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.

No One Until Her by Lynn Burke


No One Until Her by Lynn Burke
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (48 pgs)
Other: M/F, BDSM, Spanking, Toys, M/F/M interaction, Multiple Partners
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Kaden Quinn has life by the balls and enjoys his side job as a Dom in a downtown Boston BDSM club. What he doesn’t want—or need—is a pseudo-sub trying to shred the veil that protects his painful past.

When untamed Livi Risso’s insatiable need to get to the bottom of a story leads her to an exclusive kink club, her curiosity ignites upon meeting a restrained Dom who refuses to touch her.

Kaden feigns disinterest while scening, but that doesn’t stop Livi from experiencing intimacy like she’s never imagined. When one misstep leaves Kaden shaken, will Livi be the one to break down his wall against love?

This book is seriously hot. Kaden isn’t a perfect hero. He’s got issues and I admired him for how he’d gotten through them. Livi is a good match for him. Their chemistry is off the charts and fun to read about.

There were a few typos and a couple of extra quotation marks, which was bothersome, but didn’t stop my enjoyment of the story. I liked that Kaden was flawed and trying to overcome his issues. That endeared him to me. I wish there would’ve been a few more flaws to Livi, though. She’s a tough as nails reporter, but she seemed almost too perfect. Still, I liked the story.

If you’re looking for a story involving a pain sub, then this might be the one you’re wanting. It’s hot, sweet, and will singe the screen.

And One Makes Four by Sean Michael


And One Makes Four by Sean Michael
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (44 pgs)
Other: Multiple Partners, M/M/M/M, Menage, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Now that zoo shifters Stripe, Xeno and Shen have been rescued, Pirou finds an expert to help them learn how to live their own lives.

Levi is good at his job, professional and passionate about helping. After all, he was a rescue once himself. He always provides whatever help he can, and he never takes advantage of his charges.

These three are different, though, and when Shen makes overtures, Levi finds himself unable to resist the sweet kit. Stripe, Xeno and Shen come as a package, though.

Is there a way for three to become four?

Levi was an experienced professional – excellent with rescued cat shifters and knowing how to help the adjust – something he had sorely missed when he, himself, had been a rescue shifter. Levi could see that Stripe, Xeno and Shen had already formed a bond and that gave him hope they would make a full recovery, something Levi wants more and more as time passes and the threesome becomes four.

This is a super short but very satisfying read. I was pleased that it picked up pretty much exactly where the previous story left off and continued with the three rescued shifters’ story. While I do feel this can be picked up as a stand alone I must admit the reader will likely get far more from the story if they’ve read the book directly previous to this in this series. I feel it’s important to note only the most immediate past book *has* to be read – the others don’t appear to have any direct link to this one so a reader wouldn’t need to go back to the very start of the series.

Having read the previous story I was really glad that the three shifters became attached to Levi and welcomed him quite promptly. In such a short length story it could have been far too easy for the plot of the three rescued shifters and their wariness to have taken over the majority of the story, leaving little room for the romance and sex. While I can understand to some readers this might feel as if it’s a case of insta-lust and the foursome jumped in too early, I knew there’d been quite a build up in the previous story and so this didn’t feel so “sudden” to me. Indeed, I was glad to see the group sex scene and read of the attraction Shen and Levi in particular had. This story really does only cover a few hours’ worth of time and so is incredibly brief and I’m not sure it will be to all readers’ tastes.

A short, quick and easy read with some steamy sex and lots of emotion I enjoyed this story and feel it rounds out the previous book perfectly.

Dutch by Madhuri Pavamani


Dutch by Madhuri Pavamani
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (342 pgs)
Other: M/F, F/F/M, Anal sex, Multiple Partners, Masturbation
Rated: 3.5 stars
Review by Rose

I’ve spent years holed up in the deepest, darkest parts of the city, fighting to keep Death and her Poochas from crossing the dead back to the living. My skill with a blade is bested only by my menace, my despair, my anguish – the strongest weapons I yield.

