Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton


Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery, Horror
Length: Full Length (708 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/F/F, F/F, M/M, F/M/M, Multiple Partners, Menage
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

In her twenty-fifth adventure, vampire hunter and necromancer Anita Blake learns that evil is in the eye of the beholder…

Anita has never seen Damian, her vampire servant, in such a state. The rising sun doesn’t usher in the peaceful death that he desperately needs. Instead, he’s being bombarded with violent nightmares and blood sweats.

And now, with Damian at his most vulnerable, Anita needs him the most. The vampire who created him, who subjected him to centuries of torture, might be losing control, allowing rogue vampires to run wild and break one of their kind’s few strict taboos.

Some say love is a great motivator, but hatred gets the job done, too. And when Anita joins forces with her friend Edward to stop the carnage, Damian will be at their side, even if it means traveling back to the land where all his nightmares spring from…a place that couldn’t be less welcoming to a vampire, an assassin, and a necromancer.

Ireland.

Ever have a book that gripped you so hard that it sucked you right into the author’s world and your own faded away? That’s what Crimson Death did to me. I only did the bare minimum of household chores. I read late into the night until it flipped to morning, grabbed a few hours of sleep only to wake up a few hours later to devour a few more chapters before having to slog off to work to simply come home to read and read some more until almost midnight the next night. Yeah, so, it took me two days to read, but what an amazing two days it was.

I’ve been following this series for years. I’ve watched Anita view everything as black and white; a character was either good or bad, no quarter. Monsters were bad, humans could be bad too but they were human. As the series unfolds, the heroine realizes that she can no longer ignore the ‘gray’ areas; life is a LOT more complicated, and messy and as she grows, Anita realizes that gray areas not only exist, they’re huge. It opens her up to accepting and doing things she never, ever, in a million years would think or do. Following her has been an amazing journey and that journey continues in Crimson Death. Sure, there are original fans that prefer her early years when it was all about the mystery, the horror, the suspense, drama and how it affected her. I mean, first person point of view really gets into a character’s head and the author has the daunting job of staying there. Ms. Hamilton has done Anita for so long, it seems second nature – I’m always right there with Marshall Blake, even when the blood flows.

This huge novel is no different when it comes to exploring her growth, both in her personal life and in her power. Yes, there is large section that explores Anita’s power’s connection to sex within her small group of loves and lovers, but before anyone scoffs at all the sex, be aware that there are a few astounding and earth shattering revelations that ripple through the rest of the novel stemming from all that erotic sex, which includes just a smidgen of voyeurism and exhibitionism from one of mine and Anita’s favorite people. Another warning to die-hard fans – be prepared to sniffle or cry or just get serious goosebumps on what happens. The one huge tragedy that affected me the most ends up being a turning point in Anita’s life that will have ginormous ramifications for future books. I didn’t want it to happen. All I could say was ‘no! no! no!, but of course Ms. Hamilton excels at writing the hard scenes – scenes for which a reader ultimately comes to the sad but resigned conclusion that it served a valid, crucial and necessary purpose. I don’t have to like it but I recognize Ms. Hamilton is staying true to Anita’s journey.

A lot of my favorite recurring secondary/primary characters populate this novel. There is one new character that sheds some light on Edward/Ted. It was actually humorous at times, which I didn’t expect at all. I think Anita was just as bemused as I was. Thing is, she has the ability to pester him in future books to satisfy her curiosity. I’m looking forward to what she finds out.

Of course the main villain and cohorts are truly evil, nasty, horrific, sociopathic and creepy. However, not all the cohorts are there willingly and how the author dealt with them kept my heart pounding with dread. This is such a powerfully, well written book, I could not remain unaffected.

This isn’t truly a standalone read because some of the things that occur are at their most commanding and powerful if a reader is personally vested in caring for certain characters from previous stories. If a person were to just start with this book, there are mentions of past experiences that provide Anita with the power she currently has, and they might be shocked by how erotic and numerous the sex initially is, but the main mystery of trying to figure out who or what is making all these vampires and why, can carry this novel by itself. It also might capture new fans and they might be inspired to read the series from the beginning or at least a few of the books that were alluded to in this one.

