Tuesday, 28 January 2014


Pages: 79
Date: 28/01/2014
Grade: 4+
Details: Received from Riptide Publishing
            Through Love Romances and More
Own / Kindle

The blurb:

“Two seasoned operatives finally meet their match: each other. 

Cillian works for the mysterious Special Branch 20: an organization that runs black ops commissioned by the British government. His specialty is deep undercover assignments with virtually no support. He’s been alone for so long that he no longer knows anything else. 

Mal’s also used to being alone. Wanted in several states and even more countries, he’s not allowed in the vicinity of any of his former Navy SEAL teammates. And his current assignment is to track Cillian in order to discover the spook’s endgame. Except he’s no longer sure which one of them is getting played. 

Cillian isn’t about to let the mission that’s consumed him for the past several years crumble because an outsider is poking around where he doesn’t belong. But Mal forces his way through Cillian’s defences—and into his heart—exposing a devastating betrayal that could destroy them both.”


My thoughts:

The first word I see when I open this book is ‘Amsterdam’; a great start considering I lived there for over 30 years. I have to admit that even though the city isn’t described in any detail and I couldn’t tell you exactly where the story plays out, the fact that it’s set there did give this book an extra edge.

Not that this story wasn’t edgy enough without the added interest. In fact, I think the word edgy was invented to describe books like this. Mal and Cillian, two undercover agents, are both chasing the same man be it for different and personal reasons.
While Mal knows who Cillian is and more or less what he is up to, Cillian has no idea who or what Mal is. When contact between the two men is established it takes place almost exclusively through Instant Messaging. It is also highly sexual in nature, with both of them vying for domination over the other while secretly graving the potential of submission.

Mal may have some advantages over Cillian because he knows more about his opponent than Cillian knows about him, neither of them knows enough to prevent shocking revelations. Revelations that come after the men have found a need for each other they can neither explain nor deny, no matter how much they might want to. Revelations that will shock the reader and create an urgent need for the next book in what appears to be a trilogy.

This was a very well written story. The tension starts on the first page and doesn’t let up for a moment. In fact, that tension had only gotten stronger by the time I read the last word in this novella. And it is a tension that exists on all levels of this story. It is never completely clear who knows what. There is the mystery as to who is killing Cillian’s informers. And then there is the sexual tension between these two men; a tension so hot it steams of the page both during their online encounters and when they’re together.

These two men are very similar and more than a match for each other. They also seem to be made for each other, if only they weren’t on opposite sides of the same mission. I can’t wait to see how the rest of this story is going to unfold and can only hope it won’t be too long until ‘Dirty Lies’ comes out.

After I requested this book for review but before I read it I discovered this book ties into previous titles by this author – The Hell or High Water series – which I haven’t read. Don’t let that stop you from picking up this book right now. At no point while reading this novella did I feel as if I was missing vital information. In fact, if I hadn’t seen somebody else mention this fact in a review, I would never have guessed there were earlier, connected books.

I also didn’t realise this wasn’t a stand-alone title when I requested it. The way this story ends makes that fact perfectly clear though. The author leaves us with an unexpected and shocking cliff-hanger, but it wasn’t one that bothered me (and trust me I’m not a fan of cliff-hangers in general).

Although I’m more than ready to find out what happens next and can’t wait for the sequels, I have to say the story ended with perfect timing. My curiosity is well and truly awakened and my mind is running riot, trying to come up with all the possible future scenarios. Somehow I feel that whatever my mind may conjure up for me, S.E. Jakes will still manage to surprise me.

Sunday, 26 January 2014


Pages: 53
Date: 25/01/2014
Grade: 3.5
Details: A 1 Night Stand Story
            Received from Decadent Publ. Co.
            Through Love Romances and More 
Own / Kindle

The blurb:

“Trace has almost everything he wants—a great job and a well-ordered life, but he’s ready for more—the right guy to share it with. A chance meeting after a hockey game with the man of his dreams spurs him on to turn to the one source he knows will help him out—Madame Eve’s 1Night Stand service.

