Doubly-Dead Angel Thief by Marc Whelchel

Doubly-Dead Angel Thief by Marc Whelchel
Publisher: Open Books
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary
Length: Full length (243 pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Snowdrop

Meet V.C. Almond, Mastermind Sleuth, Jack of Some Trades, and the Delmar Loop’s Private Investigator Ordinaire.

V.C. Almond’s life is in the gutter. Divorced and broke, he’s living in a rat trap apartment above the loudest punk music venue in the Delmar Loop. Worse, his dear friend Jake Kennedy, son of crime boss Big Jamie Kennedy, has just committed suicide.

The night of Jake’s funeral, V.C. returns home to find a surprise on his floor: Jake’s freshly murdered, bullet-riddled body. Soon realizing Jake’s double death appears destined to go unsolved, V.C. reluctantly agrees to help private detective Aldous Lewie crack the case.

Stumbling upon the body of a man who’s supposed to already be dead is just the first leg of V.C.’s journey down the rabbit hole.

A funny, sarcastic somewhat whimsical book

Very witty dialog coming out of funny, odd, one-of-a-kind characters. Nothing like having a friend die and then having him die again. Must be where the “doubly” in the title comes from.

I did think the story jumped around a little and the excerpts throughout the book made it a little hard to follow. But this is an eccentric type of story. You have to like the sort of nutty (or crazy) characters with their sarcastic and dry humor. The author has built his story line around a quick, back and forth dialog. I think this is something that is possibly enjoyed more by a specific type of reader. There are some off-color words in this story. Somehow it was not offensive to me. The language fits the funny characters and the dialog. It seems as if I’ve used every possible word to describe Whelchel’s characters but oddly enough, he did a wonderful job of developing them. I think that’s why they are so memorable to me. While this may be as I mentioned a little hard to follow, it is an interesting storyline. A sort of slap stick comedy in a noir mystery.

If slap-stick comedy is your thing, this is even a more modern use of it in a dialog. This is pulled together in a good storyline in a mystery that seems to move very quickly. Definitely worth reading.

Fire on the Mountain by Clabe Polk

Fire on the Mountain by Clabe Polk
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (265 pgs)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Snowdrop

The Havens, a family with roots growing deep in the muck of Southern mountain bootlegging have progressed from selling illicit corn whiskey through marijuana farming to (in the current generation) methamphetamine production. A set of triplets; Jack, a meth producer and wife of Susan, Jason, another meth producer, who hooks Susan to infuriate Jack, and Jake, a local handyman who creates unholy alliances against Jack and Jason…and a father playing each against the other for his own profit, combine to light a fuse destined to blow the Haven family apart. Two murder investigations; one by Detective Mike Eiser, and one by a detective in a neighboring county, coupled with a DEA clandestine drug lab investigation combine to pressure the Havens. Susan’s in the middle. Is she a victim? Is she a survivor? Or is Susan the flame that ignites the powder keg to blow the Haven family apart?

Bootleggers changing with the times, running drugs and keeping it in the family.

I really enjoyed this mystery. I liked the storyline starting with the history of the Haven family all the way back as bootleggers mixed in with the modern day cops. I really liked the cop Mike Eisner, the lead character in this series of books. This is true Crime Fiction in some ways. There is a lot of dialog; all interesting and easy to follow.

I did some research because you would think from the dialog that the author had experience in police work. He did not but he sure writers with a comfortable dialog that makes you feel as if you are right in the car with your partner or in the office with your boss. He also writes a lot of light and fun dialog between couples; lightning up or giving an additional hue to the story. His characters are all well-developed and there are quite a few in the story to be able to define to we readers. I think it is his excellent way of handling dialog. It gives us the flavor of each person therefore defining them in our minds.

In his book it lists this as the last of the series. It also lists 5 titles in this series, “Detective Mike Eisner Series”. It can easily be read out of order but don’t if you don’t have to, I bet they are all as good as this one.