I am a fan of Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, and I highly recommend this novel to fans that’ve followed her all this time. Crimson Death wowed me to the point that writing this review was a compulsion. I just HAD to tell you how marvelous and incredible Crimson Death was, and recommend it to readers with high praise and accolades.

Tokyo Love by Diana Jean


Tokyo Love by Diana Jean
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Full Length (169 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual, F/F Interaction
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Stargazer

When Kathleen Schmitt is promoted to project lead at Mashida INTL for the Personal Love Companion (PLC), a life-sized, hyper-realistic dating doll, she must relocate to Tokyo. Trying not to get lost in translation is quite the culture shock for this born-and-bred Midwesterner.

She’s surprised when her boss asks her to beta test the new dolls—an assignment that requires having her brain scanned so the company can fashion a personalized doll based on her innermost desires. But most surprising of all: her test PLC turns out to be a woman—one who looks and acts remarkably like her neighbor and coworker, Yuriko Vellucci.

American-born Yuriko is a former transplant herself and is sympathetic to the difficulties of adjustment—to a point. Kathleen is about the most pathetic foreigner this engineer’s ever met. She clearly needs Yuriko’s help and expertise if this transition—and the PLC project—is to be a success.

With Yuriko to show her the way, Kathleen will learn to socialize at an izakaya, find the best onsen in Nikko, party at a matsuri, buy doujinshii in Akihabara, and fall in love with a country so very different from her own.

But can she also learn how to confess her love for the person who showed it to her?

In the not so distant future, will robots make the perfect companion-both in conversation and in love?

Tokyo Love is a deep story the looks into the depth of society and human nature and takes into account that modern technology can find a replacement for almost anything. In fact the main character, Kathleen Schmitt, is the head of a project designed to produce Personal Love Companions (PLC)-essentially robots that can tend to our every need that look, act and learn just like humans. With a rushed timeline and her job on the line, Kathleen is tasked with testing the very first PLC released. The companion, built after a specialized cortex scan is supposed to be everything that Kathleen finds attractive in the human species.

The twist, the PLC looks and acts just like Kathleen’s neighbor! But it doesn’t end there, her neighbor happens to be female causing a mess of emotions and confusion for Kathleen. Kathleen is convinced there must be a glitch in the cortex scan and the gender was wrong with the PLC. Since only a handful of people know about the PLC test, when issues with the PLC arise, from technical complications to severe errors in data processing there are only a few individuals that Kathleen can call on for help-with one of them being her neighbor.

This is a great story that takes into consideration the direction of technology, cultural traditions and human nature. The author, Diana, does a fantastic job at creating real emotions and stirring up conflict. The actions and conversations of the PLC named Ai, and Yuriko, the neighbor are humorous and the constant struggle with Kathleen’s identity and perception of self add to the plot and depth of the story.

The plot is smooth and works in the concerns and stress of work, life-balance, and even how a simple cold can throw everything into a tailspin. Diana does a great job at making the world of the characters-a world in a not too distant future-feel like it is happening right now. The overall questioning of human nature and the capacity to love are the pivotal questions that the author works to answer.

I highly recommend this book if you want to add some technology to your romance reading!

Elusive Radiance by Aidee Ladnier

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Elusive Radiance by Aidee Ladnier
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (32 pages)
Other: F/F
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

A young bodyguard finds her special abilities are no match for a flirtatious delegate willing to gamble everything on the galaxy trade talks.

Assigned to guard a diplomat at the galaxy trade talks, Security Officer Anais wants to shine during her first solo mission for the Chezeray Palace Conglomerate. An Elusive with the ability to make herself invisible, Anais knows her modified genes designate her servant class, but she yearns to be more than simply a protector to the beautiful delegate.

Savea Blackmun arrives alone to the trade talks with the weight of her planet’s future resting on her slim shoulders. Flirting with her pretty bodyguard reveals Anais’ knowledge of the colony markets and Savea realizes there’s much more to her protector than meets the eye.

As their attraction grows, will the diplomat and the bodyguard reject society’s rules to give in to desire instead?

Sometimes what seems like an ordinary day at work can turn out to be not so ordinary after all.

