Trouble Tied Up by Maxine Marsh


Trouble Tied Up by Maxine Marsh
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short story (78 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

One night, in a small town in Texas, Clayton and DJ meet and have a one-night stand. He’s a serious dominant at heart who’s lost his perfect submissive and DJ is responsive to his ways but is trying to stay out of trouble after getting paroled from prison.

In the end they believe what’s done is done—they go their separate ways. The next day it turns out that DJ is starting a new job at a horse rehabilitation ranch—and Clayton’s her boss.

Clayton liked his work and his routine and was perfectly happy with nothing and no one upsetting either of them. One night he notices a stranger at the local bar and after he gives DJ a lift to the local motel he can’t resist when she invites him inside. He knows she might be trouble – but for once he’s willing to risk his routine and carefully ordered life. The next morning Clayton discovers DJ is actually his newly hired ranch-hand and Clayton knew they were both in for far more trouble than he’d initially realized.

This is a steamy-hot story with a deliciously spicy hint of kink to it. There’s quite an age-gap between Clayton and DJ, but neither of them find that a problem, particularly considering they have sex within minutes of meeting each other. I liked how there was a number of layers to DJ in particular and while there was some plot to the story, to me it was clearly all about the kinky sex and growing relationship between Clayton and DJ. Much of the first half of the story is based on DJ and Clayton solidifying their relationship – so I feel that readers looking for a well-fleshed out plot might find this aspect of the story a little disappointing until close to the end of the story.

While the heat and growing intimacy between Clayton and DJ can’t be denied, I’m not entirely sure this story will appeal to everyone. Clayton has a talent for treating, taming and corralling wild and damaged horses and he views his sexual appetites into BDSM in a very similar manner. It felt like – in Claytons mind at least – taming and “breaking” a filly was truly on par with enticing DJ as his new lover and introducing her to the aspects of BDSM that he craved. The similarities between Clayton treating the abused horses and his wooing and taming of DJ walked a very fine to my mind and I felt very slightly uncomfortable sometimes while reading this story. I generally think of myself as being fairly broad minded when reading so I’m not sure if this just didn’t fully appeal to me personally or if perhaps the comparisons might not hit the right note with other readers either. I ended up deciding it was one of those polarizing things – I think some readers will be like me and find it didn’t hit the mark, but others will absolutely love this and be deeply affected – so it will certainly be a matter of taste, I think.

A spicy and definitely unique BDSM read this was a good book with strong and complicated characters. Clayton and DJs antics won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but the heat and chemistry between them was undeniable to me and although uncomfortable in places I enjoyed this different and interesting read.

The Chef and the Ghost of Bartholomew Addison Jenkins by Aletta Thorne


The Chef and the Ghost of Bartholomew Addison Jenkins by Aletta Thorne
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Horror, Historical
Length: Full Length (151 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Halloween, 1982. MTV is new, poodle perms are the rage, and life just might be getting better for Alma Kobel. Her ugly divorce is final at last. Her new job as chef at Bright Day School’s gorgeous old estate is actually fun. But the place is haunted—and so is Alma’s apartment.

Bartholomew Addison Jenkins’ ghost has been invisibly watching Alma for months. When he materializes one night, Alma discovers Bart—as he likes to be called—has talents she couldn’t have imagined … and a horrifying past. Can you have a one-nighter with a ghost? And what happens if you decide one night is all you want—and end up ghosting him? Some spirits don’t like taking “no” for an answer.

First impressions definitely aren’t always accurate.

What a hilarious main character Alma was! She could find a funny spin to anything that happened to her, from surprise health inspections at work to her strange and complicated interactions with her ex-husband. Some of the things that happened to her would have seriously annoyed or even frightened a lot of people. I loved the fact that she was able to quickly shake so many of those memories off with her fabulous sense of humor.

The only criticism I have of this story has to do with how quickly the romantic relationship in it heated up. Both of the people involve in it were so cautious and meticulous in other areas of their lives that I never would have expected them to move as fast as they did. Yes, I definitely wanted to see them end up together, but it felt a little odd to me because it didn’t feel consistent with everything else I’d learned about them. With that being said, this is a minor complaint about something I enjoyed quite a lot.

The world building was really well done. I especially enjoyed figuring out what ghosts were and weren’t capable of in this universe. Since nobody was given any instructions after they died, Bartholomew had to learn what he could do and what the consequences of those actions would be on his own. Him slowly discovering his abilities and limitations as the plot moved forward made it difficult for me to stop reading. I always wanted to know more about what the afterlife was like for him.