Once Upon A Wolf by Rhys Ford

Once Upon A Wolf by Rhys Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short length (96 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Wayward Wolves: Book One

Gibson Keller’s days are fairly routine: wake up early, get some work done, drink lots of coffee, and take care of Ellis, his older brother, stuck in wolf form after coming home from the war. It’s a simple life made up of long runs on two legs—or four—and quiet evenings…. Until Ellis chases a handsome man off a cliff and into the frozen waters beside their cabin, changing Gibson’s life forever.

For Zach Thomas, buying an old B&B is a new start. Leaving behind his city life, he longs to find peace and quiet, and hiking the trails behind his property seems safe enough—right up to the moment an enormous black wolf chases him into a lake, nearly drowning him. Discovering werewolves are real astounds him, but not as much as the man who rescues him from the icy water, then walks into Zach’s heart as if he owns it.

Loving a werewolf—loving Gibson with all his secrets—has its challenges, but Zach believes their love is worth fighting for, especially since his heart knows the big bad wolf is really a prince in disguise.

Zach had left the city and his previous life behind him. What he hadn’t expected in the country was to be chased by a wolf into the lake. Gibson’s life pretty much consisted of taking care of his brother, Ellis, who had remained locked in his wolf-form for years. Gibson rescued Zach from the lake, but all three men’s lives were changed that fateful day. Can Zach accept Gibson and what his life entails?

I really enjoyed this story. I found it to be an emotional and (in a bizarre kind of way) romantic book. The attraction between Zach and Gibson was intense and almost instant, but I loved watching the two men circle around each other first before both giving in to the desire they each felt. Ellis broke my heart and personally I feel the author actually made Ellis the best character of all – tortured, painfully hurting and my heart just bled for him. Predominantly in wolf-form the author did a fantastic job to my mind in making Ellis both a sympathetic character and extremely interesting pretty much without Ellis himself saying a single word. I was desperate enough to learn if there was a sequel to this story – featuring Ellis’ story – that I actually looked it up online and checked out the author’s webpage (something that I almost never do…). This book is too new a release for there to be any word (that I could find, at least) on Ellis’ story – but I would purchase it in a heartbeat, which clearly indicates just how much I loved this story and just how invested I became in Ellis, Gibson and Zach.

Readers wanting a deeply emotional story with complicated, multi-layered characters should find this as enjoyable as I did. While the plot is fairly straight forward – the men being snowed in together and then a small-town mentality about “big dogs” being aggressive killers etc – it’s the characters and their own situations which really make this story shine. I personally liked the balance of plot and romance – character-driven stories with loads of chemistry and romance are just delightful. While a part of me felt like Gibson and Zach waited just a little too long to consummate their relationship the author did an excellent job of explaining why and the logic was very sound, I was just impatient for it by the time they finally indulged in some sex.

Hotly written and thoroughly romantic I absolutely loved this story. Complex and interesting characters kept me eagerly turning the pages and I sincerely hope there are more books coming down the line. This is a brilliant author and I fully plan to check out more of her books. Highly recommended.

Twist of Faith by Ellen J. Green

Twist of Faith by Ellen J. Green
Publisher: Thomas and Mercer
Genre: Mystery/Suspense, Contemporary
Length: Full length (321 pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Stephanotis

When family secrets are unearthed, a woman’s past can become a dangerous place to hide…

After the death of her adoptive mother, Ava Saunders comes upon a peculiar photograph, sealed and hidden away in a crawl space. The photo shows a shuttered, ramshackle house on top of a steep hill. On the back, a puzzling inscription: Destiny calls us.

Ava is certain that it’s a clue to her elusive past. Twenty-three years ago, she’d been found wrapped in a yellow blanket in the narthex of the Holy Saviour Catholic Church—and rescued—or so she’d been told. Her mother claimed there was no more to the story, so the questions of her abandonment were left unanswered. For Ava, now is the time to find the roots of her mother’s lies. It begins with the house itself—once the scene of a brutal double murder.

