Krewe Daddy by Margie Church

Krewe Daddy by Margie Church
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (216 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Luis is the Daddy, a sought-after lover, with an ego to match the mammoth-sized Mardi Gras floats he designs. His lifestyle and reputation are wearing him out, but Luis can’t find a satisfying way to break the cycle and be happy, too.

Drew’s insecurities pushed him to have a foolish affair six years ago. It destroyed his relationship with Luis, and he’s never been able to commit to anyone since. Now, he’s taken control of his life and changed his submissive personality by becoming a model for Kevin Marks, and a wildlife enforcement agent in New Orleans.

These men haven’t forgotten each other, or settled their differences. When they accidentally meet in a French Quarter gay bar, the years of regret, anger, and pent-up emotions erupt. Their passion is as hot as ever, their mistrust just as potent. When Drew’s future is in Luis’ hands, will he choose his lifestyle or love?

A little intimidation and attempted murder sure goes a long way towards getting priorities straight in one’s life but the payoff of a finally resolved romance is enough of an impetus to see it through until the end game. If he survives.

Ms. Church set up the plot elements in the first two chapters, giving readers a bit of background that ties the two heroes together. It was done with a natural easy flow by getting into each of the heads of Drew and Luis. I learned that there are unresolved issues between the men but that they’ve gone on with their lives. Both men have changed to some degree; Drew most of all. The challenge is going to be to reconcile their past differences and learn about each other all over again. Some things have remained the same, like the incendiary passion that erupts between them, and others have changed, like Drew’s confidence, enhanced by doing a job that matters. Life has shaped Drew into a sharper, smarter man and it’s Luis that needs to come to terms with it.

The plot thread of criminal activity and the threat to Drew’s safety is woven throughout the book giving a sharp edged tone to its telling, especially with the pressure of the ticking clock. Drew’s current job put him in harm’s way and it’s coming to get him. First he has to testify and someone doesn’t want him to. The hero has to survive long enough to tell his story to a jury. The scenes of the violent confrontation were hard to read. Ms. Church did a very nice job of getting the horror and viciousness across to a reader.

When Luis and Drew reconnect there are a lot of great sex scenes but the drama and intensity that peppers the story makes the sex more meaningful and powerful. There’s a certain level of communication that goes on during those romps and it’s Luis and Drew’s hearts doing the talking. What comes out of their mouths, and the mixed-up insecurities that plague their brains, mess up what their bodies are trying to tell them. It’s not over, it’s a new beginning and this is their second and last chance.

Of course, the path of love isn’t easy or smooth and once they reconnect, Luis has to make some hard choices. Drew needs to learn and accept that this time, Luis is for real. Nothing tests that fragile new resolve like having a partner who was vibrant and independent suddenly lose that independence and then having to deal with the emotional fallout. Luis and Drew’s new beginning is forged in fire. If they can make it through these worst of times, then there is hope. Ms. Church effectively took me through Drew’s painful healing process, both emotional and physical with writing that captured the darkness he felt.

I wasn’t too crazy about the character of Kyle. In the beginning he seemed okay, like a wonderful support system for Drew, with benefits. He came across as sane, well adjusted and a solid peer. Once Luis came on the scene, Kyle changed, like he’d become possessed by a sniveling, resentful and immature alien and he did and said things that didn’t jive with how he was initially portrayed. I’m not sure exactly why his character didn’t work for me but he annoyed me immensely. Maybe it was his true self, and the author wanted that swift change to be shocking; in that, she succeeded. I had a hard time accepting it though.

What I did enjoy was seeing Teak and Kevin again in well placed cameos. There was a lot of great emotion from Drew’s friends and the scene in the hospital really got to me. Ms. Church grabbed my attention and put my feelings through the wringer when she described the hero’s frustration, worry and fears. What kind of productive life can he have if he never recovers? That was pretty heavy stuff and the author handled it well.

There’s no doubt that the sex between Drew and Luis was hot. Ms. Church knows how to make a reader sweat and the writing was well done.

One character that was a gem was Sapphire. What a hoot and a very nice addition to the story. I don’t think Sapphire was meant as comic relief but certainly he brought a much needed fun element to whatever scene he was in.

