Five From the Faerie by James Hartley

FIVE
Five From the Faerie by James Hartley
Publisher: Whispers Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, YA
Length: Short Story (80 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

Fantasy encompasses a number of interesting ideas which are, somehow, not quite real. Here are five stories that deal with topics like witches, fairies, a trip to Oz, or a deal with the Devil. Not real, perhaps, but definitely interesting …

This is a short story collection that has been dusted by magic. Each story has a magic theme of one sort or another. I thought it sounded like fun and it was.

The author has put together an interesting mix of stories that will make a young one’s imagination spark. I’d use this author’s work to help inspire your young one to write. The stories are simple and short but they leave a mark on you. I won’t forget these little treasures quickly. Anyone who enjoys fantasy tales and magic that sometimes backfires will have fun with this group of stories.

The first story in the book has some sexuality in it. It’s very brief and essential to the story line, but that’s why I suggest the reader should be at least 14. The story’s title is “The Fairy Tale” and the message I left with was: Don’t fall asleep in the woods…”

This story is my favorite: “Which witch?” Mr. Hartley’s humor shows here. A young witch practicing early gets in trouble.

“Speedy” is also a fun tale. The author gives his character a conundrum to solve. How will he do it?

“Names” is a silly little story with a demon it. It has an interesting ending, too.

The last story is “Dorothy’s Daydreams of Oz”. The author changes the ending of Oz and it’s much more fun than the movie.

What I would really like to do is have a cup of coffee with this author. His mind is fertile with ideas, his stories have quirks, and he can do a whole story in a few pages. I bet he’d be a very interesting conversationalist. Why don’t you read these tales and see what you think? You might want to join us for coffee…

Paranormal Sightings – Richmond England by Judy Marriott

Paranormal-Sighting-Richmond-England

Paranormal Sightings – Richmond England by Judy Marriott
Publisher: Whispers Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (89 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

When Jacob, a werewolf and an American agent for the, ‘Centre for World Wide Paranormal Sightings,’ arrives in England to investigate an increase in werewolf activities, he rents a room in the farmhouse of the beautiful Lovelle. He is intensely attracted to her but he knows she is forbidden fruit.

Immediately, Lovelle knows that Jacob is the man for her. But he is just ‘passing through’ and she does not need any further complications in her life.

It’s lust at first sight but both Lovelle and Jacob know that their desires cannot be indulged; Jacob must destroy the negative forces in the area and she has to save her family inheritance.

When blond-haired, blue eyed Jacob Weisman is sent on an assignment to investigate the rapid growth of werewolves being reported in the Northern England area, he wasn’t expecting to discover the beautiful owner of the bed and breakfast, Lovelle.

It’s lust at first sight, but Lovelle is overwhelmed with trying to save her family farm, Fresh Fields, and still grieving the loss of her fifty five year old father who recently died from a heart attack. With all these worries, her attraction to Jacob might be the harmless diversion she needs, however he obviously is not attracted to her, or is he?

Unbeknownst to Lovelle, werewolves do exist. She definitely isn’t aware that they are among her. As the days go along in Jacob’s investigation he discovers the reason for the increase of werewolves in the area along with Andrew Sempton who is not only interested in purchasing Lovelle’s farm but also interested in her. Even though Jacob knows he can’t have Lovelle because she is a hundred percent human, it still doesn’t stop his surge of jealousy. But then, nor can Sempton have Lovelle either, because he is a werewolf also.

The author did a wonderful job of creating believable characters. She is very descriptive in giving you a visual of the characters appearance and clothing attire. She also gives a great visual of the scenes in and around the Richmond castles. I liked how she gave a great visual description of the transformation from human to werewolf. I enjoyed the attraction between Lovelle and Jacob and also the element of them not being able to act on their attraction due to dishonoring and going against the werewolves rules.

I recommend Paranormal Sightings Richmond England for those that enjoy romance novels and looking for a paranormal twist.