Then I meet Juma Landry and it all goes to hell.

She is beauty and love and sex and light, everything I am not. And she makes me want things I haven’t desired in years. But the monsters of my life, the evil lurking in the dark corners of my soul, those places craven and vile, bind me to a past I cannot shake free. As the most skilled Keeper for The Gate, nothing and no one can prevent me from excelling at a job I never wanted. I do it because it is my legacy, a fate I cannot outrun, but when Juma becomes my next assignment, each of her nine lives to be ended by my hand, I must decide: the legacy I never wanted or the love I don’t deserve.

This is an adult fantasy and while it’s not labeled as erotic, in this reviewer’s opinion it should be. Before the principles meet, both male and female lead characters in this fantasy romance have engaged in multiple episodes of sex of various types (M/F, FFM, oral, anal, etc). Even after they meet and become cognizant of the attraction between each other, their sexual activities are not limited to the other. So, it’s important that the reader be aware of this, because I would hate for someone to pick up the book and not realize how much graphic sex there was.

That being said, the storyline is very interesting. We learn about Dutch, who is a Keeper of The Gate – the gate separating life and death. It is their job to keep those people who have died from coming back, by killing Death’s Poochas. This is an incredibly dark book, and does include some descriptions of torture.

Death is not the Death we normally think of– this Death is a very sexy woman who is very hedonistic and lives only for pleasure. She allows selected dead people to return to life – aided by her Poochas.

The main conflict comes in when Dutch and Juma (one of Death’s Poochas) meet and discover themselves to be soulmates only to discover that Dutch has been assigned to kill her.

There are a lot of twists and turns in this book, and you see both Dutch and Juma grow and change quite a bit. Though I was a bit dismayed by the darkness here, I was very invested in these characters. I enjoyed watching their development and look forward to seeing how Dutch and Juma resolve the difficulties that surround them.

FYI, this is the first book in the series and ends on a cliffhanger.

The Dom’s Way by Sean Michael


The Dom’s Way by Sean Michael
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (188 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Toys, Anal Play, Spanking, Multiple Partners
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Neal and Way from The Closet Boy are back, only now they’re Dom and sub, and exploring their relationship through the lifestyle. Way is eager to learn everything, and more in love with his master every day. For his part, Neal can’t believe how lucky he is to have found such an innocent but sensual boy.

As they learn what works best for them both, Way has trouble obeying some of the rules Neal imposes. Like the no touching himself rule. Neal wants Way to learn control, but Way, after so long holding back, has trouble not indulging. The two men must work together to find the balance that brings them each the most satisfaction and happiness.

Neal and Way are working on their relationship. It’s still quite new and they each have a lot to learn – and explore – about each other. Can they build on their relationship together?

While this book is the fifth related to the Iron Eagle gym, it follows very close on the heels of “The Closet Boy” which is the beginning of Neal and Way’ra’s relationship. While I feel that it can certainly be read as a great BDSM M/M romance by itself, I would recommend that readers catch up on “The Closet Boy” for a deeper understand of exactly how Way and Neal get to where they open up at the start of this book. I’ve greatly enjoyed all the other books in the Iron Eagle Gym series too – and they’re all worth picking up on their own merits, but this story really does round out and completes the relationship started in The Closet Boy.

Neal is exceptionally new to the entire scenario of the BDSM world. In some respects this would be a very good story for a beginner to read. A lot of the mechanics of how various BDSM relationships work is explained to Way in detail. There’s also a lot of discussion between Neal and Way as they communicate their thoughts and desires to each other as they build their own relationship up together. Way is very much a novice, and while I think readers unsure or new to the lifestyle will thoroughly enjoy having everything explained to them, I have to admit I was personally quite impatient to get to Neal and Way finding their own path and growing together. I have to admit though I really feel this is an exceptional “explaining” style of story and this is exactly the story of writing and tale I craved when the scene was new to me and I didn’t understand half of what I read.