Krewe Daddy has a lot going for it. Drama and suspense spices it up while passion ignites the pages as Drew and Luis reconnect and fall in love all over again. I had to refrain from saying more about this book. Ms. Church managed to put a ton of interesting and fascinating twists and turns between the main protagonists and her secondary characters that I had a hard time choosing what to focus my review on. I enjoyed Drew and Luis, I liked the dialogue and was wide-eyed from the criminal element. The author really paid attention to the emotions of her characters and that attention to detail made them vivid and real. This was a gripping and entertaining read but what I really liked was how Ms. Church wrapped up the happily ever after. It was so romantic and complete. Now that’s the way to do it.

Serving Serena by Candice Butler

Serving Serena by Candice Butler
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing, LLC
Genre: Contemporary, paranormal
Length: Short Story (139 pgs)
Other: M/F, F/F, Anal Play, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Iris

Serena Davies, unrepentant hippie, has a major case of artist’s block. She also has a deadline for the showing of a lifetime. She’s been told the island monastery retreat at St. Catherine of Bologna can work wonders for artists in need of inspiration.

From the moment Teros picks her up on the dock, Serena feels the uncontrollable urge to explore the body beneath his monk’s robe. But she’s still Catholic enough to know seducing a monk is a permanent ticket to purgatory. Ignoring these urges become nearly impossible after Teros tells her he’s there to serve only her. When he reveals he’s not a monk, Serena gives in, knowing this thirty-something hard body will probably break her fifty-eight-year-old heart. What Teros has not revealed is that he’s the Greek god of requited love, Anteros.

Spending her days and nights with Teros amidst the unbridled natural beauty of the island, Serena abandons the landscape paintings that made her famous. Now she finds the other sexy residents of the island make far more interesting subjects. Serena wonders if she can ignore the world’s intolerance for seeing older women with younger men long enough to hold on to the love of a lifetime.

Any book that starts with a stolen glance of a fantastic (nude!) butt and, ahem, hints of male genitalia has GOT to be good, right?! This one doesn’t disappoint.

The basic story is a lovely erotic romance, not just sexual exploits. Admittedly, the monk serving her at the secluded artist’s retreat is the hottest thing Serena has seen in awhile, and the Catholic confusion and angst that follows is a little amusing. Fortunately, it’s also dispelled rather quickly.

I was treated to not only the artist’s carnal indulgences, but also those created by her very fertile mind as well as the romantic interludes of various other artists staying at the retreat. There’s no shortage of art, good food, or sex on this island!

Two scenes in the book made me laugh out loud. The first is when Serena finds out that George, the cook, practices his art in the nude, and the second is when she finds him at the oven early in the morning. It almost makes you want to find your own baker in a blue apron.

At the risk of spoilers, the ending of the book is not truly a surprise as hints are generously woven throughout the story. It does not in any way detract from the romance of the story or the deliciousness of any coupling described.

This was a difficult book to put down, and is one of those that has “stuck with me”. For those who prefer a good story with their sex, this is an excellent book to pick up. Enjoy it today!

Time To Live by H.C. Brown

Time To Live by H.C. Brown
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing LLC
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (32 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Peppermint

Seth Bannock is living a lie. Nothing in his life is working out. He likes women . . . he respects women . . . but when he tries to kiss a woman and she does that tongue thing, he wants to spew.

Confused by his body’s reaction to the men at his gym, Seth seeks help from the only gay club he knows—Floggers. Is the man crazy? Seeking answers, the sweet, vanilla virgin marches into the BDSM club to speak to the owner Rio Knight.

Realization that he has been on the wrong team all his life comes in the form of a six-foot-seven Adonis by the name of Matt Duffey. Instantly attracted to the leather-clad alpha male, Seth must leave his old life behind and embrace his newfound sexuality.

Seth thought his life had complications before he met Matt, but nothing comes close to the rollercoaster ride in the big dom’s arms.

The author managed to bring a sweet, romantic quality to a BDSM story, which is something refreshing and new. Usually BDSM stories have the trust, and plenty of kink but you do not clearly see the romantic aspect of the story. I really enjoyed the different emotions the author invoked by adding more of a romance element that fleshed out the relationship.

Seth Bannock is a sweetie any man or woman would be lucky to have. While many women have tried to claim him for their own, none of them ever fit the bill for Seth. I loved the discovery of his sexuality throughout this story. The author wrote the book in such a convincing manner it felt as if I was having the new experiences right along with the main character. His naive personality and willingness to experiment provided a really entertaining element to the storyline.