The Chef and the Ghost of Bartholomew Addison Jenkins was as spooky as it was sexy. It should be read by fans of erotica and ghost stories alike.

City of Endless Night by Emma Holly


City of Endless Night by Emma Holly
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (184 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/M, F/M/M, Ménage, Masturbation, Anal Play, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

When your boyfriend is a real live angel other men can’t compete. Amateur magician Georgie swears this is true . . . until she and Connor leave everything they know to save the genie world. That’s where she discovers angels don’t have a monopoly on sex appeal. Sultan Iksander would rather lose his smoke than fall for Georgie, no matter how smart and brave she is. The human race are rivals to genie kind—and angels are just traitors! Rescuing his people is what’s important, not getting tangled up in love triangles. Only Connor believes in their chances for happiness. This angel knows love is worth fighting for, whatever form it takes.

Fans of erotic romance and of Emma Holly are in for a royal treat. This novel follows the adventures of His Majesty, Iksander, Sultan of the Djinn, Georgie and Connor. My wait is over. This is the story that ties up almost all of the threads created in the first book in the Tales of the Djinn series and I enjoyed every exciting moment.

There is so much to choose from that I’m not sure what to talk about first. There’s the stolen magic, the realization that something big and dangerous is threatening Luna’s people and it has Georgie in its sights, there is are explorations with gruesome discoveries and more than one courageous escape attempt that kept me on the edge of my seat. When Ms. Holly focuses on creating an environment of suspense, and drama with nail-biting heart thumping action, it’s practically impossible to put down.

When the two heroes and heroine finally come to the realization that they have sexual feelings for each other, and get past the tentative exploration that seduces them with all the possibilities of a ménage à trois, Ms. Holly lets her imagination fly. I like how Iksander, Connor and Georgie took turns being unsure, cautious yet excited to explore how each of them tastes, feels and what each of them enjoys. I liked seeing their reactions while experimenting with things they had never done before. No holds barred. Erotic romance readers will find what they look for within the pages of City of Endless Night.

A heads up about Connor’s role for readers who might not be comfortable with angels having carnal relations, Connor’s not shy. Ms. Holly mixed things up with classic beliefs and there were quite a few times I cringed but mostly I kind of forgot what Connor was because the story, action and plot twists were incredible page turners. By keeping in mind this is fiction and utilizing willing suspension of disbelief, I enjoyed a really awesome read. The imaginative idea of split energies, both good and evil, and how light defeats dark, is incredibly appealing.

The last ditch effort to escape and return home was quite the thrill ride. The author painted the scene in vivid detail – the tunnel with the scales was a cool concept. What they discover inside was a colossal surprise and pretty weird. But, hey, this is the world of the Djinn – anything is possible.

When I said earlier that almost all the threads are tied up, that’s because there is the matter of Phillip. He’s still out there, somewhere and I hope he’s okay. Only Ms. Holly knows for sure and I look forward to finding out that the reason he can’t be found because he’s in the middle of his own HEA. One can only hope.

City of Endless Night is simply amazing. The HEA and wrap up was everything I could wish. All my favorite people were gathered together to celebrate and it made me feel good that Cade, Arcadius and Elyse are still living their happy ever after too. I guess a reader could read this book out of sequence but understanding how everyone came to be split in the first place would be much clearer if they started with The Guardian.Tales of the Djinn is a great series and if erotic readers haven’t discovered it yet, they’re missing out.

Bought Bride by Sam Crescent


Bought Bride by Sam Crescent
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short story (57 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Rafe Shawl needs a wife. In order to inherit his father’s company, he has to be married, and the moment he bumps into Ellis Johnson, spilling coffee down her, he knows she’s the perfect woman for the job.

Covered in coffee, Ellis knows there’s no way she’s going to get the job that she’d been about to be interviewed for—but the guy who’d just done the damage is offering to pay her a million dollars just to have coffee with him. She can’t refuse, especially when she realizes his offer is legit—one coffee and then becoming his wife.

Ellis sees no other alternative, so she agrees to be his wife, and help him win back his father’s company. Five years, that’s all she has to do. Five years, pretending to be in love with him.

But five years will never be enough when she’s really fallen in love with him.

But what will happen when she finds out that he lied to her? Not only does she have to give him five years, but he also needs an heir…

This almost Cinderella story caught my attention right away. This is the ninth book in the amazing Curvy Women series from Sam Crescent.

