The Walls by Hollie Overton


The Walls by Hollie Overton
Publisher: Century
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (416 pgs)
Rating: 4.5 stars
Review by: Cholla

A heart-stopping psychological suspense novel about a Texas prison official driven to commit the perfect crime, by the author of the international bestselling thriller Baby Doll.

WOULD YOU KILL TO PROTECT YOUR FAMILY?

Working on death row is far from Kristy Tucker’s dream, but she is grateful for a job that allows her to support her son and ailing father.

When she meets Lance Dobson, Kristy begins to imagine a different kind of future. But after their wedding, she finds herself serving her own life sentence—one of abuse and constant terror.

But Kristy is a survivor, and as Lance’s violence escalates, the inmates she’s worked with have planted an idea she simply can’t shake.

Now she must decide whether she’ll risk everything to protect her family.

Does she have what it takes to commit the perfect crime?

For as long as she can remember, it’s been her, her dad, and her little boy. So, when Kristy Tucker meets Lance Dobson, she’s wary at first, but is soon won over by his charm and gregarious nature. But is he too good to be true or are years of having to survive on her own dragging her down?

Kristy Tucker has worked hard to give her son, Ryan, everything he needs. She hates her job working in public information officer for the Texas Department of Corrections, but it pays well and helps her get what she needs. Even though her job is difficult on both physical and mental levels, Kristy always manages to give her family and the inmates she’s responsible for one hundred percent of her best effort. She’s an extremely complex character who has a lot going on internally.

I think it’s easy to see that there’s something very wrong with Lance from the beginning. Anyone who has managed to develop as much blind devotion as Lance has is a giant red flag. You can’t fault Kristy for wanting to believe, however. She’s a loving and devoted wife and daughter and deserves a little happiness for herself. Lance makes sure to take every ounce of it away in the end.

Although there were many times when Lance came across as over the top, he remains frightening and intense throughout the entire novel. Thankfully, I’ve never been in this kind of situation so it’s hard for me to judge whether he’s overly dramatic or if this is possibly real life. When Kristy finally makes her decision to stand up for herself, protect not just her own life but those of her loved ones, I found myself all in with her crazy plan. While I don’t think it would have succeeded in real life, it still took guts to do what needed to be done for everyone involved.

The Walls is an interesting look into death row in Texas as well as an intense rollercoaster ride of a story. One of the best books I’ve read this year and had me turning the pages as fast as I was able.

Robin & Sam by Sean Michael


Robin & Sam by Sean Michael
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (97 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

When Master Renard sees Robin and Sam on the night’s auction block, he decides he must have them and makes a pre-emptive bid, wanting them in his playroom sooner than later. He’s intrigued by the two boys who look so different and by the idea of having two boys at once to dominate.

Are they destined to find pleasure and happiness all together, or is this magical week going to end in tears?

Robin and Sam have been best friends and lovers for years. They both know what they need though – and that’s to share a Master together. Problem is they haven’t had any luck finding the right man, so they decide to auction themselves as a pair. Master Renard wins them for a whole week of deep submission. Can it be what all three of them want it to be?

This is two super hot menage stories. I loved the connection between Robin and Sam, they clearly love each other deeply and have a good, strong relationship already. They both want a Master though and have struggled to find the right match to suit them both. I enjoyed how Renard didn’t instantly get everything perfectly right either – with two such different guys with different needs it took Renard a little while to understand exactly what each needed and that small bit of realism really made this story for me. I’m all about escapism in my romance fiction, but the fact that the guys had to work even just a bit to make the threesome click properly together really helped sell me on what a great story this was.

The sex was intense and explosively hot – I’d recommend not reading this in a public place because I sure blushed a lot while reading it. I found that this was an intense BDSM relationship – nothing over the top, but certainly not just a little light spanking in the heat of the moment. Sheaths, nipple clamps, delayed gratification and restraints were all prominent and quite a few other elements too. I’d think that readers would need to be comfortable with a lot of BDSM lifestyle elements before suggesting they read these two stories.

