A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase

A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (396 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Not all dukes are created equal. Most are upstanding members of Society. And then there’s the trio known as Their Dis-Graces.

Hugh Philemon Ancaster, seventh Duke of Ripley, will never win prizes for virtue. But even he draws the line at running off with his best friend’s bride. All he’s trying to do is recapture the slightly inebriated Lady Olympia Hightower and return her to her intended bridegroom.

For reasons that elude her, bookish, bespectacled Olympia is supposed to marry a gorgeous rake of a duke. The ton is flabbergasted. Her family’s ecstatic. And Olympia? She’s climbing out of a window, bent on a getaway. But tall, dark, and exasperating Ripley is hot on her trail, determined to bring her back to his friend. For once, the world-famous hellion is trying to do the honorable thing.

So why does Olympia have to make it so deliciously difficult for him . . . ?

Get ready for a novel that ends as adorable as the beginning is rascally. I know this book is a romance but the tone, pace, dialogue and descriptions all inspired joy, smiles, happy anticipation and delighted laughter. This has to be one of the most upbeat romances I’ve read in a long time. It’s fun with a capital F.

Usually the groom is the no show at a wedding but in A Duke in Shining Armor it’s the heroine who does the fleeing and her madcap dash for freedom is witnessed and then abetted by the hero, the Duke of Ripley. Of course, he’s just there to make sure she’s safe until she changes her mind and goes back to his best friend to get married. He’s sure she’s going to change her mind, isn’t she? Okay, not this time but she will, right? What follows is a charming and hilarious adventure as Lady Olympia runs from what she knows she should do, what she always does because she’s so proper, and ends up learning more about herself in a few days than she’s ever learned in all the years before. It’s shocking! It’s eye-opening and I never knew what pickle she’d get into next. Olympia is a riot.

Ripley, though his aunt calls him Hugh, was a thoroughly wonderful hero. Seeing him slowly discovering the wonder that is Olympia has high entertainment value and I was charmed. At first he was noble, then tempted; he fights the temptation and then comes the ‘kiss’. It’s at that point he opened the Pandora’s Box called Lady Olympia Hightower and the book turned sensual, seductive and very romantic. A Duke in Shining Armor shifted into high gear and became a novel I could not put down. I can’t even begin to tell you all the things the poor hero had to deal with in trying to keep up with the heroine.

The only thing that made me roll my eyes is Ashmont. He really needs a wakeup call and a boot in his derrière because he was so weak! He and Blackwood were secondary characters and Ripley’s best buds, but Ashmont is the one who created the impetus for the entire conflict. Of course, he is the perfect character to get his story next because Ashmont’s uncle thinks a lady like Olympia is perfect for him. I almost (pinches fingers) feel sorry for the guy when Ms. Chase pairs him with a lady who’s more than a match for him. That is one book I DON’T want to miss!! In any event, he and Blackwood set off on the adventure of ‘retrieving his bride’. Here’s the thing, he came across as … still a boy. By the time this novel wraps up, I got the sense that Ashmont is finally getting a clue.

I adored how the author had Ripley and Olympia play. The hero is imaginative and full of fun and he helps the heroine see she’s capable of being spontaneous and silly and the sky wouldn’t fall. I enjoyed his yearning for her but beating himself up because he shouldn’t. I mean, he IS the best friend of the intended groom. That was a great conflict and I liked how Ms. Chase handled it.

There is so much I want to say, I’m having a hard time trying to rein myself in. A Duke in Shining Armor is refreshing, amusing, well written and a lot more labels I could tack on. I think the happy ever after ending is perfect. It’s just a great read and I loudly say, Don’t Miss This Book!