Rafe and Ellis were incredibly rich and vibrant characters. Their paths crossed through a chance meeting, and it was like fate throwing them together. I thought that was so romantic. It was true that their relationship started out as a business arrangement, but the author made it clear that Rafe wasn’t just using Ellis to fulfill his father’s last wishes. He hoped that their mutual attraction would lead to a real relationship. That was exactly what happened in this sweet slow burning romance. There was a bit of drama with Rafe’s mother and a big secret that Rafe withheld from Ellis.

I always enjoy this author’s books. I especially enjoyed this one. The story was short but very well written with engaging characters and a story that was captivating. I am looking forward to the next book in the Curvy Women series soon.

One Night in Havana by Kathleen Rowland


One Night in Havana by Kathleen Rowland
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (84 pages)
Other: M/F, BDSM (Biting)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

A desperate competition and sizzling attraction leads to dangerous desire.

New York Marine biologist Veronica “Roni” Keane is attending the Havana Bay Conference in Cuba. Tomorrow only one grant will be awarded which will provide the winner with professional recognition, resources for a project, and living expenses for two years. She hopes to continue her deceased father’s work, but smooth operator, Carlos Montoya, has won many grants in the past.

Carlos, a freelancer for the Havana Port Authority, works to help protect Havana’s reputation as a bastion of safety. As international travelers flock to the island, attracted by its 1950’s time-warp and colonial architecture, the drug business is running rampant, particularly on Roni’s cruise ship. Something’s not right, and when her scuba tanks are tampered with, Carlos brings in the military police to investigate. For her safety, he keeps her close, but he craves her body.

Their attraction leads to a fun night with a bit of kink. But Roni finds herself in more trouble than she bargained for when the criminals blame her for alerting the military police and come looking for her. Can Roni trust Carlos to protect her? Will she stay in Havana if Carlos wins the coveted grant, or kiss her lover goodbye?

Sometimes danger can be the most powerful aphrodisiac of them all.

Ms. Rowland’s descriptions of the scenery were so vivid that they made me feel like I’d been to Cuba even though I’ve never actually been to that country in real life. The beaches sounded gorgeous at any time of the day or night. I also enjoyed the descriptions she gave of what Cuban culture is like. It wasn’t something I knew much about at all, so I was glad that she spent so much time showing how Cuba is different from other parts of the world.

The chemistry between Roni and Carlos never felt right to me. The plot didn’t spend very much time developing these characters, so it was hard for me to figure out what their personalities were like and why they were so attracted to each other. Having more details about who these people were would have made it a lot easier to root for them to end up together.

My favorite scenes were the ones that focused on why Roni’s scuba equipment was tampered with and how the authorities reacted to that. Not only were they fast-paced and exciting, they placed the main characters in so much peril that I couldn’t wait to find out how they might escape. I actually read the whole story in one siting because I couldn’t bear to put it down until I knew how everything would turn out.

If you’re in the mood for an erotic mystery, One Night in Havana is a good place to start.

Wrong to Need You by Alisha Rai


Wrong to Need You by Alisha Rai
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full Length (358 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

He wasn’t supposed to fall in love with his brother’s widow…

Accused of a crime he didn’t commit, Jackson Kane fled his home, his name, and his family. Ten years later, he’s come back to town: older, wiser, richer, tougher—and still helpless to turn away the one woman he could never stop loving, even after she married his brother.

Sadia Ahmed can’t deal with the feelings her mysterious former brother-in-law stirs, but she also can’t turn down his offer of help with the cafe she’s inherited. While he heats up her kitchen, she slowly discovers that the boy she adored has grown into a man she’s simply unable to resist.

An affair is unthinkable, but their desire is undeniable. As secrets and lies are stripped away, Sadia and Jackson must decide if they’re strong enough to face the past…and step into a future together.

Complications, thy name is Saidi.

I liked this book. Rai can write a heartstring-tugger of a book. I was caught up in the tale immediately and had to hold on until the end because it wouldn’t let go. The characters were interesting and fun. Saidi is a dominant personality and it shined through the book. I liked that Jackson was alpha, but not domineering.

One thing that kept me from totally loving this book was that I hadn’t read book 1. That would’ve helped to know the other characters better.

The touch of mystery added a lot to this story. I had to know what would happen next. The sexy scenes sizzled and I’m glad I read them.

If you’re looking for a hot book that’s an easy read and worth the time, then this might be the one you’re looking for.

Claiming Ruby by Scarlett Sanderson


Claiming Ruby by Scarlett Sanderson
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (118 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking, Voyeurism, Toys, Multiple Partners (M/F/M/M), Menage, M/F/M/M, Fetish (Wax play)
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Ruby has a secret. Beneath her prissy exterior lies a submissive in desperate need of a Master. After her past disastrous attempt at exploring her fantasies, she buried her cravings deep and told herself she’d be fine without giving in to them. Then she meets Joshua. He’s everything she’s ever fantasized about—and everything she’s feared.

