Forbidden Love: Bad Boys Issue One Anthology

Forbidden Love: Bad Boys Issue One by Brenna Lyons, CJ England, Ally Blue, Sapphire Phelan, Astride Cooper, Brenda Williamson, Phylis Sullivan, Terri Pray, Rian Monaire
Publisher: Under the Moon
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (160 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/M, Anal Play, Forced Seduction, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Peppermint

December 2006 from Under the Moon a new line of dark romance fiction journals prepared to delight and tease your senses.Forbidden Love stands ready to bring you Bad Boys, Wicked Women, Assassins, Rogues, Bounty Hunters, Pirates, Wizard, Vampires and more. Are you ready to walk with werewolves? To dance with Vampires? Willing to face the wrath of your family and the scandal of your peers for one night with a Gladiator? Are you prepared to risk all in the name of glamour, power and perhaps even love?

The men in this anthology are definitely bad boys who need to be sent to my room. Maybe then I can give them the spanking they need plus a few other things I have in mind.

I have said it before with other anthologies, but I find anthologies to be a nice chance to get to know some authors you may not necessarily have read before. Since I love the paranormal erotica genre this was perfect for me. Each of these stories has a paranormal element to them as well as a deliciously naughty man. “Boy” just doesn’t seem appropriate since these guys are all man.

Playing Games by Brenna Lyons

Although the characters in this story are intriguing, the plot was a little confusing and incomplete. I really liked Polero’s brother, Jorg (the antagonist). I was sad I didn’t get to see more of him. He was everything a girl wants to see in a vampire: sexy, mysterious and dangerous. What confused me were first Polero and Jorg’s relationship/conflict and who is Lord Jager? One conflict that is not concluded is the one between the police and Jorg, which is evident since the police never found Jorg to either stop him from kidnapping other women or bring him to justice for what he did to Denise. While some conflicts had no conclusion others still remained a mystery leaving me puzzled. I really don’t have a definite answer about what happened between Denise and her boss Adam, whom I felt made a great couple, since she stopped having sex with him once she remembered more about her sexual encounter with Jorg. Let’s just hope that Denise and Adam had a happy ending. I will say – Jorg’s sexy self can use me in his games any day.

An Unholy Embrace by CJ England

The plot of this story was interesting and unique. Teran was running away from humans attempting to rape her right into the arms of another monster. This one was a vampire who also wanted her blood and virginity; except he offered her pleasure in exchange. Now Teran just has to be smart enough to accept that pleasure. There are a few spacing issues within the story, that I found a bit distracting. Although not a story problem, the cover photo seems to appear in front of almost every chapter. With that said, the story itself was excellent and should have been the one to start this anthology.

In The Black by Ally Blue

Sold out by their boss Colt and Taz had no other choice than to run for their lives. With violence all around them, and imminent death around the corner, they did the only thing they could do – Make love one last time. Two hot, sexy men going at it… well what is there not to like? Willing to do anything for one another – even die – they decided they would fight for each other and accept nothing less. I know: how sweet right? I think the dedication to each other is a remarkable and endearing quality. Although the relationship in this story was obvious, the story really focused more attention on their escape, but the fact that they would not leave one another proved how deeply they really cared. This story would be great for someone who loves action packed romance with life threatening altercations.

Soul Seduction by Sapphire Phelan

First we had vampires, then futuristic heroes and now fey. Bran had been caught sleeping with the Sidhe Queen’s daughter – his punishment: eternity next to a park in the mortal world. Then he meets Alicia, a sweet, innocent, mortal whom he had every intention of corrupting. I couldn’t help but see Bran’s hatred for the human world as comical, in the beginning. It lightened my spirit and allowed me to just sit back and enjoy the story, which was exactly what I did.

Master of the Night by Astride Cooper

This story was filled with mystery and eroticism. Faucon is definitely the correct name for this main character with his falcon-like characteristics. I think that, although a short story, the author really thought out what she wanted her audience to see and insured she delivered it. I absolutely got it and enjoyed it. His hunt was arousing and I just wish I could one day be his prey.