Where Seth is all sweet and wide-eyed, Matt, the other hero, is trained, disciplined, and more than ready to use his learned tools on a sweet virgin. While Matt demands to be the alpha in the relationship at all times, he wants something more than just a submissive; he wants a partner inside and outside the scene. This is something I really appreciated in his character and made me instantly like him. There were times where it seemed he didn’t quite get or understand the rules to a vanilla relationship, but he did his best to give Seth everything he needed both in and out of the bedroom. In the end because of the heroes’ devotion to learning things together, and to each other, I had the distinct impression their relationship would last for a long-time.

And that’s one of the best kind of happily ever afters a reader could wish for. Pick up your own copy and see.

Drive-By Valentine by Kimber An

Drive-By Valentine by Kimber An
Publisher: Noble Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (14 pgs)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Lotus

Pushing thirty on Valentine’s Day, Eve realizes her desperate search for love has led to nothing but misery. Then, she takes a chance on a little old lady who’s famous for finding the perfect guy for every girl just by looking at his truck.

What to do when your coworkers are betting you would be staying home without a date on Valentine’s Day? You prove them wrong by finding the perfect date, but how?

Drive-By Valentine was a title that grabbed my attention and and then the story kept it when I quickly finished reading it in one sitting.

Eve found her answer in a little old lady who could look at a truck and determine whether the owner would be a perfect match for someone. Could she really do that? Besides Christmas, Valentine’s Day is the only other magical day, full of surprises, secret admirers, gifts, and love. Ms. An makes use of the spirit of Valentine’s Day to weave a tale filled with possibilities.

Eve is a hard working businesswoman who hasn’t had the best luck in finding love. She’s been living her life with her mother’s approval. Her mother approved of Eve’s MBA, BMW, and her apartment (which Eve’s mother personally picked out for her). Eve feels she can’t really be herself all the time because it goes against her mother’s vision of her life. When she finds Sofia, the little old lady, Eve becomes liberated, backed by Sofia who cheers her on. Does Sofia find a perfect match for Eve? Who is it? How did Sofia find these perfect matches? These are the intriguing questions dealt with in this novella. I enjoyed Ms. An’s writing which captivated me and made me laugh out loud a few times. Even though the story was short, it packed a wonderful amount of the pertinent details within it.

Drive-By Valentine is a sweet and satisfying romance short enough to be a perfect read during lunch or any time you have a break during your day. I will treasure and re-read this little gem of a story that warms my heart and puts a smile on my face when I think about it.

Murdering Eve by Kelly L. Lee

Murdering Eve by Kelly L. Lee
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (358 pages)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Sunflower

Eve Moore is very likely going insane. In one week’s time, she has clear memories of surviving a murderous attack by her dead husband’s mistress, teleporting to another Realm, learning her best friend isn’t human, and uncovering the existence of trolls, Titans and mythical Gods. If she hadn’t gone off her nut, Eve wouldn’t be coming to grips with the fact that her mother had an affair with an immortal and she is apparently their love-child.

But since she’s getting pretty comfortable with it all, she figures she’s probably strapped down somewhere cold and antiseptic with drool dribbling down her chin. Except if she’s locked in sanitarium, as she must be, why is she so damn scared of the God of War who threatens to send her soul to the Underworld? And why does the mere glance from a gorgeous man, one that she was tasked to find and return to Olympus, set fire racing through her veins?

Whether it’s reality or lunacy, Eve has no idea, but she is on one hell of a ride. If only she could get that red-headed harlot who tried to kill her the first time to cease and desist on the murder attempts, she could enjoy her psychosis in peace…

You know you’ve had a bad day when your car breaks down and leaves you stranded in the middle of nowhere. Or when you’ve had the worst week at work dealing with coworkers. That’s bad, right? At least you weren’t a victim of attempted murder and learned information that would change the way you see the world forever. Yeah, that’s a tough week. The heroine in Murdering Eve has gone through hell and back, and it isn’t even over yet.

A country song came to my mind while reading this story, one that talks about finding who your friends are when a string of bad luck occurs. Just when I thought things would get better for this heroine, a new surprising element popped up and the chaos began again. Eve is one tough cookie, though even if she’d prefer to live in the state of denial, and chalk it up to a wickedly crazy dream.

Eve is matched with a man that defied an order for the greater good and is paying his price. He’s a man with no regrets. Whit Blackstone is a strong willed man who listens to his gut and heart. Where does that get him? Sent to earth to live among the humans. Now that Eve has discovered some truths that might have been better left untold, he has found a purpose in what was supposed to be his punishment.