Jeremy can’t forget the difficult childhood and subsequent bad decisions he made while trying to forget it. He wants the gorgeous air traffic controller, but he’s afraid his past will get in the way like it always does. If all Madame Eve can give them is one night…he’ll take it.

With Eve’s help, can the men forge the relationship they both want, or will they crash and burn?”


My thoughts:

I’m developing a taste for these 1 Night Stand novellas. Of course this is only my second venture into Madame Eve’s world, but I have to admit that both of them have been exciting, hot and great fun. I love the idea of a dating service where you sign up for one night with your perfect date only to end up with the exact person you need and the opportunity to change the rest of your life. I mean, what’s not to love?

Having said that, this story didn’t satisfy me quite as much as I hoped it would. I knew it was a novella when I got it, so the length of the story is not an issue. And neither is the idea behind it. Who doesn’t want to read about two men who are, on the surface at least, worlds apart and completely different and yet perfect for each other?

The one thing that didn’t work for me while reading this book was the speed at which the story was told. I felt as if I were partaking in a race against the clock. Everything happened too fast, nothing was given enough time. From our introduction to the characters, to their background, their meeting, their night together and the aftermath, every scene seemed to be over almost before it had properly begun.

So I liked Trace and Jeremy but never felt that I got to see more of them than the surface. There wasn’t enough time for the reader to actually feel Jeremy’s pain, although they were told about it. The hassle between Trace and his ex-boyfriend also went by in a flash. 

On the other hand I don’t want to harp on about this for too long either because I did enjoy this story. I spent a very nice 45 minutes with two hot men who are clearly made for each other but just haven’t recognised it yet or lack the courage to give into it. And when these two men get close, things get hot and steamy very quickly.

Overall I would say this is a very nice read if you’re looking for a steamy, short and well written romance featuring two hot men. I would also say that the 1 Night Stand series is proving to be very exciting discovery and a series I will have to keep a closer eye on in the future.

Saturday, 25 January 2014


Pages: 330
Date: 25/01/2014
Grade: 5
Details: no. 5 Cut & Run
Own / Kindle

The blurb:

“Left alone in Baltimore after his unpredictable lover bails, Special Agent Zane Garrett takes his frustration out on everything in his path until he is ordered to Chicago to back up an undercover operative. When he gets there, though, he finds himself face to face with his wayward partner, Special Agent Ty Grady. They have to deal with the uncertainty lingering between them while they work to retrieve their intended mark, a retired hit man and CIA wet-works operative named Julian Cross.

Ty, once a marine and now an FBI hotshot, has a penchant for being unpredictable, a trait Zane can vouch for. Zane is a man who once lived for his job but has come to realize his heartbreaking past doesn’t have to overshadow his future. They're partners, friends, lovers, and the go-to team for unusual cases. With Cross and his innocuous boyfriend, Cameron Jacobs, in tow, Ty and Zane must navigate the obstacles of a cross-country trek, including TSA pat-downs, blizzards, their uncooperative prisoners, CIA kill teams, a desperate lack of sleep or caffeine, and each other. Ty and Zane are determined to get Julian Cross to DC in one piece, but it’s starting to look like it might be the last thing they do.”


My thoughts:

I think I may have said this before; I’ve fallen in love with this series and its two main characters. In fact, I think I could happily spend my days doing little else besides read about Ty and Zane. I mean what’s not to love. The reader is given heart-stopping thrillers, featuring two hot FBI agents with a wicked sense of humour and smart tongues who happen to be involved in one of the most fascinating love stories while trying to stay alive.

The ending of the last book, ‘Divide and Conquer’ was a bit of a cliff-hanger. Just when I thought Ty and Zane would find the time to enjoy each other for a while, Ty does a runner, leaving Zane confused, frustrated and alone.

When Zane is send on a mission he doesn’t know the man he’s to work with is his partner and lover. It is a welcome reunion but not one they can enjoy for long since the operation they’ve been sent on is filled with danger from the very first moment.

