A Kiss In The Dark by Shelby Morgen


A Kiss In The Dark by Shelby Morgen
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (44 pgs)
Other: M/F, Anal play, Spanking (very light)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Stranded. Nothing to warm her but the heat of his body. A stranger, holding her in the dark. She wanted things she had no right to even imagine. Ever since she’d taken The Purity Test on line the questions have been nagging her.
Have you ever had sex on the first date?

Had sex with someone whose name you did not know?

Had sex with someone whose face you never saw?

Had sex with someone where there was an age difference of more than 20 years?

No. Not her. She hadn’t done anything. Ever. Until the storm of the century dropped her in the arms of a stranger. Now she can’t get him out of her mind…

One dark and rainy night Jen had been completely daring. She’d thrown caution to the wind and allowed herself to be seduced by a complete stranger – no names, no exchange of details, no glimpses of his face and absolutely no regrets. Tom has been a widower for quite some time, so when Jen takes his hand in the dark he’s more than happy to follow her lead. Can they both find something they’re desperately looking for?

I found this to be a fun and romantic short story. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot-thread of the Purity Test running through the story and also enjoyed the slight differences to Tom’s character (being both an actor and quite a bit older than the standard hero I read about). I was a little disappointed in that I personally felt there were a few other plot aspects that were skimmed over a little bit – such as Tom getting back into his acting after a period of grieving for his dead wife. Admittedly this is a very short story and I can completely appreciate how the author probably didn’t have the time or word-count to go into depth on every little thing. I was actually exceptionally pleased with how Jen reacted to Tom’s career – but I couldn’t help but feel it was written as almost an afterthought, being just a few paragraphs right at the very end of the story.

I loved the characters in this story though. Both Jen and Tom felt realistic to me – with normal problems, worries and relatable lives. I found myself very quickly attached to them both and invested in their getting together and rooting for them to build a lasting relationship. As a happy, sexy and quick read this story really did cover almost everything I could want. The sex was hot and explicit without being over-the-top or unbelievable. I really enjoyed this and will happily look for more books by this author.

Shaalon by Ashlynn Monroe


Shaalon by Ashlynn Monroe
Married To The Aliens 3
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (55 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Shaalon knows she made a mistake, but she never thought she’d be sacrificed to an alien. Thrust in a cell with a blood thirsty male of Xerra’s warrior class, she expects a terrible death. Bracing for the worse, she never expects to see hope in his eyes.

Cayylen wanted a warrior’s death, not the disgrace of an execution. With a single sun cycle left to him his last request is to fuck the daughter of his enemy. He never expects his request to be honored, but the moment he looks in Shaalon’s eyes he realizes she is his mate.

The strength he gains from finding his woman is enough for him to break free, but he refuses to let her go. War has been coming for a long time, but will taking his woman hostage be the tipping point the warriors need to fight the system trying to end their lines.

I enjoyed reading this short, but romantic and steamy, fantasy story.

At first it was the tense and seemingly hopeless romance that captured my attention in this book. I really liked the characters, Cayylen and Shaalon and the strength that they both had to stand up for the right things in life. It made them more easy to relate to as sometimes it can be hard for me to really connect with the characters in a novella. The author did a great job with pulling me into the story and not just with the sizzling sex. Another nice aspect is how some previous characters from this intriguing series had brief cameos in this one. That really grabbed my interest and had me wanting to read the other two books in this Sci-Fi / Fantasy world.

This book was a great short read that filled my afternoon with pleasure just reading it. It was a nice romantic, passionate and exciting story that flowed easily and left me interested in the coming war on planet Xerra. I loved the hope and romance that was at the heart of this story.

As for a quick fantasy romance I can recommend this novella to anyone.

Peck Of Pickles by Lena Austin


Peck Of Pickles by Lena Austin
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (28 pgs)
Other: M/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Linc Halberg needed to get his cucumbers preserved using the county extension office facilities. The agent Pol Backstrom and the new scientist Marc O’Neil have had their eye on Linc and his farm for some time. Suddenly, there’s more going on in the back room than making a peck of pickles, and Linc’s in a pickle of a different kind. Summer in their tiny town may never be the same.

In the tiny farming township of Epping, Linc has had a bumper crop of cucumbers this year – enough that he’s actually booked the County Extension office and hired the preservation room for a day. He needs to pickle a peck of his cucumbers and the small setup in his home just won’t cut it this time. Pol, the distractingly handsome county worker is being visited by a new Doctor doing research in the small town. Linc can tell Marc and Pol are cooking something up, but he’s not quite sure what it is.

