Happy People Read and Drink Coffee by Agnès Martin-Lugand

HAPPY
Happy People Read and Drink Coffee by Agnès Martin-Lugand
Publisher: Weinstein Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (214 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

She fled Paris to lose herself. The love she found would change everything.
Diane seems to have the perfect life. She is a wife, a mother, and the owner of Happy People Read and Drink Coffee, a cozy literary cafe in Paris. But when she suddenly loses her husband and daughter in a car accident, her life is overturned and the world as she knows it instantly disappears. Trapped and haunted by her memories, Diane closes her shop and retreats from her friends and family, unable and unwilling to move forward.

But one year later, Diane shocks her loved ones and makes the surprising decision to move to a small town on the Irish coast, finally determined to heal by rebuilding her life alone-until she meets Edward, a handsome and moody Irish photographer who lives next door. At first abrasive and unwelcoming, Edward initially resents Diane’s intrusion into his life of solitude . . . until he can no longer keep her at arm’s length. Along windy shores and cobbled streets, Diane falls into a surprising and tumultuous romance. As she works to overcome her painful memories and truly heal, Diane and Edward’s once-in-a-lifetime connection inspires her to love herself and the world around her with newfound inner strength and happiness. But will it last when Diane leaves Ireland, and Edward, for good?

At once heartbreaking and uplifting, Diane’s story is deeply felt, reminding us that love remembered is love enduring.

Diane is a woman who has it all. A happy family and a bookshop, she is living a dream in the middle of Paris. But tragedy strikes when her husband and daughter are killed in a car accident. Torn apart by grief, she withdraws from everyone and everything-except her best friend. Searching for meaning in her life now that everything she loved is gone, she decides to move to a small town on the Irish coast and what she finds there will forever shape her destiny.

Edward is a bitter man who knows loss only too well. When he and Diane meet, it is a combustible moment of fire and gasoline, leaving both of them reeling from the impact. Slowly, Diane crawls out of her grief stricken stage and she learns to feel again-even if it is rather a form of hate for her new neighbor that quickly turns into a burning hot romance. But when it comes time for Diane to leave, what will become of her new romance with the enigmatic Edward? You’ll have to read this book to find out.

This book grabbed me and didn’t let me go. In one sitting, I devoured the pages in one breathless gulp. More women’s fiction than romance, the tale showcases the evolution of a woman who is hanging on to her old life by the skin of her teeth and the courage it takes to forge ahead when you don’t know that you have anything left to live for. All of the raw human emotions are there and the book leaves you with a breathless precipice of possibilities that will appeal to fans of Meave Binchy, Jan Karon and Debbie Macomber.

I enjoyed the emotional roller coaster and the light touch of romance-not enough to classify the book as romance but it was still there. I was also excited to learn that it is being made into a movie. Think Tuscan Sun meets the Irish coast and you have the story in a nutshell-and what a good one it was.

I highly recommend Happy People Read and Drink Coffee for a nice beach read or just something to get you out of your own head for awhile.

Red by Scarlet Fox

red
Red by Scarlet Fox
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (50 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

Little Red Riding Hood’s life has become a boring cycle and she finds herself wanting more. Her wish is granted when she runs into the Big Bad Wolf, Max, while walking through the woods to her grandmother’s house. The secret is, Red’s got a wolf of her own, and her father is the Alpha of the local pack.

Instead of fearing Max, Red finds herself unbelievably attracted to the rugged, unknown man. The chemistry between them is undeniable. Claws and teeth quickly become lips and groping hands. The only problem with her wild, newly budding romance is that her pack is on the hunt for a feral wolf, and Max is in her father’s territory uninvited. Can Red prove to the pack that Max isn’t the danger they think, or will their romance go down in flames?

This wolf has some teeth…

Red is weary of always being under her father’s shadow. No other man or wolf measures up and she sure isn’t going to date the man her father has entrusted his loyalty to. But Hank is kind of a jerk and no way is she going to even consider it. What’s a girl to do? So when she is waylaid in the forest by a sexy wolf with a whole lot of alpha going on, she lets him get past all of her …um…defenses.

