Blackmailed by Her Bully by Sam Crescent

Blackmailed by Her Bully by Sam Crescent
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (215 pages)
Other: M/F, Masturbation, Anal Play, Forced Seduction, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Alstroemeria

Twelve years ago, something happened to Ava Marshall, and rather than hide it, she reported it. All this time, she’s believed the man responsible paid for his crime, but she is about to learn nothing is as it seems.

Logan Stanford had his whole life torn from him for an act he didn’t commit. Sent to the gutter, he has built his way back up, and now he’s more than a bully from Ava’s past. He’s the nightmare that is going to make her pay. He’s set to hurt and humiliate her in every possible way. There’s no escape for her.

But the truth will set her free, and when it does, Logan has to face the fact he has hurt the wrong person. Torn between his need to keep her and his guilt, Logan doesn’t know what to do. He’s a selfish bastard who is used to taking what he wants, but he has to let her go.

Only, Ava doesn’t want to be let go. She has spent too long living in the past, and it is time to move on and finally live her life.
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Will Logan give her the chance, or will he push her away?

When people go looking for revenge, things are bound to get dicey. This is no exception for Logan Stanford and Ava Marshall. But revenge can also be sweet. Blackmailed by Her Bully is a dark romance filled with lust and sweet, sweet vengeance.

Ava Marshall has been trying to run from her past but it appears she never wanted to run from the almost innocent bystander, Logan Stanford. Logan, however, is going to take some more convincing to believe the stories of his first love.

Sam Crescent dives headfirst into the seedy underbelly of toxic small-town life and fulfills many dark fantasies within the pages of this novel. It should not be thrown about lightly that this book has themes of past sexual assault, and victim blaming, but for those who feel comfortable enough to read books with those themes will find their way into many descriptive and sensual scenes between our main characters, while also getting to peek into their lives before adulthood where their interlocking stories began.

There was absolutely chemistry between Ava and Logan, but their consecutive journeys to realization of this mutual lust, and maybe the inklings of something more, were often quickly darkened by the past that they were fighting every step of the way in this novel.

As erotic fiction, this book has plenty to offer in the ways of spicy, but it seems to be lacking a hero. I really want to like Logan. I look back on the kid he was in high school, wanting the pretty girl but not knowing how to properly show his affection or how to keep it from his friends, but glossing over what he does as an adult is difficult to do. His character fits his story arc, but it is hard to forgive his actions as easily as Ava seems to. I think his redemptions come a little too easily, and I think the readers would agree that at the very least some groveling on his end could have improved his character greatly.

I wouldn’t call Logan a hero, but I might use the term vigilante. Taking power into his own hands to try and ease the scars of his past, while also in his own way taking leadership and care of an entire city. He was flawed, but wanting to change or not there were still glimmers of that doting boy from the past. And Ava saw that too, whether she acknowledged it or not. Complicated is the best term to describe these two, and though not an easy read I believe these two found what they needed in one another.

Blackmailed by Her Bully is dangerously sexy, daring, and scandalous. Not for the faint of heart. Will Ava and Logan ever be able to get over all of the tainted moments in their past, or will vengeance win out over all?

Stalked by Sam Crescent

Stalked by Sam Crescent
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short story (44 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

James Stork has been watching Emily Miller for over two years now. She’s twenty years his junior and has dealt with so much loss. Her life was thrown upside down, and staying in the background, he’s tried his hardest to help guide her. He gave her a job, made sure her apartment was paid for, and everyone knows to keep an eye on her, but not to get too close.

She belongs to him.

For Emily, she has a crush on her much older boss. He makes her ache and yearn for things she didn’t think she could ever want. When James makes it clear he wants the same things she does, falling into bed with him—falling for him—is all too easy.
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But when she discovers how much James has done for her, she’s shocked, surprised, and a little scared. He’s not given her a chance to be free. Is she ungrateful? Mean? Is there really anything to forgive? He was taking care of her when she needed it most. Can she get past the manipulation to still love the man himself?