Courage Lost by R. Scott Mackey

Courage Lost by R. Scott Mackey
A Ray Courage Mystery, Book 5
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full length (258 pages)
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Snowdrop

Private Investigator Ray Courage returns in his most complex case yet, one that readers and critics are heralding as the best in the hugely popular mystery series. Billionaires Isabella and Wyatt Carlyle have been estranged from their son for twenty years. With Isabella at death’s door, she wants to bring her son back into the family. Ray’s search for the now forty-year old son takes him to Monterey, California, where he encounters a cast of seedy characters more than eager to lead him to the heir of the Carlyle fortune. But his search is complicated by the seemingly unrelated murder of a rival private eye. At the same time, a young man is brutally attacked in Honduras and left for dead. Does this relate to Ray’s case? With a cast of memorable characters and Mackey’s graceful prose, this gripping page-turner delivers on every front and will have you guessing until the final page.

From the moment Ray Courage said “I smiled stupidly. Perhaps my signature expression.” I was curled up and ready to read this book.

I like my private investigators kind of caring, a little sarcastic, with a sense of humor and a little bit of a smart mouth. If you agree, you’ll like this story. I loved it. This book has pretty well everything you want in a mystery. There are of course, your standard good and bad guys; moments that make you smile and those that make you mad. There are plenty of twists and turns you did not expect here but all are quite plausible. A better way to say this is if you like Harry Starke or Michael McLaren or even Travis McGee you are going to like this book as much as I did.

This book was what I call a clean read. By that I’m not referring to the editing although I will say the editing in this book was superb. What I mean by “clean” is that everything fit together, the storyline flowed through the whole book. There was never a dull moment. This book makes your mind work and its characters are really well-defined. It makes you want to like the good guys and catch the bad ones. All of these many aspects existed in this book by R Scott Mackey.

I was very lucky to be the one to review this book about Ray Courage. This is book five. I sure intend to read the other four.

Mrs. Claus by Rhonda Parrish, editor

Mrs. Claus by Rhonda Parrish, editor
Publisher: World Weaver Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Holiday, Horror, Contemporary, Historical
Length: Full Length (214 pages)
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

When you think of Mrs. Claus, do you imagine a quiet North Pole homebody who finds complete fulfillment in baking cookies, petting reindeer and crafting toys alongside elves? How about a magic-wielding ice goddess, or a tough-as-nails Valkyrie? Or maybe an ancient fae of dubious intentions, or a well-meaning witch? Could Mrs. Claus be a cigar-smoking Latina, or a crash-landed alien? Within these pages Mrs. Claus is a hero, a villain, a mother, a spacefarer, a monster hunter, and more. The only thing she decidedly is not, is a sidekick.

It’s Mrs. Claus’ turn to shine and she is stepping out of Santa’s shadow and into the spotlight in these fourteen spectacular stories that make her the star! Featuring original short stories by Laura VanArendonk Baugh, C.B. Calsing, DJ Tyrer, Jennifer Lee Rossman, Kristen Lee, Randi Perrin, Michael Leonberger, Andrew Wilson, Ross Van Dusen, MLD Curelas, Maren Matthias, Anne Luebke, Jeff Kuykendall, and Hayley Stone.

Santa might have demanded the lion’s share of the attention in the old myths about the North Pole, but that’s all about to change for good reason!

In “The Asylum Musicale,” Lizzie, a patient at an asylum, quickly began to wonder where Yessica Klaus, the newest patient there, had come from and why she seemed to be capable of things that no one else could do. The foreshadowing in the early scenes was excellent. I especially liked Lizzie’s descriptions of her life before she was committed and how she responded to Yessica when she began to feel threatened by her. She was a complex person who seemed to believe several contradictory things at once, so it was a lot of fun to weigh the various things she told the audience against each other and come up with my own theories about what was going on before the big reveal at the end.

All of the stories in this collection were creative, diverse, and well written. I never would have guessed that Mrs. Claus could be interpreted in so many different ways or that she could be frightening in one plot and sympathetic in the next. “You’d Better Watch Out” was the only tale that I thought could have used a little more plot development. While I loved the idea of Nick and Fianna Claus adopting a house full of children, I would liked to see a little more time spent on explaining why Fianna ended up with such an unusual part-time job and how she and her husband decided to take in so many kids. With a little more development, this instalment easily would have been my favourite part of the entire book.