Max is an alpha male on hiatus from his own pack. The leader had some issues with his brand of strength. Not aware of another pack so close by, he is surprised by the sexy redheaded vixen that he happens upon in the woods. After he beds her, he finds out she is the pack alpha’s daughter. Not a good combination. Power, politics and a moral code made what happened between them not okay.

Tensions ratchet up and Red has to decide what she wants and what she is willing to do to get it. Max will fight for the woman he wants to spend his life with, but will the two ever have that chance?

This story had a lot going for it.The heroine had sass and wasn’t afraid to go after the man she wanted, despite having to buck the system. She is the wolf here, and not just a weak victim waiting to be taken advantage of. That was good. I always enjoy twists on a familiar fairy tale and this one lends itself to some steamy scenes in the great outdoors with the ever present threat of someone lurking just out of sight. Shivery and sexy all at the same time.

It wasn’t all great, though. There were a few things that kept bothering me. There was no definite time period for starters. It seemed at first like a historical piece but as the story went longer, it had elements of the contemporary world. It read like a fairy tale, but Red’s attitude and hunger for Max made her at times not very likable. Her father was almost a paper tiger. Not much of a threat until you got to Hank, who was very much a bully.The wolf in the woods not knowing another wolf was there…no. They can scent things and they would be aware of a pack. That was a problem for me. A small detail, but an important one. Another question-if Red never got to her Grandmother’s house with that picnic basket, why didn’t she tear down the place calling the cops?

An interesting read if you enjoy adult fairy tales and be prepared to use your imagination.

Cold Night Moon by Naomi Clark

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Cold Night Moon by Naomi Clark
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Holiday, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (40 pgs)
Other: F/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

After a difficult year, Ayla Hammond wants to give her girlfriend Shannon a dream Christmas. A cozy, romantic cabin in the woods seems like the perfect way to put their troubles behind them and start the New Year right. And at first, everything is going according to Ayla’s plan…until night falls.

There’s something in the woods. And it’s after Shannon.

When a wolf goes prowling in the dark of the woods, passion looms large in the night.

Shannon and Ayla are going on a camping trip to a wooded cabin in December. The Lake District is known for its scenic beauty, but when they arrive, things go from fun to frightening as something begins to call to Shannon. Meeting a stranger, they learn he has lost someone to the lake and warns them to beware. It doesn’t take long to find out why in this short novella. A creature hungers beneath the waves and it has locked its sights on Shannon. Can Ayla save her lover from a grisly death?

This hot little book was a blast to read. Werewolves, sexy interludes between the women and a romp through the forest to battle a creature intent on claiming Shannon for her own. I loved Clark’s pacing and the interplay between the characters. It was action packed and made me want to go back and read the rest of the series. I didn’t feel lost as I have with some other books where it is obviously a continuation of a story. The author did a great job of recapping what went on before but not so it got in the way of the current story.

Great read for anyone who enjoys a bit of f/f romance with a supernatural bite.

The Coffee Prince by Tabitha Bishop

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The Coffee Prince by Tabitha Bishop
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (40 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

Bette had Devlin, a gorgeous, incredibly sexy boyfriend of two years, a wonderful house, and a future all planned out for the two of them. Then one beautiful Sunday morning she picked up his phone and saw naked photos and texts from the other woman.

Tomas was just supposed to be her charming but boxing scarred local coffee house barista, not the suddenly gorgeous man who swept her off her feet. The guy who’d been waiting for a long time to take her away from Dev, her ex, who wanted to keep her in bed screaming his name from dawn to dusk. Yeah, Tomas had some plans for Bette. And he had a lot of secrets.

A taste of coffee…a lifetime of sin.

Bette has a problem. Her boyfriend is a cheater but she is at loathe to accept it. A cup of coffee and her favorite dessert are hardly a substitute for her heartbreak, even with the sexy Tomas watching her with troubled eyes. When everything comes to light, Bette dumps Dev and struggles to come to terms with his betrayal. She is gutted, but this time when Tomas approaches her, she sees him a whole new light. Things aren’t always what they seem and this barista has a hidden side that will take her breath away.