Enter Julian and Cameron from ‘Warrior’s Cross’. All Ty and Zane know is that they have to get Julian to Washington alive and as quick as possible. Julian is convinced that allowing himself to be taken there is the equivalent of signing his own death warrant and doesn’t come easily. The fact that the innocent in every possible way Cameron also comes along for the ride only complicates matters.

What starts off as a battle between Julian and the two agents soon turns into the four men fighting together against what appears to be a CIA operation to kill Julian. But people and things are not quite what they seem. Sometimes those who appear to be your enemies turn out to be friends and those who should be trustworthy let you down.

And that’s just the thriller part of the story.

When Ty and Zane reunite there is some soul searching to be done. And when these two characters delve into their hearts, it leads to beautiful scenes. Not in the least as a result of Ty’s refreshing and utterly charming honesty.
Asked why he left while Zane was sleeping, Ty answers:

“I was afraid... I was afraid if I woke you and looked into your eyes I wouldn’t be able to go. And I had to go Zane, I had to.”

As the story progresses, Zane and the reader find out more about Ty’s past, and with it comes an understanding of the man he is, and the reason’s he has for doing what he does, even when it means hurting the man he loves and himself. Which makes it all the more touching when he asks Zane:

“Next time...next time I need to go, will you go with me?”

Or when he says:

“I was always yours. (...) Because... you make me the kind of person I’ve always wished I was.” Ty

What I love about these books is the description of Ty and Zane’s deepening connection. I adore the way they develop together, get to know and understand each other better and grow ever more comfortable in their relationship. And the addition of Julian and Cameron’s perspective in this book means that the reader is giving new insights into Ty and Zane; as the heroes of Warrior’s Cross share their perceptions of the FBI agents, the reader is given the opportunity to expand the picture they have of our heroes.

In fact, the changing dynamic between the two couples was fascinating; from outright hostility through begrudging cooperation and admiration to something that could easily have turned into friendship if the circumstances had been different. The progression is natural, at times funny and ultimately beautiful.

But the best part about this book and the whole series is, was and always will be the relationship between Ty and Zane. I live for those moments when we’re given a glimpse of how they see each other.

“But then, Zane supposed that was part of Ty’s charm, the jumbled ball of yarn inside his brain that no one could unravel.”

Not to mention the moments that have you teetering between a smile and a few tears.

“I can’t remember a time that you weren’t the first thing I thought of, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I don’t care what stands in our way.” – Ty

The books in this series have it all; danger, adventure, two fascinating men who happen to love each other despite the apparent impossibility of their situation, laugh out loud moments, angst and very hot passion. I could continue reading these books forever.

This book, like all the prequels was filled with quotable sentences. I had to use all my restraint to limit myself to those I’ve used above. I will add one more because sometimes a sentence is beautiful and worth keeping just because it tells a simple truth:

“Life is hard and confusing, Zane. Love doesn’t have to be.”

Monday, 20 January 2014



Pages: 157
Date: 19/01/2014
Grade: 3
Details: Received from Carina Press
            Through NetGalley
Own / Kindle

The blurb:

“By day, Robin Lessing has a successful career as a university archivist. By night, she blogs about her less-than-successful search for Mr. Tall, Dark and Dominant. Living up to her handle "The Picky Submissive," she's on the verge of giving up and settling for vanilla with a side of fuzzy handcuffs when she discovers her best friend and colleague has a kinky side, too.

Sexy, tattooed techie John Sun is an experienced Dom who never lacks for playmates, male or female. If he can't satisfy Robin's cravings, maybe no one can—after all, he knows her better than anyone. So he offers to help her master the art of submission for one month.

Robin eagerly agrees to John's terms, even the pesky little rule forbidding any friendship-ruining sex. But rules are made to be broken, and once they begin their stimulating sessions, it's not long before she's ready to beg him for more—much more…”

My thoughts:

I seem to be saying it a lot these days and I’m getting a bit tired of it, but once again I’ve finished a book that I feel could have been a lot more. Another book in which I loved the idea behind the story and wasn’t as happy as I’d hoped to be with the way in which it was executed.

The idea; I loved Robin’s quest for a Dom and her frustration with all the creeps she meets along the way. And I adored Jason. He had the exact right combination of arrogance, dominance and vulnerability to make me a very happy reader.