“Good Morning” followed Nick and Eve on the one day of the year when they awoke from their slumber and used powerful magic to help Nick deliver presents to every home on Earth. By far the best part of the storyline were the references to who these characters were before they became Santa and Mrs. Claus. One of the things I’ve always found most thought provoking about this couple was how little attention anyone ever paid to why these beings gave away presents or how they ended up together. This story had the most inventive take on their backstories by far, and I deeply enjoyed reading it.

I’d heartily recommend Mrs. Claus to anyone who loves modern spins on traditional fairy tales.

Prince of Secrets by Lucy Monroe

Prince of Secrets by Lucy Monroe
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (185 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

100% Determined

100% Devastating!

Prince Demyan Zaretsky does whatever it takes to protect his country. So seducing Chanel Tanner will be easy. And marriage? An unfortunate side effect of duty. She unwittingly holds the economic stability of Volyarus in her hands…and he must secure it.

With his royal identity and intent disguised, Demyan sets about a ruthless seduction designed to make Chanel lose her mind with ecstasy. But when he discovers she is a virgin, he uncovers something in himself—a conscience. Now his plan takes a shocking turn—one this dark-hearted prince had never anticipated!

I’m in love with a book. Whenever I read a romance by Ms. Monroe I know that my heart is going to be touched, my emotions tugged and my happy buttons pushed. Prince of Secrets did not disappoint. There’s a way this author writes her characters that makes me smile and feel good.

Basically, Demyan, the hero, makes himself into the perfect man for the heroine, Chanel, in order to fulfill an edict from his king. What the hero never expects is to end up exposing himself, his true self that he never lets anyone see, in the process. The fall of a ruthless shark is delicious. I enjoyed watching him fall.

Chanel was a treat. I really mean that. There are three episodes where the author could have written her reactions in such a way as to make me agitated, cringe and experience stress all in the pursuit of ‘conflict and angst’. What Ms. Monroe did was give me a heroine who was smart, really smart. She observed, she listened to what was said and unsaid and as a scientist, knew how to formulate a theory and extrapolate a conclusion. I liked that she could apply it to people, not just science. That ability provided one of the most emotionally satisfying and powerful scenes when she confronts the king. I felt so … impressed and relieved! I also believe that it showed the strength of her love – it was as close to unconditional as a woman can get about a man with issues and secrets. She’s not a pushover and she’s not as inept as her parents always made her feel. In fact, the revelation about their true relationship is a heart-tugger as well. I liked Chanel.

One of my favorite parts is when Chanel revealed why she studied a certain language. I grinned from ear to ear when she laid that one on Demyan. One of the hottest scenes was in the theater box. The heroine was such a minx! And the reaction of the hero? Everything I could have wished.

When I read a novel written by Ms. Monroe, I always come away feeling like I’ve been treated to a high caliber romance. I certainly did in this book. I’m satisfied with the happy ever after delivery, the epilogue and the feeling of real love between the hero and heroine. Prince of Secrets has it all. If a reader is looking for a book that inspires optimism, joy and enjoys a bit of sass, this is a must read novel.

And One Makes Four by Sean Michael

And One Makes Four by Sean Michael
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (44 pgs)
Other: Multiple Partners, M/M/M/M, Menage, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Now that zoo shifters Stripe, Xeno and Shen have been rescued, Pirou finds an expert to help them learn how to live their own lives.

Levi is good at his job, professional and passionate about helping. After all, he was a rescue once himself. He always provides whatever help he can, and he never takes advantage of his charges.

These three are different, though, and when Shen makes overtures, Levi finds himself unable to resist the sweet kit. Stripe, Xeno and Shen come as a package, though.