Style Me Sexy by Tara Chevrestt

SYTLE

Style Me Sexy by Tara Chevrestt
Publisher: Whispers Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (30 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Bridget isn’t beautiful. At least she doesn’t think so. Besides, her ex always told her she wasn’t. And she believes him. So when an online romance leads to a blind date, she heads to the salon for a makeover stat.

She’s dismayed to discover that her usual stylist isn’t available, and she has no choice but to let a man do her hair. Nervousness turns into sexual awareness as the sexy Javier buries his fingers in her tresses.

Javier has been aware of the timid but kind woman for some time and vows to make her see that she’s beautiful on the outside as well as on the inside. Will he succeed in keeping his own feelings at bay and style her sexy?

Bridget is super excited. Going to her regular salon to get a special hairdo in preparation for a hot blind date, she’s walking on clouds, until she discovers her regular hair stylist has been called away on a family emergency. The sexy as sin, spunky male stylist offers to give her some highlights and a smoking hot new look, and Bridget finds she can’t say no to Javier. Javier knows Bridget has been mistreated by a previous boyfriend and is desperate to show her how beautiful she really is. Offering her a massive discount if he can have his way with her, Bridget blushes and accepts. Both know nothing can come from this, but the chemistry sizzles between them anyway, the tension rising as the simple hair-style becomes something far bigger than either could imagine.

I loved the growing sexual tension in this story! Never have I thought a hair appointment could be so sexy or be filled with so much arousal. Javier clearly wants more from Bridget, but is unwilling to cheat when he’s been slowly exploring the beginnings of a relationship with his mystery woman, and Bridget is reluctant to trust her heart again, insisting to herself continuously that Javier has to be gay.

Although the ending wasn’t surprising it left me with a wonderful warmth and a giant smile. The buildup was excellently paced, fast enough it didn’t drag but also slow enough for there be to a really electric sensation humming between Javier and Bridget. I believed whole heartedly that they were both into each other and wildly attracted, and that made their resolution all the more satisfying. A quick read, this is perfect for when you’ve got some time to pass but still feel like a great pick-me-up story.

Holiday Liaison by Aliyah Burke

Holiday Liaison by Aliyah Burke
Publisher: Whispers Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Interracial
Length: Short Story (123 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating 4.5 stars
Reviewed By Fuchsia

A Christmas getaway may be just the thing to fulfill your greatest desires.

Conall Lennox is trying something new this holiday, a single’s gathering at a resort in Colorado. The woman he meets there is a breath of fresh air for him. It doesn’t take long and he’s envisioning a lot longer than the short time they have together.

Sage Addison comes to the Village Resort to avoid the stress of Christmas with her nagging family. Still, meeting tall, dark, and handsome makes her think of spending more than just Christmas with him.

After their time together is over will Conall and Sage learn that not all liaisons are meant to be brief but can be the beginning of something new, something wonderful? Miracles can and do happen in Wonderland.

Holiday Liaison is the third book in a collaboration of three authors, Aliyah Burke, Yvette Hines and Bridget Midway. Each book by these authors had original characters but the stories are connected by the setting which threads throughout all three books. Rekindling Christmas by Yvette Hines, O come by Bridget Midway and Holiday Liaison by Aliyah Burke all take place at the Village Resort in Starview, Colorado. The characters all come to the Village Resort for the singles week hoping to find a match or just to have fun. These three authors also collaborated another time with the Taken series.

In Holiday Liaison, Sage Addison decides to make it a real vacation by booking two weeks at the Village Resort and staying until the day after Christmas. Sage just wants to avoid hearing her mother harp on her about not being married, not giving her any grandbabies, and trying to get her back with her ex Charles. She figures that she will relax the first week, get in some skiing, sightseeing and then enjoy the singles event the resort offers the following week.

Conall Lennox’s three co-workers Ben, Travis and Steve talked him into going to singles week at Village Resort because they wanted him to relax. All he did was work, they wanted him to meet women and maybe have a liaison with one or more of them. Conall had no intention of doing that he wanted to get through the week and get back to work, but then he saw Sage standing there watching him and his friends as they got out of the van.