Joshua didn’t start out wealthy—he’s an ex-marine who made his fortune after seeing his fair share of war. His wealth and lavish lifestyle are nothing next to his driving need to claim Ruby for his own. He’d give up everything to collar her for a lifetime, and he’ll have to use every sinful dominant trick he knows to make her let him in.

Ruby wasn’t really a part of the BDSM lifestyle. Her co-worker and good friend, Jamie, had a part-time gig as an on-stage submissive. Ruby often went along to the privately held parties Jamie worked at, helping Jamie before and after the sessions with her costuming and make up. Only there, in the background of these private parties could Ruby safely fantasize, to imagine what it would be like if she were the perfect submissive, up on that stage being treated like a much-loved toy by her Master. During one performance Ruby notices a handsome stranger, and she’s put off balance when she realizes he’s just as interested in her. Could this man fulfill her every fantasy?

This is a steamy and well written story, definitely not for the faint of heart. It absolutely has some strongly worded language and if you blush easily I’d recommend you read this in private – not on a public commute to work or where you’ll get curious glances. I loved the pacing of the story – I felt the introductions to Ruby and Joshua in particular were excellently written and drew me right in almost immediately. As a reader I felt initially that I connected quickly to Ruby and found her to be a relatable character I could sympathize with. She had plenty of desires but after being burned in the past she squashed them all firmly. After the story swapped to Joshua’s perspective I also found him a lovely character I really wanted to know more about. As the story progressed there are some strong secondary characters that are also introduced and (I hope!) main characters of the two upcoming books in the series.

I found there to be plenty of sex, and while kinky and extremely detailed I also definitely found there to be an emotional connection between Ruby and Joshua. It’s a very fine line, but while I liked the emotional connection between them I didn’t really feel like there was a romantic link between them, and for me this was the main thing I found lacking in the story. I had no doubt that Ruby and Joshua lusted for each other, that they were sexually attracted and fitted together well. Their needs and desires were very well suited. But I didn’t really feel that the spark of romance was there between them and annoyingly (for me) I felt this was in large part due to Ruby – who simply would not let go of her previous bad experience and trust Joshua.

Why Ruby couldn’t see how she was constantly being set up – even after Joshua had proven himself and assured her multiple times – really annoyed me and squashed a bit of my enjoyment of the story. Mis-trusting your partner once, or in trying circumstances even twice, I can understand. But Ruby doubted Joshua over and over and it just got to the point where it really dragged the story down for me. A BDSM relationship in particular needs to be built on trust – if she constantly questioned his loyalty, how can I believe she’d trust him to do kinky things to her? I really wanted to shake Ruby near the end of the story, which was sad because there’s so many other excellent things that I genuinely enjoy here. The sex scenes were delicious, I was very intrigued by Joshua’s friends and hope they get their own stories and much of the BDSM club scenes were really interesting.

With a couple of major exceptions this is a good story and strongly written. I will certainly be keeping an eye out for the next two in the series.

Tall, Dark N’ Texan by H. C. Brown


Tall, Dark N’ Texan by H. C. Brown
Publisher: Luminosity Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (132 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Mistletoe

When a handsome cowboy rescues Susan Blake from drowning, her life changes forever.

Branch Durham, a tall, sexy, Texas cowboy is way out of her league, but when he invites her to lunch, she jumps at the chance of getting to know him better, but a hurricane is approaching fast. With every exit road blocked, she takes Branch up on his offer of a safe haven to ride out the storm.

The woman Branch found on the beach intrigues him. Susie is fiercely independent, a little clumsy, and naïve, but she has no idea he is a Country and Western megastar with a ranch and oil fields in Texas. Being with her is refreshing, and for once, he can be himself without perpetuating his bad boy image.

As the hurricane intensifies turning the area into Armageddon, Susie’s dream of a new career managing her father’s condominium complex is shattered. She realizes she has no place to go and her future has blown away with the building.

With communication non-existent and only an old Indian motorcycle for transport, Branch must face danger to get her to safety then convince her to go with him to his ranch in Texas. He might save Susie but when she discovers his true identity, will he lose the love he has searched for all his life?