Is there a way for three to become four?

Levi was an experienced professional – excellent with rescued cat shifters and knowing how to help the adjust – something he had sorely missed when he, himself, had been a rescue shifter. Levi could see that Stripe, Xeno and Shen had already formed a bond and that gave him hope they would make a full recovery, something Levi wants more and more as time passes and the threesome becomes four.

This is a super short but very satisfying read. I was pleased that it picked up pretty much exactly where the previous story left off and continued with the three rescued shifters’ story. While I do feel this can be picked up as a stand alone I must admit the reader will likely get far more from the story if they’ve read the book directly previous to this in this series. I feel it’s important to note only the most immediate past book *has* to be read – the others don’t appear to have any direct link to this one so a reader wouldn’t need to go back to the very start of the series.

Having read the previous story I was really glad that the three shifters became attached to Levi and welcomed him quite promptly. In such a short length story it could have been far too easy for the plot of the three rescued shifters and their wariness to have taken over the majority of the story, leaving little room for the romance and sex. While I can understand to some readers this might feel as if it’s a case of insta-lust and the foursome jumped in too early, I knew there’d been quite a build up in the previous story and so this didn’t feel so “sudden” to me. Indeed, I was glad to see the group sex scene and read of the attraction Shen and Levi in particular had. This story really does only cover a few hours’ worth of time and so is incredibly brief and I’m not sure it will be to all readers’ tastes.

A short, quick and easy read with some steamy sex and lots of emotion I enjoyed this story and feel it rounds out the previous book perfectly.

Bandit’s Bride by Gail MacMillan

Bandit’s Bride by Gail MacMillan
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical
Length: Full length (284 pages)
Heat Rating: Sensual
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

Is Louisa Abbott a witch? The villagers, who saw her burn the ship where her doctor husband’s body lay with others who had died of an unnamed illness, believe so. Even worse, she communicates with animals. No one, other than her Native friends, is interested in her healing abilities, so she lives alone, companioned by a wolf who owes his survival to her. Brodie MacMillan is a Highland bandit with the New Brunswick law hot on his trail, despite the injustice of the accusation against him. When he arrives at Louisa’s remote cabin desperately wounded and nearly frozen stiff, her magic might save his life, but how can he rescue her from the wrath of the villagers and then from the vengeful woman who is out to make him pay for past deeds?

He’s in the tavern having a beer when his nephew comes in and tells him he needs to come with him right now, there’s a witch outside. He asks if she’s green with a big wart on her nose and he gets told no. When he sees her, all he can do is stare. She’s a beautiful female picking up stores at the market next door. He hears them taunt her and offers to help carry her goods out. She lets him and thanks him and he’s smitten.

This author not only paints a picture of a beautiful land, she takes you back to the time period and makes you believe you’re living there with them. It’s easy to get caught up in the romance and you feel their disappointments and sorrow as one woman plans to bring his family down.

He’s the bandit. He and his friend he calls his brother fought in Scotland. They’re in America now and they have left the bandit life in the past but actions of the past come back to haunt them. He makes the mistake of trying to help a woman who’s laying in the snow and has lost her horse and then she drugs him and accuses him of rape. His brother arranges his escape but he gets shot. He thinks he’ll die in the snow but he finds the witch’s house…

With a mix of Indians, pirates, rebels and more, the story is exciting and full of action. There isn’t a dull moment in this book. The woman after him is dangerous and wicked and the final confrontation is an all-out war with some sad consequences. It’s a happy ending, though. Love wins.

The Right Fit by Daphne Dubois

The Right Fit by Daphne Dubois
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full length (247)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

When Maxine Nicholls discovers her fiancé is cheating, she turns to fast food and nighttime soap operas, but her sister has a plan—unbridled rebound sex with a stranger.