Most of the elements are fairly standard to a BDSM relationship – boundaries, slit play, piercings etc – but I felt that something about the way this was so new and fresh for Way helped breathe new life into it. Neal loved teaching Way, and seeing how new and awesome the various aspects of the lifestyle was to Way helped make this story feel really fresh and exciting to me. I really enjoyed how Neal and Way are totally committed to each other, but there is a strong cast of recurring secondary characters (from the previous books) who also play an important part. They’re all friends and support each other. While there are a few group scenes everyone remains with their respective partners. While I labeled it as “Multiple Partners” it’s more they share their sexuality in the same room and share their experiences – but don’t actually swap partners.

I found this to be a wonderful story, full of the joy and excitement a fresh new relationship can bring. With plenty of spice and naughty sex this book pretty much has something for everyone. A great story.

Owned By The Club by Sam Crescent


Owned By The Club by Sam Crescent
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (60 pgs)
Other: Multiple Partners, Anal Play, M/F
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Rosie needs money, and she needs it fast. She took a loan out to install a café for her dream book shop, and the money was stolen. The only way she can save herself is to go to the Old Boyz, who own the local bar. They’re dangerous, and she knows it will cost her, but there has to be something she can do for the five men who could be her saviors.

Pops has wanted Rosie for years, and he knows his friends do as well. The Old Boyz are not like other men. There are five of them, all best friends, and they have a craving to share one woman. With Rosie needing their help, Pops knows he finally has a chance to claim her for all of them. She is the one woman they all want. Now they just have to convince her that being with five men will be the best thing that has ever happened to her.

But how can Rosie love five men? She hasn’t had the best experience when it comes to relationships, and she doesn’t think she’s right for them.

It’s up to Pops, Billy, Marshall, Gavin, and Ethan to prove to Rosie they mean business. Surely there’s no chance of her saying no. Who could?

Rosie has heard the stories about the Old Boyz – “you take one you take them all” – but the guys had never been anything but good to her. So Rosie swallows her embarrassment and goes to see Pops when her little book shop is in desperate need of an infusion of cash. Pops, Billy, Marshall, Gavin and Ethan all make their thoughts crystal clear. They’ll help her out with the loan, but she’ll belong to them – completely and totally. Is Rosie up for it?

I really enjoyed this story. In some ways it’s like a mad fantasy – five men loving on one woman – and who wouldn’t want that? But a part of me wasn’t too sure to begin with. I mean, logistics alone had me curious how it would actually work. I was pretty happy that I gave this story a shot because it really did work out well to my mind. The guys weren’t cardboard cut outs, they were each fairly distinctive and particularly as the story progressed I found I liked them all for different reasons. I fell in particular love with Gavin. He reminded me a little of Eeyore, gloomy and pessimistic but soft, caring and really tender underneath it all. And in his own way Gavin was even more in love with Rosie than anyone except possibly for Pops. The characters in this story were vibrant and really made the story shine to my mind.

The sex was also pretty hot. It was a little convoluted, with so many characters present, but I really didn’t feel like it was Tab A, B and C with Slot D – often one or more of the guys were happy to watch, or merely touch as they waited their turn. It read to me as sensual and sharing – not like a gang-bang or at all crude. This really helped save the story for me and eased all my earlier worries. I definitely felt like the romance and tenderness was present and that kept the story from being what it could have turned into – more pornographic than romantic.

Certainly a different style of story, I really enjoyed this and was delighted to find Rosie get her groove on with the five Old Boyz. A happy ending rounded it all out and I really found this a satisfying, hot and sexy read.

Third Wheel by Lynn Burke


Third Wheel by Lynn Burke
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (79 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Multiple Partners
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Carpenter by day, manwhore extraordinaire by night, Reid Sullivan lives every man’s dream. But, Elite Escort’s hottest third wheel longs for something more than casual sex with clients.

Jessica Lindy’s testimony helped put her ex-husband behind bars, but she can’t escape his vows of revenge. A jaded single mom, she guards her heart and daughter’s life against any man.