Tomas can’t stand to watch the man Bette loves take advantage of her. He keeps track of her, to the point of switching locations just to be near. When he has an opportunity to come to her rescue, he does and only then does he reveal his secret.

This book was as sinful as a salted caramel mocha. Salty and sweet, with sexy interludes to keep you turning the pages. Tabitha Bishop’s first novella is a good read and I look forward to more work from this author. I won’t give away the secret to the book but it’s worth the time to find out and at a novella length, it’s a perfect read to go with that break time cup of caffeinated awesome.

One thing I did notice was the author stopped just shy of the bedroom door when I wanted to sneak a little more than a peek into the more sensual side of this tale. More sexy time, Ms. Bishop. We want to you to make us crunch ice after our coffee. *grin*

This was a sexy and fun read and I can’t wait for the next book. Bring on the coffee and the chocolate and if you happen to find a barista as hot as Tomas, I say keep him.

The Naughty List by multiple authors

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The Naughty List by multiple authors
Publisher: Red Moon Romance
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Holiday, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (201 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Fetish
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

Six holiday romances, from sexy to sweet, prove that love is better on the Naughty List.

A Christmas Maggie by Tiffany Reisz
All Daniel wanted for Christmas was to spoil his new girlfriend, Anya, make love under the tree, and ignore all his old heartaches. But the ghosts of Christmas past aren’t so easily forgotten especially when Maggie, his late wife, shows up to remind him why the past should stay in the past and why his Christmases-future could be the best of his life if he can finally let himself live and love in this Christmas present. (A Christmas Maggie is the final story in the Daniel trio [from the Original Sinners series] beginning with The Gift and followed by Daniel Part Two.)

Christmassy by Alexa Piper
When taotien Valerion and witchling Cora get together sparks fly. But on the way to visit Cora’s family for Christmas, they encounter a supernatural predator that will not only test their individual powers and abilities, but also their connection to one another.

My Midnight Cowboy by Pumpkin Spice
If chocolate is the way to a man’s heart, then pastry chef Lucy Baker has the recipe for success. But will her culinary skills melt the most hard-hearted bachelor in Wyoming? A chance encounter on a New Year’s Eve flight leaves two strangers to discover unbound pleasure and a hunger for sexual discovery.

In the Doghouse by Elizabeth Black
Nicky and Angela had just begun to add a little kink to their lives when, caught up in the influence of his dudebros he forgot their anniversary and broke Angela’s heart. Angela wants Nicky’s strong arms around her again, but first she wants him to fight for her. Can one night, a paddle and some restraints bridge the gap between them?

Winter’s Daughter by Doug Blakeslee
A child of the Fae—bound to winter and a promise given to her chosen mate. She must claim him before time runs out and all she loves in the world falls to ruin. A child of mortals—forgotten and discarded by the world, then torn from the most amazing woman he’s ever met. Trapped in the sort of fae-tale that rarely ends in happily ever after, are they strong enough to defy the odds and find love?

Stealing Time by Wendy Sparrow
As Father Time’s son, Zeit must sacrifice a mortal’s lifetime to the Fates each New Year’s Eve. Last year—inexplicably, really—he made an 11:59 substitution. The Fates are pissed and they’re after his mortal Hannah. With the year ending, he ought to figure out why he’d saved her—and why he keeps doing it. Following an unlucky year, Hannah needs a week’s holiday in a lodge to unwind. What she gets is near-death experiences and a sexy immortal who can’t avoid kissing her, but might have to kill her. After all, even Zeit can’t hold back time indefinitely.

This naughty list has something to please every reader.

Anthologies are sometimes a tough read when you have to consider each story, good or bad, into your overall rating for the collection.

Okay. So every writer has a voice and every voice will not be for everyone. That said, I found some of the stories in this anthology more polished than others. In A Christmas Maggie, Tiffany Reisz tells a tale very much to the tune of A Christmas Carol where a Dom learns to appreciate the sub in his life. The ghost of his now deceased wife shows him things that he isn’t prepared for but it is an awakening. The sexy scenes in this one curled my toes in typical Tiffany Reisz style and I couldn’t get enough. Awesome story with a couple of tear jerking moments.