Holiday Liaison was an excellent read, the characters were likeable and this reader enjoyed watching Conall and Sage’s love affair blossom. Their love developed slowly but it was a welcome change from stories that has the characters ‘hooking up’ after seeing one another from across a crowded room, not that there’s anything wrong with that. It was just a refreshing change especially since you knew that when they did get together it would be well worth the wait.

Even though this was a short story, the characters were very well developed even the supporting characters were fun to get to know, and they added to the story. I like that Sage didn’t have the typical office job and that she was a forest ranger which added to her appeal. A strong female character to match a strong male character makes the story interesting and memorable. Holiday Liaison can be read as a standalone but you will get more enjoyment out of it if you read the series, especially since Cynda Richmond the main character from O Come as well as Ryanne McCall the main character from Rekindling Christmas each meet and interact with Sage. So I recommend that you pick up all three books, sit in your favorite chair and surround yourself in the spirit of Christmas.

Rekindling Christmas by Yvette Hines

Rekindling Christmas by Yvette Hines
Publisher: Whispers Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Interracial Length: Full Length (285 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed By Fuchsia

Ryanne McCall couldn’t take another season of why aren’t you married, when are you going to have kids kind of Christmas. When she sees an ad for a single’s retreat in her inbox she doesn’t need any more of an excuse to ditch the family affair.

However, she is in for a shock when she arrives at Village Resort and discovers that “home” has followed her to Colorado, in the form of Carson Rodman. Ryanne remembered Carson as the sweet, kind, skinny boy next door with the hot older brother. She never would have imagined he’d turned out to be a successful and confident man who could halt her breath with one dark, smoldering glance.

Carson and his family had never been ‘tight-knit’ and spending holidays together never formed in their plans. After a year of nursing a bad break-up he allows his best friend to convince him they should spend the holiday on the slopes picking up single snow bunnies. When he literally bumps into a woman from his past that he has never been able to get out of his wet dreams, he knows that this wonderland vacation has turned into paradise. Years ago, he missed his chance with Ryanne, but he refuses to allow her to get away again.

Ryanne McCall is the oldest of five children all of whom are married, something her mother does not let her forget. Going home for visits means having to listen to everyone talking about their children then having them look at her and saying that one day she too will have what they have. Ryanne loves her family dearly but she does not want to be the ‘ninth’ wheel or the odd girl out. She is happy with her job and she does long for more but for now with no prospects she is content. Her friend Mattie sent her an email about a singles mixer at a ski resort in Colorado which Ryanne promptly disgarded especially since she doesn’t ski.

Carson Rodman let his friend Phillip Stifler talk him into going to a singles resort to get him out of what Phillip believed was a funk. Carson’s last relationship ended a year ago and Phillip believes that Carson is still heartbroken over it, even though Carson has tried to tell him otherwise. So Carson agreed just to get Phillip to shut up, however Carson knew he would not be able to tolerate any of the giggling women they met.

Rekindling Christmas was a very enjoyable story, filled with great characters, humor, hot sex and a good premise. Carson and Ryanne always had a connection from the time they were kids and lived next door to one another. The story was well written and I really got to know the characters, their interactions or lack of interactions with their families. I especially enjoyed Phillip with his love them and leave them attitude; he had women crawling all over him which delighted him immensely. The story moved at a good pace and the characters were very well developed.

Yvette Hines is one of those writers who can reach out, grab you and take you on a journey that will leave you wanting for more. Rekindling Christmas is one of those tomes this reader was sad to see end.

O, Come by Bridget Midway

O, Come by Bridget Midway
Publisher: Whispers Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Interracial, Holiday
Length: Full Length (257 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Fuchsia

It’s a few days before Christmas, and to her surprise, there’s only one place Cynda Richmond, family wild child, wants to be: Village Resort in Colorado, the ski lodge her family owns. Although she initially plans to spend her holidays travelling through Greece, she decides to stay at home and keeping a close eye on Reid Weller, the lodge’s general manager and a childhood friend who has never taken her seriously.

