Candy Magic by M. C. Roth


Candy Magic by M. C. Roth
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Holiday, LGBTQ, Paranormal
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

Sweeter than candy—hotter than magic.

Crean is trying to leave it all behind—the closet, his overbearing family and, of course, his magic. In a world where vampires and shifters are hidden among humans, Crean is the odd one out. Born as a human to a family of shifters, he’s been hiding his orientation and his magic for his entire life.

In search of a new start, he sets out on a journey to a different province. The only condition is he has to live with his brother and his three roommates.

Living with a vampire, a werewolf and a faerie is bound to be a disaster, and Crean does his best to avoid the strangers. But everything he’s been told about others is wrong, and his life is about to change forever.

What would you do in order to be free? To stop having to hide all that you are? For Crean, that means leaving home and moving in with his younger brother, Rian, and his roommates. What starts out as a risky and possibly disastrous situation turns into more than any of them could have ever imagined.

Crean is a fun character. I enjoyed watching him grow into his sexuality and really own it. His interactions with his brother are fun and very realistic. He also has very different relationships with the other roommates, too, which I appreciated.

Rian’s roommates were a crazy bunch. A vampire, a wolf shifter, and a faery. Even more amusing is that Rian’s a panther shifter himself, so a dog, a cat, a biter, and a fae all in the same house. This diversity of paranormals makes for an enjoyable bit of banter throughout the story, as well as different experiences for Crean as he bonds with each man. It’s hard to choose a favorite, too, because each had a fun or quirky personality trait that endeared them to me.

One small thing that bothered me with the story is that Crean’s magic wasn’t really addressed. He hid it from everyone, but even his lovers don’t know about it. While reading, I assumed that the reason why Nate could feed off him and be sated for a long period of time was due to the magic. The same goes for what transpired with Tristan as well. But it’s a small thing and didn’t really detract from my enjoyment of the story overall.

Candy Magic is a super steamy, funny, and magical romance. Mixing an awkward, inexperienced ‘human’ in with a house full of more experienced paranormal beings is indeed a recipe for disaster, but it can also be a recipe for love, passion, and joy. I’d love to know more about their lives after this story ends, I just couldn’t get enough of Crean and his boys.

Dawg-Napped! by Anne Kane


Dawg-Napped! by Anne Kane
(Holiday Howlz 1)
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Erotic Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Holiday, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

When one of Santa’s elves stops at the Prairie Dawg Saloon on his vintage motorcycle, Cyndi can’t resist taking a closer look at the classic bike. Then Bruce comes back outside unexpectedly and Cyndi panics, shifting to hide in one of the saddlebags. She doesn’t realize the bike is a matchmaking reindeer in disguise. Comet knows all about the sexy little critters of Dawg Town, and he’s decided the cute little prairie dawg is just what Bruce needs to cuddle up with him in his North Pole cottage.

Even the busiest weeks building up to Christmas should still leave room for a little fun, right? All work and no play will leave any elf feeling dull.

The dialogue was witty and delightful. I enjoyed the way the characters reacted to each other’s quips and thought of new ways to keep their conversations going and the heat building up between Bruce and Cyndi. They all had great senses of humor that worked nicely both together and with this lighthearted and sexy storyline.

Yes, this was a short story, but I still would have liked to see more world building in it. There were plenty of questions I had about how the North Pole worked that weren’t answered. For example, Santa’s opinion of the extra-curricular activities of his elves could have been explored better, and she also could have shown how the reindeer learned how to talk and what they thought of what certain elves get up to on their downtime! While I don’t know when the author is planning to write any sequels, there is a lot of room for expanding the audience’s understanding of such things if she does.

Cyndi and Bruce had fabulous chemistry. Sometimes two people – or, in this case, a person and an elf – click immediately, and that’s exactly what the plot needed to work. Everything happened so quickly that these two had to immediately be interested in each other, and they most definitely were. Bravo for pulling that off so successfully.

Dawg-Napped! was a playfully erotic Christmas tale.

A Barista for Christmas by J. Hali Steele


A Barista for Christmas by J. Hali Steele
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Erotic Romance, Holiday, LGBTQ, Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

With a lot of hard work, Aspen Ferris’ dream of owning his own coffee shop has finally come true. Unfortunately, renovations are almost complete on a nearby mall that will house a chain coffee establishment. Not only that, Christmas is a few weeks away! When the electricity goes out at the mall, the construction company’s owner visits Asp’s store. Insulting the pushy brute gets Aspen thoroughly told off and… kissed! A kiss he can’t forget.

