Harm’s Way by Geoffrey Knight

HARM
Harm’s Way by Geoffrey Knight
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Torrid Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full Length (300 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal sex, Mild Torture
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

Zach Taylor is a successful businessman, but his ascension up the corporate ladder has not been without its fair share of losses, including his five-year-old daughter Isabelle, with whom he has all but lost contact.

But his cold world, his frozen existence, is about to melt into a fiery hell.

For Zach is about to discover that his father was a serial killer.

Can the craving for killing be passed down from parent to child? Does murder flow in his veins? What kind of legacy has been lurking in the shadows of his past, waiting to step out of the darkness and reveal his true nature? And who is the handsome, mysterious stranger Zach now finds himself falling for?

In the abandoned home of his childhood, the haunted visions of his past will once again become terrifyingly real.

And Zach will be forced to meet his fate—whoever he may be.

You can’t run from destiny. Zach Taylor is on top of the world. His successful job in social media is going so well he may be tapped to take over the company, providing he lands their biggest client. Zach is prepared to do whatever it takes to make that happen but he soon wakes up to a nightmare. The client’s son, and Zach’s late night fling, has gone missing and Zach has no idea what happened the night before. Finding out his father’s grisly legacy has Zach doubting his own sanity.

Harm’s Way is a suspenseful and intriguing murder mystery/thriller. The plot centers on Zach as he discovers his past and birth parents. Finding out his father was a serial killer so soon after recent events leave Zach filled with doubt. Could Zach be following his father’s footsteps? Could he have killed someone and forgotten? Zach’s race to find answers fills the pages with nearly non-stop action and twists and turns. There are several surprises and some nice secondary characters that aren’t quite what they seem. The writing is strong, graphic, and engaging. I devoured the book to figure out what would happen and was jolted by the twists.

This isn’t a romance story by any means, although there is graphic m/m sex. Each explicit encounter has a purpose and fits both the theme and characters so nothing is meant for sensationalism. There are relationships of a sort but this isn’t a romance. It’s definitely a murder mystery, who-dunnit type of thriller. There are also some graphic scenes of torture. I found these scenes pretty mild and I’m pretty sensitive and hate almost any kind of depicted or talked about torture. However I found the writing did a very good job handling these scenes and instead I was mostly fascinated by the thoughts of the killer. Once or twice I had wished the story hadn’t gone there but that was a personal preference and it made complete sense to the characters and plot arch. These scenes are necessary to the story and aren’t overly dramatic or gruesome, but they do exist.

Overall Harm’s Way is an intense and gripping thriller. It’s well written with compelling characters and some truly inventive twists. I can easily recommend this to mystery fans that don’t mind some explicit m/m sex scenes or m/m fans that don’t mind a bit of torture thrown into their mystery. It’s a hard one to categorize and may not be for all readers, but I am glad I read it and it’s still on my mind even numerous days later.

Banished by Victoria Knightly

BANISHED

Banished by Victoria Knightly
Erotic Tales of Long Livery Hall Book 3
Publisher: Torrid Books/Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (222 pages)
Other: M/F, F/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 stars
Review by: Lotus

Sir John Windlesham sends his fractious daughter, Virginia, away from home because she is pregnant with an illegitimate baby. He instructs two of his servants to go with her, but he is unaware that Colum Lanyon and Mary Ann Everdene are involved in a torrid, but awkward sexual relationship.
Although Colum wants to marry her, Mary Ann’s sexual preferences lie with other women. When she finds her way into the bed of a noble lady, the scene is set for a difficult showdown.

How could she tell the man who she’s engaged to that she won’t be marrying him when she enjoys their sensual escapades so much?

Mary Ann Everdene has to work through her predicament when she comes to her decision after witnessing her fiancé in the arms of Polly Vance, her sometimes lover. Mary Ann still loves Colum, yet she also enjoys her time with other women. Both Colum and Mary Ann are sent to St. Austell with Virginia Windlesham who is now pregnant with an unknown man’s baby. Everyone has their suspicions and theories about who the father of the baby is, but only time will tell the truth unless the father would come forward. In the meantime, Virginia is being sent away to live with her aunt to save the family from the complications of her indiscretion. Mary Ann and Colum are expected to care for Miss Windlesham and in turn miss out on being with Polly. All three are essentially “banished” from Long Livery Hall for a while.

I enjoyed seeing both Mary Ann and Colum stand up to Virginia and seeing Virginia being put in her place. At one point I was a bit upset with Mary Ann for not explaining a situation fully to Colum, but the ending still satisfied me. New characters are introduced including surprising relations. Plot twists and turns add to the enjoyment of this newest installment of the Erotic Tales of Long Livery Hall, although this book mainly takes place outside of the Long Livery Hall estate, but involves characters from Long Livery Hall.