Overall I loved both the connection Robin and Sam had together, as well as the threesome they become with Renard. I found this to be a hotly written, steamy BDSM story and well worth the read.

Jack, Alec And Ben by Sean Michael


Jack, Alec And Ben by Sean Michael
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (114 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Three men risk it all to find the Master of their hearts at the Shibari Auction House.

Jack: When Jack’s gambling debts catch up to him he decides to sell his time for three years to the highest bidder, hoping someone is willing to pay him enough to clear his debts for good. Is he jumping from the frying pan into the fire? Only time will tell.

Alec: Experienced sub Alec is back at the Shibari Auction House to sell two more years of his time after his master of ten years turns him in for a “newer model.” Novice Top Benj can’t believe anyone would throw the lovely Alec away or complain that he’s too old and snaps Alec up for twice the asking price. Is it possible both men will find what they need together?

Ben: Three years ago, Ben let Master Lukas buy him over multiple evenings, only to cut and run when he felt himself beginning to fall for the perceptive and handsome Master. Now he’s returning to the Shibari Auction House stage, but is he ready to pick up where he and Master Lukas left off? Only time will tell.

Jack urgently needs the money auctioning himself off can give him, can it solve his problems or open up a whole new set for him? Alec is an experienced sub who is only recently out of a long-term contract. Can Alec and Benj find what they’re both looking for together? Finally, Ben had run when his feeling for Master Lukas grew deep. Can they reclaim what they’ve both left behind? Enjoy this three-story set all in the one volume.

In desperate need of money to pay off a gambling debt, Jack is literally out of options until a bartender friend tells him about the Shibairi Auction house. With nowhere else to raise the funds, Jack sells himself off for a three year contract and meets Master JF. I found myself chuckling at the opening scene where Jack is doing the paper-work side of the auction, going over a list of what will and won’t be allowable. Even though it’s clear he is in dire straits and has no other options, his almost casual agreeing to items (and checking that no one would want to cut his balls off) just struck a chord with me and I was caught, somewhere between sympathy, keen interest and laughter. It was a delicious balance and I must admit, hooked me from the very beginning.

Equal parts intense, romantic and hot this was a lovely read and while I initially felt that Master JF was a little clichéd as the wealthy, bored patron the chemistry between Jack and JF quickly sucked me back into the story. Ending with a “Happy For Now” style of conclusion this is a sexy short story that I really enjoyed.

I instantly felt empathy for Alec’s character – released from his contract when his Master felt that Alec, at twenty-nine, was “too old”. As a plot it was certainly something different to me, what happens to submissives when they’re no longer fresh and young? Even more interestingly, I was intrigued by Master Benj being a relative new Top – his first night being when Benj buys Alec. Watching these two very different men coming together and exploring the delicate, new and unusual relationship grow between them was a delight I utterly loved. I found the storyline refreshingly different and the characters charming. I really loved this short story.

The third short story centered around Ben and Master Lukas. Although they had spent a few nights together years ago, watching Ben and Lukas reconnect again was lovely. I loved the mix of teasing and hot sensuality that crackled between them. Reading about them getting their happy ending was just a delight.

Three deliciously hot short story compiled together into an amazing book that I thoroughly loved. Highly recommended.

Last Gambit by Om Swami

Last Gambit by Om Swami
Publisher: Black Lotus
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (208 pgs)
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Rose

Success by design is infinitely better than a win by chance. Vasu Bhatt is fourteen years old when a mysterious old man spots him at a chess tournament and offers to coach him, on two simple but strange conditions: he would not accompany his student to tournaments, and there was to be no digging into his past. Initially resentful, Vasu begins to gradually understand his master’s mettle.

Over eight years, master and student come to love and respect each other, but the two conditions remain unbroken – until Vasu confronts and provokes the old man. Meanwhile, their hard work and strategy pay off: Vasu qualifies for the world chess championship. But can he make it all the way without his master by his side?