Dandridge St. Clare speeds to his worksite to handle an electric outage and misses his morning coffee. Locating a place to grab his caffeine fix, he’s offended by the barista at Your Coffee Cup. Anxious and upset, Dan pulls the man over the counter and can’t resist kissing the handsome jackass. On top of that, he enjoys the best cup of coffee ever. More unsettling still, he can’t erase the taste or feel of the man’s mouth. Dandridge returns for more of both.

The holidays are approaching and neither man expects much. Both get more than they bargained for.

Anything is possible at Christmas time.

Most of the LGBTQ stories I read are set in cities, so I was intrigued by the small town setting here. It didn’t take very long at all for the characters to explain what it was like for them to live in such a rural area while being part of a minority group. I liked the fact that this was included as it added another layer of tension and intrigue to the plot without distracting the audience from the main storyline.

As much as I thought Eric and Aspen were well-suited for each other, I was never quite convinced that they were ready for something much more than a fling due to the emotional baggage both of them carried from previous relationships that ended on sour notes and other difficult life experiences. Honestly, I wanted to send them both to counselling for a few months and then have them try again. It would have been helpful to see more examples of how these characters were overcoming their fears and facing their pasts in order to have a better future together.

The plot twists in this novella made me smile. For example, who knew that an argument with a stranger could be stopped in its tracks with a kiss? That was such an interesting way to start things off that I was eager to keep reading and see how else the author was planning to surprise their audience. I’ll leave it up to other readers to find out what happened next, but it was certainly worth the read.

A Barista for Christmas was a wild ride.

Untouchable by Jayne Ann Krentz


Untouchable by Jayne Ann Krentz
Publisher: Jove/Berkley New York
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Fern

Quinton Zane is back.

Jack Lancaster, consultant to the FBI, has always been drawn to the coldest of cold cases, the kind that law enforcement either considers unsolvable or else has chalked up to accidents or suicides. As a survivor of a fire, he finds himself uniquely compelled by arson cases. His almost preternatural ability to get inside the killer’s head has garnered him a reputation in some circles–and complicated his personal life. The more cases Jack solves, the closer he slips into the darkness. His only solace is Winter Meadows, a meditation therapist. After particularly grisly cases, Winter can lead Jack back to peace.

But as long as Quinton Zane is alive, Jack will not be at peace for long. Having solidified his position as the power behind the throne of his biological family’s hedge fund, Zane sets out to get rid of Anson Salinas’s foster sons, starting with Jack.

Jack Lancaster is a renown FBI consultant with a particular talent for hunting down cold cases related to fire. His true interest lie, however, in tracking down Quinton Zane – the charismatic cult leader responsible for murdering Jack’s mother and burning their retreat down and nearly killing the many women and children residing there. Winter Meadows is a therapist assisting Jack with some of her talents. When Winter is threatened and Jack fears it’s linked to his own past can they work together and each survive the fiery path ahead of them?

I am a pretty long-term fan of Krentz’s having enjoyed her romantic thrillers for many years now. While this trilogy hasn’t been one of my favourites of hers, you can always be guaranteed of a solid and enjoyable read from her and this book is no exception. Vibrant, layered and interesting characters, coupled with some steamy chemistry and a well-woven and solid plot this book has a lot going for it. As the final book in the trilogy I have to admit at least a passing understanding of the history and bigger picture will probably give a reader far more enjoyment with this story. The author does an exceptional job in filling in the backstory but it might feel a bit too much for a reader fresh to this storyline to catch up on.

That said I greatly enjoyed a number of the small links to previous books and series, especially the cameo from Arizona Snow – and feel this really added some depth and texture to the story as a whole. In the beginning there was a fair bit of backstory – to Jack as well as Winter – that needed to be laid down and while I feel this slowed the pace of the story as a whole I have to admit it fleshed out the characters wonderfully for me. I was really invested in both Jack and Winter and don’t feel I would have been so connected to them had this attention and detail been given near the start of the book.

Once the plot and action began, this book was a live-wire. The pace became exceptional and the suspense and plot really grabbed my focus to the point I got annoyed when I had to put it down for real life stuff. This – for me, at least – is the hallmark of reading a Krentz novel. They all usually grab me to some degree and don’t let go. This book was no exception. I felt the speed and pace of the story after it gained momentum was exciting and I felt the chemistry between Winter and Jack was believable and steamy. I thought the author balanced these two aspects of the story well too – with neither the plot nor the romance crowding the other out.

Readers who enjoy a steamy and well plotted romantic suspense probably already are well versed with this author. She has tons of books out and this was another excellent read. I’d probably suggest readers go back and read the two previous books in this trilogy – but it’s not strictly necessary to enjoy this book itself. I felt this was strong and entertaining read and a weekend well spent.

Match Point by Cassie Cole


Match Point by Cassie Cole
Publisher: Juicy Gems Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Dicentra

For the past decade, I’ve put my love life on hold to focus on tennis.
Now I’m retired and ready to relax.
Until three swoony men from my past come walking back into my life.