I guess I didn’t click with Robin. In real life I would say that I had nothing against her but she wasn’t doing anything for me either. She left me cold. I had problems with her switching from perfectly poised professional in work to squeely geek on her blog. I felt myself in the strange position of rooting for John’s happiness (and if that was with Robin so be it) and not caring at all about Robins. On top of that I found myself torn between thinking how nice it was to read a book in which the characters manage to stick to their no sex contract and wanting to shout at them to get on with it already.

But what got to me most was the lack of communication between these characters. John is an experienced Dom and as such well aware of the need for good communication, yet he doesn’t open his mouth. These two are supposed to have been friends for ages and yet they don’t talk to each other when it is important. It’s not so much that I had a problem with the lack of communication as such – there are plenty of books in which the same idea fits the story and characters perfectly - as that it didn’t make sense for these two specific characters to fall into that trap.

And finally, there were moments in this book where the writing just didn’t work for me. I don’t want to have to read sentences twice because I’m not entirely sure what I just read. It didn’t happen a lot, but often enough for me to want to mention it. The following sentence is an example. The sentiment is so beautiful and yet there’s something about the wording that makes it lose its power.

He remembered thinking of love – love could mean so many things. Pain and pleasure and compassion all braided together and tied them close, Robin and John, hearts and flowers and collars and mine.”

On the other hand, there were moments when the writing worked all too well and managed to touch me.  

“I’ll always want more from you. Even if you give me yourself, even if you give me everything, I’ll want more.”

And then there were the moments when the authors managed to make the sexy poetic.

“I’ll be your doll. Your toy. Serve you as long as you make me feel this way, like heaven made flesh, like dying, like coming alive.”

And the same is true for the sex scenes. Some of them rocked my world, took my breath away and managed to draw me completely into the story. Others left me more or less cold. I didn’t always feel the chemistry between these two characters and when I didn’t, the story more or less fell apart for me.

I guess you could say I’m conflicted about this book. There were parts of it I loved and parts of it that just fell flat. And I’m afraid that I’m sounding far more negative about this book than I want to. It is not as if there is a lot wrong with this book. It just didn’t have the wow factor for me. I was expecting more and disappointed when I didn’t get it. I’m convinced there is a multitude of readers who will find exactly what they are looking for in ‘The Dom Project’. 

Friday, 17 January 2014



AUTHOR: Hunter Raines
Novella: 18k words
Date: 17/01/2014
Grade: 3.5
Details: Part of the Brand Me Series
             Received through Love Romances
Kindle / Own

Matthew Owens is as straight laced as they come, or so it would seem. He is a successful lawyer with a reputation to uphold. He is also deeply in love with his fiancé, Joe Khalousi and on the surface it would appear that Joe is as respectable as Matt is. Except that while Joe is an accountant he does the books for a strip club, a detail Matt prefers not to mention to his colleagues, friends and family. Just as Joe’s tattoos are kept well hidden unless the two men are on their own.

It is the evening before Matt and Joe’s wedding and much to Matt’s horror his friends decide to surprise him. Instead of a quiet dinner followed by a few drinks they are taking Matt to a strip club, where they have a very special surprise planned for him.

When Joe’s employer all but begs Joe to perform as a stripper for just one night, Joe finds it hard to refuse. His boss is also his lifelong friend and desperate. It is only just before he goes on stage that Joe finds out he’ll also have to perform a private dance for an unsuspecting member of a bachelor party.

Neither Joe nor Matt knows their worlds are about to collide. When the lights come on and all secrets are revealed it is make or break time for these two men. Is the love between them enough to overcome the differences or are Matt’s hang-ups about respectability going to end their marriage before they’ve even taken their vows?

Let me start by saying that this is a short and rather sex driven novella. While we do get to know Matt and Joe it is really only in the context of the 24 hours or so this story spans. So we discover that Joe is a bit of a bad boy; tattooed, working in a sex club and rather dominant. Yet, he isn’t completely one dimensional because it is perfectly clear that he cares deeply for Matt. He’s prepared to cover up when he meets his partner’s friends, family and colleagues and goes out of his way to get in touch with Matt before going on stage.