This book puts an exciting new twist to the contemporary fantasy world. The characters drew my attention in, along with the fast pacing of the plot. There’s plenty of action and suspense to go around as well. Eve and Whit make for a great leading couple, and the cast of characters, good and bad, kept me intrigued the whole way. Ms. Lee is an author to watch! In this thrilling and enchanting beginning to what looks like a new series, readers have a chance to fall in love with a world unlike ours, one with a simple good vs evil plot, but the elements that make up this storyline takes a fresh unique spin.

I look forward to more books from the author. If you enjoy a contemporary fantasy novel that explores a new take on mythology and characters that fly off the pages then don’t miss Murdering Eve.

Familiar Light by Sarah Balance

Familiar Light by Sarah Balance
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (35 pgs)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Jasmine

Seven years of longing comes down to just one night.

Laney Kent returns to Barrier Shoals hoping to reunite with her first love, Bridger. She anticipates his reception might be chilly, but what she doesn’t expect is to become the victim of a deadly obsession … or that this night with Bridger could be her last.

Bridger Jansen tangled a lot of sheets trying to forget about Laney, but his heart knew what the rest of him refused to admit: he could love no one else. He’s determined not to forgive her for leaving him without explanation, but when he fails to protect her from a vicious attack, the person he can’t forgive just might be himself.

Have you ever fantasized about your first love and wondered what would happen if you hooked up again? So does Laney. And she intends to find out.

I read this author for the first time not too long ago and immediately fell in love. I love her style, her writing and her voice. She has this amazing talent for drawing you in and making you fall in love with her characters in a very short space. Her talent also extends to telling a full story in a very short format that doesn’t leave you feeling like something was missing. That’s not easy to do in short novellas that usually equal less than fifty pages. Ms. Ballance’s writing is the kind that leaves me thinking about the characters, and the story, long after I have finished it. She has gone on my “must read” list and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she will write a full length novel at some point, because it would be one to remember, without a doubt.

I loved all of the characters in this story. Even Holden, the secondary character, came through loud and clear with his own sexy style. Bridger, the lead male, is a sexy “man’s man” who seems more like a cowboy transplanted to the beach rather than the beach bum that I expected given the locale. Laney is a strong, yet vulnerable, girl next door. The type that I would have been friends with in high school and kept in touch with long afterwards. The setting is great as well. With the beach as a backdrop, which (in my mind) projects the sense of relaxation and calm, you quickly realize how sinister it can be and the author portrays both very well. Also, what has the potential to be spookier than an old lighthouse?

The idea that Laney would return after seven years and that her relationship with Bridger would immediately pick back up where it left off seems somewhat unrealistic, but Ms. Ballance manages to convince me it’s possible with finesse. Given their connection and the circumstances, it’s not necessarily an unreasonable consequence of the situation. The fact that Bridger seems to be at odds with himself over what he wants and what he believes should happen make it believable. The story line of the serial killer is suspenseful and creepy and the perfect catalyst for the two of them coming together.

Without giving anything away, it looks like this has been set up to be a series, so we will get to revisit Bridger, Laney and Holden at some point in the future. Personally, I can’t wait and I will be watching for the next book. If you are looking for a new author, or a just enjoy a short, quick, enjoyable read then definitely check out ‘Familiar Light’. You don’t know what you are missing if you pass this book, or this author, up.

Text Play by C. Margery Kempe

Text Play by C. Margery Kempe
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (11 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Andrei found her on Facebook. Natalia wasn’t sure she wanted to rekindle the past. But what if he turned out to be the one man who could bring her to her knees?

This quick read will leave you wanting more. While on her social networking site Natalia finds herself reconnecting with Andrei. It has been years since they have spoken. Yet that spark and the connection seems to still be there. Can she get what she needs from Andrei or will he disappoint like the men before him?

I enjoyed meeting both Andrei and Natalia. They make a nice couple. I would have liked a bit more character development with them though. Writing a short story with good development can be a challenge, and I understand that, but it would have been nice to know a bit more of their history and what had happened between Natalia and the previous boyfriend who was mentioned.

There’s more of a challenge for the author, because everything that happens is through text and phone in this story. It was a unique spin, but I would had liked to see just where there relationship went and to see if they really are as compatible in real life as they seem to be on the phone. I really liked Andrei and Natalia and hope that this is not the last we get to see of them.

The author did a wonderful job of bringing the tale to life. I cheered the couple on and hoped for them to get that happy ever after that they are looking for. Natalia is a strong woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it and Andrei seems like just the man to give it to her.