For readers new to the series, Banished could be read as a standalone book since Ms. Knightly is great at explaining the ongoing situations sufficiently without boring readers of the previous books. I highly recommend Banished for an enjoyable erotic historical tale which keeps the reader engaged from beginning to end with its surprising delights.

Scandal by Victoria Knightly

Scandal by Victoria Knightly
Erotic Tales of Long Livery Hall, Book 2
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (158 pages)
Other: M/F, M/F/F, F/F, Anal Sex, Voyeurism, Exhibitionism, BDSM
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Lotus

Mary-Ann Everdene, a maid at Long Livery Hall, loves sex with other girls, especially her best friend, Polly Vance. Nevertheless, she tries hard to fit the social norms through frequent sexual coupling with Colum Lanyon, the head footman. She knows that “normal” sex with Colum isn’t going to work in the long run, but Mary Ann is reluctant to cast him aside while she can still enjoy threesomes with him and Polly. The crunch comes when she and Colum are chosen to accompany their master’s daughter away from Long Livery, leaving Polly behind.

Does she want sex with a woman or sex with a man? That’s the big question that Mary Ann Everdene is struggling with as she samples each kind.

In her quest for the answer to this very important question, Mary Ann Everdene journeys through heartbreak and sexual exploration. She begins her exploration with Jenny Ellery, a maid from Long Livery Hall. Along the way, Virginia Windlesham, daughter of Long Livery Hall’s master, wreaks havoc into their lives and everyone else’s lives as well. Colum Lanyon is the head footman of Long Livery Hall and Mary Ann’s boyfriend. Polly Vance is Long Livery lady’s maid and a good friend of Mary Ann’s.

Mary Ann is a likeable person, always trying to do the right thing and standing up for those she loves. Colum is also a compassionate person with the way he cares for his Aunt Maud. It’s easy to see that Mary Ann and Colum should belong together. Or should they not? Both Mary Ann and Colum appear to be distracted by another person and they both begin to explore separately and together.

What I have been noticing so far in reading the Erotic Tales of Long Livery Hall books is the fact that they don’t take forever to get to the “good” parts. In fact, the very first sentence of the book and first scene is very erotic. The “good” parts are also liberally sprinkled throughout the book.

With each book that I read, I am thoroughly enjoying Ms. Knightly’s writing. For those who are entertaining reading this book without reading Book 1 first, it is entirely possible to read each of these books as standalone books. Characters from the previous book appear, but readers would not be lost since each book has its own stories which do not depend on knowing the stories of the other book. So whether or not you have read Book 1 of the Erotic Tales of Long Livery Hall, I highly recommend reading Scandal, Book 2 of the Erotic Tales of Long Livery Hall for a very erotic, exciting, and entertaining saga about the lives of some very interesting characters who live and work at Long Livery Hall in old England.

The Werewolf’s Mate by C.A. Salo

The Werewolf’s Mate by C.A. Salo
Other Kin Book 1
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Contemporary, paranormal
Length: Short Story (84 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Betrayal and fright caused her to run. A threat to her home town lures her back.

Welcome to Alston, Maine. A place where different Other Kin species have lived in peace and thrived for centuries. However, there’s one major rule: if you leave and know of a threat to the town, you must come back in person to report all details.

Woodland Fairy Kalana Fairlawn ran when she thought her soul mate, and Lyken warrior, Drake Roven, had betrayed her on the night of their first mating, leaving her pregnant and vulnerable.

Nine years later darkness emerges that could threaten the existence of Alston and all the different Other Kin species who call it home.

The Werewolf’s Mate has everything it takes for a fun and sexy read. It has hunky Lyken, sexy vampires, and bad-ass fairies all living together in peace until an ancient evil threatens not only their town but their very souls Now, an outcast has returned to save them all – and to claim the man she still loves.

Kalana Fairlawn once ran from the man she loved …the man she believed had seduced and betrayed her. Reviled for her human/Fae blood, Kala was tormented by the bullies in her hometown . Drake Roven was one of the few who treated her as an equal. When a cruel misunderstanding on the night of their mating leads to heartbreak, Kala runs away. Now, nine years later, she returns with warnings of a dangerous threat against the town…and also of the traitor within their midst.

Angry at Kala for running , Drake distances himself from Kala. Until he meets Livi, his very precocious young daughter. A daughter he never knew about. Kala and Drake decide to stay together for the sake of their daughter – a Lyken child on the cusp of her first shift. And to sate the desire they both still feel for each other. Drake and Kala have their hands full coping with the lingering prejudices that still threaten Kala and her daughter. Although, Kala may have once been an easy target for intimidation, her powers have increased exponentially since she’s been gone. In other words, she’s one bad-ass fairy. As one challenger fast learns.