This story almost reminds me of Cinderella, except the heroine has a fairy godfather instead of a godmother. The only magic is money, brute strength, and determination. Her stalker has a reputation as a mover and shaker, and as a man who makes things happen. The reason for his stalkerish behavior is simple – love.

In a way, it makes sense that James could do all he did. He is older, established and of an age where he knows exactly what he wants when he sees it, and is able to do something about it. Namely, protect her, watch over her and love Emily from afar. I credit the character for waiting while she got over the grief of losing her parents. Making sure she knew her own mind and had healed emotionally allowed me to respect the hero’s restraint.

The well-written eroticism covers James finally making a move on Emily. He introduces her to many firsts and the heroine is more than ready to participate because feelings for James had been growing for quite some time. His being her teacher was sexy. James was commanding and sure and his focus is on making sure Emily knows what he feels for her though his touch and actions and some spicy dialogue.

Naturally, the fly in the ointment was finding out just how far reaching James’ reach is. Emily’s reaction was, as expected, anger. However, it’s not the over-the-top screech-fest I expected. Then again, her outbursts weren’t very impressive as they were short lived. I thought she forgave him too easily. Perhaps that’s due to pacing required of a short story. At least where they stood in their relationship is made clear.

Stalked has a really nice happy ever after ending that culminated in the epilogue. It proved what I thought, James is a very virile man, and Emily might be all his, but he is absolutely all hers.

This little romance is well-balanced between being erotically sexy and roughly romantic. It’s amazing what lengths a man will go to when he’s in love. Read Stalked and find out.

The Beta’s Spitfire by Gale Stanley

The Beta’s Spitfire by Gale Stanley
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (63 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Samson: Levi and I have always been best friends. Now he’s the pack Alpha and I’m his beta, a.k.a. the man who cleans up after his shit storms. This one is a doozy. He dumped his intended bride, and now it’s my job to take care of her while he goes off to find his soulmate. Delilah is beautiful, a real spitfire, and completely off limits. But she ignites a fire that makes my wolf sit up and howl.
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Delilah: I was meant to be the mate of an Alpha, so l accepted an arranged marriage with Levi. But the arrogant jerk dumped me right before the wedding. I’m no damsel in distress, so I took off for New York to live a life of independence. Along the way, I was kidnapped and my situation became desperate. When Samson came to my rescue, I never expected him to claim me for himself.

Delilah might be the Alpha’s daughter, but she had her own opinions, her own plans and she was nothing close to a submissive, stay at home and follow orders woman. When the arranged marriage her father organized fell through, Delilah wasn’t heartbroken and she had no plans to return to her family home. She was determined to live life on her own terms and that included a career and her independence. Samson might be the Beta to Delilah’s ex-fiance, but the attraction he feels for her is strong and when his instincts say she’s in trouble nothing can stop Samson from trying to help, no matter the cost.

I found this to be an interesting short story. I thought the plot was very well written – although a few of the medical aspects to the story when Delilah was kidnapped didn’t appeal to me, personally. While not graphic or overly intense, I usually tend to stay away from those sorts of stories as they don’t appeal to me. I thought the pace of the plot moved really well – fast enough to keep me turning the pages but with enough detail and layers to remain consuming and keeping my attention. I feel this aspect of the story should appeal to most readers. I thought the romance between Delilah and Samson took a bit of a back seat to the plot. On the one hand it helped me show that Samson’s feelings for Delilah were real and deep, but it took me quite a while to feel Delilah really reciprocated those feelings since she couldn’t see or understand Samson’s connection to her.

Delilah is a complicated character and at times I felt her independence and self-assurance came across as arrogance. I was both pleased and relieved when Delilah stepped back from that slippery slope of being judgmental and cold, but I felt the story lost a lot of the romance when Delilah refused to acknowledge her feelings. Thankfully due to the shortness of the story this didn’t last long – which made it less believable to me but also helped keep the pace of the romance moving along. When Delilah and Samson finally both got onto the same page the sex between them was hot and steamy and I feel a lot of erotica readers will find it satisfying.