I found this to be a really fun short story. I loved the old-school, country town feel of it and found it to be quite realistic. Linc is pretty cautious – knowing that in the small town being gay is not necessarily a good thing or welcome from the few other residents. His reticence in saying anything, even when Pol and Marc lay out quite a few clues was completely understandable to my mind. The three men, however, are smoking hot once they finally get all on the same page and I really loved watching them all come together.

For such a short story quite a large amount of the story is the lead-up to the romance and introduction to the characters. I actually didn’t mind this as it really helped set the scene for me and it gave me a really good feel for all three men before they jumped to the sexy action – but I could understand if some other readers might feel the sexy-action part of the story got a bit of a short shrift because of this lead-up. The plot itself was fairly brief, but I found it quite interesting and while short – intelligent and logical.

All in all, I felt this was a really great short story and one that was deeply satisfying to read.

Taming the Cyborg by Anne Kane


Taming the Cyborg by Anne Kane
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (67 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Although he doesn’t understand why his brother chose to bond with a human female, Noah agrees to be the official cyborg witness at the birth of the cyborg/human couple’s first son. When he arrives on the human space station, he finds himself face to face with a female pilot, an unheard of occupation for a female on the cyborg home world of Terras Five. Hailey’s cute, she’s sassy, she’s sexy and she doesn’t automatically defer to him just because he’s male. Noah finds that combination irresistible.

After a night of amazing sex, Hailey heads off on a reconnaissance mission with her squadron, and Noah arranges to spend a little more time in the human world to get the sassy redhead out of his system. But when her ship goes missing, it’s up to Noah to use all the tricks of his cyborg heritage to track her down and rescue her.

Anne Kane captured my attention with this sexy Sci-Fi/Fantasy story.

Taming the Cyborg was a fast paced book that had me completely immersed in the plot that flowed smoothly from beginning to end. It was exciting and romantic with characters that I adored. Noah was a Cyborg who fell boots over heart in love with a sassy red haired human fighter pilot. Hailey was a spitfire who knew exactly what she wanted. I loved her strength and independent spirit. There was a romantic vibe when Noah immediately rushed off to save his little warrior woman. Of course, they had a few bumps to make it over but by the end of the story the author had me craving my very own bossy Cyborg to sweep me off of me feet.

I really enjoyed this short story and absolutely recommend it to anyone.

Trouble My Bones by L. Joseph Shosty


Trouble My Bones by L. Joseph Shosty
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Historical, Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (115 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

In a magical land where demons walk and assassination is exalted as a moral enterprise, Elihu the Poisoner must defend a gentle innkeeper from a gang of cutthroats with only tradition and etiquette as weapons.

On Planet Whiskey, a train rockets towards the northern pole. Onboard, five men play a game of poker, but this is only the beginning of a breathtaking journey into a world of corrupt businessmen, hapless ice harvesters, and the wise, world-weary men in the middle, torn between doing what is right and playing along with an immoral system to get a bigger piece of the post-Earth dream.

A couple of cowboys running a herd to Fort Smith, Arkansas pause in the untraveled wilds to offer tribute to a mysterious creature, and in doing so anger malevolent forces which lurk there.
Trouble My Bones…

A dazzling masterpiece of storytelling, this collection contains ten of L. Joseph Shosty’s best stories. Here, you’ll find pulpy adventure yarns and quieter, more introspective pieces alike, all with Shosty’s unique blend of humor and thought-provoking ideas.

Just because a place looks quiet and ordinary doesn’t mean it won’t surprise you if given the chance.

The main character in “An Incident in Cain’s Mark” travelled to a small town in order to settle the estate of his uncle. Cain’s Mark was no ordinary town, though, and he soon realized that something dangerous happened there after dark every night. The narrator spent a generous amount of time setting the scene before anything out of the ordinary began to occur, so I felt like I’d gotten to know him and the strange community he was visiting well. Knowing that something was terribly wrong there without having any clue what it might be only made me more curious to read more.

One of the few tales in this collection that needed more development was “Crippled Sucker.” The plot followed a group of people playing a high-stakes game of poker while they discussed business deals on an alien planet. I found it difficult to keep track of all of the characters, especially once they started talking about other characters who weren’t in the room. It would have been nice to have more clues about who was who and how they all knew each other. With that being said, the storyline itself was well done and I did enjoy it overall.

“Zombie Love Song” showed what happened after humans found themselves in a long, bloody war with zomboes, which is the name the characters in this universe gave to zombies. The narrator was someone who had trouble adjusting to ordinary life after seeing and participating in so much violence. One of the things I liked the most about his storytelling was how blasé he was about things that would terrify the average person. I didn’t have to be told he’d been permanently changed by his experience. Little details like this were more than enough to show his devastation, and that made his tale impossible to put down.

Trouble My Bones was a solid collection of imaginative science fiction stories. I’d strongly recommend it to everyone who is a fan of this genre.