Matt was, for me, not as well established as Joe. For most of the story he seemed to be unsure of what he wanted, needed and should be doing. I couldn’t help wondering if he should be marrying at all if he wouldn’t allow his future husband to be himself around the other people in Matt’s life. Having said that, Matt’s ambivalence about Joe and their relationship did make the moment when he gives in to his feelings and shuts his mind up, all the more powerful.

I did have my doubts about the final scene in the book. I can’t and won’t describe it since I don’t believe in spoilers, but do need to say that I wasn’t convinced that what was described there is really possible, never mind advisable. Still, it was a beautiful way to end story.

There were other parts of the book I really enjoyed. The hot phone call between Matt and Joe was a wonderful way of throwing the reader straight into the action and I loved the way Joe discovers the delights of and the power derived from stripping while doing his friend and boss a favour. I was less convinced that Matt, being the rather stuck up person that he is, would really have reacted the way he did. But, again, it did make the story a hot delight.

I don’t want to sound negative about this book. It is a well written story; it captures the reader’s attention right from the start and the smooth writing and intriguing story make sure that attention never wavers. And there were two sentences that took my breath away:

"The way I need you frightens me to the core. The way I crave your body, your cock, every part of you...It sometimes makes me wonder if I've lost myself to you."

"When you fuck me, I have no doubts about anything. I'm exactly where I need to be."  

Overall I would say that this story is as at least as much about the act of lovemaking as it is about the actual love and relationship between these two men. There is nothing wrong with that of course, but I wouldn’t have minded reading a little bit more about the emotions that drive the characters. As a description of one man’s sexual liberation this story worked relatively well. I’m not convinced that anybody would make a complete turnaround as quickly as Matt does in this book, but I liked the idea and enjoyed all the heat between Joe and Matt. It is almost a shame this story was as short as it was. I can’t help feeling that more words would have turned this nice story into a fascinating book.

Thursday, 16 January 2014



Pages: 53
Date: 16/01/2014
Grade: 4+
Details: One Night Stand Series / Lyric Hound
              Received from Decadent Publishing
              Through Love Romances
Own / Kindle

The story:

Trent Savage, Sav, is the drummer in Lyric Hound, a very popular band, consisting of Werewolf musicians. For as long as he can remember he’s been attracted to Karlan Rixx, the band’s guitarist. What’s more, for years he has known that Karlan is his preordained mate. Karlan however is as straight as they come and, as far as Sav can tell, completely unaware of or ignoring Sav’s feelings as well as the bond between them.

After years of trying to deny his feelings just to hold on to Karlan’s friendship, Sav can’t take it anymore and leaves the band as well as the only life and family he’s ever known.

Karlan may be a womanizer, in his heart there is only one person he’s interested in. When Sav disappears Karlan feels lost. The band isn’t the same without Sav to drive the beat and Karlan’s life is incomplete without the man behind him on stage, next to him in life.

When he discovers that Sav has contacted Madame Eve to organize a one night stand, Karlan does what he can to be Sav’s date. There was a reason Karlan didn’t know he and Sav were mated. With Karlan’s problem solved both men are in for a few surprises when they meet again. But will it be enough for them to embrace their destiny?


My thoughts:

Allow me to start with a few qualifiers. I’ve never read a One Night Stand or Lyric Hound story before. I don’t read a lot of supernatural stories, erotic or otherwise and, I very often find myself having issues with novellas. For all intents and purposes requesting this book for review seemed to be an exercise in setting myself up for failure.

Imagine how happily surprised I was to discover that being new to the One Night Stand series and Lyric Hound stories didn’t make a difference. I fell into and was captured by this story from the very first word and stayed hooked until I’d finished the last one. What’s not too like? We’re meeting Sav, a sexy and dominant werewolf rock star who, despite his rough exterior is breaking up inside because his mate appears to be rejecting him. And, not only do we get to enjoy this hunk, we’re also treated to Karlan, an equally hot werewolf. The reader is being spoiled.