When Ava enlists the help of the two people closest to her, a police detective and her best friend, she fears that investigating her past could be a fatal mistake. Someone is following them there. And what’s been buried in Ava’s nightmares isn’t just a crime. It’s a holy conspiracy.

This story has the sort of plot that draws you in and that’s exactly what it did. I loved the opening and its potential to be a page turner but…

Let me start with the things I didn’t like about the book, there aren’t many. The narrator changed from chapter to chapter. Not that there’s anything wrong with it but part of the story is told from the main character, Ava’s point of view and in first person. The other half of the book is from different character’s points of view and all told in third person. I think it was this switching back and forth and in what are brief chapters which prevented me from connecting with Ava whose story this essentially is.

Having said that, I will say the story has lots of twists and turns. The chapters are short, one of the things I liked about it, and it made the pacing spot on for a mystery. I loved the setting and the author’s description of the town and area.

As the plot progressed it had me guessing about what was going on and the story does build and the conflict escalates which makes you want to read more at each sitting.

The ending…which I won’t give away, had me wondering if the author has another book planned using these characters.

If you like a suspenseful mystery with old photographs and a creepy house then this might be one to put on your to read list.

Texas Rebels: Paxton by Linda Warren

Texas Rebels: Paxton by Linda Warren
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full length (224 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower


After years of girls, beer and a wild life on the rodeo circuit, bull rider Paxton Rebel is done being “The Heartthrob.” His brothers have already settled down and are starting families. Paxton doesn’t really believe he’s meant for love…until he rescues the slight, lovely woman with sea-green eyes on a cold, windy beach.

Remi Roberts can’t trust a charming lady-killer cowboy like Paxton—especially since he’s a Rebel, a family she’s been taught to distrust. She needs to concentrate on recovering from her accident, which is the only thing standing in the way of her adopting the baby girl she adores. Besides, fairy tales don’t exist and bad boys definitely don’t change. Only, this cowboy is determined to prove her wrong…

I finished this book, Texas Rebels: Paxton by Linda Warren a few days ago and wanted to sit on it before I wrote the review. I did love the cast of characters in this series because I feel they demonstrate what family is all about. I enjoy how the characters are incorporated in the community of Horseshoe, Texas. They are really well developed and make the story heartwarming. This story added Miss Bertie who brought a bit of humor into the book. Her granddaughter, Remi, is the heroine.

All that being said, less than a month ago I read Texas Rebels: Elias by Linda Warren which was my first time reading a book by her, and the first book for me in this series, Texas Rebels. I absolutely LOVED it. Therefore I was very excited when I got my hands on this book, Texas Rebels: Paxton. This is a classic example of why I typically avoid reading series. While I enjoyed this book, I was disappointed that it didn’t meet with the high hopes I had of it being another awesome book like Texas Rebels: Elias was. Each book in the series can be read as a standalone. I wonder, if I hadn’t read the other book first, might I have enjoyed this one more if I hadn’t had the expectations from reading the other story first? Unfortunately, I did have high hopes and now I need to write an honest review. Fortunately, Texas Rebels: Paxton does have some positives worth mentioning.

The heroine, Remi, was literally weak and strong at the same time. She was recovering from an accident that left her severely injured. As a result she was filled with the conflict of “woe is me, how will anyone love my scars?”. Yet, she possessed the determination to exercise and work hard towards getting better. I struggled with connecting with her because of the way she was written: a selfish individual with bursts of being a thoughtful person only to go right back to her “all about me” attitude. The plot thread that reveals why and how the accident happened was foolish considering we’re talking about a grown woman. However, it further established her self-centeredness. It didn’t help that her first scene in the story portrayed her as rude.