Night Wolfing by Brenda Williamson

So far this has been my favorite story of this anthology. From beginning to end the author dragged me into this story and kept my attention. I also liked the fact that this was not your traditional werewolf story. The twist at the end was just icing on the cake as far as I am concerned. Although the sex between Etta and Dimitri is a bit bloody it is still totally hot.

Before Dawn by Terri Pray

This story left me a bit puzzled in the end. Who was Atia and what had she done to Turos that was so bad? Also what became of Turos and Juliana’s relationship? I would have liked to see a little more relationship development. The little bit of a plot this story did contain left me feeling incomplete.

Between Two Thieves by Rian Monaire

That was definitely an interesting story. A contract killer who thought he was on top of the world, except Reven could not get his last job out of his head. Reven hoped a vacation and a sexy woman would be enough to distract him. The only problem was Kitty, his new conquest, looked strangely like the woman whom he just murdered. My opinion? Kitty got the perfect revenge.

Eternity by Terri Pray

This was definitely an interesting end to this anthology. It was the internal dialogue of an unknown ghost who refused to give up his woman whom is still alive. I would like to call her his love, but I am not really sure if that would be the proper emotion. Whatever the emotions might be he is willing to wait for them to be together again.

One thing I do want to say in regards to this book, which is not a reflection on the authors, but there were too many promotions throughout the book. You have them in the beginning of the book, between almost every short story then again at the end. In my opinion, it took away from the author’s hard work within this anthology since it was so overbearing.

These stories definitely keep to the theme of Bad boys. I have read many anthologies and I have always enjoyed the ones that have a clear and coherent theme a little more than those that don’t. It allows you to know what to expect from the authors and not get blindsided by a story you may not necessarily be interested in. So take a look you may find the bad boy of your dreams. There is definitely a variety of flavors in bad boys whether you like the dark, devious or just plan scary. With their own unique plot and bad boy(s) most or all of these stories will leave you wanting more

The Spider Gem: Book One of the Portal Chronicles by Taff Lovesey

The Spider Gem: Book One of the Portal Chronicles by Taff Lovesey
Publisher: Under the Moon
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Historical, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Age Recommendation: 12+
Length: Full Length (195 pgs)
Rating: 3 Suns
Reviewed by Aloe

Accidentally invoking the power of a magical portal network, three teenagers, Ashley from Oregon, USA and two Welsh boys, Rhys and Michael, are pulled into Portalia, a fantastical world of sword and sorcery.

Befriended by centaurs, the trio find themselves at the forefront of a perilous quest to thwart the efforts of an evil warlock intent on world domination.

In possession of The Spider Gem, the warlock commands an enormous army of spiders as well as a throng of fearsome and unfeeling lava rock creatures, the Graav.

As the teenagers become attuned to their new world they develop unique skills of their own and soon join forces with the citizens of the world to form an alliance of good.

A mighty battle is inevitable as the alliance of elves, humans, dwarves, centaurs and magical fire eagles, rush headlong towards confrontation.

Can you imagine stepping through a portal into another world? What if it’s a world filled with mythical creatures and an evil wizard?

Rhys goes to stay with his aunt who lives on the Welsh coastline. He stays two weeks each summer and enjoys the fresh air, water and freedom to commune with nature. He also enjoys his friend, Mike, who lives in the same area and shares his interests. Rhys gets his aunt’s permission to visit a cave on the beach and Mike comes along. They take along food, water, a two way radio, and set out for a day’s adventure.

What they find at the back of the cave causes them to be transported to another world. And not only are they transported, they find themselves joined by a girl named Ash. She has no idea how she got there either! Now they are in a world of mythical magic.

There are several subplots in this novel. The main characters are human and have their fears, but also their courage and strength to fall back on. You will meet wizards, warlords, dwarves, elves, centaurs and more as you go through the story. There is a lot of action, magic, and war mixed with unusual creatures and brave warriors.

