Good Girl Gone Bad by Kenzie Mack


Good Girl Gone Bad by Kenzie Mack
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (49 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Chloe Thompson plays it safe and wears sensible shoes, until she collides with the most sensual man she’s ever met. A yearning to break down her boundaries with this handsome stranger puts her lifelong, good girl status in jeopardy. Could a pair of naughty girl stilettos really be so bad?

Constantine Knight, the owner of the trendy bar Midnight Luna, can’t wait to cross paths again with the petite brunette haunting his dreams. Her shy manner contrasts the brazen empty hook-ups leaving him lonely. One night with his fantasy woman might not be enough.

One night of pleasure is all she’s asking for. Only time will tell if Chloe’s wish will be granted.

The dialogue was nicely written. I especially liked the scenes that happened in the club early on when Chloe and Constantine were having drinks with their friends. Their flirtatious and playful conversations set the mood quite well for everything that happened later on. It also firmly established the personalities of the main characters which was something the audience definitely needed to know all about as soon as possible.

There were some pacing issues in the beginning. While I did appreciate how much time the author spent setting up the main character’s backstory and expectations for her one night stand, I would have liked to see the plot move forward more quickly than it did. Spending so much time on the introduction didn’t leave as much room for the rest of the storyline as I would have preferred to see.

With that being said, the chemistry between Chloe and Constantine couldn’t have been more alluring. From the first time they laid eyes on each other, I couldn’t wait to find out how those initial sparks between them would develop as they got to know one another better. Her shyness was clearly a great match for his more extroverted personality. I simply had to find out what would happen to them next and if they’d realize how well-suited they were for each other.

If you’re in the mood for something short and passionate, give Good Girl Gone Bad a try.

New Year’s Next Door by Amabel Davis


New Year’s Next Door by Amabel Davis
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (43 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Ava is eager to say “buh bye” to 2017. After her parents’ health woes, totaled car, deceased pet, and legal worries, what else could go wrong on the last night of December?

Stood up for her friends’ party, all dressed up and no place to go, she returns her secretive neighbor’s escaped dog.

Next door, Caleb’s not faring much better. His career and marriage are over, and the only bright spot in his future is the disobedient dog he’s adopted, until his sexy neighbor turns up on his doorstep.

Caleb extends a neighborly welcome to Ava and their evening is full of banter and candor, a refreshing change for both. The skinny dip in the hot tub to ring in the New Year signals what could be an unexpected and wonderful new beginning—with each other.

There’s nothing wrong with staying in on New Year’s Eve, especially if there’s a distractingly handsome stranger living next door.

The chemistry between Ava and Caleb was fabulous. They both had the same wry sense of humor. This was definitely a good thing given how often both of them liked to respond to serious conversation topics with a joke. There is plenty room for a sequel here. While I was satisfied with how this particular tale ended, I’d be thrilled if the author decided to continue exploring the lives of these characters in the future. They’ve only just begun to get to know each other, and I already love them together.

This is a minor criticism, but I would have liked to see a little more time spent explaining why Caleb adopted such a rambunctious dog. I totally understood why he’d want companionship, but I would have expected him to choose a much calmer animal due to his medical problems. Had this been explained more thoroughly, I would have easily chosen a perfect rating for this story.

I deeply appreciated how much time the characters had to build up their sexual tension before anything happened between them. By the time one of them finally made a move, I was silently cheering in my mind as I read on to find out what happened next. This was exactly the right choice for Caleb and Ava.

New Year’s Next Door was a short, sexy read that I’d recommend for anyone who doesn’t mind some humor in their erotica.

Someone To Kiss by Scotty Cade


Someone To Kiss by Scotty Cade
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (69 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Dane McCormick’s job negotiating leases and building out furnished office suites takes him all over the country. He stays until the job is done—and then he moves on. As satisfying as the job is, it leaves him no place to call home and no chance to build a personal life. After arriving in Greenville, South Carolina, for a job, a severe stomach virus knocks Dane for a loop. He finds a local urgent care clinic… and a tall, dark, and handsome doctor who goes well above and beyond his duties to treat Dane. The doctor’s bedside manner makes Dane forget all about his stomach flu.

