Review: The Princess and the Swineherd by Michael Bracken

Reviewed by Ronelle

Princess Maegth is the most beautiful woman in the kingdom and Hunig has had a crush on her since the first time she laid eyes upon her. When the evil wizard Vilemort and his dozen dirty dwarves abduct Maegth, Hunig joins the search. In the company of a broken-down knight named Fearn-leah of Heathfield, Hunig trails the wizard and his minions.

After successfully rescuing the princess, she reveals her feelings and discovers the feelings are reciprocated. But they aren’t out of danger yet… [Read more…]

Review: Pounded in the Butt By My Constantly Changing Thoughts on the Ongoing Mystery of Chuck Tingle’s Real Identity

pounded-in-the-buttReviewed by Janell

I have gazed into the Tingleverse and come away believing that Love is Real.

I first heard of Chuck Tingle when he wrote Pounded by the Gay Color Changing Dress, and later was intrigued by Oppressed in the Butt By My Inclusive Holiday Coffee Cups, but I never read his books (Tinglers). I believed that the author was a character invented by someone with a sharp eye on current events and a blazing turnaround time. But (butt) then, I listened to him on the Smart Bitches podcast, and became convinced that he was a real person. No one could fully inhabit such a character so convincingly, I thought. [Read more…]

Review: Tangled by Kate Douglas

tangledReviewed by Joanna

Cassie makes wine. Dream. Job. She lives on her family vineyard though it now belongs to someone else as her ill father made some bad financial decisions, forcing the sell-off. Part of the deal is she stays on for five years and also that a new vineyard manager is brought in.

The owner hires Nate for the job. Yum. Think Bradley Cooper, the author suggests. Yes, yes I will. So Nate turns up late one night with his life in his truck and he and Cassie hit it off. And by that I mean they hit it. Right there and then on the first evening they meet. Somewhat fueled by the wine they sample (2 bottles – I’d be on the floor too, but passed out) but also by the huge mutual attraction that these two good-looking, single vineyarders find between them. [Read more…]

Review: Angel 6.0: Concubine by Travis Luedke

angel concubineReviewed by Shelly

I’ve had this in my TBR for a while, but I’m glad I finally got around to it. The concept is interesting. Before I get started, allow me get this part done first – Angelina, yes picture the famous bearer to that name, is genetically engineered. She wasn’t born a baby and grew into adulthood, she stepped out of an incubator in an adult body and has been in a lab environment all 6 years she’s been ‘alive’. The thing about Angel is that not only is the lab the only world she’s even known or have experience with, she’s been programmed by the man who created her to have an interesting tolerance, you could even say exuberance, for pain. And that elation sets the tone for many of her actions. [Read more…]

Review: Renewed by Harper Miller

renewedReviewed by Shelly

This is a very different read than the first story in the Miller’s ‘Kinky Connect Chronicles’ series. In the first story, the heroine Mimi was single, assertive, very sure of her worth, and even a bit of a jerk.

In “Renewed,” I found the heroine, Tanya, much more likable. She’s just recently separated from her husband because she found him in her bed with another woman. Turns out, that wasn’t his first time to cheat and I’m sure it wasn’t his second time either. Tanya is really torn up about the dissolution of her marriage because she expected to be married forever and she certainly didn’t expect her husband to cheat. I felt empathy for her because what young woman who’s going into a marriage especially with a man 16 years her senior expects for her fairy tale to have that kind of an abrupt ending. [Read more…]

Review: Ironic by Harper Miller

ironicReviewed by Shelly

Are you in the mood to read a short story about a woman who’s looking for a midnight booty call? Well, you should be, because this is a surprisingly good story. Remember way back when authors would write short stories, not novellas, that would incite you to either slam the book closed or gently put it aside – either way it elicited emotions other than ‘meh’. But you were never promised closure or even satisfaction. If you’ve never read that kind of short story, now’s a good time to start. [Read more…]