Susan Blake imagined her new life in the United States would be eventful but nothing like it turns out to be. Within her first week in the United States Susan nearly drowns, barely survives a tornado which destroys the building she was going to manage and finds then loses a wonderful man. As her life is turned upside down Susan finds solace in the beginning of what she thought was something special but when the tornado is over it seems that her relationship with Branch is as well. Susan finds herself in a dilemma does she listen to her heart or will she let everyone around them take her happy ever after away from her?

I enjoyed the premise of this story but found it hard to like Susan and Branch. Susan comes off as very naive and sometimes way too needy. She does not seem to have much of a backbone or personality. When Branch is not playing into his bad boy image he can be a good man but when Branch uses his bad boy image to make excuses for certain things he does with other women I lost respect for his character. Susan and Branch are hot when they are together, and you can see that they love each other very much. They go through a lot to find a happy ending to their story.

As much as I love this author this book was not one of my favorites. Branch and Susan’s story started out slow for me and the couple never truly grabbed me. Their adventure was an interesting one and it was nice to see the two stand together and fight for their relationship. Love is not something that can be tossed to the side and ignored and these two learn that lesson the hard way.

Good Girl Gone Bad by Kenzie Mack


Good Girl Gone Bad by Kenzie Mack
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (49 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Chloe Thompson plays it safe and wears sensible shoes, until she collides with the most sensual man she’s ever met. A yearning to break down her boundaries with this handsome stranger puts her lifelong, good girl status in jeopardy. Could a pair of naughty girl stilettos really be so bad?

Constantine Knight, the owner of the trendy bar Midnight Luna, can’t wait to cross paths again with the petite brunette haunting his dreams. Her shy manner contrasts the brazen empty hook-ups leaving him lonely. One night with his fantasy woman might not be enough.

One night of pleasure is all she’s asking for. Only time will tell if Chloe’s wish will be granted.

The dialogue was nicely written. I especially liked the scenes that happened in the club early on when Chloe and Constantine were having drinks with their friends. Their flirtatious and playful conversations set the mood quite well for everything that happened later on. It also firmly established the personalities of the main characters which was something the audience definitely needed to know all about as soon as possible.

There were some pacing issues in the beginning. While I did appreciate how much time the author spent setting up the main character’s backstory and expectations for her one night stand, I would have liked to see the plot move forward more quickly than it did. Spending so much time on the introduction didn’t leave as much room for the rest of the storyline as I would have preferred to see.

With that being said, the chemistry between Chloe and Constantine couldn’t have been more alluring. From the first time they laid eyes on each other, I couldn’t wait to find out how those initial sparks between them would develop as they got to know one another better. Her shyness was clearly a great match for his more extroverted personality. I simply had to find out what would happen to them next and if they’d realize how well-suited they were for each other.

If you’re in the mood for something short and passionate, give Good Girl Gone Bad a try.

New Year’s Next Door by Amabel Davis


New Year’s Next Door by Amabel Davis
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (43 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Ava is eager to say “buh bye” to 2017. After her parents’ health woes, totaled car, deceased pet, and legal worries, what else could go wrong on the last night of December?

Stood up for her friends’ party, all dressed up and no place to go, she returns her secretive neighbor’s escaped dog.

Next door, Caleb’s not faring much better. His career and marriage are over, and the only bright spot in his future is the disobedient dog he’s adopted, until his sexy neighbor turns up on his doorstep.

Caleb extends a neighborly welcome to Ava and their evening is full of banter and candor, a refreshing change for both. The skinny dip in the hot tub to ring in the New Year signals what could be an unexpected and wonderful new beginning—with each other.

There’s nothing wrong with staying in on New Year’s Eve, especially if there’s a distractingly handsome stranger living next door.

The chemistry between Ava and Caleb was fabulous. They both had the same wry sense of humor. This was definitely a good thing given how often both of them liked to respond to serious conversation topics with a joke. There is plenty room for a sequel here. While I was satisfied with how this particular tale ended, I’d be thrilled if the author decided to continue exploring the lives of these characters in the future. They’ve only just begun to get to know each other, and I already love them together.

This is a minor criticism, but I would have liked to see a little more time spent explaining why Caleb adopted such a rambunctious dog. I totally understood why he’d want companionship, but I would have expected him to choose a much calmer animal due to his medical problems. Had this been explained more thoroughly, I would have easily chosen a perfect rating for this story.

I deeply appreciated how much time the characters had to build up their sexual tension before anything happened between them. By the time one of them finally made a move, I was silently cheering in my mind as I read on to find out what happened next. This was exactly the right choice for Caleb and Ava.

New Year’s Next Door was a short, sexy read that I’d recommend for anyone who doesn’t mind some humor in their erotica.