Christmassy was harder to read. I felt like I couldn’t connect with any of the characters and was quickly annoyed by the feeling I had missed something. Like in the middle of a series when you just don’t know what the heck is going on. I stopped reading mid-way when I couldn’t find anything to keep me in the story.

My Midnight Cowboy was stunning and I think my favorite story from the anthology. Pumpkin Spice is a new author for me-partly because of the name. It put me off a bit. But no more. I’m hooked. Her style was absolutely electrifying and I am going to get every book she has. The sensual nature of her sex scenes, the buildup of emotion. Holy wow. Fan girl swoon. Loved it and want more. I hope this book gets released as a series because it would rock the house.

In the Doghouse was an odd story with twerking snowmen and a suddenly dominant next door neighbor. I have to admit it left me a little disjointed. When Nicky stops paying attention to his girl, she retaliates-but it just doesn’t seem believable. Her reaction was odd and even with the cool Domme scenes I could not get into this story.

Winter’s Daughter was another strange plotbunny. This one centers around a boy and a girl in a ski lodge. The girl is apparently a fairy from another dimension who is battling her sisters for the right to be happy. In this case it involves a random guy at a ski lodge, a key card (mysteriously she had one) and a lot of extracurricular activities. Nothing seemed to fit here. Not the sudden key card from a woman from another dimension to the back and forth between the characters. There was sex but it left me wanting more.

Stealing Time was a great story. It grabbed my attention at the start and didn’t let go. The sexy tension between the reaper and the girl he is supposed to kill put me on pins and needles. Excellent holiday story that would do well as a longer novel or series of novellas. Great premise and I couldn’t help but want to know more about what happens to these wonderful characters.

Overall, the anthology was a 4/5 for me due to the mixed quality of the stories. Such strong presences by Reisz, Spice and Sparrow made it worth the read and will no doubt have me coming back for more from these authors.
If you want a fun holiday mix, give these stories a try.

The Witch’s Market by Mingmei Yip

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The Witch’s Market by Mingmei Yip
Publisher: Kensington Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Length: Full Length (304 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

Chinese-American assistant professor Eileen Chen specializes in folk religion at her San Francisco college. Though her grandmother made her living as a shamaness, Eileen publicly dismisses witchcraft as mere superstition. Yet privately, the subject intrigues her.

When a research project takes her to the Canary Islands—long rumored to be home to real witches—Eileen is struck by the lush beauty of Tenerife and its blend of Spanish and Moroccan culture. A stranger invites her to a local market where women sell amulets, charms, and love spells. Gradually Eileen immerses herself in her exotic surroundings, finding romance with a handsome young furniture maker. But as she learns more about the lives of these self-proclaimed witches, Eileen must choose how much trust to place in this new and seductive world, where love, greed, and vengeance can be as powerful, or as destructive, as any magic.

Eileen Chen is a Chinese American woman who specializes in folk religion. She teaches at a local college, but when the opportunity presents itself to do research on the nature of witchcraft and shamanism, she leaves her life behind and travels to the Canary Islands.

Filled with a rich family history, Eileen has the gift of sight, passed down from her grandmother who made her living as a shaman. Written eloquently, Ms. Yip paints a fairytale picture of a land rich with magic and mystery as Chen finds herself embroiled in a mystery. Who is the enigmatic man who seems to have his designs set on her? Who are the witches that turn up in strange places with spells on their lips? What is this Witch’s Market? Sometimes the past doesn’t want to stay buried and as Eileen will learn, there are ruthless forces in place concerned with doing just that.

This was an eloquently told tale, but at times the way Eileen and the other characters spoke seemed too stylized for real life. It fit with the fairy tale quality of the book, but I found myself getting irritated by the unreal speech or laughter. It reminded me of some of the dubbed martial arts movies that are so beautiful with the lush costumes but the speakers matched to the characters don’t do the story justice.