First there’s Dominic deGrom, the chiseled all-American boy who stole my heart when we were teenagers.
Then there’s Tristan Carfrae, the tall Australian whose serve is as undeniable as his quick smile.
Finally there’s Gabriel Moreau, the suave French player whose cocky attitude is completely at odds with the softer personality I see behind closed doors.

These three tennis pros are competing against each other at the biggest tournaments in the world,
While fighting for my love off the court.
Can I choose which of them I want to spend the rest of my life with?
Or will all three of them end up winning the match point?

Cassie Cole has always been one of my favorite authors with books available, and her latest release Match Point was another smash hit. The book starts with our four main characters as teenagers at a tennis academy, where the guys all share a single kiss with heroine Miranda during a party game. Sadly, nothing happens at that point and things fast forward fourteen years to where Miranda is a tennis pro who recently decided to retire after earning the #1 ranked spot. By some happenstance of fate, Miranda runs into all three of her past crushes (within days of each other) and they have to figure out how to make things work now that they’re all grown up.

For those who might not be familiar, a reverse harem romance is a book where a single female protagonist has three or more male love interests. It can also be referred to as a why-choose romance. In terms of spice, I would rate this at around a 4 or a 5 (descriptive and explicit intimate love scenes, bordering on intense).

As opposed to other authors in the reverse harem genre, Ms. Cole’s books always include a great plot and show evidence of lots of research being put into crafting a believable story. I don’t know much about tennis or sports in general (outside of what watching the Olympics or playing on the Wii has taught me haha) but Ms. Cole made it easy to follow the scenes with lots of technical descriptions. There were also a lot of names I recognized as other real life tennis pros and real life tennis tournaments (i.e. Wimbledon and the US Open) being referenced in the book which was cool. All of the characters in the book had a part to play and were amusing to read about, and I really enjoyed how the ending turned out for the quartet.

Overall, Match Point was another stellar read from Cassie Cole. Her books are a perfect choice for when you’re looking for a fun and steamy reverse harem romance you can finish in an afternoon. If you’re not into reverse harem stories and are looking for a more traditional romance read, I highly recommend checking out her pen name K.T. Quinn where she writes monogamous happily ever after romance stories (with the same amount of spice).

Strapped by Lucia Jordan


Strapped by Lucia Jordan
Publisher: Wild Hearts Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Life imitates art unlike anything Madeline has experienced before. Madeline Longo is well known in the world of romantic literature as editor of SwanSong Books – the publishers of best selling romance, whose steamy works are popular with readers. Unfortunately what she is not so talented in is transferring that success to her love life, which is practically nonexistent due to the demands of her career. But when she meets Will Bennet—a sensuous romance writer who is not afraid to act on his powerfully seductive imagination—she finds herself for the first time living out her deepest fantasies. He intrigues and excites her, and not before long she finds herself swept up in his world of dark fantasy that’s addictively mind-blowing. But can Will and Madeline’s careers withstand the force of their attraction? With Will on her mind, Madeline is loosing track of work and her competitive streak is fading. And when she gives Will an ultimatum, will she end up losing him to SwanSong’s biggest rival?

Hot times in and out of the pages.

An editor who wants to be bold and a writer who wants to take here there. This was an intriguing book. Who wouldn’t want to have a sexy man sweep them off their feet and romance them? I love reading that trope. This book does deliver. There’s romance and tension.

There were some quibbles with the story. It’s fast and feels fast. The pacing could slow down just a bit. Also, there were moments I didn’t feel like I was in the story. I was just observing. I like immersive stories and this one wavered a bit. I wasn’t always sure who’s point of view I was in and had some troubles following the story. The characters are fun, though. These quibbles aren’t to say this book isn’t enjoyable. It’s quite enjoyable and the right reader will love it.

I did like the characters. Madeline’s smart, cunning and not afraid to get what she wants. Will is the same way. The combination of them together is fantastic.

If you’re looking for a story that’s tempting, sexy and different, then pick this one up. You’ll be glad you did.

A Billionaire Ex by Alexia Austen


A Billionaire Ex by Alexia Austen
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Maria Lawson is 32 years old, and divorced. Just when she thought things couldn’t get any worse, she learns her ex-husband, Jack Styles, is now a billionaire. He enters her life again in the most unexpected of ways, but is he a friend, or an enemy?

One night that led to more, but will it always?

I knew this story would be a cliffhanger and I wasn’t disappointed. The author certainly left me wanting more. The writing was good and the characters interesting. I had to keep reading to see what would happen next.

Maria and Jack are exes who have chemistry, but a lot of problems, too. They need each other, but don’t. I liked the push-pull between them, but there were moments I wasn’t a fan of Maria. I wanted her to stand up more, but the ending was satisfying. I’m glad I read it.