With lots of plot and action this is a good story with a strongly paranormal world.

Her Sexy Rescuer by Megan Slayer

Her Sexy Rescuer by Megan Slayer
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short story (95 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Dryas

Vonn Jordan wants to wander. Why stay in one place when there’s a whole world to explore? A night clubbing lands him right in the middle of a deal to conduct human trafficking. His family doesn’t buy and sell humans, even beautiful ones. He’ll bust this ring wide open.

Then he sees her. Ripley. She’s sweet, soulful and alone. Can the man hellbent on drifting accept his wandering days are over? Or will she break his heart?

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Ripley is one of the young women who are being sold. She had been caught by answering an ad for a dancer. Like all the other women she is chained together, beaten, and pawed at.

The plot is a rough one that explores a part of our society that is not as well-known as others. This story shows how a life can be ruined by one person’s actions. I also got to see how resilient humans can be when given the chance. The story shows how one family can make a huge difference when confronted with the horrors of our society.

Vonn is a man who didn’t have an idea of what he was going to do. It was interesting watching him finally grow into himself and find a purpose. He had a great deal of patience and compassion for the women. He did everything in his power to make their life easier. Ripley is a strong woman who has lost her trust in men. She is almost instantly attracted to Vonn. She does show her distrust in men when she is confronted with several in her hotel room.

The characters are not as well developed as I would have liked. What I thought was how unreal it was how Ripley fell for Vonn and he for her. I thought her trust would take longer to be earned, let alone to have him touch her in an intimate way. I thought it would have been more realistic if it took her longer to allow a man close to her. It was also surprising how quickly Vonn fell in love with her, although he was impressed by her strength.

Otherwise this is a novella where we learn that trust can be earned with patience and care. I did enjoy knowing that justice was swift for the women whom suffered. I was also impressed at how the whole Jordan family banded together to offer all the women support, both financially and emotionally.

Tamed by the Alphas by Jayce Carter

Tamed by the Alphas by Jayce Carter
Publisher: Totally Entwined
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full length (322 pages)
Other: M/F, Multiple Partners, Anal Play, M/F/M/M, Menage
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Moonflower

It takes three alphas to tame this wild omega.

Left scarred and untrusting after an attack, Kara doesn’t let people close—it only leads to heartache. When a job goes wrong, she’s stuck working with the three uptight and disapproving alphas who hired her, in order to clear her name. She has no problem sleeping with them, but that’s as far as she can ever let it go.
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Cullen, Reese and Damon are used to dealing with criminals in their work as private investigators, but they’ve never met anyone like the wild omega, Kara. When working for them lands her in trouble, they have no choice but to finish their case with her. They’ve always wanted to settle down with a quiet, sweet omega who would listen and stay safe, and it’s obvious Kara isn’t any of those things. Each taste they have of her shows them how happy they could be…if only they could tame her.

As Kara and the alphas delve deeper into the shadows to track the missing omega, the differences between them seem insurmountable. Even as danger surrounds them, Kara clings to her need for freedom while the alphas believe changing her is the only way to keep her safe. If they can’t learn to trust one another in time, the secrets they chase will pull them all under.

Kara is a feisty Omega who doesn’t take any prisoners. She knows what she wants and will go for it – whether that is something she is stealing or sex. Cullen, Reese, and Damon want a domestic Omega, one who won’t cause trouble and will do as she is told. Guess they got that wrong!

This is a long book with plenty of action going on, both in and out of the sheets. I enjoyed hearing about all four main characters but Damon is the one who stole into my heart. Gotta love a nerdy Alpha! In no way was he weak but he got his pleasure in making sure Kara was looked after in every way.

I think the thing that did it for me was the constant addressing of the trust issue between all four of them. I got it the first time, maybe the second emphasized the problem, but after that, it became superfluous.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and can’t wait for Liam & co’s story! I would recommend reading this series but it is not necessary to get the most out of this book, as it stands alone fine. Absolutely recommended by me.

