Ruthless by Kara Lowndes


Ruthless by Kara Lowndes
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (84 pages)
Other: F/F, Toys
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

A small-town lesbian in the big city. It should be easy. Except for Ruth, it’s anything but predictable. Born with powers she can’t explain, she escaped to the sprawling metropolis of Dollar to figure out why she was endowed with her mysterious gifts. But, three years later, she’s none the wiser–until she gets hit by a car and a mysterious nurse named Killian comes to her rescue. But Killian has a dark past that she’s desperately trying to leave behind and, as a dangerous organization uncovers Ruth’s secrets, they must fight to keep their intense romance alive.

Many people are full of secrets. Killian and Ruth are no exception to this rule.

Ruth and Killian had excellent chemistry. It was nice to see them get to know each other for a little while in the beginning before anything physical happened between them. Due to how shy they both were about sharing certain important parts of their pasts, this was a smart decision on the author’s part. It also gave me a chance to figure out their personalities right away which was something I was glad I got to do.

I would have liked to see way more time spent on the world building. Ruth’s background was especially confusing because of how little she knew about her powers, why she had them, or what she was capable of. While I didn’t expect every question about her background to be answered, it would have been helpful to at least have a basic understanding of how powerful she was and what, if anything, she wasn’t able to do. I was also never quite sure how her abilities fit into what life in this universe is like in general, and that made it difficult to imagine how certain scenes played out.

With that being said, Killian’s backstory was much more well-developed. I enjoyed the process of slowly uncovering clues about what happened to her in the past and why she was so jumpy in certain situations. Her extraordinarily cautious nature made perfect sense to me once I’d come up with an educated guess about what had caused it. I couldn’t wait to find out if my theory was correct and was pleased with how much thought I had to put into this aspect of the plot.

I’d recommend Ruthless to fans of urban fantasy and erotic tales alike.

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.

A Different Kind of Therapy by Charlotte Howard


A Different Kind of Therapy by Charlotte Howard
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (48 pgs)
Other: M/F, BDSM, Spanking, Bondage, Toys
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Psychology student Hayley has always been intrigued by sexual fetishes, so when the chance to be mentored by renowned sexual therapist, Adrian De Silva comes up, she jumps at the chance. It soon becomes apparent that the kind of therapy Adrian offers is far from mainstream, and Hayley is introduced to the world of domination therapy. As her training begins, Hayley finds herself falling for her boss and dreaming of being his submissive. Then she meets her new client, and it is Hayley who must be the dominant one.

Will Hayley take to her new role? And how will her personal feelings affect her work? Can Hayley really provide A Different Kind of Therapy?

Hayley and Adrian are an interesting couple. He’s a therapist and she wants to be one. There’s only one problem—he deals with clients who need to be dominated as part of their therapy. He does the regular therapy role, too, but his emphasis is on the sexual side—without having sex. It’s an interesting theme for a book.

I did have a few quibbles. Her reaction to initially being called a Domme wasn’t what I’d expected and made me wonder if she could do the job she’d been hired for. Another thing that bothered me was how quickly she jumped into the situation with Adrian. I get that she’s wanting to help in his line of work, but they moved into the D/s relationship rather fast. While I get that she liked what they were doing, it just seemed…too fast. Like there should’ve been some more build-up. This was her first time having this kind of relationship and she threw herself into it, but it felt odd.

I liked the power exchange and the story is certainly hot. The ending is a tad blunt, but overall this is a sexy read that will certainly singe the screen.

Winning His Man by Angelique Voisen


Winning His Man by Angelique Voisen
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (71 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Toys
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Taking care of his younger brother had been werewolf Steve Doyle’s number one priority for most of his life. Now that his brother’s mated, Steve doesn’t know where he fits in the River West wolf pack. He’s average and mediocre. The last thing he expects is to catch the interest of Leon Mercer, the gorgeous pack beta. Steve doesn’t believe they have anything in common, that once Leon gets his fill of him, Leon will move on to someone else. After all, Steve knows he’s not mate material and when it comes to love, he’s always second choice.

Scarred by his mother’s suicide, Leon doesn’t believe in mates until he spots Steve in a wedding. One drunken kiss leads to a tumble in bed, then several. Leon wants to claim Steve for his own, even if convincing Steve means fighting off old demons from the past who threaten to destroy what they’d found.

Steve had always known exactly what his job was – to protect his little brother, Tommy. But with Tommy now happily mated and married Steve feels at a loss. How will he fit into their new pack? What would he do with himself? Leon, the pack’s Beta knows from the moment he meets Steve that the two of them are mates. Convincing Steve, however, might be more difficult than he’d planned on.