Inspiring, moving and mercurial, The Last Gambit is a beautiful coming of age tale in a uniquely Indian context.

I have to confess that I’m not a chess whiz. I know the names of the pieces… I even know how they move. But, that’s the extent of it. But, the good thing is, you don’t really need to know chess to get a lot out of this book (though I’m sure a chess background wouldn’t hurt and you might get a whole other level of understanding from it).

The lessons that Vasu learns at the hands of the Master go way beyond playing chess–they are definitely life-changing and life-encompassing. The Master’s wisdom, and the way he imparted it, made me think at times of the relationship between Daniel and Miyagi in Karate Kid, though the stories couldn’t be more different.

Another thing I really enjoyed about this book was getting to see a glimpse of Indian life. This was something new to me, and it was presented simply as a background to the story. I found the glimpse of the culture fascinating.

All in all, this is a book I found easy to read, but at the same time it’s a book I think I could dip into again from time to time– just to pick places in random to reread and see what lesson I could learn more about…and to pick up little nuggets of information to think about.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Immortally Yours by Lynsay Sands


Immortally Yours by Lynsay Sands
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (400 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

One hundred and twenty-five years is a long time to nurse a crush. That’s how long it’s been since Beth Argenis first met Cullen “Scotty” MacDonald and he instantly became the star of her most X-rated dreams. Back then, he was rescuing her from a Rogue Immortal. Now Beth’s a Rogue Hunter—a damn good one. She doesn’t need saving anymore, despite what Scotty thinks. What she does need is the fierce, wild desire that finally erupts between them.

Scotty has hesitated to claim Beth as his own. But one explosive kiss confirms what he’s long suspected: She’s his life mate. But Beth is tough, fearless, beautiful…and in immortal danger. Unless he wants to lose her forever, he’ll have to rethink everything he once believed about love and destiny as well as confront an enemy who’s terrifyingly close.

No matter how fantastical the paranormal aspect is in a novel, it’s the human factor that helps a reader relate to the characters and the overall story. One of the plot conflicts is a tale as old as time in Immortally Yours and yet Ms. Sands injects a refreshing wrinkle, Argeneau style, and makes it her own.

In the last book with the mad scientist, I thought for sure the next novel would pick up that thread and in a way it did, but not as I expected. This tale shifts to the ramifications and effects on the rest of the Argeneau clan that were left behind when the others went to rescue their kidnapped family members. Reinforcements are called in from other parts of the world which introduces new personalities that the Canadian Argeneaus need to not only work with but trust. One would think that was a safe bet, they’re sort of like family after all, right? Nope, because not all of them are Argeneaus and there are other prominent Immortal families out there that are also movers and shakers. I found out that there is a Russian faction that, from the sounds of it, are rather fierce, who play hardball and are feared by many. So, how does that play into this plot? It’s effective, clever, interesting and surprising.

The mystery involves the basic questions of figuring out who is a traitor, who is betraying them and why do all the attacks seem to target specific people and how in the world are the villains always one step ahead? I didn’t find out until the heroine, Beth, found out the hard way. Once I read the ‘great reveal’, I sat back and thought, “Why didn’t I figure that out earlier? It seems like it should have been so obvious!”, except it wasn’t. Not for me. I was wonderfully stunned.

As for the heroine, that poor girl! I mean, seriously, how many times can a person get toasted like a marshmallow, skewered like a shish kebab or dodge other surprising attacks? Beth had some near misses and some attacks were dead on. Was she continually in the right place at the wrong time? Was it a jinx of supreme bad luck? The thing is, in the middle of one of the most physically painful times between Beth and Scotty, a/k/a Cullen, the author slipped in a brief moment of hilarity.(Ms. Sands does that a lot) It was their reaction that made me snort and guffaw. It was like a Loony Toons moment; totally snicker-worthy.