Reid Weller is content to spend his holidays and his entire life taking care of Village Resort and its guests. He’s felt more at home at the resort and with the Richmond family than anywhere else, with one exception: Cynda Richmond. Since they were children, she has stirred up trouble and chaos with both him and her immediate family. He’s comforted by the fact that normally she enjoys staying away from the resort and her family, especially during the holidays. So when he goes to his private chalet at the resort a week before Christmas, he’s shocked to find a beautiful and naked woman in his bed. Even more surprising, the woman is none other than Cynda.

Cynda claims she wants to spend time at her family’s place, but Reid knows the woman has an agenda. He’ll stop at nothing to figure it out.

Cynda has always had a crush on Reid Weller. When he questions her motives, she does her best to convince him her actions are true. Beyond that, she wants him to see that her love for him is even stronger.

Can Reid take the woman seriously to see more than just an impulsive wild child? Will Cynda get the best Christmas present ever by capturing Reid’s trust and love?

Reid Weller is the general manager of the Village Resort in Colorado which is owned and operated by Donald Richmond, who has know Reid since he was a boy. Reid wants to advance within the company but he has a problem in the form of Graham Iler the marketing director. Graham and Reid do not get along but tolerate one another. Graham has hope that once Donald Richmond retires he will turn the business over to him. He also wants to get his hands on Donald Richmond’s daughter,  Cynda Richmond who seems a bit out of control. What Graham doesn’t know is that Cynda and Reid once had a thing, and Reid’s heart was broken by Cynda.

Cynda Richmond is a fly by the seat of your pants kind of girl. She was arrested for skinny dipping in the hotel pool in Las Vegas which her father saw on national TV. Cynda however has an agenda, she wants to get Reid back and will go to Colorado to try and win him back. Cynda also would like to rebuild her relationship with her dad, but is unsure if she can ever repair the damage.

O Come is a beautiful story of a man who was hurt by the woman he loved and a woman who has not stopped loving the man. Cynda also wants to open her own business but she has a secret that everyone but Reid knows about. Cynda and Reid are the type of characters a reader can invest in and root for. Cynda wanted to live each day to the fullest and Reid was a little more cautious but wanted to be with her. I loved this story, the characters and the whole premise of it. The only issue I had were some editing problems. Graham was described as a African American man but when reading whenever they referred to him they would say “she” or “her” which confused me. I had to go back to re-read the description of Graham to make sure that he was in fact a male character. This happened a few times in the story which was somewhat annoying. However, aside from that, O Come is a good read and one that I would recommend.

Carried Away by Bridget Midway

Carried Away by Bridget Midway
Publisher: Whispers Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (93 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, spanking
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Fuchsia

What happens when you can’t face your perfect man?

Summer Carter faces that dilemma as her two best friends, Kathryn Maynard and Leya Greenwood, convince her to honor their pact and take her adventure. She flees to a tropical Hawaiian paradise when she can’t face her online Dom, Xander. The reality of the relationship and what she really wants in a man is too much for her to face.

Xander Houston never saw himself as a Dom who would need to look for a submissive on a personals site. But when he encounters a witty and intriguing profile for a submissive named End of Summer, he strikes up a fast friendship with her. Months later, she still refuses to meet him face to face, and he tells her he’s going to take a break.

Coincidentally, both end up in Hawaii on separate vacations. When Xander finds her and figures out who she is, he cooks up a plan to sweep her off her feet, not as a Dom, but just as Xander. When Summer discovers the truth, will she run away from her secret Dom or will she allowed herself to get carried away?

Summer Carter, Kathryn Maynard and Leya Greenwood challenged one another to take a trip, find a man, have mind blowing sex and come back relaxed and ready to face life again. Kathryn took a cruise and found her prince charming Justin whom she is now engaged to. Leya went to Bali, and fell in love with her now husband Kolby. Now it’s Summer’s turn to take a trip with the hope of finding her Mr. Right or a Mr. Right Now. Summer’s happy for her two friends but she doesn’t see the same outcome for herself. She’s hiding a secret from her friends, one that she’s sure they will judge her for. Summer’s into a different type of lifestyle, she wants to be a submissive to a Dom, and the only man she craved was the one she met online known only as Master Z.