Carter Baldridge has dedicated his life to caring for others. Since graduating from medical school, he has spent all his time and energy building his urgent care business. But the morning he steps into his examining room and sees Dane McCormick on the table, he realizes it might be time to devote some attention to a part of life he has neglected. The spark is there, but so is a major obstacle in the form of Dane’s peripatetic lifestyle and a bad experience in Carter’s past. Both have to decide if the risk is worth the reward.

Dane was ecstatic. He was deliriously happy with his boyfriend, Carter, and they’d both agreed to spend the Christmas vacation together, alone. Best of all, Dane was thrilled to finally have someone special to ring in the New Year with, someone to kiss at midnight. A dramatic and unavoidable change in his work plans, however, could derail not only that special New Years kiss, but possible Dane’s whole future with Carter. Can they both survive the holiday season?

I found this to be an emotional and well written short story. I thoroughly enjoyed both Dane and Carter’s characters, finding them realistic, vibrant and interesting. The issues that Dane and Carter found themselves faced with when Dane’s work forces them both into a huge upheaval were well handled I felt and kept me invested in both men and their relationship. I thought the author did a great job balancing between each of their desires and kept the storyline rooted in reality when it could have easily become over-dramatic or a little soap-opera-ish.

I was a little disappointed that a very large part of the start of the story was actually flashbacks to when Dane and Carter actually met. About a third of the story was taken up in this matter and I felt could have really been put in a better, more logical order. While I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing Dane and Carter’s initial meeting and the showing of the start of their relationship, it felt quite jolting to me for the story to literally go backwards. I completely understand why the author wanted to add the “meeting each other” section and I do feel it added positively to my understanding of Dane and Carter’s relationship and the story as a whole, but the placement of it felt jarring and I actually hurried through this quite large section – wanting to get back to the “present” and see how Dane and Carter dealt with their current problems. The writing itself was excellent and I genuinely enjoyed learning more about Dane and Carter’s history together, but I can’t help but feel it made the story itself feel jolting and this could have easily been avoided and the story would have been much smoother, I feel, if the author had kept everything sequential time-wise.

This is a very emotional, and in its own way romantic, story that I genuinely enjoyed. I was hugely invested in both Dane and Carter’s characters and particularly their relationship. While the back-and-forth time hopping wasn’t to my personal taste, the overall plot of Dane and Carter’s relationship was engrossing and I desperately wanted to know that they could both pull through their troubles. I was very satisfied with the ending and would happily read other stories by this author.

Frost & Claus by Matilda Janes


Frost & Claus by Matilda Janes
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Holiday, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (49 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

She loves to frost cookies. Now he’s going to frost hers.

Santa’s eldest daughter Chrystal Claus is curvy, cute, and loves to bake. Opening her bakery has been a dream come true, she loves to watch her customers smile after they’ve eaten one of her treats. It’s her gift and she’s never been happier. That is until Jack Frost comes back into town, seemingly intent on disrupting her life with his scowling eyes, grumpy growls, and all his bulging muscles, she can’t help but notice! After he embarrasses and hurts her feelings she decides she can’t stand the handsome jerk. But when she’s kidnapped, Chrystal discovers not all is as it seems.

Jack Frost has been waiting for Chrystal Claus for an eternity, and when she comes of age Jack wants to claim his mate. But it isn’t to be; bound by a promise, Jack reluctantly leaves Christmas Town. When he returns years later he can barely contain himself. He wants nothing more than to claim his mate and no one will stand in his way. Or so he thinks.

Can Chrystal accept being Mrs. Frost? Will Jack convince Chrystal that being naughty can be nice?

Chrystal and her sisters have all been good this year. Only time will tell how they’re rewarded for that.

Ms. Janes had a descriptive and playful writing style that worked well for her subject matter. From the opening scene in Chrystal’s bakery to the steamy experiences she shared with Jack in private later on, I was always able to easily picture what was going on. The author did a good job at showing the audience what was happening in her story at every step along the way.

I would have liked to see way more time spent developing the chemistry between the Claus sisters and the men who wanted to be with them. This was something I noticed especially between Jack Frost and Chrystal Claus. He had a strong desire for her from the very first scene, but at the same time he barely knew anything about her at all. Due to this, the chemistry between them never felt right to me.