As one of Toronto’s hottest players, Antony Laurent tallies scores on and off the ice, but when the chiseled defense man hits a slump, rumors of a trade to the minor league send him to ambush a managers meeting at a posh club.

That night a chance encounter ends up as an unforgettable evening of passion. But Maxine and Antony are about to discover a game of casual hook ups can lead to something neither one of them thought they deserved—the right fit.

At the end of the book there is “a word about the author…”. I must quote it for you because I believe it would have been beneficial if I had read it in the beginning of the book. “Daphne Dubois writes steamy contemporary romance and loves putting her characters in awkward situations. She believes the right book at the right time can make all the difference.” I must say that the author was an over achiever. This book is anything but your average romance book. The characters, plot, and setting were all unique, contemporary, steamy and awkward, yet, heartwarming. It all makes for an entertaining read.

The heroine, Maxine, is relatable and I connected with her. However, I felt like she was an endorsement for plus size woman. It’s wonderful that our society is finally embracing body diversity and we’re seeing a greater acceptance of girls in different sizes. I applauded Sports Illustrated when they featured a plus size model on its cover. Name brands and magazines are finally paying attention and we’re seeing less body shaming in society. Therefore, I had trouble with Maxine constantly struggling with her self-image. I would have liked a stronger leading character. Yet, I understand the need for the focus to be on her weight concern because it was significant to the plot. There was a moral to this story; The Right Fit was more than just the size of the clothes.

Our significant others can be “The Right Fit” – which leads me to the hero, Antony Laurent. I don’t have any complaints about him. He was divine and I wish he was mine. Antony’s first language was French so he struggled to speak English; that was entertaining and romantic at the same time. I loved that Antony was a hockey player for the Toronto hockey team. I grew up around hockey and met my husband at a hockey game. I had no issue considering Antony to be my book boyfriend. He was drawn to Maxine and accepted her for who she was inside and out. She was very lucky to have that chance encounter with him. Together they were “The Right Fit” and full of chemistry.

There were other significant characters that were relevant to the plot such as Maxine’s twin sisters, Crosby and Rose. Maxine also had a brother named Westley. Westley had a best friend since elementary school named Stuart. The most special character that was heartwarming was Carmine. The character that caused conflict was Antony’s brother, Marc. Together they made for a memorable cast of characters.

My attention was caught starting with page one. The author’s writing style kept my attention all the way until the end as I continuously turned the pages at a steady, moderate pace. I enjoyed the quirky awkward moments since they made me snicker from the imagined embarrassment that I’d feel if I was in that situation. I can’t say the plot was predictable. There were plenty of emotional provoking threads that were unexpected.

Here is the point where I get perplexed about my review because near the end of the book I got perturbed. Without giving any spoilers there is an unexpected and unnecessary scene that as far as I’m concerned was pandering to make yet another social statement. Prior to this scene I was satisfied with how the story was progressing. The scene was not relevant or necessary to the romance between Maxine or Antony. The entire scene was rushed, illogical and superfluous. The scene could be cut out of the book and no one would miss it because it had no relevancy to the plot. I felt the author did the story a disservice by adding that m/m kiss – literally seconds before the monumental moment where the leading man and leading woman realize they are destined to live their happily ever after. I have no issues with gays, lesbians, transgender or whatever but I would have liked to have been warned that there was some m/m in this story. It’s not my style to read those kinds of books, even if it’s one scene. This scene happened with 10 pages of the story left! I didn’t see it coming. If I was in the audience I really don’t think I would have been cheering and applauding.

This was a worthy read despite the irrelevant scene. I was entertained and would recommend this book with a warning about the m/m scene.

Fortunately there was an epilogue which helped erase the shocking scene from my mind though not completely, hence the difficulty of writing this review. Luckily this story had many great scenes such as when Maxine, who is an esthetician, loved to name the colors of her nail polish. I thought that was clever and unique how the author connected the name of the polish to the current scene at hand. I wanted some of her nail polish that she described. I loved the humorous sexy banter between Maxine and Antony. I appreciated the dedication at the beginning of the book. It says “This book is dedicated to every woman who has ever gone bathing suit shopping—you’re beautiful and worthy. Own it.” This was definitely the moral of the story. A great message for all women.