In addition to the mystery conflict, there’s a huge internal conflict going on. It seems Scotty has this noble idea about what is best for Beth. He also thinks he’s magnanimous, forgiving and enlightened. Yes, he’s giving, but he’s not forgiving or enlightened as he’s deluded himself to be. The hero had a rude wakeup call, that’s for sure. I liked watching him not only come to terms with his own failings but grow as person to become better – which seems incongruous as he was already totally swoon-worthy and sexy and heroic.

As for the heroine, her own internal conflict was substantial and mind blowing. Her early life was a nightmare. And yet, the analogy of the sword that Ms. Sands used totally made sense, was believable and basically summed up Beth’s personality. The heroine is a strong, stubborn and highly opinionated woman. I loved it.

Of the new Immortals that were introduced, I like Kira the best. She has a future, I think. She has attitude, confidence and her own serious conflicts to deal with which makes her an ideal future heroine especially if she ‘hooks up’ with an Argeneau. The conflagration from that could be highly incendiary, dramatic, and a perfect venue for more snickers and snorts. After a reader experiences Kira in this novel, I think they’ll understand my opinion.

The shared sex dreams of new Life Mates, and the physical sexual encounters were of course, hot, but what intrigued me was how Ms. Sands used the sex for something practical and altruistic. It also proved to me without doubt that Scotty and Beth are perfect together.

Immortally Yours is more about people than the paranormal. It’s about healing, challenging perceptions and admitting when you’re wrong. It’s about imperfect people falling in love in the face of the dangers of assumptions. It’s about why it’s important to take the time to really listen to the person you love, even if it hurts. And, it’s about fighting for what you believe in. There’s a lot of emotional depth to this novel that makes it more than just a fun, fluffy and entertaining read. Ms. Sands has another winner and is an easy recommend.

Sacrificial Lam by Gary Guinn


Sacrificial Lam by Gary Guinn
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (268 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Stargazer

When English professor Lam Corso receives a death threat at work, he laughs it off. A liberal activist at a small Southern conservative college, he’s used to stirring up controversy on campus. It’s just part of the give and take of life. Even when violently attacked, Lam is convinced it must be a mistake. He can’t imagine anyone who would want to kill him for his beliefs.

When his home is broken into and his wife’s business vandalized, Lam is forced to face the truth. His wife—a passionate anti-gun crusader—is outraged when Lam brings a gun into the house for protection. The police can’t find a single lead. Left to their own devices, Lam and Susan are forced to examine their marriage, faith, and values in the face of a carefully targeted attack from an assailant spurred into action by his own set of beliefs.

What will it cost to survive?

Sometimes your job forces you to push on the limits of society.

Lambert Corso is an individual with just such a job. As an English professor with very liberal views teaching at a religious college, Lam has stepped on his fair share of toes. Suddenly unnerving written threats against his life and then physical attempts against both Lam and his family cause a deeper concern for what is happening at the university. Lam is suddenly forced to question everyone and everything in order to protect his own family.

Sacrificial Lam is an enveloping story told from the viewpoint of Lambert Corso and his wife Susan. The story highlights the various types of personalities that exist on a college campus as well as the frustrations that occur from being the voice for those oppressed when the majority of those on campus have very opposing views.

The threats and Lam’s reaction to the increased threats are understandable and realistic, given Lam’s history and views. The dialogue is smooth and concise and the descriptions of work, personality conflicts, student concerns and the main plot line of fear and mystery focused on Lam and his family weave together to form a great mystery!

I really enjoyed the various conflicts and frustrations that Lam encountered, both internally and externally. Lam’s marital concerns and even his stress impacting his parenting of his two sons speak volumes into the psychology of the storyline. The depth of human nature and our response to external stress is a great pivotal point in the story.

If you enjoy suspense and mystery stories, be sure not to miss Sacrificial Lam!