The plot seems a bit light, but it is written for young adults. The themes are sometimes dark, but they are not overwhelming.

This story will keep you reading while you watch the classic fight between good and evil. You also wonder if the three children will ever find their way back home.

There will be a sequel, and I was happy to hear that. While many have died in the war already, the evil wizard and his coven are still alive – and will be back…

Max Sec by Brenna Lyons

Max Sec by Brenna Lyons
Publisher: Under the Moon, LLC
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (40 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Once, Ginny was the only human contact Alex had. Now, she’s the only chance he has to be free of his past. Ginny wants to cure Alex’s fears. There’s only one way to do that. Take him back to Max Sec Hell…and make him love it. Alex is the most powerful talent she knows. He�s deadly, unstable – and sexy.

There are some books that grab you emotionally and don’t let go. Max Sec is one of those books.

Now this isn’t one of your run-of-the-mill erotica stories. When you step into the world Ms. Lyons creates, you will know you aren’t in Kansas any longer. The prologue draws you in with an emotional hook that keeps you right in your seat. Once you begin reading, you won’t put this one down.

Alex suffered lots of harm at the hands of the teachers/staff at Max Sec School. He’s a tortured man, but I love my heroes with a little rough around the edges. The one shining point is his first love. And who doesn’t find that sexy? To know a man still thinks about you fourteen years later and he wants to be with you? I love it. They shared a coupling in the past. I liked the connection.

Ginny makes a great heroine. She wants her man like no other. But her methods for getting him really get to the old ticker. She knows he’s been mentally wounded by his situations at Max Sec, but she’s determined to show him that even the bad things can lead to good (translation: sexy) memories. She wants him to heal—in her arms. The trust shown between them is tender and the passion only enhances the love scenes. The hints of bdsm and Dom/sub, even if only mental, are very hot, indeed.

My only real issue? There are parts where reading the other books in the series would help in understanding, but I plan on getting them as soon as possible.

If you want a story that will make you laugh, cry, and squirm, then you need to read Max Sec. I give this story 3.5 cherries.

Unwitting Sacrifice by Sapphire Phelan

Unwitting Sacrifice by Sapphire Phelan
Publisher: Under the Moon
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror
Length: Short Story (60 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Lisa Selvey moved to Necro Bay, just on the outskirts of Chesapeake, Virginia. She moved there because of its reputation for peace and quiet. To free herself of her nightmares. But her nightmares were just beginning. . . Necro Bay was just your average American seaside town. The house she bought a normal home. The handsome man, Jacob Lindan that she met, nothing more than a sexually attractive man that whose touch made her mad with desire. Things nightmarishly changed and made her wonder if she wasn’t going mad. Even worse, it made her wonder if something lurked in the shadows.

Ever wonder if the stuff of dreams could be real? What if those creepy crawlies that hid under the bed when you were a child are real? And what if there’s a twist of romance within the scariness? Then you’d have the story of Lisa and Jacob in Unwitting Sacrifice.

Lisa sees tentacled creatures but thinks she’s hallucinating. The tentacled critters are real and want her as their next queen. The imagination used to write this story is fabulous.

There are times when the uniting between Lisa and Jacob is tender. It’s passionate. Then again, there are times that the squeamish reader may find objectionable. This isn’t a read you want if you want a breezy story. You have to concentrate to keep the scenes straight. At one point there is a character that seems almost totally out of place in the story and it takes a couple of reads to figure out how it all fits together.

While you can feel the quiet passion between them, it seems through most of the story the romance is lacking. Jacob wants Lisa because she can see him. She doesn’t understand, but she can see him. I like the scenes when he comes to her in his human form. The scenes are written with tenderness and love. But with that said, there are moments where the love and the romance feel forced and stilted. At times I wasn’t sure Lisa wanted to be in the same room with Jacob.

Sapphire Phelan writes an intriguing and very unique story. If you want a sci-fi tale to fill a cool night, then you need to read Unwitting Sacrifice, but be warned. Once you start it, you can’t put it down. I give this story 3.5 cherries.