As a dark storm races toward the town of Alston , the townsfolk come together to fight an ancient evil that stalks their town…and threatens to steal their very souls. Salvation comes as an outcast and an unforeseen Guardian step forward to protect the land in a climactic ending.

I’m a big fan of the paranormal genre and of shifter stories in general. That being said, it was the heroine that stole the thunder in this short story. Kala was one kick-ass Fairy. She protected what was hers. That meant she was willing to go to the mat to defend her mate, her daughter and her town. I also liked the fact that instead of being a vindictive bitch, Kala came back to save the same people who had treated her so badly.

I must say that I was very impressed with the author’s writing. The plot was very interesting. The storyline was consistent. However, I thought it would have been better had we heard the hero’s point of view. As a rule, I enjoy the story more when I get to experience not only the POV of the heroine but that of the hero also. Just a small suggestion would be that next time give the hero a voice too. That being said, I still liked the story enough to look forward to a next entry in the series.

Moonlight Captivation by Angela Castle

Moonlight Captivation by Angela Castle
Publisher: Torrid Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (182 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/M
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Dahlia

Uncontrolled passion ignites when Neman, an ex-Sumerian Moon god turned hunter, rescues a drunken woman from being killed by a demon. Not long afterward Vanessa finds herself pregnant, with little clue as to who the father is. Then a drop-dead-sexy man turns up on her doorstep claiming to be her baby’s father—and a god.

Neman realizes the woman he couldn’t resist, and impregnated, is part of a six thousand year old prophecy. But now, every demon ruler from hell wants Vanessa and the baby dead.

During an action packed ride, Neman must bring the prophecy to pass, and protect Vanessa. The woman gets under his skin and into his heart. She gives him a new sense of purpose, one to replace his revenge-filled, demon hunting existence.

Vanessa (Nessa) is having an extremely bad day. After coming home from her monotonous job as a Medical Records clerk, she catches her boyfriend in the act of cheating with the hot next-door neighbor. While that normally is enough to set a person off, it isn’t until he asks her if she would like to join them that she knows enough is more than enough. She finds her temporary solace at the bottom of a bottle and staggers back to her apartment a few hours later only to be stopped by the hottest guy she’s ever met. Now that wouldn’t be such a bad thing until the reality of the next morning hits and with it a migraine and no memory of what happened the night before. Nessa carries on though and decides it’s time to take out the trash – also known as her ex-boyfriend’s things. Little did she know that she was being watched and a tall, dark, and handsome knight is about to come to her rescue.

Being an immortal, ex-god turned demon-hunter does have some advantages. Like an extra sensitive sense of smell and the ability to teleport. When Neman sees the woman staggering through an alleyway on her way to what she thinks is a cat, he knows he has to step-in before the “cat” reaches her. Neman never planned on what happened next, but the mystery woman was just too delicious to resist. Even in her inebriated state, Neman found her charming and was left wanting more of her the next day. His plan was to never see her again, but fate has other ideas especially when a wanted dead or alive poster surfaces. After their explosive introduction, Neman is not be able to walk away from Nessa a second time, but can he protect from those that hunt her?

For at least a short period of time, it was nice to get lost in another world. A world filled with different beings and creatures with powers and languages all their own. However, with the storyline mostly centered on Nessa and Neman and their developing relationship, it was hard at times to understand this new world and the players in it. I am still not quite sure how everything fits, but maybe that’s a story for another time and seeing that this is a series, that could be the plan. The story never dropped the entertainment ball be it with the developing drama or the multiple scorching sex scenes with a little side male/male action. A few of the characters left me with an impression that there is much more to come from them and I definitely want to read more about them.

Although the characters were fairly well fleshed out, the dialogue was a bit rough to get into and not because there was some Aussie slang included. Some of the characters remarks or conversations felt a little disjointed and in this case I would have to say there was little too much show and not enough tell, so I didn’t always understand what was going on. There was just a lot going on in the plot and with a short timeline for the reader to discover it. However, this didn’t hinder the bedroom scenes in the least.

The story closes happily and with an overall arc still incomplete, so there is still so much more left for the reader to explore. I really enjoyed it and will be looking for more in this series and by this author in the future.