I enjoyed this story and found it a slightly different take on the usual “wolf meets wolf and they fall into insta-love” tale. Far from falling at Leon’s feet, Steve quite strongly resists the notion that the two are destined mates, and I really enjoyed the novelty in that. My only real disappointment was in how low Steve’s self-confidence was and some of the reasons behind it. I understand this was part of his character and experiences, but it was difficult for me to read just how little Steve thought of himself and how he doubted anything good could possibly happen to him. It took an awful lot of effort on Leon’s part to help bolster Steve even just a bit and while this was fantastic for the plot and character development, it really made my heart bleed for Steve. It made this otherwise fun and sexy story difficult for me to read.

The sex between Steve and Leon was hot and spicily written. Even though their connection and consummation happens quite quickly I liked the emotional bond the two men shared and how it deepened between them as they came to understand each other better. I thought some of the plot (Steve’s ex boyfriend) was a little clichéd, but it did add a fair bit of conflict and drama to the story. The various characters and the pack dynamics was really the highlight of this story for me. I feel the author did a great job of showing a number of different characters and giving them all life, making them individuals and not just cookie-cutter people. I was particularly invested in Steve and Leon, both together as a couple and as individuals.

An interesting and emotional story I found this to be a good paranormal romance.

Grizzly Affair by Dulce Dennison


Grizzly Affair by Dulce Dennison
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short (50 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Ménage, M/M/M, Toys
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

With a rogue shifter on the loose leaving a trail of bodies, it isn’t the best time for bear shifter, Roarke Hilliard to have his heat cycle. Especially since he’s the lead Special Agent on the case. But nature must take its course. When his partner, agent Spencer Malloy, places himself in Roarke’s path during his greatest time of need, the bear is worried he might break the human. But Spencer wants Roarke badly… bad enough to call in a paranormal escort.

Grigore Gabor may be a male escort, but he’s never slept with any of his clients… until now. The moment the wolf shifter gets a whiff of the bear who hired him, and his human companion, he knows he’s found his mates. But getting the surly ursa to agree is another matter.

With a killer on the loose, now isn’t the time for finding true love. With Roarke handicapped by his heat cycle, there’s only so much the agents can do against the rogue shifter. They can only hope to bring the man to justice before another body is found.

Roarke Hilliard worked for the Bureau of Paranormal Affairs. Chasing down a crazed killer, who was murdering male prostitutes, Roarke is determined to finish this hunt, even if he is going into heat and his bear wants to break free. Roarke’s Bureau partner, Spencer, has made no secret of the fact he wants Roarke, badly. And much as Roarke returns his partner’s regard, Roarke knows they’ll need help to deal with his heat. Can they ride out the shifter-bear’s heat and still catch the killer?

I found this to be an interesting and short paranormal story. Set slightly in the future (after 2023 some time) this felt to me much like a normal contemporary/paranormal story. Aside from shifters being “out” there was not much really to differentiate this from a regular, contemporary setting to my mind. I was interested in some of the dynamics and world-building that the author added in – like a shifter escort company designed to help shifters get through their heat phases – and overall found the plotting and pacing to be really good.

I liked Roarke, Spencer and Grigore’s characters. I was pleased that they all seemed to work well together though a part of me wished the author had let us see a bit more of their personal side, not just their working side. For example, did the men have any hobbies? Did they like to cook, or play a sport, did they have hopes or plans for the future? I liked knowing what Spencer and Roarke in particular were like at work (dedicated and intelligent) but I really felt like there was a lot more to their characters that we didn’t have time to explore. The sex was steamy hot and I loved every moment of it. While they all jumped into bed very quickly I can’t fault the author for that considering the short length to the story. I also was impressed that the balance between plot and sex was kept very even and I felt neither part of the story suffered – both sides being well treated. Some readers mightn’t like that part of the plot was left deliberately hanging and not tied up neatly in a bow, but the romance and threesome was absolutely settled happily and this story was clearly marked as the first in a series, so I wasn’t too upset at the plot not being fully rounded out.

For a sexy paranormal story with a good plot and a fast pace, this is a great story. While I might have preferred a bit more depth to the three characters I felt this was an excellent first book in the series and I’d happily read more by this author.

Yes, Sir by Paige Warren


Yes, Sir by Paige Warren
Southern Submission Book 1
Publisher: Changeling Press LLC
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (109 Pages)
Other: M/F, Toys, Spanking, BDSM
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

Zoe: If someone had told me one sexy biker would change my life, I’d have laughed. Men had come and gone in my twenty-one years, but I’d never found one worth keeping. Until the sexy Dom strolled into my place of work with the most outrageous offer I’d ever heard. Or maybe I was the crazy one since I agreed to his proposal.

Beau: There’s only one thing I love more than my Harley or my shop… my daughter. I’d do anything for Allie, even something as crazy as finding a fake fiancée. But if that’s what it takes to get full custody, I’ll do it. I never counted on falling for the temptress I dragged into this mess though. The way Zoe surrendered to me was beautiful and addicting. The more I had of her, the more I wanted.