Talking about werewolves; I’ve obviously been missing something while ignoring supernatural (erotic) stories. If this story sets the standard, this is a discrepancy I’ll be fixing in the not too distant future, very likely starting with the other Lyric Hound stories.

As far as the fact that this is a novella rather than a full novel is concerned all I can say is that I was very impressed. This was as complete a story as any reader can wish for. The characters are well described and fully fleshed, there’s enough back story to give the reader not only everything they need to know but also a real connection to the character’s feelings and actions. This story may only have counted 35 pages, it provided everything a good story needs: a beginning that puts the reader straight into the story, a middle that provided all the explanations needed without slowing the story down and a beautiful and very satisfying ending.

And did I mention this story is hot? Well, it is. But then, that’s exactly what you would expect when you pick up a story about two Alpha werewolves giving in to their feelings for each other after years of having to deny them.
This in short was about an hour’s worth of pure reading delight, leaving me with yet another author I have to add to my must-read list.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014


Pages: 202
Date: 15/01/2014
Grade: 4
Details: Received from Riptide Publishing
            Through NetGalley
Own / Kindle

The Blurb:

After years of saving every penny, Nathan has finally managed to buy the horse of his dreams. He’s looking forward to a summer of exploring the Colorado mountain trails above Tucker Springs with Tsarina. But on their very first ride, a motorcyclist makes a wrong turn, scaring Tsarina into bolting and leaving Nathan with a broken leg, a broken hand, and a ruined summer.

Ryan is a loner and a nomad, content with working odd jobs before moving on to the next town. Feeling guilty for causing the accident that leaves Nathan in two casts, Ryan offers to keep Tsarina exercised until Nathan heals.

Despite their bad start, Nathan and Ryan soon become friends . . . and then much more. But with a couple of nasty breakups in his past, Nathan doesn’t want feelings getting involved—especially knowing that Ryan will never settle down. But since when do feelings ever listen to reason?


Some books hit all my buttons just the right way, and this was one of those. I mean, what’s not to like? In ‘After the Fall’ we meet Nathan and Ryan, two cute young men (one of whom happens to sport a goatee) with commitment issues, a wonderful horse named Tsarina and a powerful bike.

The first meeting between homebody Nathan and drifter Ryan couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start. Nathan is riding his prized new horse, Tsarina, for the very first time when an unexpected encounter with Ryan on his motorbike spooks the mare, resulting in both horse and rider falling. Tsarina coming to rest on Nathan’s leg ensures that he will be in a cast for months. The punch he gives Ryan immediately after the accident puts one of his hands out of commission as well.

If Nathan and Ryan had detested each other after this incident, nobody would have been surprised. But Ryan is one of the good guys and feels very bad about what has happened. When he offers Nathan his help, the incapacitated man can’t refuse. His horse needs the exercise and there is something about Ryan...

The moment Nathan watches Ryan with Tsarina he knows he’s made the right decision.

“A man who treated an animal like she had a personality, like she was something more than farm equipment with a pulse, was enough to reduce me to a quivering mess.”

Although there is no denying the chemistry between them, it takes Nathan and Ryan a while to get to their first kiss. When they do though, all bets are off. Despite the casts and all the obstacles they present, the two men find ways of enjoying each other’s bodies to the fullest extent.

Nathan, determined not to commit to anyone again, is convinced he’s found himself the perfect fling until he can no longer deny that his feelings go a lot deeper than that. As soon as he recognises the same depth of feeling in Ryan’s eyes, panic sets in. With two failed relationships behind him, Nathan is not prepared to risk the pain again. Given that Ryan is due to leave town in a few months time is all the more reason to keep things casual.

Ryan’s reaction to Nathan’s unwillingness to commit is swift and simple. He walks away. Nathan’s head may be trying to convince him that this early split is for the best, his heart is not playing ball. Going back to Ryan and admit that he’s made a huge mistake is difficult. Convincing Ryan to give them a second change will proof even harder.