The dialogue often made me smile. I liked discovering how many Christmas and folklore references the characters made throughout the plot. Not only did the mixture of all of these references give the storyline a creative spin, it made Christmas town come alive in my imagination. It felt like a real place to me, and that’s not something that’s easy to accomplish in a story of this length.

Frost & Claus should be read by anyone who is in the mood for a sultry version of life at the North Pole.

Princess Next Door by Sam Crescent


Princess Next Door by Sam Crescent
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (108 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Wynter Griffin has finally found her independence after years of being controlled by her parents. The only problem with her newfound peace? Her partying, rock music listening neighbor. She’s at the end of her patience, and demands that he packs up the noise, or she’s calling the police.

Zane Webster likes his neighbor. Her blonde hair, blue eyes, and sweetness remind him of a princess. All she has to do was ask, and he’s more than willing to give her what she wants.

Guilt eats away at Wynter, and it’s not long before she makes friends with the bad boy. After getting drunk one night, she lets it slip that she’s a virgin, and in desperate need of shedding that title. Zane agrees to help, providing they do it at his pace. With Zane, she can finally live her life to the fullest. He even teaches her how to fall in love.

But what will happen when her parents demand she grow up, and do as she’s told? What will Wynter choose? Can two people so different find happiness together?

This was a great book !

Sam Crescent always delivers a solid story with loads of romance, hot sex, and excitement. I loved Zane and Wynter. Sparks flew from the first moment they met. Zane was the noisy neighbor next door so Wynter had to confront him about his partying ways. I loved their instant connection. What I really liked was Zane and how slowly he built the relationship from friends to lovers and then on to the real thing. It was sweet and really it was how they could overcome all the doubts that seemed to pop up from everyone.

This was a sweet and sexy romance. The characters were great. Zane and Wynter grabbed my attention and my emotions. Sam Crescent never fails to deliver vibrant characters and amazing stories and that is what keeps me coming back to this author time and again.

I enjoyed this book and look forward to many more books from Sam Crescent.

Stone by April Zyon


Stone by April Zyon
Silver Devils MC, #1
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short story (60 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

He’ll do anything to keep her safe…

The last thing that wedding planner Ava Charleston ever dreamed that she would do was run for her life, but here she is, running away from a pair of murderers and back toward a home she hadn’t been to in years.

Stone Mayhew is the president of the Silver Devils, a one percenter motorcycle club, so when a brother receives a call from his cousin Ava begging for help, Stone is one of the first ones there to help his friend.

The moment Stone meets Ava he knows that she is it for him, just like his daddy had told him would happen one day. Stone knows that he will do whatever it takes in order to ensure that Ava remains safe, but he doesn’t realize it will have to happen the second that they arrive back at the Club.

Misunderstandings lead to more danger, and that sends them all to chasing down trouble through the bayous of Louisiana. But once he finds Ava, Stone vows never to let her go again.

This book was a very good start to a new series.

It was love at first sight for Ava and Stone. I absolutely loved the instant connection between these two characters. They couldn’t have been more opposite–Stone was a total Alpha Male and Ava was a good girl–but the chemistry between them was super charged. The romance and sex scenes were great but that wasn’t all this story had going for it. Trouble followed Ava back to Louisiana so that added bit of suspense helped to keep the story lively, as well. Lastly, I loved the intriguing characters and gritty biker world of this new series. It has me eagerly waiting for the next book.

The author caught my attention with this story. I can’t wait for the next book in the Silver Devils MC series.

His Forbidden Mate by Matilda Janes


His Forbidden Mate by Matilda Janes
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short story (73 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Hannah Martin has always tried to mind her own business in life. She picks up double shifts at the local diner to make ends meet while she saves money for college. She’s tired but happy, that is, until Adam Atwood claws back into her life. He bullied and tormented her relentlessly throughout high school, and their most recent encounter at the diner is no different.

But when Adam violently kidnaps her, Hannah discovers not everyone or everything is as it seems.

Wolf shifter Adam Atwood had been forced to turn on his former best friend for no other reason than she was human and that wasn’t acceptable to his pack. Even though it bothered him, he knew he had to protect her. When he finally discovers who she truly is to him, he’s horrified by what he’s done. Can Hannah forgive and forget? Or is it too little, too late?

