Lost to rapture by Chris Almeida and Cecilia Aubrey
Length: short story
Rating: 5 stars - A Must Read!
Heat: 5 Handcuffs - Orgasmic
The latest entry in the Bytes Of Life series, written to accompany the larger Countermeasure novels by the same authors, sees Trevor and Cassandra Bauer celebrating their first Anniversary together. It has been an adventurous and exciting year, full of danger and peril, and Trevor now wants to do something special to show Cass just what she means to him. In a
brave move, he takes her back to his hometown to show her where he grew up and to revisit some of his fondest childhood memories but at the same time, it is the perfect excuse for Trevor to face some of the inner demons he has been struggling with since his parents disappeared. Can he finally deal with his issues and return to his parents home that has remained locked up all the time since their absence. Or will the ghosts of the past be too much for Trevor?
This is another great entry in a series. There is the usual intimacy and naughtiness but as well as all that, this is also a chance for readers to try and worm out a few clues to the overall mystery that runs through both sets of series. The story also gives readers a chance to gain an exclusive insight into the characters and to see a much more vulnerable side to Trevor than is ordinarily exhibited.
I like these stories generally as they read like a secret glimpse into the lives of the the two main characters beyond the larger storyline of the novels. I have said it before that reading these is like peeking at the characters of a movie or television series between scenes and seeing events that may not make it to the final cut. I like that the authors are also dropping subtle hints and teasing and tantalizing their fans, not just erotically but also with clues as to just why Trevor’s parents went missing. These stories then are almost like a reward to fans for being so dedicated and loyal. There is an argument that if the authors spent less time putting these out and more time writing the Countermeasure series then we might get the next
entry a bit quicker (hint hint) but these little shorts are often quite fun and I can imagine this writing duo chuckling away to themselves as they find new ways to tease and tempt their readers!
Overall, this is one of the better tales in the Bytes Of Life series and comes highly recommended from this reviewer! A great way to introduce yourself to both series if you have not encountered them before, this is just as enjoyable for established fans and is a very rewarding experience that leaves you wanting just that little bit more. Some readers have
mentioned that they have found it the most emotional of the series too so if you are a loyal fan, you might want to pack some tissues. Of course being an Alpha Male, it didn’t affect me in this way at all but it has left me even more desperate for the next full novel and more keen than ever to learn what exactly is going on.....
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Title: Passion at Dawn by Chris Almeida and Cecilia Aubrey
Length: short story
This is the third story in the Bytes Of Life Countermeasures spin-off series from writer collaboration, Chris Almeida and Cecilia Aubrey and is set shortly before events in their last full-length novel, To Russia With Love. Once again, the story is supposed to be an erotic interval to fill in the gaps between books and works well as an illicit behind-the-scenes look into the lives of the two lead characters of the Countermeasures series when they are not hard at work solving computer crime.
Cassandra Bauer is looking for fresh ideas to spice up her marriage to the love of her life, but Trevor is suffering from a crisis of. Thankfully, all that is needed to get things back on track is
a steamy sexual encounter and a little heart-to-heart!
This is the best of the Bytes of Life shorts so far and seems more heavily influenced by the Countermeasures novels than any of the previous installments, which to me read more like separate stories in their own right. This latest offering reads much more like a forgotten chapter or deleted scene from one of their novels and works well to bridge the gap between the first two novels! With every successive story that is released, the two authors seem to be finding a better and better balance. With this in mind, I have high hopes for the next Countermeasures novel due out early next year.
Once again, if you are at all prudish then this short story is not for you as it describes intimate sexual practices in explicit detail, much as fans have come to expect. There is a bit more to the
plot this time around. I am hoping that the next Bytes Of Life short builds on this principle and offers more revelations and teasers for the upcoming third installment of Countermeasures because if it does, it will only make me love this series more!
Title: To Russia with love by Celia Aubrey and Chris Almeida
Genre: Erotic thriller
Following on from the events in Countermeasures, Trevor and Cassandra Bauer are now married, have moved to Dublin and have opened a Data Retrieval business whilst still consulting part-time for the NSA. Trevor is still obsessed with discovering the truth behind his parents disappearance and when a chance comes up to accept a job in exchange for some lost notes of his fathers, he leaps at the opportunity that takes him and his new wife into the
heart of Russia and the arms of the Russian Mafia. As things begin to heat up, are he and Cassandra finally out of their depth?
This is the sequel to the excellent Countermeasures and features all of the characters who first appeared there, continuing their story as Trevor hunts for the truth. It is slightly longer than Countermeasures and is still a highly enjoyable and entertaining read! Once again, parts of the book are not for the faint-hearted as there are again some very explicitly described scenes of a highly sexual nature included in the plot, but this is very well written
and really pulls you into the story. It is great to see the continuation of Trevor and Cassandra’s story and to catch up with them several months along from the first book and I loved the idea of taking them both out of their comfort zone and throwing them to the wolves once more.
I was going to give this only four stars, not because of any deterioration in the quality of writing but simply because I didn’t think this was quite as gripping as Countermeasures or as fast-paced. As this book moves closer towards its explosive finale, the novel ups the ante and the level of tension lifting this back up to a five!
I am still not exactly sure who is this series is aimed at (is it marketed towards those who love Erotic Romance but yearn desperately for more plot or for readers of espionage, spy-type thrillers who crave much more explicit sexual content with their latest James Bond fix?). Tthat doesn’t really matter because what the authors set out to achieve here hits all the right buttons and does it well! This series is both thrilling and highly engaging at the same time.