I believe in love at first sight but is it powerful enough to change a person over night? The hero, Paxton, was described as a selfish, famous lover boy rodeo champion. But, after meeting Remi, he decided he wanted to change into a family man overnight. It was a tiny bit hard to believe. Even his other brothers were calling him out on it, asking what has gotten into him. I believe people can change but I’m not sure it can happen overnight. Try as you might, it’s not as easy as this book made it out to be. It did help that his other brothers had gotten married and started having families. Paxton was starting to feel the pressure of changing his ways and meeting Remi just reinforced his decision to change. But I felt like the change was a little abrupt.

The plot thread with Remi’s brother, Ruger, could have been deleted and I wouldn’t have missed it. I didn’t connect with that development very well. I understand Remi wanted a relationship with her brother but he annoyed me. He was old enough to figure the truth out for himself and stand up to his uncle and make his own decisions. However, I understand how Ruger was a necessary character in the plot as another attempt to connect the stories in the series by reminding readers of the rivalry between the Rebels and the McCrays.

The plot thread with Annie, the baby that Remi wanted to adopt, was a struggle for me, which is sad because it was a significant plot point. I felt like it took the spotlight away from the developing romance between Remi and Paxton in the beginning by constantly making the book about Remi. However, as the story developed, Annie became less and less about Remi and more about Paxton and Remi as a couple. I imagine this string of events regarding Annie was an attempt to incorporate drama into to plot. At this endeavor I’ll admit the author succeeded.

Remi and Paxton as a couple were okay. They appeared to be compatible. Paxton grew on me to the point that I did believe that he loved Remi and was a changed man. Eventually, Remi grew on me also and I felt that they were meant for each other. I didn’t appreciate how they took some time apart near the end. I’m sure that was another attempt at pulling heart strings and drama but only succeeded in annoying me. I thought it was cute how their relationship was equated to two geese named Henry and Henny. That element was a nice, unique and appreciated touch.

It is necessary for me to mention that this was a super-fast paced book – everything happened very quickly. My interest was captured right from the start and held throughout the story until the end despite my connectivity struggles. I feel the story could have slowed down some because I felt rushed. I can’t help but wonder if that is also why I struggled as much as I did to fall in love with this story. I desperately wanted to love it as much as I did the previous book.

In conclusion, I do recommend this book for other readers to give it a try. I strive really hard to be honest in my reviews but I feel my review of Paxton is slanted or biased based on my previous experience in reading Elias.  I am willing to try another story about those Texas Rebels, though, as there are enough positives in Paxton to recommend that other readers or fans of Ms. Warren give this one a try.

Not That Innocent by Angel Ray

Not That Innocent by Angel Ray
Publisher: Books To Go Now
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (39 pages)
Other: M/F, Anal Play, Rimming
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Leonardo Morgan—Leo to his friends—was known for two things: running a Website geared towards younger single men and being a notorious womanizer. Leo had affairs with many of his female assistants and he made no apologies for it. That is, until he hired his newest assistant Sara Griffith. Sara was an “innocent” farm girl trying to make it in the big city. Or so Leo thought. An unexpected night of passion between them made him rethink his first impression of Sara and that she might not have been as “innocent” as he initially thought.

Their relationship blossoms both in and out of the bedroom. Eventually Leo realizes that his feelings for Sara go beyond merely sexual and that he has genuine feelings for her. He wonders—he hopes—she shares the same feelings for him. Can Sara tame this notorious and shameless womanizer?

Leo ran his own website and didn’t mind sleeping occasionally with her personal assistants. But these assistants were usually very young, self-absorbed and fairly useless. Interviewing for yet another new assistant, Leo had to admit there were a number with better qualifications than Sara, but with her big blue eyes, innocent air and gorgeous body Leo gave in to his baser impulses and hired Sara anyway. Leo can’t help but fantasize about the sexy woman and working so closely together he wants to be a lot more than boss and employee.