I love discovering new to me authors who know how to deliver a great story.

Matilda Janes easily pulled me into the intriguing paranormal world of her Deliverance Pack. Adam was a perfect picture of a hero in this story. He protected Hannah from his crazy father but in the process he broke her heart and pushed her away. Then he realized that she was his true mate which put her in danger once again. This story had a lively flow with a few extremely climactic moments as Adam and Hannah were on the run with a crazed Pack close on their trail. Their only hope was to make it to the sanctuary territory of the Deliverance Pack.

The author did a super good job on the story building for this series by introducing quite a few promising characters who grabbed my attention. I liked that the series will be featuring other types of shifters along with the wolves. They are all special forces trained which is usually intense and super hot.

I am very excited about this new shifter series. I can’t wait for the next book.

Crave by Sam Crescent


Crave by Sam Crescent
Trojans MC 8
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (141 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

He’s craved her for a long time, and now he’s going to have her.

From the first moment Chip saw Kasey, he knew without a doubt he wanted her. He didn’t even know her name, but she was going to belong to him. Now he is ready to claim her, but one of his club brothers seems determined to claim her for himself as well.

Chip will not lose this fight. Kasey’s his, and he’s going to prove to the nurse that he’s the guy for her.

Knowing the Trojans MC through her work at the hospital, Kasey doesn’t think much of the bouquets of flowers, figuring they were a friendly gift. But when Chip asks her out on a date, she realizes it’s more. Her attraction to Chip surprises her. She’s never seen herself with a club man, but with every second she spends with him, she can’t imagine a life without him.

The Trojans MC are in danger, and the threat they face could completely kill the entire club. No one will back down, nor will they allow Duke, their Prez, to fight their battle alone. Can Kasey handle the pressure of being a Trojan’s woman? Will Chip survive to prove his love?

Crave is the eighth book in the Trojans MC series by Sam Crescent. It’s a good biker story with great characters who immediately caught my attention.

I love this biker series that always has something gritty and exciting happening in every book. Kasey is a friend of the club who finds herself being courted by two of the club members. There was a lot of self reflection, light humor, and hot sexy moments. Personally, I never thought there was any contest between Chip and Pie. Chip was so intense and take charge that man could’ve had any woman he wanted. He wanted Kasey and so the minute Pie made his move it was game over. Chip wasn’t taking any chances on losing the woman he had chosen for his Old Lady. I like a man who can take charge. Kasey only liked Pie as a friend anyway, but she did have a few doubts about the club lifestyle. A lot of other situations were happening, as well. The club was still having trouble with the Abelli mafia and Duke has finally had enough so war seemed imminent.

Sam Crescent’s writing was excellent on this fast paced story. The plot was complex and very well developed thanks to the rich back story involved in this series. The characters were amazing as usual. This book was a great addition to the Trojans MC series. Now, I cannot wait for Pie to meet his match soon.

The Storm’s Gift by A.D Ellis


The Storm’s Gift by A.D Ellis
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday (Christmas)
Length: Short story (34)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Snowed in together in their college dorm, two men share a quick connection that creates enough heat to spar with the blizzard outside.

Rory Blackwell plans to rejuvenate his mind and repair his battered heart after his world is shaken by an unexpected breakup. James Austin’s freshman-year plans of improving his social life crashed and burned, leaving him feeling as alone and outcast as he did back home.

One man is hurting while the other is eager to provide comfort. One is a virgin, the other experienced with other men. Both are looking forward to Winter Break, but can they take full advantage of their situation—or will the passion ignited between them fizzle out with the storm?

Rory is looking forward to two quiet weeks over the Christmas holidays in the dorms at his University campus where he’s the RA. Still hurting from the break-up of his long-term boyfriend, Rory is eager for two weeks of solitude, junk food and binge-watching tv shows. He hadn’t planned on being snowed in, and particularly not stranded with James, who had stayed back late to complete his final exam.

This is an interesting short story written in the first person and jumping between Rory’s perspective and James’. I’m not often a fan of the first-person story-telling, but I have to admit the author did a good job here. Switching perspectives chapter by chapter also doesn’t always work for me, but being able to see inside both Rory’s head and James’ let me feel like I had a good grasp on both characters. And for me, once I’m interested and invested in the characters it’s never a hard sell for the rest of the story.