I appreciated how much time Ms. Ladnier took to explain the main character’s background story and special skills. Both of them were key to understanding certain parts of the plot, so I was glad to have as much information as I did about where she came from and why she was given such an important job. There is room for a sequel here, but I was also satisfied with how much I learned about her.

Things heated up too quickly between Anais and Savea for my tastes. I would have liked to see more time spent exploring their connection before they started to get sexual with each other. They definitely had chemistry together, but neither one of them came across me to as someone who would want to have a fling without getting to know their potential partner a little bit first.

The science fiction elements of this story were strong. It was fascinating to see how technology has developed in this futuristic universe. Anais explained it all briefly but included enough details for me to understand how everything worked and why the characters relied on certain kinds of technology so heavily. This is the sort of thing I really enjoy finding in erotic science fiction because of how nicely it fleshes out the rest of the storyline.

Anyone who is a fan of both erotica and science fiction should give Elusive Radiance a try.

Zoey by Jennifer Labelle

zoey
Zoey by Jennifer Labelle
I Dare You book 2
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (54 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, F/F, M/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Zoey Appleby is bored of her vanilla sex life, or lack thereof lately. So, when her friends dare her to have a threesome she’s all for it, in theory anyway. It isn’t until she’s introduced to Heidi and Nathan’s boyfriend, Rafe, that the opportunity comes knocking.

Rafe Zakas is hoping Zoey will consider being their fourth. He needs something more from his two lovers and Zoey is just what he thinks he needs to help him settle down. There is a void she seems to fill within him, and it’s up to Zoey to decide if she’s okay with their new found love and unconventional lifestyle, or will she stick to the life she’s used to?

Zoey has always wanted to be part of a threesome or an orgy and a drunken dare by her two best friends finally gives her the opportunity to really let loose and try it out. Will it be everything she hopes for?

This was an interesting and very sexy short story. I liked Zoey’s character – there was so much potential to her and I was excited to get to know her better. I really wished we got to spend more time with her and that the author had fleshed out her character more. I was extremely surprised that even though this was Zoey’s story a large chunk of the book was spent with Heidi (one of Zoey’s two best friends) in the spotlight. An entire chapter was spent with Heidi and her husband Nathan and their ménage lover, Rafe, and there were also short scenes that didn’t involve Zoey at all. In a 54 page book, I really felt this was critical words and space that should have been focused on Zoey or Zoey and Rafe together – not Heidi.

This all made the story really feel more like an extension of Heidi’s (which was covered in book 1) and made me feel like Zoey was almost a strong secondary character. I had a lot of curiosity about Zoey and wish we could have explored her character further, considering this was “her” book. Why was Zoey’s ultimate sexual fantasy that of a ménage/moresome? How did she go about seeking this in the down-time when the story was focused on Heidi and not Zoey? What was her attraction to Rafe and how did they interact together? I really wanted more focus to be on this. There was so much happening “off camera” that it felt like I missed out on big chunks of the story – Zoey and Rafe getting to know each other better and Zoey exploring the swingers club, both of these felt critical to the plot and progress of the story and yet both were really only mentioned in passing – not in detail. I feel this was a huge opportunity that was left unexplored.

About half way through I decided to stop questioning everything and just disengage my brain. Once I simply read the story as it was portrayed I did enjoy the sexy scenes and I have to admit the writing itself was really good. As a fun, hot foursome story this ticks a lot of the boxes, sex wise. If you’re a reader who can ignore curiosity and just enjoy a sexy story for the sex, this is definitely a good book to try. I enjoyed the foursome scenes – I felt they were hot and well paced. Zoey and Rafe were both smoking hot and clearly attracted to each other. Rafe was also obviously deeply in love with both Nathan and Heidi and the menage scene between the three of them was sexy too.

You don’t necessarily have had to read the first book in the series to enjoy this story. There’s a lot of repeated information around both the dare and how Zoey, Heidi and Meagan are friends. I was pleased for the happy ending and the foursome scenes were hot and well worth the read. Megan’s story is the third (and presumably last) in this series and I’m still curious enough to check it out.