Review: Just What She Wants

Reviewed by Shelly

This is a short story (about 42 pages including cover in ePub format). I’ve read Elsong before but it’s been a long while, long enough to not remember her writing style. This is the story of Indiana Jones, Marc Cantrell, and Kyle Landon. Indiana has flown from London, England to FL, for what she thought would be a chillaxing vacation. Yeah, surely a place called Heden wouldn’t be suggestive, but let me not get ahead of myself here. Indiana’s already a little nervous because her best friend, Lisa, bailed on her at the last minute – something about a broken leg. Argh, the bad luck of it. Things start looking up when Indiana meets the two hotties who run the resort – Marc and Kyle. It just so happens that Marc and Kyle are a couple of guys in a somewhat committed relationship and have been looking for a third. Both of the guys are in agreement with this, so there was no angst about that. I did have a passing thought that Marc is a bit of slut, as he can’t stop sleeping with the guests, but whatever floats his boat.

Now I had to put certain things, like my need for things to make sense, aside, because this is part of the 1Night Stand line of stories. So falling in love within a few hours of meeting could happen. With that premise and knowing that Indiana is only going to be in the resort for a set time, things happened really quickly. I mean really quickly. To Elsong’s credit, Indiana’s character is well developed. She’s funny, smart and believable when she’s dealing with Marc and Kyle. She doesn’t immediately fall for the crap that’s coming out of Marc’s mouth. The only complaint I have, other than the story is too short, is that Indiana’s got a thing about Christmas that I thought was ridiculous, but as it’s a short story, it can’t be too complex (I guess).

Marc and Kyle had their own drama. Kyle’s physical and emotional pain comes from a place where most of us might have trouble dealing also. I found myself being sympathetic to him and his reasons for the way that he treated Marc. It’s hard to love those around you when you don’t love yourself. There wasn’t a lot to Marc’s character other than he’s the funny guy.

Overall, this was a fun read with a couple of pretty hot sexy scenes.

Happy Reading folks!

Rating: B-

Click to purchase: Amazon

Just What She Wants
by Barbara Elsborg
Original Release Date: December 7, 2012
Publisher: Decadent Publishing

Review: Cupid’s Test

Reviewed by Shelly

This is a pretty short and fun read (about 22 pages or so) from a new to me author. Cupid is being tested by the Tooth Fairy to see if he can really make people fall in love.

Coming from two very different backgrounds Jay and Lilly are the chosen two for the test. If this story was longer, I’m pretty sure I would have liked it a lot more than I did. Both Jay and Lilly are feeling the stress of work and each have decided that the best thing to do is to go away for a long weekend. Circumstances (or is it Cupid?) force them two together and things take off from there.

There are several moments where I thought this story was going to get a little deeper in the rationale for both Jay and Lilly’s fundamental beliefs, but it didn’t and I was disappointed. I can’t give away too much because it’s a short read. I’ll admit that the start was great but I’m not a fan of introducing a mindset that leaves me, the audience, with the impression that one character has done all of the capitulating.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: B-

*Book provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
Cupid’s Test
by Megan Grooms
Release Date: February 2013

Review: The Trouble With Sin

Reviewed by Shelly

Continuing with the story of Ludovic DeVere and his friends, Vane’s latest is a prequel vignette (about 40 pages) to the story of Simon “Sin” Singleton and his adventures. Just the name, Sin, tantalizes the senses doesn’t it? This is also a prequel to Jewel of the East (book #5 in the Devil Devere series)

Simon loves his parents, his mom is a bit tyrannical, but that’s okay because she’s got his best interest at heart. His father rightfully thinks that Simon’s best friend DeVere is a bad influence and makes a slight adjustment in Simon’s allowance, while his mother thinks that the best thing for him is the priesthood. It’s too bad that Simon loves the ladies too much to let little things like money and his mother hold him back. After a night of drinking, Simon has found a way to do the things he loves best – poetry and whores.