Tygers by Brenna Lyons

Tygers by Brenna Lyons
Publisher: Under The Moon, LLC
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (252 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

If Katheyn O’Hanlon had one wish, it would be to lead a normal life. If she had a second, it would be a memory of her childhood and the source of her nightmares. Psi-linked to her four-year-old nephew, Kyle Thompson, she is dragged back to the city of her nightmares, Pittsburgh. Kyle’s father has been brutally murdered, and Kyle claims his toy tigers have done the deed led by Ty, the Siberian. It is up to Katheryn to remember where Tiberius Matthews is and how to destroy him before he destroys everything she cares about. Is Kyle haunted by the homicidal family ghost or being driven insane by the horrorscope trapped in the depths of Katheryn’s mind? And, can Katheryn keep Keith Randall, an old flame who takes the job of Kyle’s counselor, out of the line of fire while she does her work?

Tygers is a hard hitting psychological thriller with an amazing array of characters, plot and drama. The paranormal twist is as devious and sinister as any intrigue lover could wish.

When the book started, I was a bit confused because there are a lot of people being introduced and it seemed awfully busy. There’s a reason for that and it gradually becomes clear as the story progresses. If you remember the original series, Star Trek, and the reference to the Red Shirts, then you will understand what to expect. You just won’t know who or when or — and this is the creepy part — how.

Katie is at the center of the mystery and the tragedy. She may come across as overly independent to the point of aggravation but don’t let that sour you on what eventually turns out to be a mind blowing revelation. She has a really good reason for being so alone, so private and so tortured. Aggression sometimes masks fear; sometimes it can save your life. Katie is not a karate-chopping super woman. She’s a hard working regular woman who is sleep deprived, loves too hard those that she cares for and is vulnerable to what people think about her. The only thing that is heroic is her force of will.

Keith is the man who tests that will. He has loved Katie for what feels like forever, but for the life of him can’t figure out why she has shut him out of her life so completely. Katie coming back into town is a second chance he won’t pass up. Poor guy, he had no idea what he was getting into. What I liked about Keith is that once he did find out, he stayed. He proved himself to be a real man. Again, he’s not a super spy, or a soldier or proficient with a gun. His strength is in his belief, his compassion and his stalwart trust in Katie. He gets tested repeatedly once the revelations start and the mystery unfolds but he rolls with it.

You have to respect a man who straightens his shoulders, lifts his chin and says ‘bring it on’ because he loves a woman that much to fight for her. That’s a very romantic element.

The conflict is bizarre, nefarious, evil and downright nasty. Because Ms. Lyons wove the intrigue, the clues and the hints of truth throughout the book, I don’t feel right in discussing it in a review. You are going to have to wade through the emotion, the shocks and the diabolical conspiracy like I did. When all is revealed, you’ll get that ‘Wow, that was freaky!’ moment too. And be glad it’s only fiction.

When Katie and Keith do get together, I mean this story does have a wonderful and complete happy ever after, they are smokin’ hot. They don’t ever do the sheet tango out of simple lust. They do it out of extreme emotion and passion for life, for love and for survival. Katie has this little trick she can do, which out of the bedroom is incredibly important, but in the bedroom, just about blows Keith’s mind. I found it incredibly erotic.

Ms. Lyons peppers Tygers with an amazing cast of secondary characters that rivals any Hollywood script. Every person plays a role, serves a purpose and forwards the plot movement with nothing wasted or gratuitous. It’s a well crafted tale, with dialogue and descriptives worthy of high praise.

I would greatly recommend Tygers to any reader who seeks a book which encompasses intense plot and intelligence, suspense, passionate characters, mystery and a unique paranormal element to sweeten the pot.