I enjoyed this author’s style as well and will be looking for more from her in the future.

Nopeming Shores by Margie Church with J. Andrew Lockhart

Nopeming Shores by Margie Church with J. Andrew Lockhart
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing, LLC
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (137 pages)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

An IED snuffed out Gabe Holliway’s life, but couldn’t destroy his love. Using his unique gift, Gabe struggles to help his young wife, Lily, rebuild her shattered future.

But when Gabe’s ghost reaches out to her, Lily fears she’s lost her last hold on sanity. Can she trust what she discovers and what her heart says? When she sees Gabe face-to-face, can she believe her eyes?

When love transcends death, the answers are found in Nopeming Shores.

He’s watching her from the afterlife. He may have died, but she’s dead inside. Losing him creates devastation that doesn’t seem to ever go away. Can he possibly help her in his spirit state?

Mysterious things start happening. Can she figure out what’s going on, and receive the message that has crossed the veil to reach her?

Lily Holliway was in love with her husband Gabe and still is. When he died a soldier in Afghanistan, her love carried on. She quits her job, but her best friend convinces her to take a low-key job in a flower shop. She befriends the owners and through day-to-day projects, putting together beautiful bouquets, she works through her pain.

She meets a charming man and befriends him. He’s very interested in her, and when she says she¹s not ready to move on yet, he’s understanding.

The emotions in this tear-jerker story are tender. This is a tale of inner strength and finding happiness again within oneself. Hope of new romance is on the horizon, but this story does not focus on that. It’s more about healing.

There’s a very interesting scene where Gabe gets a few hours to approach Lily in corporal form. They share one last passionate night. The depth of feeling is stunning.

By the end of Nopeming Shores, the reader feels how Lily has made progress. The reader experiences her hope. It’s a well-written book that is sure to delight readers who enjoy stories with inspiring characters trying to find their way again.

All of You by Rhian Cahill

All of You by Rhian Cahill
Publisher: Noble Romance
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (106 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Foxglove

Claire Jones never dreamed the fantasies she’d been having about the young guy next door would ever become reality, but after a push from her best friend and one encounter involving dirty laundry, she’s getting more reality than one woman should be allowed. But with reality comes emotion, and Claire finds herself falling deeper and deeper under Ryan’s spell.

Ryan Doherty wants in Claire’s pants, but he soon discovers hot sex isn’t all he’s after. She makes him happy in a way nothing and no one else ever has, and if he has to use their amazing chemistry to stay in her life, he will. Because having more of Claire isn’t an option. It’s the only choice.

Can Ryan and Claire bridge the age gap to find the love of a lifetime, or will what others think destroy the best thing either of them has ever found?

All of You is a very hot older woman, younger man story. There are lots of these out there, but this one stands out for me because of the skill with which Ms. Cahill has crafted her characters.

Claire Jones is really beginning to regret confiding in her best friend Jane. They have been friends for almost forty years, but she can’t believe her ears when Jane tells Claire to give her fantasies a chance. Those fantasies all involve her very hot and sexy neighbor, Ryan. The very much younger Ryan. So what if her pulse speeds up at the thought of indulging in a hot night of passion with him, she is old enough to be his mother.

Then Ryan gives off vibes that he is interested, and Claire decides a fling might just work. They can both ‘scratch the itch’ and move on with their lives. Ryan wants Claire, but he is in it for the long haul, if he can just convince Claire to give them a chance at more than a fling. But first, Ryan has to break through Claire’s reserve about the difference in their ages. Can Ryan convince Claire that age is just a number? Can Claire let go and accept what Ryan is offering? Can they find a middle ground that can provide the happy ever after they both want?

These are people you like and want to see happy, and I enjoyed watching as these two learned about each other, what they like and don’t like. I liked that there was more to these two than just sex; they set out to become better acquainted along with the bedroom action.

Claire Jones is a strong and independent woman, a professional with a successful career. I liked her attitude, and her hesitance to jump in with both feet where she wasn’t comfortable. I also liked that, once she made up her mind, she didn’t become weak and dependent on Ryan for things. She is a wonderful character, well rounded and interesting on several levels.

Ryan Doherty is virile, handsome, and the hottest thing Claire has ever seen. He is a successful contractor, in business with his older brother. He wants to break through the wall his sexy neighbor has erected, but isn’t sure how to take the first step. Ryan is ready for more than just a fling, and I enjoyed watching as he tried every trick he could think of to convince Claire their relationship could be more. I love Ryan’s dogged determination to get exactly what he wants, but also not pressure Claire outright.