In the words of Sir Walter Scott ‘Oh!‘what a tangled web we weave when we […] practice to deceive’. Simon’s interactions with his mother are absolutely brilliant! If any other man was caught in those situations I don’t know how they would be able to face themselves in the mirror but, oh no, not our Simon. He’s one part mischievous and one part naïve and gets himself in some very interesting positions all in pursuit of his two passions. I’m really looking forward to reading more about him and catching up on Ned and Ludovic.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: B

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
The Trouble With Sin
by Victoria Vane
Release Date: March 11, 2013

Review: The Sweetest Shorts

Reviewed by Jen

I love Amanda Bonilla’s Shaede Assassin series, so I was very excited when I discovered there was more from her that I had not read yet.   These Sweetest Shorts are very different.  Instead of UF, they are PNR and they are very short: about 45 pages a piece.  I flew through them pretty fast, so rather than review them in three separate posts, let me break them all down here.

The Sweetest Torture – I’ll give Bonilla this: she can definitely do sexual tension and hot bedroom action. (Not that any of the sex happens in the bedroom, but I digress.)  This story features Cait, a cougar shifter who is being forced to mate with the man who broke her heart 30 years ago.  Back then, she caught him in bed with another woman. And though he swore he had no idea how he ended up naked with a stranger, she couldn’t forgive him and walked out.  Now, her father has offered her up to make peace with his fellow Alpha, and she has no choice but to do as instructed.

The thing is, as angry and as hurt as she is, she can’t ignore that she still wants Logan.  And despite his anger over how she left and her subsequent attempts to have him ruined, he still wants her too.

I got invested in Cait and Logan very quickly.  As with all of her work, Bonilla does a great job with characterization.  I understood them and you could cut the tension between them with a knife.  I enjoyed their sparring and the heat between them.

I only had two gripes.  One, it confused me that she used the words cougar and lion interchangeably.  True, a cougar is a mountain lion, but that is not the same thing and I actually had to wikipedia it.  I don’t like to Google during a romance novel.  And two, due to the length of the story, the external conflict felt abrupt and like it came out of nowhere, spinning into a rushed resolution.   True, it was only 43 pages, but I think the front half was better fleshed out than the back half.

The Sweetest Temptation – OMG. This one was hotter than the last one!  But then, what would you expect when the heroine is a nymph?   Someone has kidnapped Erica’s sister and tipped off police that Andrew is the man who snatched her.  But Erica knows she can use her nymph abilities to get more information than the cops can –so she takes matters into her own hands and kidnaps him from police custody.  It doesn’t take long, though, before the pull of the moon awakens her sexual hunger, and she focuses her desires on Drew.  She quickly figures out that he is innocent and that gives her the green light to act on the attraction.

The sexual dynamic between Andrew and Erica is off the charts.  Their supernatural quirks made the speed of their physical pairing acceptable for me. (I thought her throwing around the prospect of a relationship came around rather quickly, but at least they weren’t spouting the L-word.)

I liked that the story tied in with The Sweetest Torture, with Andrew being Logan’s brother and some other references.  I think this would hold up as a stand-alone, but I the ending would resonate a little better for folks who have already read the first story.

The Sweetest Mercy – Another really hot read.  I think this one was my favorite.  It focuses on the rescue effort for Erica’s sister, Kiera.  Carter is Logan and Andrew’s best tracker and he sets off, not only to find the missing nymph, but also to bring her kidnapper back to the Pride for justice.

Carter has been celibate for decades, since the death of his mate.  But when he makes it to Kiera, her nymph mojo and her glaring need are too much to ignore.  What starts as a quickie to take the edge off, turns into something much more between these two people who had lost hope of ever finding an HEA.  Yes, it’s an uber fast connection, but the sex was super hot and I really felt for the characters. Carter, especially, was so wounded (both physically and emotionally.)  A satisfying end to the trilogy. I am glad I read them all back-to-back.

Overall Rating: B

*ARCs provided by author for review

Click to purchase: The Sweetest Torture
Click to purchase: The Sweetest Temptation
Click to purchase: The Sweetest Mercy
The Sweetest Torture
The Sweetest Temptation
The Sweetest Mercy
by Amanda Bonilla