Eileen was an interesting person. A professor researching folk religion who just happens to be a witch. As she learns more about the dual nature of shamanistic Chinese magic and Western witchcraft, she grows as a woman and in her powers of observation and sight.

Overall, I enjoyed this book but wished the author had done more with dialog and making it as real as some of the inner lives of the characters they represented. If you enjoyed books about Chinese history or even books about witchcraft, you may find this book intriguing. I did. The blend of Eastern and Western culture was one of its strongest points, combined with the lyrical quality to Yip’s words.

A mysterious read perfect for a night of reading…

Deceptions by Kelley Armstrong

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Deceptions by Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Dutton – An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (453 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

TRUST NO ONE

Olivia Jones is desperate for the truth. The daughter of convicted serial killers, she has begun to suspect that her parents are innocent of their crimes. But who can she trust, in a world where betrayal and deception hide in every shadow?

RISK EVERYTHING

Liv does have one secret weapon: a mysterious sixth sense that helps her to anticipate danger. The trouble is, this rare power comes with its own risks. There are dark forces that want to exploit Liv’s talents – and will stop at nothing to win her to their side.

FACE THE TRUTH

Now Liv must decide, before it’s too late. Who does she love? Who is really on her side? And can she save herself without burning down everything that matters most?

Deceptions and illusions at every turn.

Olivia Taylor-Jones has just had her life upended. She has discovered she’s adopted and her real parents are convicted serial killers. Hiding in the small town of Cainesville to escape media attention, she finds herself at the center of a very different sort of plot that may or may not involve the true nature of her parents. Behind the lies and pretty fakery lie the twisted secrets of the fae and their trickery runs deep.

There are several aspects to this novel. One is the Welsh mythology that runs throughout. I found that fascinating in the extreme. Without having read the first two books however, I was utterly lost and floundered around like a misplaced fish. So-take my advice and don’t pick this book up until you’ve had the pleasure of reading the first two. They are now on my list. With all the mysteries dredged up, the plot kept me guessing and summarily scratching my head. I just didn’t have the correct context in which to read the book in the middle of the series. The author has too many things going on and you need to have the solid background for the book to flesh out in the appropriate fashion.

Another appealing facet of this book was the love triangle between Olivia, Gabriel and Ricky. There was tension in the air and wow…you can feel something building here. Sort of Twilight-ish. Ricky is perfect-in my mind almost too perfect for a biker. Gabriel is moody and I’m not altogether sure where things are going to lead but either way, it’s going to be interesting.

The nightmarish quality of Olivia’s visions was the part that intrigued me the most. Her heritage brings her down all manner of dark passages and leaps in time and space. And bodies for that matter. Despite not knowing exactly what I was reading, I was transfixed by the sheer creep factor of Olivia being inside of her mother’s body while she was in the asylum watching her relative-and seeing the true nature of the nurse as a shining one. So cool. The rage. The thrumming emotion. It was as vibrant as any painting. There is a lot of fear of the unknown and it floods the pages, making any lover of horror, romance or fantasy just revel in it.

My rating of 4/5 is mostly based on the fact that picking up the book, I wanted to be able to understand what was going on and at least be able to have a point of reference without having to have read the others in the series. I didn’t have that and was quite frustrated. If not for that, this would be a five star all the way. The characters were alive. The sex scenes-the ones that there were-were hot and appropriate for the story line. The dialogue was spot on. The mythology nicely woven into the fiber of the book. With Kelly Armstrong I would expect nothing less. She is one of my favorite PNR authors and has been for years. I will be going back and investing time and money in the other books in the series because now I simply have to find out what the heck is going on. The mystery is too compelling for me not to.

Read them in order-but read them. And be sure to sleep with the lights on.