This is a super-hot short story along the fairly well-known lines of a “boss-falls-for-secretary” style. I was interested to note that it’s told from Leo’s perspective in the first person which I found to be somewhat unusual for women’s romance, but an interestingly different take on other similar stories that I’ve read before. I was a little disappointed how almost the first third of the book was pretty firmly based on Leo alone – except for the brief interview there was no interaction with Sara. While I understand the need to solidify Leo and his character to the reader it felt a little like wasted space in the short length of story. I found myself impatient to see Leo and Sara interact together and while Leo’s fantasies and masturbation scene certainly ramped up the spice factor of the story I’d have far preferred to have those pages show me Leo and Sara getting to know each other better instead.

I certainly found things progressed between Leo and Sara very quickly after that – and much like the title of the story indicates, Sara is nowhere near as innocent or shy as she first makes out to be. While I didn’t find the relationship building between Leo and Sara very romantic at all, the author did a very good job with the erotic element of Sara and Leo’s relationship and they both enjoyed a number of active and explicit scenes throughout the rest of the story.

While there is a solidly “Happy For Now” style of ending I feel this story would fare better with erotica readers and not readers who like a more emotional connection between their hero and heroine. I didn’t mind the lack of overt romance between Leo and Sara, but could understand why their very sexual and not so emotional relationship might not sit as well with more traditional romance readers. Deliciously explicit and very detailed this story won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but is a fun and quick read that is spicy enough to hit the spot when a fast and short story is needed.

What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora Bell

What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora Bell
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Historical
Length: Full length (384 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Mistflower

Wanted: Governess for duke’s unruly children
Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford, is one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in England, but when it comes to raising twins alone, he knows he needs help. The only problem is the children have chased away half the governesses in London. Until the clever, bold, and far-too-enticing Miss Mari Perkins arrives.

Lost: One heart to an arrogant duke
Mari knows how to wrap even the most rebellious children around her finger. But their demanding, wickedly handsome father? He won’t be quite so easy to control. And there’s something else she can’t seem to command. Her heart. The foolish thing beats so wildly every time the duke is near.

Found: A forbidden passion neither can deny
As his employee, Mari is strictly off-limits. But what if she’s the one breaking all his rules? In the game of governess versus duke, how can Edgar maintain his defenses when the only thing he wants to do is let the tempting beauty win . . .?

“What a difference a good book makes” should be the subtitle of this book! Actually it was better than good, it was amazing. Can I just sing that? A MaaaZingg!

I absolutely love when a book makes me laugh. I can recall three separate times that I cracked up. I had to re-read it a few times until I got the giggles out. I just love connecting with a book like that.

As a retired preschool teacher I really related to the heroine, “Mari with an i—it rhymes with starry.” I respected how she developed a trusting relationship with the hero’s children, Michel and Adele. For nine year old twins they were a handful. Mari demonstrated developmentally appropriate, hands-on, child process oriented art and engaged open-ended interaction. It’s no wonder the children responded to her the way they did. She treated them with respect yet held them accountable for their actions. She set boundaries and expectations with appropriate consequences and was consistent and gave love with positive reinforcement. Yes, I noticed and applaud all that accurate child development detail in a romance book! If I was looking for a governess for my children then I’d consider myself lucky to have her in my employment. Mari wasn’t the only well-developed character is this story.

I had the opportunity to bond with the hero as well. Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford was a man in need of being rescued and it obviously had to be Mari or myself but unfortunately I can’t be transported into the plot. Life is so unfair. At least I got to live it through Mari. Edgar was intelligent, kind and just made me smile. He was a tad stubborn but what hero isn’t? It’s part of their charm. It makes the reading much more pleasurable when they realize they are being stubborn and give in.

Who doesn’t grow fond of children? Okay, not everyone, but I do. Michel and Adele were adorable. After all they went through, it was heartwarming to see them in a thriving home thanks to Mari, Edgar and his entire staff. I can’t leave out Edgar’s sister, India when mentioning well developed characters. She was hilarious. I was happy to see that she is going to have a book of her own.