Go to Bed by Melissa “Brownie” Grant

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Go to Bed by Melissa “Brownie” Grant
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (4 pages)
Other: F/F
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

What do you get when you have a sleepless night, a bottle of rum and two good friends? These are the ingredients of a captivating night. Join Carla and Justin as these two friends show you the meaning of nightcap.

There’s more than one way to unwind after a long, stressful day.

What I enjoyed the most about the dialogue was how realistic it was. The characters often shared a part of a thought before getting interrupted or deciding to say something else instead. Listening to them talk to each in such a casual way was such a fun way to get to know them. Both of their personalities shone through in how they decided to speak and what words they chose to use.

The pacing of the plot was uneven. I noticed this the most with the introduction. The narrator spent so much time setting the scene up and giving hints about her relationship with her lady friend that there wasn’t a great deal of space left in the story to describe what happened between them sexually speaking. This made the sex scene feel rushed to me.

With that being said, the chemistry between the two characters was definitely promising. I liked the fact that they knew each other so well that they could often finish each other’s sentences. It made me wonder how long they’d known one another and where their relationship might go next. While it made sense not to spend much time exploring their shared history in a tale as short as this one, I’d be interested to know more about it if the author ever decides to write a sequel.

Go to Bed should be read by anyone in the mood for a quick and intriguing read.

Figs by Tabitha Rayne

FIGS
Figs by Tabitha Rayne
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (40 pgs)
Other: M/F/F, F/F, Ménage, Fetish (Food play)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Two girls, some fruit and an office perv—what could possibly go wrong?

When Mae finally confronts the office perv, Rory, by taking part in one of his suggestive pranks with a fig, she starts a journey that changes the way she thinks and feels about her current partner, Janey. Janey lost her sight just before they met and Mae realizes she has been keeping Janey like a prisoner in her own home—safe, protected and unseen. After the scene with Rory, Mae decides to take Janey out and show her off to the world—something she should have done a long time ago…

Little does she know what a hellraiser her girlfriend can be.

Mae and Janey have been girlfriends a while and are very happy with their relationship. But when Mae takes on a dare from the office perv, Rory, she has no idea how his suggestion will change the status quo of their relationship.

I found this short story to be quite interesting and different. Rory isn’t really made out to be hero material at all. Described not only as the office perv, but as lecherous and almost stalker-ish, I have to be honest and admit his character didn’t initially make a very good first impression. I did, however, like how it was clear almost immediately that there was far more to Rory’s character as that first “perv” impression made out. Mae and Janey also have their faults, both are quite jealous – Mae of Janey’s past experience with other women and Janey of Mae’s current social life and freedom at work throughout the day. This made the interactions between the characters – to my mind at least – both realistic and a lot more interesting than would first appear on the surface. These faults and issues were written in such a manner that they actually compelled my interest in reading further and discover how the story would unfold.

One thing I particularly enjoyed though – and which should appeal to most romance readers – there was never a question to my mind on Mae and Janey’s love for each other. No matter what else was going on between them – with or without Rory – the two women really loved each other and had a solid core at the base of their relationship. This helped ease me over any of my small niggles and little worries. I found their love and devotion to each other was beautiful to read.

Readers should be aware that there’s a fair bit of food-play sexually speaking. While figs are the initial instigation, Mae and Janey don’t stop there with their experimentation. The F/F main relationship between them is what the majority of the story is based upon. While the addition of Rory is consensual and teased/hinted at between the two ladies to ramp up their own sexual arousal the addition of a third and man for the ménage is the culmination of those fantasies, not the basis of the story itself. Readers who aren’t interested in F/F storylines might want to consider this when thinking about this story.

There’s plenty of lush sex scenes that should satisfy any erotic reader. All except the final climax scene were F/F, though the long-awaited ménage really lived up to the foundation that was laid for it in my opinion. A great scene and it left me satisfied by the high note the characters felt.

A steamy, raunchy short story about two committed women exploring their fantasies and some deliciously naughty sexual food-play. Add in the office perv for one night of a decadent ménage and all three of them are about to have a night of the wickedest fantasies. A sensual, sexy story that I enjoyed and found refreshingly different to so many other ménage stories out there.