The Forsaken by Shiloh Walker

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The Forsaken by Shiloh Walker
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (224 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

The Unwanted Destin’s psychic gift for tracking down violent rapists is rough on relationships. Caleb was the only man who didn’t think her a freak-and he walked away. But now her boss wants them to work a particularly horrendous case. For Caleb, leaving was an act of self-preservation. Forced to work together one last time, he knows if he lowers his shields for an instant, there will be no resisting the temptation to lose himself in her wild power. But to catch the rapist, it’s exactly what he’ll have to do. The Innocent Jay has journeyed to Hell, Georgia, to pick a bone with the sort-of boyfriend who abruptly severed their hot-and-heavy cyber link. But no touching. Her psychic abilities make physical contact…complicated. With corruption rampant in his town, Linc has no time to nurse Jay’s broken heart. Until he discovers the woman who’s afraid to touch him could actually be his best chance.

Two books to keep you engrossed all night long…

This book was a nice surprise. Two for one and just my kind of read. The first is the Unwanted and centers on Destin, a psychic who tracks down violent rapists. Her love interest is Caleb, a FBI agent who once helped to ground Destin until their nasty breakup. When the two are thrown together to solve another case, they risk everything to catch a rapist bent on terrorizing college girls.

Sexy moments between Destin and Caleb, loads of tension, the thrill of the chase and an introduction to how a psychic agency functions all made this a red hot read I wanted to curl up in bed with. The way the author captured the feelings of the victims, the absolute absorption of each experience by the investigator and the emotional scars felt by each character-wow. I want more.

The second book is The Innocent and centers on a town called Hell, Georgia. Jay is a psychic who gleans information from touching things. Gloves are a must. When she journeys to Hell to find out why her internet love interest has dumped her, she finds more than she bargained for. Linc, the former sheriff is fit to be tied. His daughter is missing and now Jay has come to visit. But is she here for him or his daughter? He can’t be sure-especially when he finds out about her abilities.

This tale is also smoking hot with a love scene that melted my e-reader around the edges. Nice. It was also a page turner for the crime solving aspect. A missing girl in a town known for its crooked players. The elite team that comes in to save them all is epic and I can’t wait for the next installment of this series.

These two novels were jam packed with psychic investigations and a sense that time was of the essence. The author did a marvelous job crafting characters I couldn’t get enough of and each time the book ended, I wanted to start reading again. Hot scenes, spot on dialog, world building that rocked, characters that breathed off the page.

Five star awesomeness! I highly recommend this read.

Dark Within by Candice Gilmer

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Dark Within by Candice Gilmer
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (188 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

There was a time Marissa van Dyke loved Halloween. Then tragedy struck. Now the sight of a jack-o-lantern only reminds her of what she’s lost. In fact, she’d prefer to just hibernate.

But recently her nightmares are becoming too intense to ignore. Dreams filled with horror-movie creatures that come closer to killing her every time. Where these vampires and werewolves are coming from, she doesn’t know. She only knows they’re relentless.

Neil Drigan has no interest in finding a mate. Bind himself to one woman? No thank you. Permanent is for the wolf pack Alpha–his brother. Yet lately he persistently dreams about running, in full wolf form, to save a beautiful woman who smells of flowers–and death.

At first the woman’s identity is a mystery, until he realizes the dreams are a residual imprint of something that really happened. Not only is the woman temptation wrapped in real flesh and blood, she’s still in danger. And the one thing he never thought he wanted.

There are monsters and there are monsters. Which one wants her dead?

Marissa van Dyke has nightmares. Really real ones at that. When one steps over the boundary between real and dream, she begins to question her sanity. In this first book in the Mythical Knights series, we meet a team of Templar Knights dedicated to stomping out naughty paranormal types. We also meet a group of hunky werewolves and a coven of vampires that really should know better.

Marissa is a girl who hates Halloween, so dreaming about monsters just doesn’t do it for her. Her parents were murdered on the day and she tries to keep all reminders as far away as possible. When her friend invites her to a Halloween party, she initially says no but as she gets to know a certain hottie werewolf those plans are up for grabs.

Neil Drigan isn’t interested in settling down. Quite the opposite really. But when a certain sexy woman crosses his path, he can’t get her out of his mind-or his dreams. He keeps getting out of his cage on full moons and a mystery surrounding what he’s been up to brings the Templar Knights sniffing around where they don’t need to be.