The Nights Too Dark by MH Snowy

The Nights Too Dark by MH Snowy
The Twelve Nights of Jeremy Sunson
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Sci-fi
Length: Full (300 pgs)
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Rose

Hidden inside the most unlikely person can be the most extraordinary hero …

Jeremy Sunson is surrounded by crazy. Mrs Abercrombie, upstairs, is widowed because her husband glued feathers to his arms, jumped off the building and tried to fly. His neighbour, Strykland, has gone mad since his wife died in a freak car accident—his only thread to reality the doomsday machine he’s building and his daughter … and, of course, spacemen invade Jeremy’s living room.

Every night, in glorious Technicolour, there’s a battle royal between two high-tech assassins who continually blast Jeremy’s apartment to shreds. Each man has one mission: Red wants to kill Jeremy, Bronze wants to save him!

Though his therapist insists he’s just having bad dreams—Jeremy knows better. It’s time to fight. He’s sick and tired of being sick, scared and tired! Armed with rare confidence and a baseball bat, this night, Jeremy fights like the crazy man he isn’t!

But how can he ever imagine when he’s won the battle, the war is only just beginning … over and over and over again?

The Nights Too Dark—ride a wave of laughter, fun, and sci-fi fantasy all the way to Armageddon!

This book is the first volume of The Twelve Nights of Jeremy Sunson, and includes the first three nights of his adventures and his unwanted job to save the world from Armageddon.

Jeremy is the world’s most unlikely savior of the world and at first believes he is having unusually vivid dreams. He already has anxiety issues, so in his daily visits to his therapist, he shares everything that is happening. He comes to finally realize though… it’s all true.

This book is chockfull of fun… all of the characters are wonderful, and it’s great to see Jeremy interact with them as his days are reset (end of the world meets Groundhog Day). I love his neighbors Mrs. Abercrombie, Stryckland, and Anna and how they just kind of go along with him–the whole neighborhood is full of the crazies (in a good way). Even the bad-guys who keep showing up are well-drawn, and it’s almost a pleasure to see them night after night.

Each night is short enough you could read it in one sitting– I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series and seeing the other ways Jeremy manages to save the world. I could so see this as a TV show– stay tuned … Same Jeremy time… Same Jeremy channel.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Weekend by Alan Winnikoff


The Weekend by Alan Winnikoff
Publisher: Books To Go Now
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (127 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Stargazer

Over a single weekend two people try to figure out if they are right for each other. In the process, they learn more than they might want to know – about each other and themselves.

Sometimes you just need a break from life, The Weekend is designed to give you that break.

Carolyn and Jeff meet up for a weekend in a luxurious Manhattan apartment on Friday night. Although things don’t go initially as planned, the weekend moves forward and the two work out subtle differences and learn much about each other over the next few days. The story is a smooth look at how life outside of the concerns and confines of work progresses for two individuals who wish to disappear into the city.

Although the story only spans Friday evening, Saturday and part of Sunday; we get a deep glimpse into the lives and motivations of both Jeff and Carolyn. While work is discussed sparingly, we begin to see and understand their true passions and desires. Both individuals are in a time of transition in their lives, both professionally and personally and both individuals lean on each other in their quest to discover who they are as a person.

Deep reflective conversation flows smoothly, laying out the deeper plot. While there is some sex and more sexual tension, there is a stronger focus on the individuality of two people coming together as one in an undecided world. Not to give away any details, the story itself looks at more of the psychological understanding and fulfillment of two people taking time away from a world of deadlines, goals to be met and expectations. The Weekend ends as weekends often do, with a desire for more but still a satisfaction and sense of renewal. Again, just like weekends do, there is a longing for another weekend in the future but a sense that one must work and strive for that weekend if the weekend is to be enjoyed to the fullest.

I highly encourage you to pick up a copy of The Weekend for your own weekend reflection!