This was a sweet and charming love story with just the right balance of angst, humour, love, conflict and sex. But that’s not the only reason I enjoyed this book so much. I loved the way the author described Nathan’s love for his horse. The details with regard to tacking a horse, mounting one, the differences between various riding styles; all of them conveyed a knowledge of and affection for horses that both impressed and touched me.

And then there were those special sentences that made me smile; descriptions that touched me deeply. The moment when Ryan explains that his reason for being on the move all the time is that he has no idea what ‘home’ actually means was powerful.

 “You wouldn’t be holding me back. He reached up and touched my face, sending a shiver down my spine. Being with you means I don’t have a reason to leave.”

As was the moment when Nathan realised that sometimes you just have to take a chance, despite any insecurities.

“(...) nothing – neither the success of a relationship nor the collapse of a failed one – was certain.”

And I love a book with a happy ending, especially when it is one I can actually believe in.

“If the day came when Ryan needed to ride off into the sunset, then he would. And I’d be right beside him.”

Saturday, 11 January 2014


Pages: 258
Date: 10/01/2014
Grade: 3
Details: Received from SOURCEBOOKS Casablanca
             Through NetGalley

The blurb:

“When Madison Morris decides to hire an assistant to help run her naughty bookshop, she gets a lot more than she bargained for. Two very different men are vying for the position...and a whole lot more.

Andy excites her into grasping control, while Gabriel shows her how freeing it can be to just let go. Soon the lines are blurring and Madison is no longer sure who's leading and who's following. In the midst of kinky threesomes and power plays, can she’ll have to finally decide what--and who--she really wants.”


This will be one of my more ambivalent reviews I’m afraid. While reading this book I was constantly torn between really enjoying myself and getting exasperated with the writing style.

I loved the idea behind the story.

Madison, the owner of the ‘Wicked Words’ bookshop (and isn’t that a brilliant name for a bookshop specialising in kinky titles), finds herself torn between Andy, the rather dominant and self-assured man about town and Gabriel, a shy, inexperienced and very submissive young man. When she hires Gabriel to work in her shop it isn’t long before she realises that he loves the kinky books she sells, although he does his best to hide his interest from her. It only takes her a little bit longer to discover that Gabriel, while inexperienced, feels the need to be told what to do. When ordered, he is up to almost anything. When Madison discovers her hidden talent for dominating Gabriel, things between them heat up very rapidly.

It doesn’t take long either before Madison realises she is developing feelings for Gabriel; feelings he is clearly experiencing too. Of course things are never that straightforward and especially not in this developing relationship; Andy is still in the mix and while all three of them seem to enjoy the sexy games they get involved in, his presence also emphasises all of Gabriel’s insecurities.

Like I said I really did like the idea behind this story. I enjoyed the games Madison played with Gabriel and how they teased him out of his shell. And I can’t deny that some of those games were very, very sexy.

However - you knew this was coming - I can’t help feeling I would have loved this story if only it had been told in a different way. This book was trying a bit too hard to be funny and snarky. I enjoy a humorous story as much as the next person, but only in the right setting. This book was dealing with deep and often repressed feelings and it could have been a truly touching story if they had been developed further. Because of the author’s constant need to be funny, those feelings sort of slipped into the background, but not enough - for me - to allow me to just go with the laughs. When I did smile I felt guilty for not feeling the emotions while every time I did manage to get really involved in the characters and their feelings I couldn’t help feeling I was missing the punchline. In fact, this book left me feeling that maybe I just wasn’t getting it.

Of course it is quite possible that the problem was exactly that; me not getting it. I would have liked this story to be more serious. I would have liked more insight into the development of the characters. I was constantly on the verge of really liking Gabriel only to never be able to get there because he just wasn’t developed enough. And the same is true for the other characters. Even Madison, who is the narrator never got better than two dimensional.

I also got lost in the timeline. When I thought only a few days had passed the story would surprise me by revering to passing months. And don’t get me started about the amount of times the word ‘lewd’ was used. It popped up so often that I ended up dreading the next time I would come across it.