Justice for Violet by Maia Dylan


Justice for Violet by Maia Dylan
Retribution, Book 1
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (113 Pages)
Other Content: M/F/M, M/F, Menage, Anal Play/Anal Sex
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

There’s a war being fought on the streets of Chicago between an organized crime syndicate and a feline shifter pride resolute to stop them. Mason and Jacob Williams are Leopard shifters in the Black Ridge pride, fighting to protect the city they call home and avenge the loss of two of their own.

The shifters are sent to look for a woman their Alpha believes can help them. Thinking she’s in danger, they rush in to rescue her only to discover that Violet Riccitelli is not a woman in need of any assistance. While she’s kicking the ass of three potential attackers, they recognize her as their mate, the one they must protect above all else.

Violet is known to the people of Chicago as someone they can rely on to help when things get bad. But Violet sees herself as a woman out for justice against the man who took everything from her twelve years ago.

Can Mason and Jacob convince their mate that a future with them is worth risking everything, or will Violet’s need to see justice served end their chance before it’s begun?

I was smiling by the end of the first chapter because of Violet.

Wow…. It has been a long time since I have read a novel where the female character was self sufficient in and out of violent situations. I will try not to go into much detail but the first chapter started with Violet beating the daylights of some gangsters and having fun doing it. 😀 I am all for female characters like this, but this was not the only reason for me falling in love with these characters. Mason and Jacob were understanding and patient with her. That, for me, was rare since in some of these shifter books, the passion and the chemistry outweighs everything else.

From the get go, I realized she is a tough woman with a past. She holds grudges easily and harbors a lot of guilt. I wasn’t sure if the bond between Mason, Violet & Jacob would be permanent. Will Violet trust her mates and let them in or push them aside?

Mason and Jacob highlight the importance of mates in various parts of the book quite often. So much so that I was kind of annoyed by the repetition. As the story progressed, I was able ot look beyond this quibble. I should mention there is a lot of violence in this book. Be prepared. For me, though, book was worth it. I could not put it down.

Free To Run by BA Tortuga


Free To Run by BA Tortuga
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (53 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

When forest ranger Gil gets the call that a rabid wolf is roaming his territory, he figures it’s just another stray coyote. Instead, he finds Rafe, a skinny, worn wolf shifter who also happens to be Gil’s lost mate. Gil thought Rafe was dead, killed by hunters years ago, so finding Rafe alive, if not well, comes as quite a shock.

Rafe never thought he would escape the compound where the crazy bastards who were trying to reform shifters held him. With a little luck and a lot of help, he’s made his way back to Gil, who he never forgot, no matter what those men did to him. The problem is, he’s not sure Gil knows what to do with a beat up former lover.

Gil and Rafe have to work together to recapture what was lost, and maybe find something new.

Gil can hardly believe it when a “rabid wolf” was called in to him. He’d been expecting to find some poor coyote, lost and alone, not Rafe, his mate whom Gil had thought long-killed by a hunter. Clearly starved and half-dead, Gil has no idea what has happened to Rafe, but now he’s found his mate again, Gil is determined to make it right.

This is a very sweet, slightly sad story that I really enjoyed. Definitely full of hurt/comfort style of plotline I instantly fell in love with Rafe – almost broken but still strong and firm in his own way. My heart broke for how Rafe had needed to build certain aspects of himself up and hide others, but it was delightful to watch him and Gil reconnect and be able to enjoy their love once more.

This is the second story in this particular series that I’ve read and I’m deeply curious about one of the secondary characters, Abby, and the crazy cult that she is trying to rescue the captives from. It’s clear her story-arc is kind of the glue keeping all the other stories held together and I’m quite curious what happens next in the arc. I was very pleased, though, that Rafe and Gil’s storyline is complete and so there’s no real need to read the series in order – though I expect the small snippets of Abby and the weird cult torturing these poor wolves would make more sense when the books are read in sequence.

I enjoyed how Rafe and Gil’s storyline wasn’t simply recovering from his release – but also how some of the plot focused on their relationship and working out some of their problems. This made it feel far more realistic to me and not simply a “kidnap and release” story but one of their relationship as a whole. I found the sex both hot and also remarkably sweet – the love they shared was deep and strong and I really fell in love with these two characters.

A wonderful, romantic and sweet story that I greatly enjoyed.

Like Statues by S. Rose


Like Statues by S. Rose
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (14 pages)
Other: F/F, Fetish
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Like most girls, I have a secret or two. One of those secrets just happens to be a fixation with statues.

My tendencies go largely unnoticed, until one night when Valerie, my boss, catches me alone with a company-owned statue.

Confessions ensue, and sparks fly.

Almost nobody can keep a secret forever, especially when it’s about their deepest desires.