Vaaden Warriors by Jessica Coulter Smith

Vaaden Warriors by Jessica Coulter Smith
Intergalactic Affairs 2
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full length (203 pages)
Other: M/F, Masturbation, Forced Seduction, Multiple Partners
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Dryas

When Vaaden warriors claim slaves from Earth they will face emotions they never knew they possessed.

Vaaden Captives: Captured on Earth, Sorcha, Enid and Susan are slaves, bound to owners who crave them for the pleasure they can bring, the women despair of ever finding happiness again. But then the unthinkable happens. Sorcha falls for her owner’s brother; Enid, despite her fears, falls for the man who claims her; Susan finds herself drawn to two men, but in the end, only one will claim her heart.

Vaaden Warriors: When three Vaaden warriors claim slaves procured from Earth, they will face emotions they never knew they possessed. Rheul doesn’t believe in love, until he meets his new slave; Randar must choose between his duty or his heart; Thale thought he was saving Moira, but in the end she saved him.

This is a novel that has three short stories about three different Vaaden Warriors and the slaves they have purchased. We learn about their society and just how horrible they treat their slaves, as many are considered either a possession or a warm body to get sexual relief. Many of the women are mistreated and injured for the least thing if they displease their masters. The men have the right to kill a slave or give them away. They have a society that if men do not have sex regularly, they will sicken and die. The Warriors prefer slaves over their own women as their women are cold, and uncaring–along with the fact that they do not seem to enjoy sex. Many warriors that have married a Vaaden woman have had a horrible relationship. Thus, the profusion of harems, and it doesn’t explain just how the slaves are found but my guess is that they are kidnapped from earth.

The only slightly good thing that there are a few laws that will protect the slaves. A warrior will be fined for the first two transgressions and then he will face banishment. This isn’t the best way to keep the slaves safe as several different men could abuse a woman and be fined while the slave must suffer.

The first story features Rheul and his new slave Darcy and how their lives are changed upon first sight. Most Vaaden warriors go to select their slaves from the slave pens. Those that are not chosen were sent to the Harems.

Rheul’s situation was different as his brother Bastian had picked one out for him. Getting Rheul a slave was partially Bastian’s idea and partially his slave, Enid’s idea. They hope he will fall in love just like they did. Rheul is stuck on the notion that he has to marry eventually since his brother doesn’t want to marry a Vaaden woman and he sees it as his duty to marry and provide an heir to their fortune. The society doesn’t allow slaves to marry their masters, to live in their master’s homes, or to keep any children that are born of the union. So, the slaves are considered second class citizens.

However, it is not worrisome as it lasts only for best cheap viagra 3 or 4 days. Henceforth solid men ought not to expend this medication. non prescription viagra Many foreigners were even cialis pill cost rushed to the hospital a few hours after taking the Penegra. Linked to heart disease The causes of erectile dysfunction that you should avoid in levitra for sale online order to secure high profits. Rheul is a very dutiful male who knows that if he got a slave it would not be fair since once, he married a Vaaden woman he would not see the slave very often. Bastian believes that Rheul would be a good master as he is not violent and would provide the best care possible. I enjoyed his character as he knows his mind and what would be for the best, at first at least. He is also incredibly understanding and is a man of his word.

When he first met Darcy, it was funny because he immediately felt protective. His stomach dropped since he knew that those feelings were not good as he had seen his brother go through the same thing. He doesn’t want to fall in the same trap as his brother.

Darcy is an incredibly sweet but strong woman with a large capacity for love. She is confused and worried about her new life and for a good reason. She is a virgin and had heard horror stories in the slave pen from three slaves that had been returned. She thought she would be abused, expected to do anything that was asked of her no matter how she felt about it. I felt happy for her as her heart swelled at her amazement of how she was being treated, since it was better than she ever imagined.  Their intimacy is hot and yet sweet at the same time, both finding so much pleasure together.