Addicted To Her by Sam Crescent

Addicted To Her by Sam Crescent
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (85 pages)
Other: M/F, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

From the moment Alfie Brown saw Sophia Cross, he knew without a shadow of a doubt that she was meant for him. She is perfect, beautiful, and he wants to own, to possess every single one of her curves. All he has to do is make sure they meet, and then he can get her to fall in love with him. Simple enough, and he is a man who always gets what he wants.

Sophia just can’t make a decision that could affect the rest of her life. All people want her to do is pick a subject, pick a career, and then live with it for the next fifty years—but the next fifty years is a long time.

Still, when her friend begs her to go for an interview at Brown Enterprise, Sophia can’t say no. Though it is the worst interview of her life, she gets the job, much to her surprise. And her boss, Alfie, is unlike any man she has ever known. His skills draw her out, and she comes alive. She can’t say no to him. He surrounds her, makes her feel things that she really didn’t think she could.

But how will she feel when she discovers the truth of how he planned everything, from their meeting to her job?

Alfie is unapologetic in his possessiveness of Sophia. While they might not be dating – indeed, she isn’t even aware that he’s addicted to watching her – Alfie knows beyond a doubt this woman belongs body and soul to him. He just needs to show that to her. After a year of protecting her from afar Alfie is finally ready to make his move. Can he convince Sophia that he’s everything she needs?

I had to laugh in a number of places throughout this story. The warning about Alfie being slightly stalkerish is a truthful one – he’s put his nose into her medical records, hacked her home computer, made a deal with her boss to get her a better raise, Alfie is absolutely an all-or-nothing kind of guy. But I have to be honest, while he’s definitely “overbearing alpha hero” in abundance, I personally found the manner with which his character was written was light-hearted and almost tongue-in-cheek. Would I want a guy in my life doing almost any of these things? Hell no. Do I think someone who truly is a stalker or this much of a control-freak is a good thing? Definitely not. I can see for many people this wouldn’t be a joke – and readers should absolutely keep this in mind before purchasing the book. But I personally felt it was written really well – light and not in a controlling/abusive or horrible way – and the author made it abundantly clear beneath this veneer Alfie truly did love Sophie and want only the best for her. This is what shone through for me and along with the lighthearted – almost humorous – method of portraying it, made it quite palatable for me.

When they finally meet, Alfie knows he needs to move slowly. I enjoyed watching Alfie and Sophie’s characters interact and follow along as things moved both according to Alfie’s plan – and not according to his plans too. I felt the best part was the slow burn building between them. Particularly since Sophie had no idea just how thoroughly Alfie already knew her, I would have found it too unrealistic had she simply taken one look into his eyes and dropped her pants – Sophie just isn’t that sort of character. But watching them get closer – watching Alfie having to wait and maneuver delicately – was fun and helped show me just how well these two could finally work together as a romantic couple.

The fact it was a slow-burn and not a crazy, red-hot insta-love really helped sell the relationship – and thus the whole story – to me. I really liked this and feel it was exceptionally well handled by the author. The sex was hot and steamy and sure to appeal to readers who like their sex explicit and just a very little bit dirty. Alfie has lusted after Sophie for so long when they finally manage to consummate their relationship he can’t hold himself back any longer.

Readers should pay strong attention to the stalkerish/controlling hero warning but I’m personally pleased I gave this story a shot. I found it to be a fun, loving and interesting story that because of the characters read as quite fresh and different to me. I enjoyed Alfie and Sophia’s characters and was thrilled to see Alfie finally get his woman.