This was a very satisfying read for me. I always like books with children in it and I love to read about adults falling in love.

It has been some time since I read a fake fiance romance novel. What made this different was the relationship and interactions between the main characters. This could be counted as ‘lust at first sight’ type of book. The first meeting of the main characters gave me an idea of how their chemistry and attraction would be and I liked it.

The hero is a biker turned entrepreneur/owner of the Garage/Bike Shop. He has a daughter he is trying to get back. The fast pacing of the book kept me in my seat and I had to know what would happen next!

Through this fake fiance agreement, Zoe and Beau get to know each other more and learn their likes and dislikes. A good story comes with baggage and both of them have it. They balance each other out and make a great couple with a chemistry so hot that it made me want to dunk myself in a bucket of water. Did I mention there is a box of toys involved? I don’t mean kid toys! If you’re a reader just venturing into the BDSM genre, then this book might be what you want.

My only quibble? I wanted more of the story! I got so engrossed, I didn’t want it to end. I really liked this book.

The One That Got Away by Kaliana Cole


The One That Got Away by Kaliana Cole
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full length (236 Pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play, Toys
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

When Marley Richards finally finds her way into Andy Calhoun’s bed for one unforgettable night, it was everything she’d ever fantasized about, right up until he spoke four little words that shattered her dreams. “It was only sex.” He also gave her more than a broken heart.

Marley was the one that got away, but when Andy discovers the secret she holds, he begs her to let him back into her life. However, Marley has a list of demands for Liberty Spring’s Sheriff, starting with cooked breakfasts, foot rubs, and unreciprocated orgasms. While meeting Marley’s demands, Andy discovers the simple pleasures of laughter, fun, and holding his woman close.

But someone in Liberty Springs doesn’t want Marley and Andy together. A string of incidents place both Marley and the dreams Andy is building around her in mortal danger. Andy must keep Marley safe, continue to win her heart, and find who the culprit is before it’s too late.

Kaliana Cole added another great Liberty Springs novel with The One That Got Away.

This book had everything! It was easy to get pulled into the mystery of this plot. A real romance had been brewing between Andy and Marley for a long time. Just when the future was finally looking bright for the couple it became obvious that someone was still out to get Marley. That’s when Andy had to take charge like the true alpha male he has been all along. Now, let me tell you, Kaliana Cole knows how to write a red hot love scene or two.

This book was right up my alley. It was exceptionally well written and loaded with a fast paced romance, exciting mystery, and some big surprises for everyone in the Liberty Springs world. Andy and Marley had plenty of emotional depth and like the previous couples in this kinky series there were a few BDSM scenes. This book also closed a long running thread about one Liberty Springs troublemaker while at the same time catching my interest with a couple of intriguing characters that I am hopeful will be getting their very own books.

I really enjoyed reading The One That Got Away and look forward to whatever comes next from this author.

The Princess and the Swineherd by Michael Bracken


The Princess and the Swineherd by Michael Bracken
Publisher: Deep Desires Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical
Length: Short Story (25 pages)
Other: F/F, Toys
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Princess Maegth is the most beautiful woman in the kingdom, and, like many others, a young, female swineherd named Hunig has a crush on her.

When the evil wizard Vilemort abducts the beautiful princess, Hunig joins the search. In the company of a broken-down knight named Fearn-leah of Heathfield, Hunig trails the wizard and his entourage, battles dwarves transformed into swine, and faces physical and emotional challenges.

During the search for the princess, Hunig discovers herself. After rescuing the princess, she reveals her feelings and discovers the feelings are reciprocated.

But there isn’t time to become complacent. Vilemort and his dwarves are hot on their trail. Can Hunig prevent Vilemort from stealing the princess back, can she keep the broken-down knight from claiming credit for rescuing the princess, and can true love win the day?

It takes a very special kind of person to win a princess’ heart.

The world building was really well done. I actually wondered if I’d accidentally stumbled into the middle of a series when I first began reading because of how well-developed and beautifully-described the setting was. While my first guess didn’t turn out to be correct, I was impressed by how much attention Mr. Bracken paid to all of the little details that make such a big difference in how a reader imagines what a faraway place would really be like to visit.

There was a lot of telling the audience what was happening instead of showing it to us in this story. Some of the most exciting and interesting scenes were only given a few sentences worth of attention before the narrator moved on to the next part of the plot. It would have been nice to see how those scenes played out for myself instead of them being quickly explained and then brushed aside like that.

Maegth and Hunig had fantastic chemistry. At first I was a little surprised by how quickly their relationship moved when they first met, but they were so well-suited for each other that it made sense for them to jump in and start exploring their attraction to each other right away. Their personalities were so compatible that I completely understood why they were into each other as well as why neither of them had any interest in taking things slow.

The Princess and the Swineherd should be read by anyone who is in the mood for a sultry fairytale.