Xander Houston was interested in a woman he met online known only by her screen name of End of Summer, or Flutter which he called her. He asked her many times to meet him in person but Summer always declined saying she wasn’t ready for that. Frustrated, Xander decided that he needed some time away and off he went to his friend’s beach house in Hawaii. Imagine his surprise when he recognized Summer who had also taken a vacation trip to Hawaii. Instead of revealing himself to her he decided to let her get to know him as Xander before he revealed his alter ego.

These two characters heated up the pages of this book, with Xander introducing parts of the BDSM lifestyle little by little. Summer took to it like a duck to water but I wondered how she would feel and react once she learned the truth.

One of the things this reader looked forward to in this story was the way Summer would finally find the courage to tell Leya and Kat about her sexual preference. How was she going to explain to them that she was into an alternative lifestyle and would they judge her or embrace her? I also wanted her to stop and allow Xander to plead his case because these two characters belonged together.

The BDSM in this book was light, nothing extreme, which gave me a chance to see that it doesn’t always have to hurt. I love a book that will make you understand the characters viewpoint and look forward to them getting what they want, which for most is that happily ever after. This book actually teaches you some things about this lifestyle and you get a really good story as well with characters that are likeable.

Stealing the Bride by Yvette Hines

Stealing the Bride by Yvette Hines
Publisher: Whisper Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (85 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Fuchsia

Leya Greenwood loved attending weddings. They always reminded her that love was still possible. Even though any type of love or relationship in her current life was non-existent. However, she had to believe it was something that would be hers one day. Otherwise she was destined to die a lonely career woman. Well, not so lonely since her two best friends Summer and Kathryn both had personal lives that resembled her own–bleak. After attending a friend’s wedding, it becomes more apparent to Leya that she can’t keep waiting for her knight to come into her life and whisk her off to some beautiful place to start her happily-ever-after. Leya doesn’t know the last time she took a vacation, but she knows it is time to start living. Two months later, her friends think she is insane when Leya boards a plane with nothing but a bathing suit in her purse and her credit card, headed to Bali.

Kolby Bragdon loves the month of May, every year he spends it surfing and teaching lessons to tourist in Bali and providing aid to the locals. It’s how he relaxes from his high pressured job. No one there thinks of him as a business tycoon, especially the high-strung maple-skinned goddess who wants an adventure on the white beach sands. After days and nights of hiking, diving and lovemaking and his island beauty heads back to the states, he can’t get her out of his mind. However, he never would have thought it would be so easy to find her until he finds her at his office weeks later, as the financial advisor he’s hired for his employees. Kolby knows it is time for him to take matters into his own hands if he wants Leya in his life forever. With the aid of her two friends he may get his bride yet.

Leya Greenwood, Kathryn Maynard and Summer Carter have decided that they are missing excitement in their lives. These three women do not have time for a relationship because the only relationship they have managed to maintain is the one with their respective careers. That’s why the three of them decide to challenge themselves by not waiting for Mr. Right to just drop into their laps, but to take a trip someplace they’ve never been. Leya decides that she’ll go to Bali. She packs her only her bathing suit, buys a ticket and off she goes.

Kolby Bragdon, scuba diving instructor, was attracted to Leya the minute he saw her. Hoping the feeling was mutual, Kolby was pleasantly surprised when Leya confirmed it for him. The sex between them was nuclear and I knew this was going to be a love story that would make me want more. The only problem for Leya was that she believed Kolby lived off the tips he got from the tourists. Because of her background she could not settle for someone like him even though she was falling for him. She knew what it felt like to struggle and, being a financial adviser, she didn’t want to ever have that feeling again. Kolby, knowing how much the hotel was per night first thought that Leya was a pampered princess, someone who didn’t like to get dirt under their nails. He even referred to her as Princess Leya. It was fun to see how misconceptions between the two slowly resolved themselves.

