriously burned by his ex-lover. For most of the last year a bunch of his good friends had all tried – with no success – to set him up with their friend, Alyssa. Finally Camden concedes defeat and decides to come along to dinner with Alyssa and two of their friends. Alyssa had also had her heart broken – left by her previous boyfriend broke and abandoned in a foreign country – and had zero interest in starting a new relationship. When Camden and Alyssa finally meet though, sparks fly and they both wonder if maybe they gave up on love a little too soon.

I really enjoyed this short story. I was a little skeptical to start with – both Camden and Alyssa had experienced really horrid previous relationships, and both were absolutely determined not to repeat their mistakes or be pressured into dating anyone when they were perfectly satisfied being single and alone. It struck me as odd, therefore, when they both so easily accepted their friends setting them up together. I wasn’t sure how the author could write that massive change and make it believable. I can’t even honestly put my finger on exactly how the author made it work, but it really, truly did – at least for me. I believed Camden and Alyssa’s chemistry and interest in each other – it was certainly cautious at first and they both expressed nerves and doubt. Neither jumped right in, or even acted like they were struck by lightning and just made an immediate about-face on all their long-held beliefs. But through some clever talking and being honest with each other, they both did decide to give the other a chance and they started dating. I found it believable and I could understand their interest and this really helped sell the book to me.

I found it refreshing that Alyssa was a curvy, rounded heroine. While it was completely understandable that she felt a bit shy and wasn’t confidant in her body-image, a part of me wished Alyssa could have owned her curves and been really proud of her body. I can’t criticize the author though, because Alyssa was a soft, sweet character and so it made a lot of sense for her to be shy and have those personal issues. I do hope, though, that in future books if we see snapshots of Alyssa and Camden her confidence will grow, because Camden certainly loved every inch of those curves and found her totally sexy. Hopefully some of his confidence and love will help bolster Alyssa’s self-esteem and self-image.

A fun and sexy short story, I enjoyed this book and particularly liked the realistic and interesting characters of both Alyssa and Camden. There’s a strong cast of secondary characters in their mutual friends and I’d happily read more stories both in this series and in general by this author.

Bouncer Bear by Julia Talbot


Bouncer Bear by Julia Talbot
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (49 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Werebear Trey feels totally out of place when he hires on at Hot Tin Roof as a bouncer. There are all these beautiful men who dance at the club, like Sammy, and like Sammy’s bartender boyfriend, Jordan. Then there’s the fact that most guys look at a big, burly guy like Trey and think he’s a top, when Trey is anything but.

Sammy meets Trey and he knows the big guy is just the subby bottom he and his werecat shifter lover need. Jordan is such an effortless top, and he makes Sammy feel like a rock star, but they could both open their hearts to take Trey in. Can they convince this homeless bear he has a place with them?

Trey’s car is broken down and he needs money. So what’s a bear-shifter to do, but get a job at the local club as a bouncer. Sammy’s a dancer and Jordan the barman – and while each appeals to Trey in a different way, the two men are together – and a pair that Trey just can’t resist. When the three of them decide to play, can Trey manage to keep his heart intact?

I found this to be a deliciously hot ménage romance. Sammy and Jordan are delicious together and totally committed, but now and then they like to invite a third person to play with them. Both men are instantly attracted to Trey. They can tell pretty quickly that the large bear is a magnificent sub and hits the right hot-buttons for both Sammy and Jordan. I especially loved how Trey didn’t just instantly fall all over himself to hook up with Sammy and Jordan. Neither did he play hard to get or act coy. Trey has been hurt in the past and is cautious, albeit needy, in his private life. I adored how the three men needed to work to get together and how in the process this let them get to know each other better and forge an emotional connection before they burned the sheets together.

Emotional, romantic and scorching hot, I genuinely have no criticism for anything in this story. I adored Trey – and loved Sammy and Jordan. The Hot Tin Roof club was fun and very well written and the few secondary characters easily hooked me into hoping there were plenty more stories coming in this series. This totally stands alone perfectly and I especially loved the balance of emotional and romantic connections mingled in with the hot sex. Sammy’s dance moves and fiery personality especially made me smile and laugh, he’s a firecracker of a character and I would dearly love to see more stories revolving around this threesome.

This short story was truly amazing and I have added the series onto my (very short) auto-read list. A brilliant story and one I will eagerly reread many times to come.