The Haircut by Lusty Soul

CUT
The Haircut by Lusty Soul
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (31 pages)
Other: F/F
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Lucy, a succubus still coming to terms with her special nature, falls in love with her hairdresser. Elbe isn’t the type of girl she usually falls for, but after seeing her stand up to her bigoted brother, Lucy is impressed by Elbe’s confidence and energy, convinced there’s more to this girl underneath her shy and timid personality.
She offers Elbe her friendship, which quickly turns into scalding passion.
But Elbe’s brother, in his religious zealousness, isn’t so easily deterred…

Not everyone meets their perfect match in life right away.

The sex scenes were really well done. The chemistry between Elbe and Lucy was red hot. I especially liked how the author included the transgender identity of one of them into everything else that was going on without making it the only focal point of that scene. It was incredibly sexy, and it was also a smooth way to share that information with the audience without slowing down the plot one bit.

I would have liked to see more time spent explaining Elbe’s relationship with her brother. There were some things about it that I never understood, especially when it came to how he kept such close tabs on someone he was obviously very upset with. Their tense relationship was such an important part of the plot. It would have been helpful to know more about it so that I could understand certain scenes better later on.

It was intriguing to see how the science fiction and fantasy elements were woven into the main storyline. They never overpowered the erotic moments, but they were never completely forgotten either. I enjoyed seeing such a seamless blend of all of these genres. This is the sort of tale I’d think about mentioning to someone who was a big fan of any one of them and who wanted to branch out and try something new.

The Haircut was a satisfying read that I’d recommend to anyone in the mood for something short and sultry.

Screaming Down Splitsville by Kayla Bashe

SPLITSVILLE
Screaming Down Splitsville by Kayla Bashe
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Horror, Contemporary, LGBTQ
Length: Short Story (41 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet, F/F
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Screaming Down Splitsville takes place in an alternate 1950s where two groups of people with magical powers fight for dominance. Flip, a young lesbian, thinks her healing powers are completely useless. After her escape from a lab, she’s been grounded to a safe base, and while everyone else is on important missions, she keeps the fridge stocked and fixes the plumbing. However, when a chance coincidence sends her on a solo rescue mission, Flip has a surprising reunion with a woman from her past.

Unable to speak after a botched cleft palate surgery, Emma-Rose grew up half-wild in the Southern backwoods- until strangers discovered her magical powers and imprisoned her in a laboratory of torture. Her one salvation was the woman in the next cell, Flip. Now Flip’s returned, and according to her, they’ll both make it to safety. But Emma’s plans have failed so many times that she has no hope left to lose.

As the two women seek to evade their pursuers, their friendship rekindles, and they are forced to confront both enemies and insecurities.

Rescue comes in many forms.

Wow, what an intense story. Everything from the torture chamber to the big chase later on made it impossible for me to stop reading. The fast pacing worked well how energetically the plot was written. I simply had to know what would happen next and if Emma-Rose would get away from her captors. This is the kind of world I deeply enjoy discovering when I crack open a new book because of how much fun it is to explore.

The romantic elements of this tale didn’t work so well for me. They didn’t show up until very late in the plot, and there wasn’t much foreshadowing going on for them before then. I absolutely loved both the characters involved in this part of the storyline, and I was excited to see what would happen to them next. With that being said, I would have liked to see much more time spent building up the romantic tension between them before anything flirtatious happened.

Ms. Bashe did some interesting things with her flashbacks that made me smile. I barely knew anything about the two main characters in the beginning, and she didn’t reveal very much about them until several scenes had flown by. It was fascinating to get to know them so well before learning anything about their previous lives. I also liked seeing how the author tied even the smallest and simplest memories to what was currently going on in the characters’ lives. This isn’t something I’ve seen done very often in this genre.

I’d recommend Screaming Down Splitsville to anyone who enjoys a little romance in their science fiction.

I Wish I’d Never Met You by Tanith Davenport

MET
I Wish I’d Never Met You by Tanith Davenport
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (42 pages)
Other: F/F, Toys
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

There’s only so long you can hide who you are.

Flick Lindenwood, fresh from college, has returned home to the suburban haven of Green Valley, back to society…and the source of her heartbreak. Four years ago Elodie Hamilton savagely broke her heart, and Flick has no intention of letting her pretty ex get back under her skin. As far as she’s concerned, she and Elodie never happened.