Chatel’s Vision: A Cheetah Princess Story by Glenn McCorkhill and Joan Conning Afman

Chatel’s Vision: A Cheetah Princess Story by Glenn McCorkhill and Joan Conning Afman
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full length (191 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

When a stranger shows up at the door of her parent’s rundown farm, Chatel hopes her dreams have come true. But he seems consumed with a desire for wealth and power, and shows little interest in her.

However, his arrival will sweep her up into an epic adventure across Futurah, with her loyal pet cheetah at her side. She will encounter a king and queen on a desperate quest, accompanied by their own cheetah and a handsome young man who hopes to make her dreams a reality.

The young man who shows up at Chatel’s door isn’t exactly the prince she’s always dreamed of.

Chatel desperately wants to be rescued from the dull life she leads on her family’s farm. When a rich young man shows up, she hopes her fantasies are about to come true. Unfortunately, the man isn’t who he seems. Chatel and Teekay, her pet cheetah, sense something isn’t right and it isn’t long before Chatel finds herself caught up in a royal struggle for power, one that could cost Chatel her life.

I really like the premise of Chatel’s Vision. The world the authors have created is vivid, realistic, and easy to imagine. However, I don’t feel that I got to know any of the characters very well. The story is told from several characters’ viewpoints. The transitions are smooth and never confusing, but the characters are not as rounded as they could have been. Most of the characters, except the villain of course, are likable, but they never truly came to life in my mind.

Chatel is a sweet, brave young woman, and I was pleased when she met a young man worthy of her affections. However, their romance is rushed, and they become serious extremely fast without knowing much about each other. I just feel that it was wrapped up much too quickly. Despite my issues with the human characters, I absolutely love the cheetahs, Kiboli and Teekay. In fact, they are my favorite characters. I found myself laughing at their antics and holding my breath when they were in danger. Kiboli and Teekay’s families are lucky to have such loyal friends watching over them.

Chatel’s Vision is an enjoyable read. It is part of a series, but I believe it stands on its own very well. Mr. McCorkhill and Ms. Afman have provided enough background information that I never felt lost. I recommend it to anyone looking for a quick, fun book.

The Biker’s Desire by Sam Crescent

The Biker’s Desire by Sam Crescent
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (62 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Rock has watched Adele Sparks for some time now. She’s a cleaner, and there’s not one thing he doesn’t know about her. Anyone who comes to his clubhouse, he has checked out, and she’s squeaky clean. Adele’s not like any woman he’s ever known. She doesn’t try to flirt with him, nor does she judge the club. He wants the curvy cleaner, and he’s going to have her.

Adele likes Rock, the impressive Prez of the MC that she works for. She’s overheard the women talking about him and what he can do in the bedroom, but she doesn’t believe it. After all, she’s been married before, and the only orgasms she’s experienced were at her own hand.

Then Rock tells her what he wants. He wants her naked. He wants her thighs wrapped around his waist as he takes her hard. Pleasure like she has never known is within reach.

But can she keep her heart in check? After all, there’s no way a man like Rock will want forever—or will he?

Sam Crescent does it again with The Biker’s Desire, the sixth book in her fabulous Curvy Women Wanted series.

I loved the characters in this one. Rock took me by surprise. For a big bad biker he was really sweet and funny. The best thing about Rock was how he wasn’t afraid to show his feelings for Adele. Now, I always end up falling in love with the, let’s just call them anti heroes, that Sam Crescent brings to life in her books. Let’s face it, though. Most of them get off to a rocky start, but not so much with Rock. I fell in love with him on the first page. He really was my dream man. Adele was great too. She started off as a strong woman and remained that way for the entire story. I like it when the heroine knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to say it.

I loved how richly the characters were described in this book. It helped to give them life in my imagination. Sam Crescent kept the drama low in this well put together plot with only a few tense moments in the plot. I liked that aspect since it left more pages for the sexy times that this author happens to write so well. It’s a hot story that was engaging and very well written, as well.