One fateful night with Reid, the temptation for Jessica to allow another man into their lives becomes too hard to resist. But when her past collides with the present, lives—and love—will be lost unless Jessica learns how to lower her defenses. Can the professional escort convince the wary young mom that he can be a different sort of third wheel—the one she can trust?

Reid works for Elite Escorts – satisfying clients who want someone tall, dark and handsome and are willing to pay for it. He sees himself as a professional third wheel – normally acting out fantasies with and for married couples. But Reid honestly wants more now – a commitment, someone that’s his who he doesn’t need to walk away from. And then Jessica’s best friend pays for them to have a night together – one that changes both their lives forever.

I found this a delightful and refreshingly different style of story. While Reid is an escort who (until Jessica) only works as the third in ménages, there isn’t any sex between Reid and Jessica until well into the story. I loved getting to know more about Reid and Jessica as people first, before the sexiness steamed up the pages. I also liked how the chapters swapped between Jessica and Reid’s perspective – which really helped me feel closer to both the characters and understand them better than I would have had we only been exposed to one or the other’s thoughts. I found the conflict aspect of the plot – Jessica’s criminal ex – fairly predictable. I almost feel the story could have been slightly stronger without the crazy ex element in it – the progression of Reid and Jessica’s relationship was doing quite well with peaks and troughs even without the “conflict”. The fact the actions were easily guessed lessened my enjoyment of the story slightly.

I really enjoyed the pacing of Reid and Jessica learning to trust each other and find happiness in each other’s company. I also enjoyed how there’s plenty of chemistry and sex in the story, but the feel of the pacing really led me to believe that it was neither rushed nor skimmed over. I felt the author really excelled at this. I also liked how there is clear bait for the next story in the series (Jarod and Christine – I suspect) but this did not overshadow Reid and Jessica’s story nor did it feel like their story was short-changed to prepare the lead up for future stories to come.

A balanced and sexy romance, I felt this book had great characters and excellent pacing. I really enjoyed it.

Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns by Tara Lain


Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns by Tara Lain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (226 pgs)
Other: M/M, Multiple Partners, Anal Play, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

Cowboy Danny Boone—a name he made up one drunken night and has regretted ever since—harbors a big past and yearns for a small future. A short, bright career as a champion bull rider almost ended in his death when his homophobic father discovered Danny was gay. Now Danny longs for a plot of land he can build a ranch house on and enough money to make up for some of the education he missed.

Danny also hides a preference for beautiful femmes who like to top—a combo rarer than a unicorn. Then onto the guest ranch where Danny works drives San Francisco decorator Laurie Belmont, a young man so gorgeous he makes horses gasp, and so ballsy he almost kills Danny’s attacker.

Laurie’s trying to find his way out from under the thumb of a domineering mother, helpless father, and rich, privileged boyfriend.

But no matter the attraction, their lives are worlds apart, and cowboys don’t ride unicorns.

Everyone has their own preferences and discerning tastes, but sometimes what you want and what you can actually get are on opposite ends of the spectrum. This is Danny Boone’s quandary – does he settle for what he can get his hands on or does he keep searching for that elusive man that will trip his trigger indefinitely? Should a cowboy search for his unicorn or stick with his ever-ready pony?

Danny Boone! I was so happy when I realized this was his book. I loved the relationship he and Rand had in the first installment and seeing him more fully fleshed out made me happy. He’s a great guy – solid, hardworking, reliable – and the best hand Rand has around. But he’s also lonely and looking for something more which made me sad to read. It was good going into the story knowing he was finally going to find his happiness.

Laurie Belmont. I wanted to like Laurie so much, especially once you learn about how his family and his boyfriend treat him. You don’t find many unrepentantly authentic characters these days and I was happy to see Laurie so at ease with the man that he was. However, since he’s very femme, at times, his actions and reactions went over the top. So much so that, at several points, he felt more like a caricature or stereotype rather than an actual character. The moments when he and Danny are alone, Laurie is most like himself and he’s really fun and lovable at those times.

Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns brings two very unlikely characters together under even more unlikely circumstances. Generally, those ‘deep, dark secrets’ don’t work for me, but Danny’s secret is of the kind that makes sense to hide in an effort to move past it. For the most part, he has done exactly that. The author does throw you a twist by switching up the sexual preferences of Danny and Laurie, giving you a less stereotypical romance between the two men. Even with all the drama, meddling parents, and other craziness, I enjoyed seeing Kai, Rand, and the kids again as well as watching Danny find his happiness.

A Night with Her Ex by Laura Jardine


A Night with Her Ex by Laura Jardine
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (36 Pages)
Other: M/F, M/F/F, Menage, Multiple Partners, Anal Sex, Spanking, Voyerism
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

One month ago, Amy McNeil was dumped, and she never saw it coming. How could she have? Greg had said “I love you” for the first time only two days before. So when she runs into him at a coffee shop, she demands an explanation.

Greg Kim couldn’t imagine it working out with Amy. He sees her as the sweet girl he’d take home to meet his mother, rather than one who’d agree to the open relationship he craves. To shock her, he challenges her to come to a party at his friends’ townhome—a party unlike anything Amy’s ever been to before. Greg will sleep with other people in front of her…and punish her when she does the same.

But Amy surprises him. She wants to finally act out her secret fantasies. Will this one night lead to the untold pleasures she imagines? Can she show Greg that it’s possible for them to both have everything they desire?

“Not what I expected” is an understatement.

This book was great as an erotic read but there was not much of an actual plot in this. There are some real positives to this short story, though.  The characters are very well written even though I wanted more fleshing out of their story. The length of the story didn’t leave much if any room for growth of the characters.

That being said, one of the primary things I loved was how the story didn’t fit into a normal mold. Amy gets dumped. When she next sees him she asks the obvious question. WHY? The answer opened something and gave their relationship a chance. It also reminded me why openness between couples is so important.

This short story may not appeal to readers who aren’t into multiple partner groupings. But those who like to reach for books with hot chemistry and even hotter sex, this will be gem. As I mentioned, this book as an erotic read was truly wonderful, eye opening and worth the quick read.

Seduced by the CEO by Lexie Davis


Seduced by the CEO by Lexie Davis
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (158 Pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Multiple Partners, Anal Sex, Forced Seduction, Spanking
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

Kristin Marsh landed her dream job with Bosk Entertainment as a CPA. She had everything she could really ask for and then some. However, when her mysterious boss calls her into his office to sign a confidentiality agreement, she didn’t know what to expect.

Micah Bosk was know for his strict ways in the boardroom, but this dominant man dabbled in the kinky lifestyle associated with bondage. It lead him to purchasing The Black Rose, a hot spot fetish club in the heart of Denver. But when the smart businessman looks over the books, he discovers the numbers simply don’t add up.

Micah seeks Kristin’s help with his financials and slowly introduces the good girl into his kinky world. She’s sexy and strong, perfect for what he wants in a sub, but she has reservations about a no-strings affair with her boss. He can show her the naughty pleasures he enjoys but will her need for commitment be a deal breaker?

All the ingredients for a smoking hot kinky read: a contract, burn the cover off chemistry and a BDSM club.

While the plot of Seduced by the CEO wasn’t new, it was the characters that won me. They were different. “Draw me in and hold me captive to the story” different.

When Micah finds that the accounts for the BDSM club that he owns don’t add up, he calls on the one person who can surely find the cause. But can she handle his needs?

When Kristin gets a contract from her boss, demanding ultimate secrecy and discretion, she signs it without a second thought. What she comes to realize about her boss, and herself, is an eye-opening surprise.

The story flows well and the characters were well developed. The story kept me interested to the very end. This is a character driven story and the author kept them in the forefront with snappy dialogue and hot chemistry.

The ending indicated that there may be a second book. It wasn’t what I expected. While I’m not personally a fan of suspense and waiting, sometimes I find a series worth waiting for.

Excellent read with more than a few pleasant surprises.