All isn’t well. A series of blood rapes are happening and everyone is stumped. It will take these supernatural forces all working together to stop it before Marissa’s worst nightmare comes true.

I enjoyed the premise of this book. Monsters, nightmares, Halloween…It was fun. Some of the opportunities I had were the short chapters (I would have made fewer chapters with separations), occasional stilted language and fight scenes that needed more elaboration. There were also a lot of characters and it made it hard to keep up with the story.

Overall, I liked the book. The heat level during the erotic scenes was nice, but again the dialog between the characters was strange. The shifter mate trope was used well and I think the series has some really great potential. Marissa was someone I liked and wanted to see happy and I think Neil may just be her knight in furry armor.

Let the fur fly!

Safe Words by Drury Jamison

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Safe Words by Drury Jamison
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (382 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/F/F, F/F, M/M, F/M/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Masturbation, Anal Play, Forced Seduction, Fetish, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism, Exhibitionism
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

After years of alcohol and promiscuous sex, Detective Eleanor Silver is not the cop or the person she wanted to be. New doors and new worlds open up when the murders of sexually dominant women, involved in the world of BDSM, lead her to Dr. Anderson Wells. A psychologist and sexual submissive, Anderson offers to be her guide. They soon find themselves exploring on more intimate levels. He sees in her, the strong and forceful woman he craves. She sees in him, a man strong enough to surrender control.

As he escorts her into the world of kink parties, leather corsets and safe words she flourishes, becoming the kind of woman she never dreamed. Even as they become closer, both as lovers and as Dominant and submissive, new murders and his own lie make Anderson a suspect and then the target of a cop looking to clear his own name.

Events and passions collide with bite marks, pretty underwear and murder in a world where cops may be killers and lovers may hold whips. Eleanor Silver has to let go of her pain to claim for herself the life she wants and risk everything to save the man she loves.

Floggers and paddles…oh my.

Some books really go down deep and keep you reading down to the last morsel and leave you hungering for more. Like…right now. Give it to me. That’s what Safe Words by Drury Jamison was for me. A murder mystery and an education on the BDSM lifestyle, this book was a journey into some of the lesser known angles of power exchanges and relationships and the pages just melted by.

Detective Eleanor Silver is a dominant woman struggling with a drinking problem in a world run by men. During a murder investigation of a Domme, she is introduced to Dr. Anderson Wells, a sexual submissive known as the Professor. He illuminates the mysterious world of BDSM and in showing Eleanor who she is, also takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride.

Men as sexual submissives are misunderstood. Eleanor had expected a shy and blushing man, not the capable person sitting in front of her at the local bar. Her tightly woven cage begins to unwind and Detective Silver finds herself in deeper than she ever imagined herself to be. There is everything kind of kink you can imagine all around her at the events and gatherings she attends.

The murders of dominant women continue and Silver has a lot on her plate. But one thing she has figured out. She no longer has the burning desire to drown out her life in drink. Instead, she thinks about Anderson constantly. This new hard and soft side of her is both illuminating and surprising but what she learns next will either save her or set her free. All at the soft whisper of a safe word.

I loved this book from beginning to end. The ugly parts and the pretty. The glamour and the underbelly. Drury Jamison shows us the world of submissive men and the vast rainbow of characters at any given BDSM event. Most novels I’ve read showcase the Dom, but not this one. This one glorifies strong women and the men behind them. It also shows the power struggle in some circumstances and just how real secrets can get in the cold light of day.

There was nothing I didn’t like about the book. The characters were rich, the scenes described beautifully and the interaction between the MC’s absolutely beautiful. Seeing Silver flourish and become the Domme as Anderson showed her what home meant was amazing and I had tears in my eyes on more than one occasion. It also had cutting edge mystery that kept you guessing who the murderer was until the moment it was revealed. Wow….wow.

I want more of Detective Silver and her man Anderson and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to read this novel. Fans of Kallypso Masters, Sierra Cartwright and others that delve into the healing aspect of BDSM will adore this book.

Bring me more…