I really loved this and thought it an excellent sequel. I can’t wait to catch up with the characters again and look forward to getting some more answers next time around but this is one book that I can highly recommend.....both as a stand-alone and as a follow-up to the brilliant Countermeasures. Miss this and you will be missing a treat!
To Russia With Love is a really good, cracking, cyber-thriller with extra added spice and more than a little heat!
Title: Ecstasy by the sea by Celia Aubrey and Chris Almeida
Genre: Erotic Romance
Length: short story
Though set chronologically before Cuffed At Midnight, Ecstasy By The Sea is the second in the Bytes Of Life series of short stories to be released featuring your favourite characters from the full length Countermeasure novels.
Trevor is ex-N.S.A and still obsessed with finding out what happened to his parents several years ago when they were “lost at sea”. Cassandra is ex-C.I.A and fell for Trevor whilst working on a case for her father who owns a private security firm. Recently married, the pair are just starting a new life together in Dublin from where they intend to work as Freelancers. In this little mini short, Trevor realizes he has failed to organize any kind of honeymoon and so turns to his Uncle Stephen for ideas. After coming up with an ingenious plan to get the pair of them away, Trevor must then try and hoodwink Cassandra without her guessing what is going on so that he can take her away and have his wicked way with her......
This was okay but a bit slower pace than Cuffed, which is why it loses a star. There was much more build-up and less actual action and though still enjoyable, there was a greater emphasis on the love shared by the pair than there was on the more physical side of their relationship. When things do start to happen, the sexual scenes are, as usual, highly descriptive, but, unlike with Cuffed, this did not feel as though it was the main focus of the story. Instead, this short story was all about reaffirming Trevor and Cassandra’s love for each
other and strengthening the bond shared by them both. In that sense, it was more Romance than Erotica and, whilst still good, it just wasn’t quite up to the same raunchy standard as Cuffed.
I am still enjoying this series and love the way these short stories read as a kind of naughty interlude between the main adventures of the Countermeasures storyline. Certainly by now, you really feel as though you know these two characters inside and out and these shorts are both voyeuristic in nature and wonderfully illicit in the way they give you a cheeky glimpse behind the scenes as it were; treating you to an almost forbidden glance into the private lives of the two main characters! One thing in particular is for certain, this reviewer is absolutely looking forward to whatever comes next....
Title: Cuffed at midnight by Cecilia Aubrey and Chris Almeida
Genre: Erotic romance
Length: short story
Trevor Bauer is a former NSA Operative haunted by his past. His parents disappeared a few years ago, are presumed dead at sea and he has become obsessed with discovering the truth behind what REALLY happened. Former CIA Agent, Cassandra James has her own issues; she left The Agency after being wounded in the line of duty and is now married to Bauer and working independently with him in Dublin where they seek clues to the truth about his parents disappearance whilst working as freelance agents.
This is the first in a series of shorts set between the Countermeasure books and featuring the same cast. These mini-stories are designed to be Erotic interludes between Cassandra and Trevor’s on-going adventures in the world of espionage and so are relatively short on plot devices and more focused on the intimacies between the two leads. In this particular story, Cassandra realizes she has failed to come up with any ideas for her new husbands birthday and so devises an erotic surprise instead that will tease him to the very limits....
If you thought Countermeasures was graphic, this little short will leave you gasping as it isn’t long before we get very firmly (excuse the pun) into the action! If you are at all prudish then this DEFINITELY isn’t for you as it details sexual acts very graphically between two very consenting adults. To say it made me break into a bit of a sweat is an understatement! But though this certainly ISN’T my usual type of read, I did find it a lot of fun and thought it well written for what it is. As a short story, it works very well and adds an exciting extra dimension to the mainstream novels a bit like the deleted scenes or extras on a DVD. For me, it was like watching your favorite characters from a T.V show once the cameras have moved away for another scene – an almost illicit, forbidden glimpse at what goes on when no one else is supposed to be looking! I really enjoyed it and thought it a fitting start to what looks like becoming a very successful series within a series!
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Title: Countermeasure by Celia Aubrey and Chris Almeida
Genre: Erotic Thriller
Trevor Bauer is an NSA Operative haunted by his past. His parents disappeared a few years ago, presumed dead at sea, and he is obsessed with avoiding any form of personal relationship and discovering the truth behind what REALLY happened. Former CIA Agent, Cassandra James has her own issues; she left The Agency after being wounded in the line of duty and now works for her father preventing Industrial Espionage. When something goes wrong with her latest assignment, Cassandra, with everything to prove to her military-trained father, finds herself forced to join forces with Bauer as they jet set across the globe
to Europe in order to track down an important computer file containing what could be the next best thing in anti-ageing pharmaceuticals. As the pair work closely together, slowly the barriers begin to come down...
This is, quite surprisingly, a very entertaining read with fairly strong characterization and an intriguing and gripping hard-edged plot! I, for one, enjoyed this far more than I thought I would and thought it had much in common with Lary Kahn's King Of Paine but with a lot stronger injection of steamy sex scenes and a better chemistry between the two leads. For that is one thing, you should note before reading this; if graphically detailed sex scenes are not for you . There are only a few examples but when they do come (pardon the pun) then the heat really begins to boil!! Even I wasn't quite sure where to turn in places!!
Countermeasures is very good at what it sets out to do and is actually a thoroughly enjoyable read! I quickly found myself hooked, delving in to this and surely there can be no bigger recommendation! The first in a new series, many of Bauer's questions about his family are never resolved and this is a neat touch because it then means the authors can then spread the revelations about what really happened all through the rest of the series. Would I read any more? Definitely, it manages to thrill and entertain and it left me certainly wanting to experience more adventures with the characters.