The second story features Randar. Randar is an older warrior and, unlike many of his comrades, he really hadn’t thought of getting a slave. He is firm and no nonsense. He knows what he wants and will get it at any cost. He has rather a romantic notion in his head of having a slave around his age that he could hopefully have a companion.  He is the most compassionate of all three of the men we meet. This is shown by how he treats Lyssa after he brings her back to the slave apartments and he notices how timid and fearful she was. He used such a soothing and calming tone of voice and actions with small touches. To give Lyssa her time to heal and trust him he decides to use the harem. He has a favorite slave he visits, Sophie, whenever he needs to have sex.

Sophie is a completely different person than Lyssa and is more to his liking. When he saw Sophie’s expression at the thought of losing him, he made a wild decision. He was able to support two slaves and he really wanted Sophie near him. She was an older woman whom he already had conversations with, and a pleasant attitude and he just knew that there could be a deep friendship and maybe he could fall in love. He did not have any wish to marry a Vaaden woman.

Sophie makes it clear that she prefers him over any of the men who have come to her. It was so sweet watching them together as it’s obvious how connected they are. She is a brave woman, not letting on just how much it hurts that she must share him. He also becomes extremely protective once he claims her as his and when she points out that many of the men had seen her body and he state, “But That was before you were mine. No one gets to see your body but me.”

She is just such a tough person and the author is doing a great job of showing how differently people who suffer from tragedy behave. The fact that Sophie did not let herself become jaded and is still able to love and in fact look forward to being intimate with him. Where Lyssa has become withdrawn, bitter and unable to cope, just letting her mind shut down and do what is asked. He is another man of honor who is trying his best to keep both woman happy.

The final story involves Thale, another man who is forced to take a slave from a friend.  Yet again, Rheul is stepping in to get a woman who deserves to get out of the Harem to a friend he knows will take care of her.

Thale has a completely different personality than the other two men. He had owned a slave before, and it was not a good idea. He accidentally ended up hurting her. He also blames himself for his wife’s death, even though he had been cleared by the medic. He has lost faith in himself and because of everything he went through he believes he has no heart to give. Rheul is persistent , soThale agrees to visit her but he made sure Rheul knew that he would not decide right away. The poor man is so insecure about love and just will not believe that his concrete heart could be broken into.

Poor Thale is captivated by her eyes first and feels a pull towards her. It scares him as he has not felt a pull like this ever. Moira has been abused also and my heart hurt as she has accepted the fact that these men can do this to her as she is only a slave. Again, the society is showing just how far they need to go to understand that humans have feelings and should not be treated like an object.

Thale well knows his own of his weaknesses and makes sure that Moira knows them. He makes sure that she understands that he won’t hurt her and won’t share her with anyone else. Moira is another sweet woman that seems to be made just for Thale, as she remarks to him, “I have a lot of tolerance so being rude won’t bother me.” All she cares about is that he is not mean.  Their sex life is explosive a passionate. Moira is a great character with a soft personality and the ability to know what he wants. Love beats all circumstances.

These stories show us just how horrible sex slavery is, how each woman must take whatever comes to her and not complain. These women were strong enough to take the horrors they faced day after day, but others have been broken, living inside their minds while letting their bodies be used. Each one is considered a possession if they are bought from the harem. They may have a slightly better life, but it depends on their owner. Not everyone is as sweet and caring as these fine men. I’m going to see if there are full stories available as this is only a small sample of what happened to other men.

Wolf by Ainsley Cole

Wolf by Ainsley Cole
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (94 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Ethan ‘Wolf’ Whitefeather is a traditional man. After the trouble Black Dove Security had in Kenya, he decides to reconnect with his heritage back home in Montana.

What he finds is the land he grew up on is being threatened by oil tycoon, Gerald Moore. When Wolf and his uncle reject Moore’s offer to sink derricks in exchange for a small fee, Moore sends in his company lawyer. Wolf doesn’t expect the lawyer is Moore’s own daughter, Yasmine, and he finds himself battling with his emotions. He’s never been so attracted to anyone in his life.
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With his emotions under fire, Wolf must decide between his ancestor’s land and his heart’s desire. But when family tragedy strikes, the decision is made for him. Wolf only hopes the woman who occupies his every waking moment doesn’t get hurt in the crossfire.