I sympathized with Rory – after his break up and wanting some down time from the craziness of University life – and I was intrigued by James, determined to finish his exams and do his best. I had one short moment of disbelief when the professor supervising James in his last exam left due to the breaking snowstorm (none of my own professors would have ever, under any circumstances, done so) but I could easily let that small slip of reality pass and enjoy the story of two men being snowbound together and I was happy that much of the rest of the story was solidly bound in realistic terms.

I greatly enjoyed how Rory and James didn’t simply realize they were alone and instantly jump into bed (nor instantly fall in love with each other). This helped sell the realism of the story to me. I found the pacing to be really good, too. For a short story I find it’s often too easy to rush ahead and lose me as a reader, or go too slow and feel slightly short-changed in the romance department. I loved the sex scenes between the two men and found it emotionally satisfying and explicitly written.

For a short, happy and easily read quick Christmas story this ticked a lot of happy boxes for me. A “happy for now” style of ending and some deliciously hot sex sealed off a great “snowed in” style of story. A solid and fun read I really enjoyed it.

Not All Chocolate And Cuckoo Clocks by Rebecca Cohen


Not All Chocolate And Cuckoo Clocks by Rebecca Cohen
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short story (132)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Neither of them wants to fall in love, but getting exactly what they don’t want might be the best thing to ever happen to them.

Mark hopes his boredom with his current job will be alleviated by a short stint in Basel, Switzerland. When he meets Steffen, who struck out on his own from an old-money family to establish an IT firm, Mark expects some fun, great sex, and a clean break when his job is done. The arrangement is perfect for Steffen, who has been content with casual after a betrayal—and has a taste for British men after attending university in the UK. But as they explore the city’s rich history and traditions, Mark begins to see Steffen as much more than a tour guide with benefits. If he isn’t careful, the trip meant to break the lull in his career might end up breaking his heart instead….

Mark landed a plush assignment for work and – better still – had been moved for three months to live in Switzerland to complete it. He could hardly believe his luck. Steffen is a Swiss IT specialist who has some fond university memories of the UK. When the two men meet through work they form an instant – and special – connection. Can Steffan show Mark just how much fun the small Switzerland town can be?

I found this to be a really fun and slow-paced, romantic story. I loved how Steffan had a dry and subtle sense of humour. I found it refreshing and just different enough that even had I not known this was set in Switzerland I’d have guessed it wasn’t a US-based story. I was also secretly pleased that the author added a lot of descriptions and history into explaining the small Swiss town under the guise of Mark being a visitor – as my own, personal, knowledge of Switzerland is depressingly small. Having Steffan guide Mark around allowed the author to impart massive detail without it feeling like an info-dump or brochure for the country made the story move much more smoothly that I was nervous about. Overall it really helped me assimilate all the new information and have a good, clear picture of the gorgeous little Swiss town.

I didn’t mind in the least that Steffan and Mark took their time getting to know each other. While I could understand that some romance readers wanting a ton of spice and plenty of erotic sex in their story might feel the pace here was a little slow, I personally was glad to get to know both the two main characters and the town (practically a character in itself, which I loved). Mark and Steffan formed a careful friendship first and this made the relationship feel a lot more realistic to me. I personally would have preferred a little more of their sexual chemistry to have shown through from their first meeting. I was delighted when Steffan very bluntly expressed his intentions and from there I thought the relationship grew at a good and realistic pace. While there was plenty of build up – almost too much, to my mind – the sex was hot and satisfying when it was consummated. Steffan and Mark both were emotionally as well as physically entwined and it made me chuckle that they both took so long to realize they were more than just a causal “few month long” fling. With a deliciously happy ending I found this story well rounded and perfectly satisfying.

While the story-line itself is nothing completely new and different, the setting and characters truly made this story memorable for me. I thoroughly enjoyed both Mark and Steffan and once the two of them had made their intentions clear the rest of the ride was glorious for me. I also truly loved the insights into Switzerland and loved the town and setting. The author has totally done justice to the location (to my mind, at least) and readers looking for a visit to another country with a lovely M/M romance on the side should definitely indulge. Recommended.