But Elodie has other ideas.

Afraid to come out, Elodie chose to destroy her relationship with Flick rather than let her family know who she was. But now she wants to right the wrong she did—if she can only find the nerve, and if she can convince Flick to see past the pain she caused.

Second chances don’t come around very often. Only time will tell if Elodie will make the best of hers.

The supporting characters were nicely written. I liked the dash of humor they added to the plot almost as much as I liked these characters themselves. Seeing how Flick and Elodie responded to their friends and family members added dimensions to their personalities that I never would have noticed otherwise. Including as many of these moments as the author did was a good idea.

There were too many flashbacks for my tastes. While some of them were completely necessary in order to understand why Flick was reacting to her ex the way she did, I was distracted by how often the scenes shifted from the present to what happened to the characters four years ago. They also broke up the pacing of this story without giving me any information about Elodie’s betrayal than I hadn’t already gotten earlier.

There were several times when the dialogue made me smile. A lot of the plot development actually happened as a result of the conversations certain characters had with each other. This was an interesting and creative way to move things along. It’s not something I come across very often in fiction, and it made me curious to look up the rest of Ms. Davenport’s work and see if she uses this same technique in other tales.

Give I Wish I’d Never Met You a try if you’re a fan of reminiscing about the past.

Snowed In, a F/F Anthology by Aiden McKenna, Cassandra McMurphy, Shira Glassman, Jessica Payseur, and Sheri Velarde

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Snowed In, a F/F Anthology by Aiden McKenna, Cassandra McMurphy, Shira Glassman, Jessica Payseur, and Sheri Velarde
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary, Historical
Length: Short Story (109 pages)
Other: F/F, Toys, mild BDSM
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Snowed In is a blend of frost, snow, and wintery lesbian romances from five Torquere Press authors.

A snowed-in band mom falls for a music teacher in Fearless by Shira Glassman. In To Melt a Frozen Heart, Heather finds herself stranded in a blizzard, by Sheri Velarde. Jessica Payseur delivers an icy little fantasy in Frost and Ice. Because of a snowstorm, Rebekah’s not so lonely when Lily can’t make it home in At the Bottom of the Mountain by Aiden McKenna. In Cold Chemistry by Cassandra McMurphy, Alyssa doesn’t want to want Jayne, but she can’t seem to help herself.

Sometimes all you need to feel sexy is a little snow and ice.

The chemistry between Lana and her daughter’s music teacher, Melanie, was strong in “Fearless.” I really enjoyed watching it slowly heat up as they got to know each other better at the competition they were chaperoning. They were so compatible that I couldn’t wait for them to realize just how much they had in common and do something about their feelings. While I don’t know if Ms. Glassman is planning to write a sequel, there sure seems to be room for one here.

Heather’s chilly predicament in “To Melt a Frozen Heart” made me shiver in sympathy. Her relationship with Ana, the woman who took her in for the night, moved too fast for my tastes, but I can’t deny that there were sparks between them. Had their connection been given more time to develop, this would have been my favorite tale in the collection as the dialogue was handled well and the sex scene was pretty hot.

“Frost and Ice” started off with Isolde and Jaq using magic to battle over where the boundaries between their territories should be drawn. While I was fascinated by the idea of a magical duel, the transition from fighting to passion never quite made sense to me. I would have preferred to see more time spent showing why two people who seem to dislike each other as much as they do would want to end up in bed together.

What I liked the most about “At the Bottom of the Mountain” was how descriptive it was. Everything from the sound of wind rattling a padlock outdoors to the sight of the old, cozy farmhouse Rebekah lived in was described in great detail. I could picture everything that happened in great detail. It made me feel as though I was waiting out the snowstorm with the characters, and that’s exactly what I like finding in a story.

“Cold Chemistry” was deliciously flirtatious from the beginning. The playful dialogue brought many of Alyssa and Jayne’s hidden desires to the surface in ways that felt completely natural. It was fun to see them slowly grow closer to each other as their flirting gave way to more serious advances.

Snowed In, a F/F Anthology should be read by anyone who needs an excuse to warm up.