Ethan “Wolf” Whitefeather has just returned from a difficult mission and wants to reconnect with his Native tribe and family. When his tribe refuses to allow drilling on their land, Wolf expects things to be clear-cut, until he meets Yasmine, the beautiful daughter of the lawyer trying to negotiate for rights. Both Wolf and Yasmine quickly discover that neither of them is exactly what the other expected. Can they find a way to work together?

I found this to be an interesting and fast-paced story. While I have read the previous story in the series – Bones – it’s not at all necessary as readers should find this tale stands really well by itself. Both Wolf and Yasmine’s characters are well rounded and I enjoyed getting to know them both before they admitted their attraction to one another. While Yasmine’s father was a little overblown, he was an excellent villain and served as a good contrast between the other characters.

I felt that the pace of this story moved a little slower than I expected. With only the one main plot – Yasmine’s father being determined to drill on Wolf’s tribe’s land – there was only a few ways that the plot could move forward so it felt like it dragged a little in places. I admit I enjoyed the numerous interactions between Yasmine and Wolf, both of them surprising and infuriating each other at multiple points. While they were definitely attracted to each other I didn’t always feel the heat or spark between them – I thought at times they really struggled to see where the other was coming from. While this really appealed to me in that it made the story more realistic and believable, I was disappointed that at times it made me question the sexiness or chemistry and compatibility between them.

I was really pleased when toward the end of the story the rest of Wolf’s team came to help him when he really needed them. While this story doesn’t show the depth or love and camaraderie as well as the first story in this series, I feel it gives a good enough indication to the reader of just how close and tightly knit together the team is. I also absolutely loved how there were a few twists and turns in the plot, so even when I thought I knew what was going on the story still managed to surprise me.

A good read and I definitely hope to read the next installment.

In His Dreams by Annie Harland Creek

In His Dreams by Annie Harland Creek
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Historical, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short story (134 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Moonflower

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Fin Wyght’s nightmares are transformed into beautiful dreams with the sudden appearance of the lovely Serena, but, are they merely dreams, or a wicked temptation sent to drive him insane with jealousy?

In a world that could either be historical or alternate reality, Fin is trapped in a nightmare because of all the wars he has been involved in. Serena is a dreamcatcher and Fin’s pain calls to her. The only trouble is, Fin can see and touch her. Something that doesn’t usually happen!

This is a good, solid story about good vs. evil with Fin the pawn in the middle. Serena does the best she can, sometimes to her detriment, but both her world and his seem to be against them. The characters in this story are all believable, but the old woman was my favourite. The setting was perfect for this story and nothing seemed out of place or too modern. There are battles of different kinds being waged in this story and it makes for a great read as the pages almost turn themselves.

If you are looking for a fantasy romance, then I have no hesitation in recommending this quick read.

Warning: Rigid Standards by Laelia West

Warning: Rigid Standards by Laelia West
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short story (62 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Silver-spooned Portia Ward is getting her degree to start a life free from her mother’s stipulations. She doesn’t need additional complications. Maybe a casual one-night stand now and then. Nothing intimate, nothing close.

It is in your best interest to speak with prescription free cialis your parents of your intentions. Have you tried non-surgical ED treatment like viagra shipping? Any kind of surgery can upset a normal human being. Often using Kamagra can lead to generic super cialis some side effects which can damage their health as well as intimate relationships. It is a natural herbal treatment sold in a somewhat safe time-released caplet. generico viagra on line The economics major in her history class disagrees. Portia hates Malik on sight: he’s tall, arrogant, and wears sunglasses indoors for no reason. He has a comeback for everything. His clothes don’t quite sit right. And who wears all black in the heat? When he asks her on a date, she’s so irked by his blasé confidence that she agrees.

Then she catches glimpses of Malik’s other side. The one who wants to study music theory. The one who apologizes by baking cheesecake. The one who won’t touch her until she asks. He has one rule: he doesn’t do casual. If Portia wants more, she’ll have to compromise her rigid standards.