This is definitely a sexy romance, with plenty of very hot action in places I didn’t see coming. There is a picnic in the park that raises the temperature quite nicely, without completely embarrassing either party. There is a scene that nearly destroys everything Ryan has worked toward, and I loved how he was able to do what it took to finally convince Claire that what they have is important and can work. This is a story for those who really like happy endings, and overcoming obstacles. But be warned, there is a need for ice and tissues, so keep both on hand.

Silver’s Chance by Billi Jean

Silver’s Chance by Billi Jean
Publisher: Noble Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (410 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Foxglove

When life throws Samantha a curve ball in the form of an ancient Lykae warlord bent on marking her as his – what’s she going to do? Run like hell? Oh, yeah, that so worked the first time around. With Derrick hot after her tail, Samantha discovers being the hunted just might not be as bad as she thought.

Derrick is a warlord hardened by centuries of battle. Now that he’s free from years of torment, he discovers his mate. Only his beautiful little half wolf is as determined to deny him, as he is to claim her.

As the battle to keep her safe intensifies, Derrick faces the biggest fight of his life: winning Samantha’s heart and keeping alive long enough to claim her.

Together they just might tame each other.

Silver’s Chance is Billi Jean’s second foray into this dark and dangerous world filled with vampires, shifters, demons and Faye. It is a fast paced and engrossing story, one that kept me enthralled from the very first page.

Samantha Silversword is on a mission. She has left the Faye realm in search of her twin sister, Susanna, and she is letting nothing get in her way. When she gets a tip from a Fire Demon that what she desires can be found in a pit in the desert, she heads out with high hopes.

In a hall filled with statues of Death Stalkers, instead of her sister she finds a man bolted to the cavern wall. But not just a man, actually a huge and angry Lykae, and Samantha knows that there is definitely something strange going on. With her affinity for manipulating metal, she frees the Lykae, who, as it turns out, is Derrick MacKenzie, brother to the king of the Lykae.

Derrick has been captive for two hundred years, but he realizes immediately that the woman freeing him is his mate, although she doesn’t seem to recognize their connection. Derrick is a warlord, and doesn’t understand modern women, and Samantha is determined to get as far from him and his claims as she can. When the Fire Demon tells her Derrick is her best chance to find her sister, she reluctantly decides to keep him close. What Samantha doesn’t expect is the growing attraction she feels for Derrick, and the realization that her ‘inner wolf’ wants nothing more than to claim Derrick for her mate as much as he does. Can Samantha come to terms with these new and unsettling desires? Can Derrick rein in his beast in order to win Samantha’s heart? Can these two get past their differences and work together to search for Susanna?

This story actually takes place before the first book, and it clears up some of the back-story about Midnight Star and events I had some questions about. But this is Samantha and Derrick’s story, and it is filled with humor, danger, and lots of heat and passion. The characters are exquisitely detailed and complex, and I enjoyed watching their verbal and physical sparring as they learned how to work together toward their goals.

Samantha is strong and independent, and feels guilty for her sister being missing. She has a sharp mind and a very sarcastic and wry sense of humor. She is loyal to friends and family, and has always believed herself to be the ‘misfit’ of the family. Her bloodlines include a Faye warrior and a warlock, and even a bit of Lykae in the distant past. I enjoyed watching as Samantha came to realize she wasn’t the twin with ‘tainted’ blood as she had believed. Watching as she began to understand and accept who and what she is, and accept her true worth was a delight.

Derrick MacKenzie is strong, loyal and more than a little confused. After being held captive, tortured and then left bolted to a wall for decades, he is rescued from his confinement by the one person he did not expect-his mate. Watching Derrick attempt to understand modern society is such fun. He is determined to win over his mate, and yet at every turn, he finds another way to alienate her. I loved watching his confusion turn into admiration as he realizes Samantha’s true strength and her abilities.

There are several surprising turns here, with betrayal and intrigue circling through the enemy’s camp. Not everyone is what they seem, and Samantha and Derrick must survive attacks and tricks before finding what they need to continue the search for Susanna. The secondary characters are as richly detailed and interesting as Samantha and Derrick, and I hope we will see more of them, especially Samantha’s Wiccan friend Tabithia and her friend Aeros, and the Fire Demon Agni. There is a deliciously hot happy for now for Samantha and Derrick, but the search will continue for Susanna in what I hope will be many more visits to this world of Billi Jean’s magical people.