This story is the first in a collaboration of three authors, Yvette Hines, Bridget Midway and Aliyah Burke. They each took one of the characters and built a story around them while keeping true to the theme. This being the first book, set the groundwork for the next two which are also exceptional reads. Leya, Kat and Summer are unique characters just like the authors who penned their stories.

This book, like the other two are the kind of stories you can read again and again.

The story makes you smile and sigh and wonder where all the men like Kolby are hiding, because I definitely have to find one like him. All in all, this is a must have and I guarantee that you’ll enjoy it.

If You Dare by Aliyah Burke

If You Dare by Aliyah Burke
Publisher: Whispers Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (77 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Fuchsia

When two people lost in their careers are thrown together, can passion kindle lost souls and ignite the flames of love?

Justin Kapp is on an Alaskan cruise when he meets a woman who gives the vacation an entirely new outlook. From the very beginning he knows she is something special. Something more.

Kathryn Maynard, a top divorce attorney in Virginia Beach, accepts a dare that puts her on an Alaskan cruise and rail package. She would rather be anywhere but there; however the arrival of a man she can’t take her eyes off of changes that. Changes her.

After the cruise, Justin finds his way back to Kathryn, wanting more time, more of everything Kathryn’s not ready to give. She’s not so sure she can take a chance. She’s already accepted one dare. Will her heart allow her to accept another?

Leya Greenwood, Kathyrn Maynard and Summer Carter are best friends who have decided they need to add a dimension to their lives. Instead of waiting for a man to fall into their laps, they decided to each take a trip, find a guy, have incredible sex and come back relaxed and ready to face their lives again. Leya had already gone to Bali and actually found her mister right, now it’s Kathryn’s turn. Kathryn is a lawyer who did not have time for vacations or men, so on a whim Kat entered a contest and won the cruise. The mistake she made was telling Leya and Summer. After hearing that, both Summer and Leya insisted she take the trip and she had to send them a picture from her phone everyday to prove that she was actually on the cruise.

Against her better judgment, she ends up taking the cruise and being drawn to a fellow passenger, Justin Kapp. Justin was given the cruise as a gift from his sister for his birthday, it was either go or suffer through another matchmaking fiasco of his sister’s. The attraction between them was instant, to the point of being some serious fantasy fuel for Kat.

Kat decided that it was now or never. She approached him and let him know that she wanted to be with him and the chemistry between the two characters went into overdrive. When they got together for the first time it made me sigh. There was so much heat between these two characters that the I could feel the passion. Justin is such an alpha male with his close cropped military hair and sunglasses, while Kat is a work-a-holic alpha female who just needed a reason to let go.

This is the second book in the Taken series which is written by three different authors, Aliyah Burke, Yvette Hines and Bridget Midway. Each writer took a character and wrote their story but kept true to the main theme. This book can be read as a stand alone but you’ll get more enjoyment if you read all three, simply because the characters are important in all three of the books. The book was enjoyable and the sex was hot which makes for a really good read.

Gillian’s Angel by Joseph Mazzenga

Gillian’s Angel by Joseph Mazzenga
Publisher: Whispers Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, paranormal
Heat Level: sensual
Length: Short Story (28 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Stephanotis

When Gillian rolls over on her pillow, the green eyes and warm body of Sandis always greet her. Active, young, and funny, Sandis is her perfect match. In his arms, Gillian has found her true love.

But something is missing. Trouble arises when Gillian finds she can’t have Sandis all of the time. Can Gillian accept the fact that her lover has a double life? The answer is out of this world.

I can’t resist a ghost story and this one didn’t disappoint me. Although it’s a plotline that’s been done many times before Mr. Mazzenga told it in such a compelling way, the old theme seemed new again.

I guessed early on the twist in the tale to this story but the connection between Gillian and Sandis was so strong that I kept reading just to see how it would all play out and if they had a happily ever after. The way the author presented the story of these lost lovers was also moving. Toward the end of the story it took a turn I didn’t see coming and which was a nice surprise. Without giving the plot away, let’s just say everything works out for Gillian.

If you like ghosts, lovers that don’t give up on one another, and enjoy stories that tug a little at your heart strings I think Gillian’s Angel might be a good pick for you.