Portia knew she was the spoiled rich kid of a powerful CEO mother – but more and more lately she wished her mother actually cared about her and her life. With zero maternal instinct the only person in Portia’s life who cared about her was her best friend, Candice. After yet another emotionless monthly call, Portia goes to the gym to blow off some steam. Well used to many of the entitled, overly confidant men at the gym making the wrong assumptions about her, Portia has no idea why one man in particular – Malik – gets under her skin. She knows he’s completely unsuitable for her, but yet something still draws her to him.

I found this to be an interesting and well-paced story. I was really pleased Portia and Malik verbally sparred for a while before settling together as this helped the quickness of their getting together feel a lot more realistic and relatable to me. I wasn’t sure if Portia’s antagonism toward Malik would sit right with me – she made an awful lot of snap judgments about him that I wasn’t too keen on – but Malik’s smooth and confidant manner balanced Portia’s judgy antagonism pretty well to my mind and I ended up not wanting to beat my head on the desk over her rudeness. I felt at times that Portia’s dislike of Malik was portrayed as a little too strong to make it believable that her dislike of him could be overcome by her physical and sexual attraction him. I mean, why agree to go on a date with a guy you’ve spent almost the entire first half of the book castigating to the reader? There was clearly attraction and chemistry under the annoyance, but I felt this could have been a little better balanced as Portia’s vitriol to Malik appeared stronger than her curiosity or attraction to him.

Once Malik and Portia went on their date I just disconnected my brain, ignored logic and simply relaxed into the story and enjoyed it for what it was – a love/hate style of romance. While I enjoyed the story a lot more once I stopped taking it so seriously, I found the ending to be particularly steamy. I feel it definitely rounded out the story but there was an extremely interesting twist in the last few pages that clearly showed the reader both that there will be a following story and a lot more to come. Readers who want something that definitively stands alone might not be satisfied with this ending with the tease about what’s coming next, but I personally felt it added a whole new aspect to the story and was a little disappointed that the author left it until the last few moments of the story to add this new element in. I feel it could have really made the story a whole lot better and more rounded if this element been added and explored within this story. I feel I would have enjoyed it much more for that but it has certainly whetted my appetite for the next installment.

With interesting – and antagonistic – characters and a really good, steamy sex scene towards the end I feel this short story will hit the right notes for a number of people.

When a Wolf Howls by Fiona McGier

When a Wolf Howls by Fiona McGier
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Full length (327 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Moonflower

Saoirse McColl, a research biologist, keeps getting fired from labs for refusing to produce results the clients want. Her best friend suggests she look for a new line of work. She applies to an ad for a high school biology teaching job at an academy in northwestern Maine that promised living quarters plus salary.

Diego Vargas, a werewolf, is the principal of the academy, despite having no background in education. He has proven to the pack leader that he is dependable and detail-oriented, but he hates hiring new teachers, not knowing what to ask them.
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Once Saoirse is in his office, Diego can’t concentrate because his wolf loves her smell. When it turns out that she is the best-qualified candidate, Diego and his wolf rejoice, because both are convinced she’s their mate. But she’s not a shifter, so they need to bide their time, waiting for the right moment to inform her that she’s living in a compound of mostly wolf shifters.

Can these two find happiness together, once the scientist discovers that myth is reality?

Saoirse McColl is a research biologist who has been fired again. She sees herself as having bad luck but the amount of things that fall into her lap tell a different story.

This is an intriguing story about Pack life and what happens when you get a Leadership changeover. Saoirse gets her job as a teacher and has a great rapport with the kids. Things change for her dramatically though when she realises the man she has fallen for is a werewolf. There is something for everyone here – mystery, kidnap, fights to the death, and LOTS of sex.

The writing style is different from others, and I didn’t particularly like the long internal monologues and reviews of what “whoever” had done and when. However, they are part of the story and it needed them to be able to move forward. I just found them to ramble on and they became a detraction from the interaction between the characters themselves.

All in all, though, this was a very good story that shows that life isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, even if you think you have it all. There are some great characters in here that I would love to learn more about. So, yep, recommended by me.