Lust by Victoria Knightly

Lust by Victoria Knightly
Erotic Tales of Long Livery Hall Book 1
Publisher: Torrid Books/Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (214 pages )
Other: M/F, F/F, Forced Seduction, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Lotus

It is 1858 and Dewy Kittow, the gamekeeper at Long Livery Hall, is torn between two women. His heart goes out to Lizzie Hudson, a young virgin working at a seaman’s mission in Plymouth. But it is Sir John Windlesham’s fractious daughter, Virginia, who demands more and more sexual enjoyment with him. He is anxious to put a stop to his adventures with Virginia in order to get Lizzie into his bed, but Virginia will not play ball.

Lizzie, meanwhile, is caught in the dilemma of wondering whether she would prefer to be bedded by Dewy…or a woman.

What’s a young servant to do when faced with an ultimatum from someone with the power to destroy his life unless he goes along with an unspeakable act demanded of him?

Dewy Kittow is a young, new gamekeeper for Long Livery Hall, trying his best to keep his job which he is hoping would be his lifelong job since he wouldn’t be inheriting his family’s farm. He is kind, conscientious, hardworking, and handsome, making him irresistible to the master’s daughter Virginia Windlesham who wickedly has her way with him at every opportunity. Lizzie Hudson, daughter of a Church of England vicar, has left her family home to make her own way in the world. She wants to show her father that she can survive without his help, by working at a mission and helping the poor.

While the main story is about Dewy and Lizzie, it also includes side stories of grown children who are testing the boundaries of their parents’ love and tolerance. A cast of characters including Virginia Windlesham (of course), her brother Albert Windlesham, Colleen O’Callaghan, Pastor Arthur Jenkins, Brigadier-General Sir John Windlesham, and his wife Lady Angela Windlesham all make important appearances throughout the tales.

I have to admit that I felt adventurous in choosing to review this book since I tend to shy away from historicals, feeling more comfortable with contemporary stories. It surprised me that I could jump into the action right away and that the historical aspect of the story just added to my enjoyment. Ms. Knightly weaves details of old England into the story so well that I felt as though I were in 1858. Descriptions and dialogue were blended together seamlessly for a wonderfully enjoyable narrative filled with action, angst, and hot sexy moments.

Lust gives us a window into the lives of people in 1858 England, the good, the bad, and the steamy. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a great erotic story in the past. I am so glad that I had the chance to read and review this book and will definitely look for more tales from Ms. Knightly.

Rescuing a Runaway Bride by Honey Jans

Rescuing a Runaway Bride by Honey Jans
Publisher: Torrid Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (174 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fuchsia

Samantha Logan is a runaway bride. Jake Ramsey is a PI on a stakeout. When they meet in the dark after midnight all their formerly suppressed desires explode. Samantha so needs to prove her sexiness after finding her fiancée in the sack with another woman and Jake has wanted his boss’s daughter for years. But will the fire burn out when she learns he’s here to arrest her brother?

To find out come along on the thrill ride as they battle her kinky ex-fiancée, espionage, and each other. Will Jake be able to rescue this runaway bride?

Samantha Logan walked in on her fiancé, Grayson St. James, as he was grunting over another woman. She was upset, not only because he was cheating on her days before their wedding, but also because he apparently did not want to have sex with her. She decided to call off the wedding and drive to her parent’s cabin so that she could make a list of qualities she would like her next partner to have. She also wanted to think of a way to get someone to instruct her in the erotic arts. Once at the cabin she was surprised when the door was jerked open by the one man she did not want to see, Jake Ramsey.

Jake Ramsey worked security for Logan Industries, Samantha’s father’s company, and he has long had a thing for Samantha. When he finds out what Grayson did to Samantha and that she’s looking for an erotic instructor, he decides he’ll be the one to teach her. Jake is also trying to determine if Samantha’s brother Tad is stealing from the company, which does not go over well with Samantha.

Rescuing a Runaway Bride is the story of a headstrong girl who wanted to learn the art of seduction after finding her fiancé cheating. Jake Ramsey is the man she has always had a crush on and when he starts to teach her she takes to it like a duck to water. The only negative is the character of Samantha was annoying at times. She did things after being told not to and of course would get herself into trouble. Jake was an alpha male who was teaching Samantha to be a submissive to his Dom. The supporting characters were likeable and there were a couple of twists. Rescuing the Runaway Bride is a good story, and a pleasant way to spend a day.

Dragon Down Under: Two Plus One Angela Castle

Dragon Down Under: Two Plus One by Angela Castle
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Torrid Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (21 pgs)
Other: M/F/M, Ménage
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Peppermint

Dar and Jax are two Dragon Shifters, exiled from the Dragon Realm for Jax’s misbehavior with the king’s daughter. They’re forced to make a home deep in the Australian desert and far away from humans.