Catch Me If You Can by Brenna Lyons

Catch Me If You Can by Brenna Lyons
Publisher: Under The Moon, LLC.
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short (59 pages )
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Review by: Snowdrop

Meet Angelo Maretti, the conscience of the Maretti-Rizzulo crime families. He was your typical straight-laced college student, until a rival family killed his sister. Now, the name of the game is getting revenge without starting a war. The only way to do that? Make every death of the guilty Ortegas look like natural causes…. In the footsteps of the original Grimms tale, “The Hare and The Hedgehog,” it all comes back to one fact, Angelena was a dead ringer (pardon the pun) for her twin brother.

Angelo and Marissa are playing a deadly game of cat and mouse. Angelo wants revenge for the death of his twin sister. He devises a plan to get his revenge and loses his heart in the process.

Ms Lyons creates emotionally charged scenes, with very believable characters. You can almost feel Angelo’s numbing pain when he discovers his sister’s body, and his love for Marissa is palatable. Even though the book is done from Angelo’s point of view, you do get a feel for how much Marissa loves him. Otherwise why would she put her life on the line to help him get revenge? However, since it is from Angelo’s point of view, you don’t really get a feel for Marissa as a character, other than how much she cares for Angelo. As the tale unfolds in its back and forth way, I found myself enjoying the close knit family, although I did find it a bit stereotypically Italian: Mob affiliations, lots of Italian food, and Mama.

At first I found this book a little confusing, as Ms Lyons slips between the past and present, but once you get the flow it’s not hard to get sucked in. She does a great job of keeping you on the edge of your seat. I really liked the ending, the way they ended their game was very interesting and slightly unexpected. All in all, a very enjoyable read!

Three Wishes by Brenna Lyons

Three Wishes by Brenna Lyons
Publisher: Under The Moon
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short (93 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by: Snowdrop

Meet Ellie D’Arcy, an orphaned college-student, stuck living with her step-mother and step-sister. She’s got nowhere else to go, until she inherits her trust fund at age 25, so she has to put up with Tina and Maria’s tempers until then. Or does she? Little known to Ellie, she’s due another birthright, a magical one. Unfortunately, three fairy godfathers can wreck a lot of havoc on a person’s life.

Another wonderful read from Ms Lyons!

While I liked Ellie and Patrick, who are both great characters, I absolutely loved the godfathers. Their wit and humor are fantastic add in their caring attitude toward the main characters and these three take the cake.

I liked the way Ms Lyons had Ellie and Patrick meet. I found never knowing when the evil step-mother and step-sister would pop up a great way to keep you interested. Just when you thought Ellie was safe and happy…Surprise!!

The end of this book is wonderfully satisfying and just like the fairy tales of old it has a lesson.

The Temptation of Eve by Brenna Lyons

The Temptation of Eve by Brenna Lyons
Publisher: Under the Moon, LLC
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short (96 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by: Snowdrop

Eve is getting everything she wants in life…more or less. Aside from her doting husband’s penchant for religious dogma, it couldn’t be more perfect. Or could it?

The black sheep of the family has returned for his brother’s wedding. Román is nothing like his older brother, Raul. He’s an irreverent womanizer with his eye on Eve. The only thing the two have in common is a mutual hatred.

When Raul is poisoned, his family will not suffer the suspected poisoner to live. Unfortunately, the suspect is Eve. It seems the only sane person in the family is Román, and the only way to save herself may be to accept a miracle…and him.

She’s an innocent caught between two brothers, but which one is the greater threat to her?

The Temptation of Eve is a thrill ride of a book. From the first page I was sucked in and couldn’t put it down. This author has penned an interesting, well-written story and I loved every word!

I found Roman to be enigmatic, even at the start of the story. I wanted to know more about him, and his mystery made him even more intriguing. From the beginning, though, there was something about Raul I didn’t like. I suppose it had to do with his attitude toward Eve and his continual quoting of Bible verses. This just got to be tedious after a while.

At first I wasn’t sure what to make of Eve. She seemed far to innocent, yet as the plot unfolded I found this to be part of her charm. I really enjoyed the twists and turns this book took as Ms Lyons wove her story. I recommend this great read, and look forward to seeing more from this talented author.