I’m surprised to hear myself say it, but I can’t help feeling that this book would have benefited from a little bit less (rather hot) sex and more character development and attention to the emotions experienced by Madison, Gabriel and Andy. If you are in the mood for a funny and lighthearted sexy romp, this book may well be exactly what you need. If you want to feel the deep emotions that develop between well established characters, you probably want to pick up another title.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014


This is a list of the erotic books I’ve read in the past year that have stayed with me for one reason or another. I’ve decided to exclude re-reads; if I didn’t Tiffany Reisz’s name would feature on this list at least six times. As it is there are several authors – including Tiffany Reisz - who feature with more than one title, one instance where I’ve grouped four books in a series together and other authors whose one title mentioned really represents a longer series of books.

Clicking on the titles will take you to my full reviews of these much loved books.

A rather hard-core but beautiful BDSM/Erotica love story, by an author whose books I’ll be actively pursuing in 2014.

An erotic story about empowering women through sexual awakening. An interesting and original concept and well written book.

A charming erotic love story by an author who is fast becoming one of my favourites. How charming and original is the idea of  mermaids in New York?

What can I say, I adore Tiffany Reisz. If there is such a thing as “literary smut” this lady is the poster girl.

What can I say, the book that started the whole BDSM erotica thing back in the 50’s. Exquisitely written and very shocking.

Wonderful novella about a married couple spicing up their love-life.

Wonderful, intriguing and potentially controversial erotic story about the owner of a BDSM club and the two people he’s attracted to. This story of a ménage is my favourite title in a wonderful series.

Tiffany Reisz’s third mention on this list. This, the concluding part to the first Original Sinners quartet, more than lived up to expectations and delivered all I had hoped for and then some. Probably the best book I read in 2013, hence the very elusive 6-grade.

The continuation of the wonderful story about Brianna a young girl trying to overcome ten months as a slave to an abusive man and Stephan, the gentle Dominant who will do anything to get her back to what she should be. Beautiful writing and a gripping story. Can’t wait for the fourth and final book.

Charming novella about a geeky software designer who ends up in the ER and meets a sexy nurse. Wonderful short romance featuring two male protagonists I couldn’t help falling in love with.

Third and so far best title in a dystopian erotic series that I’ve loved from the very first word in the very first book. Rather explicit, but also very moving and well plotted.

I’m going to do myself a favour and mention the series rather than the individual books.
I love these stories about two FBI agents who, while reluctantly working together, discover a mutual attraction that only gets stronger. I’m looking forward to catching up with this series in 2014. Last year I read:
CUT & RUN (4.5)

In which the owner of the Bondage & Breakfast Inn gets his own happily ever after. My favourite title in a series I love.

Erotic story about one woman’s affair. Certainly not to everybody’s taste but very well written and a brilliant ending.

A very short prequel to the Desires Unlocked series written by Noelle Harrison under a different name. While the story is definitely erotic her literary qualities are undeniable.

This author has managed to turn into one of my favourites over the course of less than one month. This is a well plotted murder mystery as well as a sexy, BDSM based love story between two men. If you tried to write a book containing all my current favourite genres, this is exactly what you’d end up with. Combine that with an author who has a wonderful way with beautiful words, and you’ve got one very happy reader

M/M romance in which two men have to overcome secrets, insecurities and their working relationship in order to find happiness. A very well written and captivating story by two authors I’ll be investigating further in 2014.

The only book on this list that isn’t smut in the strictest sense of the word. Also the only book that features on both my ‘general fiction’ and ‘smut’ list.
This is a very well told story dealing with characters who are different from what most people would consider the norm - bi-sexuality, cross-dressing-transgender - and all the issues they run into in a world where the majority of people are still unwilling to accept anything other than the ordinary. Both the story and the way in which it was written impressed me immensely.

Sequel to Power Exchange (see above) and at least as impressive.

The characters from the Power Exchange are still trying to come to terms with the experiences in the first book when another string of horrendous murders threatens to throw them back to square one. All the aspects of this book work very well, both on their own and put together. A.J. Rose’s writing impresses me and makes reading his books pure joy. The only thing leaving me sad when I finished this book is that the ending is such that it may well be the end of a much too short (for my liking) series of books.