Their fortunes change when they find a curvy woman, near death, on their doorstep. The moment the brothers touch her, their inner dragons roar to life. She is a true mate, not just to one of them, but both.

They must share her!

Dar and Jax move quickly to heal their new treasure, claiming her for their own. Then they seek revenge on her ex-fiancée, who tried to kill their woman by leaving her to die in the desert.

Who knew that being left for dead in the desert would be the best thing that ever happen to Sky? Had her trashy ex-fiancé not left her to die, she would have never discovered her two dragons Dar and Jax.

While Dar and Jax are bothers it is quickly clear that they are compete opposites. Jax seems to enjoy himself in everything he does and his reckless amusement has led him and his brother into more than a few problems. Dar is the voice of reason that Jax needs so desperately, yet Dar also needs Jax’s antics to remind him what fun is really like. Since these brothers personalities are almost dependent on one another it is only logical that they both claim the same female who can truly complete them.

Sky isn’t new to relationships, but Dar and Jax certainly do offer her something she has never had before. The relationship development is explosive between these characters. The attraction is immediate, and I knew that things would only go up from there. The author even gave them a deeper connection than just a physical relationship. I think it was only proper that the once mistreated Sky find not one but two big strapping, sexy dragon’s to care for her. There is really nothing bad I can say about this story, it was a fun quick read that I would see myself reading again in the future.

Snow Day by Willa Edwards

Snow Day by Willa Edwards
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Torrid
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (29 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Stephanotis

Michaela is thrilled to get home after the tense drive from work on the snow covered highway. And she may be just a little bitter that her boyfriend and teacher, Ben, spent all day in bed, on a snow day from school.

But she’s relieved to be let out of work at least a few hours early. That is until she hears noises from her bedroom, that in no way resemble monster trucks or football announcements, and sound way too close another woman’s moan.

Michaela can’t help but investigate. She never could have guessed that what she finds in her bedroom would be just as stimulating for her as it is for Ben. With a little bit of sexy help, Michaela plans to show Ben exactly who he belongs too, and make him wish every day could be a snow day.

The blurb says it’s a sexy short and I couldn’t agree more. I enjoyed the beginning of this novella and the way Ms. Edwards kept me on the edge of my seat as to what was going on the bedroom. The fact is, it sounds like Ben’s getting horizontal with some other lady and might break the heroine’s heart.

I hope I’m not giving it away by telling you she had nothing to worry about. From the moment Michaela enters the bedroom and sees and hears what’s really going on with Ben, it’s hot and sexy all the way to the very end. The dialogue is very natural sounding between these two perfectly matched characters, and the pacing fast enough for you to read this in fifteen to twenty minutes.

If you’re looking for a quick and steamy read, this is a good one for you.

Weekend Swap by Susan Droney

Weekend Swap by Susan Droney
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (41 pgs)
Other: M/F, F/F, M/F/F/M
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Lotus

Tyler Thornton convinces her strait-laced best friend Kay Reagan to swap husbands to add some excitement to their sex lives, or in Kay’s case, to show her what she’s been missing. What Tyler doesn’t know is the deep dark fantasy that Kay has been harboring for years.

Ever entertain the idea of being with your best friend’s husband? What if you or your best friend falls in love with the other’s husband? Two best friends explore this scenario over a weekend in a sexy romp that could destroy their lifelong friendship.

Tyler Thornton and Kay Reagan have been best friends since they were very young. They are both experiencing boredom in their love life and are looking to spice things up. Tyler has been toying with the idea of suggesting to her husband, Will, that they go swinging. Ideally, swinging with their best friends Kay and her husband Ed. When Tyler approaches Kay about this, Kay is at first apprehensive, then intrigued. Together, the two best friends hatch a plan to work their husbands into the swinging scenario.

Will the best friends succeed in spicing up their love life without sacrificing their friendship? The answer comes during a sensual weekend at the Thornton house where the Reagans are sleeping over. This was a short, but satisfying story about two couples expanding their sexual horizons. Ms. Droney has everyone get down to business quickly so that the story does not waste time on unnecessary distractions.

While this was a really nice short story, some details in the novella made it feel dated beyond the setting. Specifically, some of the furniture described didn’t seem to go the very modern idea of swapping. Also, I want the characters names, particularly the main characters, to match the period. It was distracting and temporarily pulled me from the action. While this was a problem for me, it might not be an issue for other readers. This story presents the intriguing situation of what could possibly happen when close friends who want to liven things up.

Weekend Swap is a story that lives up to its title, giving the reader a glimpse into the swinging lifestyle. If you are looking for a quick and satisfying sizzling read, Weekend Swap would fulfill your needs.