Of course there were a couple of characters that made me clench my fists such as Edgar’s mother and Mrs. Trilby. Ooooh, if I could get my hands on them. I’d teach them a thing or two about being nice. However, you’ll have to read how they turned out.

The plot was brilliant and honestly, refreshing. It flowed smoothly with unexpected thread plots. There is more to this story than what the synopsis says. There’s a plot twist involving Mari that is quite captivating.

The writing style as well as the plot and cast of characters is really what made the book amazing. I thought it was a unique writing style to incorporate proverbs within Mari’s conversations. It was truly entertaining. I am compelled to share with other readers that this is the first time when I’ve finished a novel that I Googled something that was mentioned in the story. I was intrigued with the plot regarding fire brigades and how they chose which fire to put out based on which insurance that property had. I didn’t know about that history nor about the steam fire engine that was invented. If you don’t know about both subjects then I’d Google those two things prior to reading this book, but it certainly isn’t necessary. The author did an exceptional job explaining it. I was more curious if it was factual.

The icing on the cake for me was the epilogue. I LOVED it. This was my first Lenora Bell novel and it won’t be my last. I’ll be looking for India’s story, For the Duke’s Eyes Only” coming out in October 2018! Until then I definitely recommend reading What a difference a Duke Makes! It’s captivating, sexy and a heartstring tugger.

Trouble Tied Up by Maxine Marsh

Trouble Tied Up by Maxine Marsh
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short story (78 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

One night, in a small town in Texas, Clayton and DJ meet and have a one-night stand. He’s a serious dominant at heart who’s lost his perfect submissive and DJ is responsive to his ways but is trying to stay out of trouble after getting paroled from prison.

In the end they believe what’s done is done—they go their separate ways. The next day it turns out that DJ is starting a new job at a horse rehabilitation ranch—and Clayton’s her boss.

Clayton liked his work and his routine and was perfectly happy with nothing and no one upsetting either of them. One night he notices a stranger at the local bar and after he gives DJ a lift to the local motel he can’t resist when she invites him inside. He knows she might be trouble – but for once he’s willing to risk his routine and carefully ordered life. The next morning Clayton discovers DJ is actually his newly hired ranch-hand and Clayton knew they were both in for far more trouble than he’d initially realized.

This is a steamy-hot story with a deliciously spicy hint of kink to it. There’s quite an age-gap between Clayton and DJ, but neither of them find that a problem, particularly considering they have sex within minutes of meeting each other. I liked how there was a number of layers to DJ in particular and while there was some plot to the story, to me it was clearly all about the kinky sex and growing relationship between Clayton and DJ. Much of the first half of the story is based on DJ and Clayton solidifying their relationship – so I feel that readers looking for a well-fleshed out plot might find this aspect of the story a little disappointing until close to the end of the story.

While the heat and growing intimacy between Clayton and DJ can’t be denied, I’m not entirely sure this story will appeal to everyone. Clayton has a talent for treating, taming and corralling wild and damaged horses and he views his sexual appetites into BDSM in a very similar manner. It felt like – in Claytons mind at least – taming and “breaking” a filly was truly on par with enticing DJ as his new lover and introducing her to the aspects of BDSM that he craved. The similarities between Clayton treating the abused horses and his wooing and taming of DJ walked a very fine to my mind and I felt very slightly uncomfortable sometimes while reading this story. I generally think of myself as being fairly broad minded when reading so I’m not sure if this just didn’t fully appeal to me personally or if perhaps the comparisons might not hit the right note with other readers either. I ended up deciding it was one of those polarizing things – I think some readers will be like me and find it didn’t hit the mark, but others will absolutely love this and be deeply affected – so it will certainly be a matter of taste, I think.

A spicy and definitely unique BDSM read this was a good book with strong and complicated characters. Clayton and DJs antics won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but the heat and chemistry between them was undeniable to me and although uncomfortable in places I enjoyed this different and interesting read.