If you’re looking for a story that’s short, leaves you wanting more and will satisfy for a lunch read, then this is the one for you.

Office Toy by Cleo Peitsche


Office Toy by Cleo Peitsche
Publisher: Pouch Productions
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Elle’s job interview starts with Cunningham throwing away her cheap clothes and sending his assistant to buy new outfits.

He’s got her naked, so of course he’ll lay her out on the conference table and claim her mouth. Soon Elle is trussed up, all of her holes stretched full while three hot men have their wicked way.

She loves her first tastes of liberated, naughty sex. But she’d better not start falling for her boss—no matter how safe he makes her feel—because while office sex is encouraged, romance is strictly forbidden.

A chance at the job of a lifetime, but will she take it?

I knew when I picked up this book that it’d be hot. It was and I got so much more than I bargained for. This is a short story, but there’s a lot in it. If you’re looking for menage, three men and one lucky gal, submission and taboo, then this is the book for you.

The writing is a bit simple, but it still drives along well. I couldn’t put it down. The characters are dominant and sexy, but also fun. I liked them all.

If you’re looking for a HAWT lunchtime read, then this is the one for you. You’ll be glad you did.

Blue Star Boy by Gavin Atlas


Blue Star Boy by Gavin Atlas
Publisher: JMS Books
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, LBGTQ
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Jerry’s goal is to fulfill as many sexual fantasies as he can before he starts graduate school in the fall. The next fantasy on his list is topping a surfer, and with the help of the internet, he’s discovered a submissive young man on the Texas coast who is famous for giving up his incredible rump on the beach at sunset.

But when he meets Adriano, Jerry is stunned, and not just by the surfer’s beautiful body. The combination of Adriano’s sweet essence and natural sex appeal have Jerry wanting much more than a one-night stand.

Two hot men, one chance meeting and a hot time to ensue?

I didn’t know what I’d get when I picked up this book. Sweet romance? There is some in there. These two men are trying to find something in this crazy world, so yes, that part is sweet. Something saucy? There’s that, too. There is certainly spice. This is a short story, but there’s a lot in it and it’s fun.

Adriano has been embarrassed by his ex and his name placed online as a Blue Star Boy–there for someone’s good time. He’s not interested, until Jerry comes along. Jerry just wants a one-nighter. Then he meets Adriano. I liked the pairing and the pacing of this story. It’s good. I’ll read more by this author.

If you’re looking for a quick romance that will satisfy for a lunchtime read, then this is the one for you.

Nanny for the Firemen by Cassie Cole


Nanny for the Firemen by Cassie Cole
Publisher: Juicy Gems Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Dicentra

I finally landed a date with the swooniest, most gorgeous fireman in town.
But just when our date was going well, he got called back to the firehouse.
Turns out, a baby was left on the fire station doorstep.
And since they’re clueless about taking care of a baby, they recruit me to help.

Now I’m crashing at the firehouse with them.
Three hulking, chiseled heroes in suspenders.
And even though I came here to take care of the baby, they soon turn their sights on me…

I spend my days taking care of the baby,
And at night, the firemen take care of me.
Can we control the attraction spreading through the station like wildfire?
Or will our entire situation go up in smoke?

NANNY FOR THE FIREMEN is a scorching Reverse Harem love story filled with humor, emotion, and enough excitement to leave you sweaty and breathless. HEA guaranteed!

Cassie Cole’s books have always been some of my favorite romances available on Kindle Unlimited, and Nanny for the Firemen was no exception. Clara has come home for a while to help her mother at their restaurant after the passing of her father, and one of the highlights of her week is the weekly delivery to the three hunky firemen at the fire station. She’s thrilled when one of them asks her out on a date. However, their night out is interrupted after a baby is surrendered at the station. Clara gets roped into helping take care of the baby while the four of them do their best to get him into a good home. Lots of fun relationship growth ensues, as Clara and her firemen lovers work to hide the baby from everyone (including her overbearing Italian mother who is desperate for grandbabies).

As opposed to other authors in the reverse harem genre, her books include a great plot along with the steamy scenes, and I really connected to this one in particular. I really appreciated and took note of how much care went into researching the safe haven laws, as well as highlighting some of the current failings of America’s foster care system. All of the characters were fun (especially Clara’s mother) and I really enjoyed getting to see Billy get what was coming to him.

Overall, Nanny for the Firemen was another great read from Cassie Cole. Her books are a perfect choice when you’re looking for a fun and steamy reverse harem romance you can finish in an afternoon. If you’re not into reverse harem novels, I also recommend checking out her pen name K.T. Quinn where she writes monogamous happily ever after romance stories (with the same amount of spice).