The Perfect Christmas by Gayle Cranfield


The Perfect Christmas by Gayle Cranfield
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (30 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Gabrielle Sullivan is in a panic to finish her shopping on Christmas Eve when she literally bumps into an old friend from university, Justin Law. She’s knocked to the ground, bruising her ankle. The two friends decide to catch up on the ten years since graduation over coffee.

Too naive to admit they had a strong attraction in the past, they spend the night together awakening a spark neither realized was dormant.

Will they walk away from each other in the morning, or will they have The Perfect Christmas?

After working some nightmarish hours Gabrielle finds herself doing her family’s Christmas shopping at the very last minute on Christmas Eve. Rushing to catch her train home, Gaby bumps literally into an old friend from university – Justin. Having missed her train, Gabrielle agrees to have coffee with Justin and the two begin to reconnect. Can this be the perfect Christmas for them both?

This is a lovely, but super short, story. The plotline is quite predictable, but I found that I didn’t mind too much as both Justin and Gabrielle’s characters were quite interesting. Add Gabrielle’s slightly crazy sister and all the hustle and bustle of Christmas madness and I generally found this to be a fun, lighthearted Christmas story.

There were only two short sex scenes – but I found them very sexy and steamily written. I couldn’t help but feel that with a little more ruthless editing there could have been more room left for a deeper exploration – emotionally or sexually – between Justin and Gabrielle. There was quite a bit of story spent with Gabrielle analyzing her current client and work situation, as well as her sleazy ex-boss and details around that. Had any of that linked in to the bigger story between Gabrielle and Justin I could understand the time and words spent on it, but I didn’t feel like that really lead anywhere. I feel this could easily have been cut down to a few sentences of explanation and left quite a bit of room for the relationship between Gaby and Justin to have been given more details. I didn’t feel Gaby and Justin were short-changed, but I would have far preferred to read more on the two of them together – rather than a lot of details about Gaby’s work and ex boss when it didn’t seem to really lead anywhere much.

That said, I loved the happy ending, I greatly enjoyed the characters in this story and overall this felt to me like a good, enjoyable Christmas short story. Fast moving and sweetly sexy, this has great characters and is a story that I feel should leave readers feeling all warm and fuzzy.

Christmas Party by Shelby Morgen


Christmas Party by Shelby Morgen
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (37 pgs)
Other: M/F, Anal Play
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Cherie, office IT tech and unmitigated girl-gamer-geek, protects her privacy by telling the office matchmakers she has a boyfriend stationed overseas. Tech Sergeant Zakarias, the unit IT guy, tells the guys on base he’s got a girlfriend waiting back home. Both lies are designed to keep the two of them safely insulated from well meaning friends — and heartbreak.

When the two IT people voted least likely to ever get a date collide at Cherie’s office Christmas party, they decide it’s easier to ride the holidays out together than try to escape their own lies. They’ve got a lot in common, but is the chemistry they share enough to make up for all the reasons they’ve been determined to stay single?

Cherie doesn’t mind Christmas – she just hates the obligatory Christmas Parties and ensuing bunch of awkward questions. But when Zak starts speaking her language, suddenly this particular Christmas Party ends up being the best of her life.

I laughed so hard through this short story and was utterly charmed within the first couple of pages. From mis-spelling her fake-boyfriend’s name to tech-geek computer gaming conversations this is a realistic, hilarious and wonderfully sexy short story. I wish half my Christmas parties were this much fun! The chemistry between Cherie and Zak was smoking hot, and I loved how quickly and easily they managed to click emotionally as well as physically.

While this was absolutely a short story and thus fast paced, I believed and really loved the connection between Cherie and Zak. Add in that Zak was a man in uniform and I genuinely couldn’t find a single fault with the story, writing or characters. This is an amazing, funny and clever story that I loved from start to finish, and one I know will remain on my keeper pile. While set at Christmas time, there wasn’t a lot of Christmassy-ness in it, and speaking personally I didn’t mind that at all, though readers looking for a Christmas-themed story might find this one small aspect lacking.

With frozen dildos, laptop comparisons and raids of bachelorette party condoms, this book had me laughing so hard all the way through and deliciously invested in Cherie and Zak’s brand new relationship. Equal parts sexy and fun I adored this story and can’t recommend it highly enough.