Saved By Her Vampires by Doris O’Connor

Saved By Her Vampires by Doris O’Connor
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short story (39 pages)
Other: M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Everyone knows that happily ever afters only happen in fairy tales. Real life is cruel and painful. Bianca may fantasize about the two hunks in the shadows, but that doesn’t mean they’ll ever notice her. Men as sinfully sexy as the two brothers won’t want a crippled redhead like her.

The New Year has always been a painful reminder for Bianca. She helps out at the annual orphanage’s fancy dress fundraiser to help chase away her demons—until it’s time to leave.

When Sister Maria insists that Bernhard and Archie escort Bianca home, the events that follow change her life forever. The hottest sex she’s ever had cannot account for the changes Bianca sees in the mirror. Vampires aren’t real, right?

Bianca knows full well that Happily Ever After is a myth. She knew there was no handsome knight out there ready to treat her like a princess and sweep her off her feet. Men didn’t even really look at her – not once they saw the brace on her leg. It was a pity, since she had the most delicious fantasies about her co-workers, Bernhard and his brother Archie. When they escort her home through the fog on New Year’s Eve, however, they each make clear to her that they are more than interested in her – body and soul.

This is one of those short stories where you want to get a hot drink, disengage your brain, open a box of chocolates and just dive right in. Steamily hot and with two handsome, sinfully sexy vampire brothers this is the best kind of decadent paranormal fiction. I found that what might be lacking in plot and complexity is more than made up for with interesting characters and plenty of scorching threesome sex. I mean really, what more do you need other than two handsome vampires in a delicious ménage?

I could understand the promptness of Bianca, Bernhard and Archie jumping into bed – with such a short page count there really wasn’t much time to waste – and I fully understand this won’t be every reader’s cup of tea. But as a fast read with plenty of biting, intense sex it definitely lived up to my expectations. I was a little disappointed Bianca thought their entire first encounter was just a dream – but it did delay the usual freak-out over “oh my goodness vampires are real”, which normally impedes the erotic shenanigans. With this mixed blessing I was pleased that we got such a hot, erotic scene in the body of the book, but a bit dejected that it took Bianca believing it wasn’t real to get there.

I found this to be an steamy and quick read, full of delicious ménage sex and perfect for a cold and quiet evening. Disengage your brain, sit back and just enjoy the fun and fast ride for exactly what it is – a great, sexy vampire threesome story.

Backseat in The Dark by Milton Dewar

Backseat in The Dark by Milton Dewar
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (25 pages)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

An about-to-be ex-husband is forced to confront his own demons, and something far worse, on his way back home, on a lonely stretch of road.

Backseat in The Dark is aptly named for the eerie suspense that drives the story.

It is often difficult to write a short story that is not only complete, but has enough suspense to keep those pages turning; however, this author has done that. The main character, Ian, after receiving the surprising news that his wife wanted a divorce, got behind the wheel angry and upset. Right away, this signals that something could go wrong. His inner dialogue inspires sympathy from a reader, and one wonders what is going to happen—nothing typical it soon seems.

His drive down a dark road, while swimming in his impassioned thoughts, creates a spine-chilling atmosphere. Is something scary and unnatural going to happen? This mood is created almost poetically, the words flowing in a way to further evoke feelings of dread. The mundane details are not so under the pen of this author. Details create the world Ian lives in, building up the sense of alarm.

Things escalate. His car breaks down on this dark road. He remembers a scary legend about a witch who was burned in this area many years before. But then she appears, right before Ian!

His reaction and what happens next serves to further develop this character, his life, his regrets, and his wishes. But will he get the chance to see all these things resolved? Predicting will only take a reader so far. This ending sweeps one into a whirlwind of surprise.

The imagery and writing gives a reader an immediate sense of urgency, making this a page-turner. Occasionally, a detail or two caused confusion, but this could also be seen as inspiring deeper thought. For such a short story, it packed an emotional punch. Recommended for those who like suspense.