Claimed by the Vampire, Seduced by the Werewolf by Kryssie Fortune


Claimed by the Vampire, Seduced by the Werewolf by Kryssie Fortune
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (187 Pages)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

After seven centuries, Elias, a former Spartan turned vampire, finds his eternal bride. Seth, Elias’s werewolf half-brother, scents his mate.

Vampire and werewolf loathe each other. The only thing they agree on is that Tempest is their mate–and they’re not sharing.

A prophecy will force Tempest, a twenty-first-century witch, to choose between them. As the half-brothers vie to win her heart, they teach her about spanking, the way pain heightens pleasure, and the ecstasy of multiple orgasms.

A vampire can’t survive without his fated bride. A werewolf dies if he loses his mate. Their future rests in Tempest’s hands. Which one will she choose?

I loved this great paranormal menage book!

I’ve recently become a devoted reader of Kryssie Fortune’s books. This one is is a stand alone story although it is connected to the Scattered Siblings series. I loved the idea of half brothers Elias and Seth being mated to the same female and their love for their witch helping to heal a bond that had been torn apart by betrayal. Tempest was feisty enough to take on both of her supernatural mates but first she had to find her hidden strength. Of course, there was the trouble with a prophecy that was seemingly insurmountable and a formidable enemy added into the mix.

The characters in this book endeared themselves to me because fate had not been kind to any of them. It was Elias who tugged at my heart the most though. I loved the sexy menage sex scenes too. This was one very hot story! It was fast paced and loaded with action, as well.

Kryssie Fortune did a fabulous job on this book. Her writing was amazing and the dynamics of this supernatural world promise many exciting books to come for my future reading bliss. Meanwhile, Hades has more redeeming to do so that I can get my hands on the next book soon.

Joel & Brent by Sean Michael


Joel & Brent by Sean Michael
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (82 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking/Flogging, Fisting
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Untried and virginal, Joel still knows he’s looking to be pushed. He wants to give up control, but he wants to fight, as well. Auctioning himself off for six months of no-holds-barred subbing is the only solution he can come up with to getting what he wants.

Master Brent believes he’s the only man for the job of giving Joel the experience of a lifetime. He can give Joel what he really need. But once the contract is up, will Brent and Joel go their separate ways? Or have they found something together

Joel has decided to auction himself off, not just for the cash – though that’s a nice bonus – but to finally explore the submissive fantasies he’d never had the courage to ask for. Master Brent knew he wanted Joel and the auction was the perfect time to make his move. For six months they’ll test all their limits – but will that be enough?

I found this to be an intense and emotional story. I loved how Joel was new and scared, but equally determined to learn and throw himself into each and every experience he had with Brent. While I didn’t feel any of the BDSM scenes between them were too envelope-pushing, this is not a story where the BDSM was merely a light spanking and a bit of vulgar dirty-talk – this is a full-blown, lifestyle, Master/sub relationship that grows from scratch and readers should be mindful that there are a number of elements in the story that mightn’t suit everyone’s tastes. Personally I found the emotional connection and the clear respect and desire between Brent and Joel was lovely and added a lot of depth to the BDSM elements explored between them.

I particularly loved how even though Joel was brand-new to the lifestyle, he wasn’t weak or shy, wasn’t clumsy or “virginal” in an old-school sense. Joel was nervous and unsure, but he knew what he wanted and was eager to learn and explore. I felt this was handled in a deliciously modern sense (Joel owned his inexperience and Brent was eager to teach Joel) and overall I felt the whole situation was handled fantastically. There was quite a time-jump between two different sections of the story – Part One and Part Two – (almost a six-month period) and while I understand why the author did this, it would have been nice to have seen a few scenes between when Brent and Joel’s relationship was brand-new, to where their contract was coming near its end.

I found both these short stories strongly emotional and excellently written; I thoroughly enjoyed this lifestyle BDSM erotic romance. Joel and Brent were interesting and vibrant characters who quickly stole my attention and I found myself eagerly reading wanting to know what would happen next. A passionate and intense read.