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.

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.

Roger by SJD Peterson


Roger by SJD Peterson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday (Christmas)
Length: Short Story (51 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

exas native Colt Burrow isn’t happy about his third cold, lonely Christmas in frozen Michigan. But when fate sends him a gift in the form of an abandoned puppy, he can’t keep his heart from melting. With the puppy’s companionship, he doesn’t feel so isolated anymore, and the holidays don’t seem as bleak. He even finds enough Christmas spirit to take Roger tree shopping. But just when Colt’s starting to hope Roger’s owner doesn’t show up… he does, and Colt doesn’t want to say goodbye.

Will Roger end up being Colt’s Christmas heartbreak… or his Christmas miracle?

Colt had grown up in Texas, so the bitterly cold, snowy Michigan winters had come as an unpleasant surprise to him. Whether it was the insane cold, or perhaps residual feelings left over from a particularly nasty break up a few years ago, Colt found himself far more Grinch-like than he was comfortable with. Braving the bitter snow for a cigarette, Colt finds a small dog, Roger, lost and shivering. Can Roger help return Colt’s Christmas spirit?

I found this to be a sweet and interesting Christmassy sort of story. While I completely sympathize with Colt and his distaste of the cold, snowy winter he’s enduring I was pleased how finding Roger managed to snap him out of his funk. Readers looking for a strong, erotic romance might not find this story quite to their tastes. The bulk of the story is actually between Roger (the lost dog) and Colt, though towards the end of the story Roger’s rightful owner, Killian, does show up. I, personally, was quite enthralled by Colt and his emotional attachment to Roger. I could understand readers being somewhat disappointed if they pick this story up wanting a sensual, erotic romance story, but readers looking for a sweeter, man-and-his-dog sort of story should be satisfied, as I found the emotion and connection in the story was vibrant and quite realistic. Aside from a sweet, chaste kiss there’s no sex or “on screen” spice – while an intimate relationship is alluded to in the epilogue there is no spice within the story itself.

While the story is set around Christmas-time, I found the theme of Christmas to absolutely take a back seat to the connection between Colt and Roger. While not romantic as such, the relationship between dog and man certainly seemed front-and-centre to me, and deservedly so. I found it interesting and extremely well written and I could happily enjoy it for what it was. I was happily satisfied with the ending – a lovely happy ever after for Colt and Killian and wonderful to me as a reader.

Readers looking for a happy and friendly short story – one that can be safely shared with both younger and older readers – with the main relationship surrounding a lonely man who finds his happiness with the joy from a lost pet dog should find this short story heart-warming and sweetly satisfying. A great story with no sex and a lovely happy ending.

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.

Mink Eyes by Max McBride


Mink Eyes by Max McBride
Publisher: Arjuna Books
Genre: Mystery/Suspense, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (286 pgs)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Stephanotis

October 1986—the tarnished heart of the “Greed Is Good” decade. Private detective Peter O’Keefe is a physically scarred and emotionally battered Vietnam vet. Hired by his childhood best friend, ace attorney Mike Harrigan, O’Keefe investigates what appears to be merely a rinky-dink mink farm Ponzi scheme in the Missouri Ozarks. Instead, O’Keefe finds himself snared in a
vicious web of money laundering, cocaine smuggling, and murder—woven by a mysterious mobster known as “Mr. Canada.” Also caught in Mr. Canada’s web is the exquisite Tag Parker, who might be the girl of O’Keefe’s dreams—or his nightmares.

Mink Eyes weaves murder, addiction, obsession, sex, and redemption into a fast-paced, compelling detective novel that also brings in themes of duty, fatherhood, friendship and love. Peter O’Keefe is a reluctant hero who struggles every day to choose in favor of life over death.

Do you sometimes read a book and can’t exactly put your figure on why you didn’t enjoy it as much as you’d hoped? That’s the feeling I got after I finished reading Mink Eyes. I think the plot line is original and it has lots of suspense but on reflection, it could be I didn’t connect enough with the main character, Peter O’Keefe as much as I should have. He’s interesting, don’t get me wrong, but there are other point of view characters in this story and things got watered down so I wasn’t in O’Keefe’s head as much as maybe I should have been for that connection to gel.

There are lots of good things I can say about the story, the setting is great and described well by the author. I also liked that placing it in the Eighties gave it a somewhat nostalgic feel to it…prior to cell phones and the Internet which made for more interesting PI work for O’Keefe.

Pacing is spot on and dialogue is natural sounding, and the underlying theme of fatherhood and friendship is a strong one.

If you like somewhat gritty PI centered stories, I’d say give this one a try and see for yourself. I’d definitely like to see what other stories the author creates using this main character.

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.

Second Time Love by Laura M. Baird


Second Time Love by Laura M. Baird
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short story (39 pgs)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

After losing her husband of thirty years, Grace, at the age of fifty, thought all she’d ever feel was grief and loneliness. She certainly never thought to feel love again. After being convinced to take the trip of a lifetime, a surprise encounter with Cole has her rethinking her feelings—especially when he ignites a passion unlike anything she’s ever experienced. Will Grace allow herself another chance with this second time love?

After thirty years together Grace is devastated when her husband is killed in an accident. After a number of months recovering from the heart-wrenching loss, Grace decides to take the already paid for trip to Fiji she and her husband had planned for the end of the year. When Grace meets Colt on her holiday, can she open her heart to living – and loving – once again?

This is a lovely short story. I was particularly pleased that the author didn’t gloss over Grace and the loss of her childhood sweetheart and husband of many years. There was no doubt in my mind that Grace fully and thoroughly grieved for that loss and finally managed to come out the other side of her grief. Watching Grace embrace life again was delightful and a lovely aspect to this story which I hadn’t been expecting. I feel that readers will either love or hate Grace jumping into a new relationship with a man she met on holiday – the four months that have passed since Grace’s husband died could be either plenty of time to grieve or nowhere near enough, and I think readers will vary wildly in their opinions on that matter.

I personally found that Grace’s emotions were well written, but I was a little uncomfortable at the spiciness of Colt’s reaction to meeting Grace and particularly the speed with which they moved their physical relationship. While I was more than happy to read of Grace moving on and finding love for a second time, I think I would have been more comfortable had it been a softer, more gentle style of love that slowly blossomed into a spicy and sexy relationship. Possibly due to the shortness of the story the vast bulk of that getting to know you stage was skipped over into a paragraph or two describing “wonderful days” of Colt and Grace exploring the islands and talking at length together. While that nod to time was fine – actually reading the story meant that basically from one page to the next Colt and Grace met, admitted their desire for each other then tumbled into bed. It felt just too fast for me, personally, to really enjoy.

Readers looking for a spicy “second chance at love” style of story likely should be very happy with this – as the consummation is sensually and explicitly written. I was also impressed that although neither Grace nor Colt were young, their sexual desires were hot and heavy. Both Colt and Grace were more than willing to embrace life and love and ready to start fresh with each other. This was lovely to see.

An interesting short story that encompasses both the deep well of grief stemming from the loss of one relationship and walking through the other side to the beautiful beginning of a new relationship. This story covers a lot of ground and is certainly a spicy, sexy read.

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.