One of the things I liked the most about this tale was its descriptions of what it’s like to live in a small town and not fit into the culture there. The author did a wonderful job of showing how lonely that experience can be, especially for people who think they’ll never meet anyone in their rural community who is sympathetic. Understanding this was an important part of understanding why Melanie, the main character, decided to hide her statue fetish so well from everyone she worked with. I was glad that so much attention was paid to this part of the plot because of this.

The chemistry between Melanie and Valerie never felt right to me. While they shared similar sexual tastes, they didn’t have much else in common. As much as I wanted to root for them to end up together, it would have been nice to have a few more reasons to hope for that kind of ending. There simply wasn’t enough information about what kind of people they were and why they’d be good for each other for me to make up my mind about that.

The dialogue was nicely written. There were times when it made me giggle in a good way because of how dramatic Melanie could be when things weren’t exactly going her way. This definitely wasn’t something I was expecting to find in an erotic tale, but it was a nice addition to the storyline. I also enjoyed seeing how things between her and Valerie played out once Valerie realized what was happening in the sculpture garden.

I’d recommend Like Statues to anyone who is in the mood for a short, steamy read.

Suck the Savage Beast by James Cox


Suck the Savage Beast by James Cox
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (86 pages)
Other: M/M
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Earth beasts are sexier than he expected…

Welliver is a scientist first and an Outlaw MC member second. He’s the smartest man on the crew that’s exploring Earth to create a new home. But when a monster attacks them and he’s separated from the crew, he is saved by a savage and sexy beast.

The beast doesn’t remember his name. He was sent to the Earth prison when he was a boy and left behind when the prison was evacuated. Beast has spent nearly twenty years alone on Earth, trying to survive this dangerous world. He’s the best hope humans have for staying alive with these new threats.

Beast doesn’t understand it’s not okay to lick strangers, or the whole wearing clothes thing, but neither man is prepared for the attraction between them. Welliver will have to pull on his Outlaw MC heritage to endure the wilds of Earth but how will survive the savage beast?

Suck the Savage Beast has an intriguing plot idea and gives readers an interesting look at what could happen to our own world. Welliver is part of a small party that has left Mars and returned to Earth to see if it is inhabitable again. Humans have long since ruined and abandoned Earth for Mars but it seems that they have now also ruined what they made of Mars. The creatures that they encounter upon their return are nothing but dangerous and the crew must learn how to survive against them. A chance encounter has Welliver fighting for his life but an unexpected man comes to his rescue. Beast has lived alone on Earth for years now. Yet one encounter with Welliver and he claims the man as his own. What will Welliver decide? Can the crew find a way to live on Earth again and what will happen to their friends and family left on Mars?

I really liked the ideas in this book. Earth has been so polluted and destroyed humans left for another planet and yet they repeated the same mistakes and destroyed what they made on that planet. It makes you think a bit about what we are doing to the planet right now. Welliver and the rest of the people that make up the team are an interesting bunch. Each character had a good personality but they did not stand out. Welliver and Beast make a good couple and it was nice to see the two find their way. As much as I enjoyed the story-line it seemed to lack something for me. There was no real depth to the characters or their relationships for me. I did not connect that much with the characters making the story feel bland to me. I think that if the story was a bit longer we could have seen some more depth to the relationship and the characters, bringing them more alive to me.

Welliver and Beast’s story moves along at a nice pace and It was nice to see these two find their way to a happy place. Love can be found in the most unusual places and these two learn to fight for that love. This book is an interesting addition to this series and I am interested to see where it goes from here.

Reluctant Reunion by Ruth J Hartman


Reluctant Reunion by Ruth J Hartman
Publisher: esKape ePress
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (63 pages)
Rating: 4.5 stars
Review by Orchid

Kennedy Cooper tries everything to stay away from her father’s alpaca farm. Being an actress in New York seems to do the trick. Until it doesn’t. When she fails to get enough acting parts, loses her part-time job, and breaks up with her boyfriend, she has no choice but to return. Seeing her father again is tough, but having to meet his new love interest reminds Kennedy why she’d vowed never to go home.

When Kennedy is out of a job and her boyfriend abandons her, she has nowhere else to go but home to the family alpaca ranch. Unfortunately Kennedy hates alpacas.

Settling back into the homestead is strange. Her mother’s death had been the catalyst for her moving to the city, but now she finds her father has a new woman in his life. Her dead brother’s daughter is also living at the farm and her father is unwell.

Put together all these elements and life for Kennedy is not the quiet stay she’d hoped it would be.

I liked this story, not a romance but it shows Kennedy’s feelings for her father, her home and the “other woman”. I really liked the way it unfolded. It may have been short, but it was well written and intriguing. Good book.