Robin & Sam by Sean Michael


Robin & Sam by Sean Michael
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (97 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

When Master Renard sees Robin and Sam on the night’s auction block, he decides he must have them and makes a pre-emptive bid, wanting them in his playroom sooner than later. He’s intrigued by the two boys who look so different and by the idea of having two boys at once to dominate.

Are they destined to find pleasure and happiness all together, or is this magical week going to end in tears?

Robin and Sam have been best friends and lovers for years. They both know what they need though – and that’s to share a Master together. Problem is they haven’t had any luck finding the right man, so they decide to auction themselves as a pair. Master Renard wins them for a whole week of deep submission. Can it be what all three of them want it to be?

This is two super hot menage stories. I loved the connection between Robin and Sam, they clearly love each other deeply and have a good, strong relationship already. They both want a Master though and have struggled to find the right match to suit them both. I enjoyed how Renard didn’t instantly get everything perfectly right either – with two such different guys with different needs it took Renard a little while to understand exactly what each needed and that small bit of realism really made this story for me. I’m all about escapism in my romance fiction, but the fact that the guys had to work even just a bit to make the threesome click properly together really helped sell me on what a great story this was.

The sex was intense and explosively hot – I’d recommend not reading this in a public place because I sure blushed a lot while reading it. I found that this was an intense BDSM relationship – nothing over the top, but certainly not just a little light spanking in the heat of the moment. Sheaths, nipple clamps, delayed gratification and restraints were all prominent and quite a few other elements too. I’d think that readers would need to be comfortable with a lot of BDSM lifestyle elements before suggesting they read these two stories.

Overall I loved both the connection Robin and Sam had together, as well as the threesome they become with Renard. I found this to be a hotly written, steamy BDSM story and well worth the read.

Jack, Alec And Ben by Sean Michael


Jack, Alec And Ben by Sean Michael
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (114 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Three men risk it all to find the Master of their hearts at the Shibari Auction House.

Jack: When Jack’s gambling debts catch up to him he decides to sell his time for three years to the highest bidder, hoping someone is willing to pay him enough to clear his debts for good. Is he jumping from the frying pan into the fire? Only time will tell.

Alec: Experienced sub Alec is back at the Shibari Auction House to sell two more years of his time after his master of ten years turns him in for a “newer model.” Novice Top Benj can’t believe anyone would throw the lovely Alec away or complain that he’s too old and snaps Alec up for twice the asking price. Is it possible both men will find what they need together?

Ben: Three years ago, Ben let Master Lukas buy him over multiple evenings, only to cut and run when he felt himself beginning to fall for the perceptive and handsome Master. Now he’s returning to the Shibari Auction House stage, but is he ready to pick up where he and Master Lukas left off? Only time will tell.

Jack urgently needs the money auctioning himself off can give him, can it solve his problems or open up a whole new set for him? Alec is an experienced sub who is only recently out of a long-term contract. Can Alec and Benj find what they’re both looking for together? Finally, Ben had run when his feeling for Master Lukas grew deep. Can they reclaim what they’ve both left behind? Enjoy this three-story set all in the one volume.

In desperate need of money to pay off a gambling debt, Jack is literally out of options until a bartender friend tells him about the Shibairi Auction house. With nowhere else to raise the funds, Jack sells himself off for a three year contract and meets Master JF. I found myself chuckling at the opening scene where Jack is doing the paper-work side of the auction, going over a list of what will and won’t be allowable. Even though it’s clear he is in dire straits and has no other options, his almost casual agreeing to items (and checking that no one would want to cut his balls off) just struck a chord with me and I was caught, somewhere between sympathy, keen interest and laughter. It was a delicious balance and I must admit, hooked me from the very beginning.

Equal parts intense, romantic and hot this was a lovely read and while I initially felt that Master JF was a little clichéd as the wealthy, bored patron the chemistry between Jack and JF quickly sucked me back into the story. Ending with a “Happy For Now” style of conclusion this is a sexy short story that I really enjoyed.

I instantly felt empathy for Alec’s character – released from his contract when his Master felt that Alec, at twenty-nine, was “too old”. As a plot it was certainly something different to me, what happens to submissives when they’re no longer fresh and young? Even more interestingly, I was intrigued by Master Benj being a relative new Top – his first night being when Benj buys Alec. Watching these two very different men coming together and exploring the delicate, new and unusual relationship grow between them was a delight I utterly loved. I found the storyline refreshingly different and the characters charming. I really loved this short story.

The third short story centered around Ben and Master Lukas. Although they had spent a few nights together years ago, watching Ben and Lukas reconnect again was lovely. I loved the mix of teasing and hot sensuality that crackled between them. Reading about them getting their happy ending was just a delight.

Three deliciously hot short story compiled together into an amazing book that I thoroughly loved. Highly recommended.