Monster or hero?
My name is Larkspur and I was born in the Colony, a labyrinth of tunnels and caves miles beneath the surface designed for prisoners. Being born among the criminals isn't an easy childhood. But I have a secret, my nails turn into sharp claws. I learned early how to fight dirty, hide well and never trust. All too soon, our world changes. Something happens to the prospering world above. The criminals desiring freedom and revenge push toward the surface. Me among them.
Humanity needs a hero, now more than ever, but all they get is me, a monster from the darkness.
Blood Service by Angela Knight: Rating 5, heat level 5
The only author I have read before is Angela Knight. Blood Service is her story, about Adiva, a spy on the run, with a very high price on her head. She and the vampire she was a "blood thrall" for, were working to topple an evil ruler on a planet. Her vampire was killed, and she's being hunted. She's captured by a bounty hunter vampire known only as The Vigilante. From the start, he gets under her skin. Seems he read her bio before he decided to be the one to catch her but not to turn her in. More than he wants money, he wants to possess a blood thrall (enhanced human blood donor for vampires, with extra strength and stamina.) And since he's a level 21 dominant, and she's a level 17 submissive, he has big plans for her.
Phew! Did I mention this story is a scorcher? Of course, since Adiva is a natural submissive, the things he does to her cause her to leak copious sexual fluids, which ramps up the excitement for both of them. The erotic scenes are plentiful and creative. Most of them involve toys of some kind and things to add kink to their steamy sex. This is the kind of story you need a fan for, enjoy!
Slave School Dropout by Dakota Cassidy: Rating 3, heat level 3.
Slave School Drop-out, tells the story of Nyla, who is a cat-shifter, descended from the Egyptian goddess Bast. Her bestie is the common tomcat shifter Lucas. They've been friends since they met a year ago at a shifter meet-'n'-greet. He told her from the start that he had feelings for her, but she relegated him to the "friend-zone" immediately. He's been patient enough to stick around. Now she sees the back of him in the aisle at a pet food store, and instantly she's turned on by his smell. When he turns around and she realizes it's her bestie causing her to feel such instant lust, she's dismayed to the max. Can they work it out? And what will her snobby parents think about their daughter bringing home a tomcat?
Even though the author likes to laugh, I didn't find much humor in her story. Her heroine is ditsy to the point of being annoying. The long-suffering Lucas should have cut his losses and run. When he smugly informs her they belong together, after they have sex once, she runs into his bathroom to avoid dealing with him. While looking for a hand-towel in his closet, she finds a collection of sex toys. Note: when the author has to put a disclaimer before her story saying that her heroine's reactions to BDSM are meant to be funny, you can be sure that without that explanation, some readers might not have realized that. And when you read who she gets her sexual advice from, you might want to say, "Aw, hell no!" But there is the requisite happy ending, at least for Nyla. Lucas still might want to reconsider.
Tainted Kisses by Kate Hill: Rating 4, heat level 4
Kate Hill's story, Tainted Kisses, was romantic and steamy. Naobi is a good vampire. Her creator explained to her that eternal life is a gift and to be used to enhance the lives of the mortals around her. Etlu was ripped from the body of his dead mother, on a battlefield of gore, after his creator and minions destroyed yet another village. As a boy, he was tortured and abused by his adopted brother, as well as anyone else who wanted to. They tried to teach him that having feelings of any kind is a weakness and that the only purpose he should have is to serve the dark god that his creator serves. He's a Viking leader of men who is feared by all. Etlu and his men destroy the village that Naobi, disguised as a man, had been protecting. He insists on a public death as a warning to the others, who will be taken back on his ship as slaves. He plans to rip out both of her lungs in a procedure known as the "blood eagle," which kills even vampires. But when he tears off her shirt to see that she's a woman, he decides to keep her for himself. She agrees to go with him as a willing occupant of his bed, if he frees the people she'd been protecting. To everyone's surprise, he agrees. Does he posses any vestige of humanity? And will she be able to reach it?
Etlu is a very confused evil vampire. He has never known any love, or even what the word means. He's raped and pillaged his way through life. He's sometimes peers into windows to watch mortals as they express their love to each other. It's a very different behavior than that of his men, who rut quickly as they please, with any female nearby. He wonders how it might be, with someone who is a willing partner. Since Naobi has proven herself to be strong, he suspects she might be able to teach him something. I felt sorry for Etlu, as Naobi does. He certainly is a willing pupil, once he realizes that females can enjoy sex as much as men, if the men are willing to learn a little thing called "foreplay." LOL. Since he's so dominant, it's not surprising that they discover the fun in dominance play during sex. I predict a long and happy undead life for them.
This children’s anthology is 5 short stories for bedtime:
The Wicked Witch and The Squirrels
The Treasure Fairy
The Wicked Witch, The Hacker
The Wicked Witch and The Switch
The Wicked Witch in Black and White
They include cute drawings that I find adorable and appropriate for a child to view. The stories themselves, while interesting are just too sophisticated for younger children and too juvenile for older children. With my children, I would have had to stop the story frequently to explain what a word meant and my older kids would lose interest. You know damn well the teenager would roll her eyes but what do they not roll their eyes about, lol. Anyway, each tale is interesting and I think these stories can appeal to certain children. I’d suggest you read a sample of this anthology to see if your children will enjoy it. My favorite story is The Wicked Witch and the Squirrels. It was really cute about the wicked witch stealing baby squirrel’s tales. Poor things! I like the plot, the characters and the overall vibe.
I didn’t enjoy all three of these stories equally, but the reason for the 4 is because I did enjoy two of them. Sawyer’s Folly Box Set consists of three stories set in the same small town in Arkansas. The first two are connected.
Love Won’t Run is a historical western romance about an heiress—murder witness on the run. One of Della’s stops lands her in small town Sawyer’s Folley where finds love and courage in Lo a local Romeo. This story catches me right off the bat and pulls me in. As the story opens the heroine, Della is shaking in her shoes due to gun shots and drops the tray she’s holding ruining her employer’s carpets. She’s fired as she leaves she’d hired by a Lo or Lewis who needs a companion for his bratty niece. Said niece is really in need of some companionship and female mentoring, but she’s not all that bad, and as Della bonds with the niece, Raisie. She also bonds with Lo. As the bond grows stronger we learn that Della isn’t just another poor woman looking for a decent job, she’s an heiress on the run having witnessed her husband’s murder. She’s not just afraid of the killer finding her but of her father’s regaining control of her and using her for his own ends as well. Della’s life is going smoothly until a jealous ex of Lo’s happens upon an old flyer advertising an interest in finding Della. The old flame hurries to tell Lo who demands to know the truth. Lo is determined to save Della and keep her in his home and his niece is just as adamant about keeping Della with them. So, Lo sets out to help her only to bring danger to his door. Averting being killed and saving Della from her father, all seems well until more danger comes calling and Della finds has to act with courage to protect those she loves.
The story has a natural progression from strangers to falling in love. There is no sex only a sweet romance with a few kisses, but I still enjoyed it. There were a few out of place phrases for the time period, but it didn’t take away from the story. I give this one a 4 because Della showed some boldness in attempting to make it on her own after fleeing her home. It was also a fun to watch Della whip Raisie into shape. Raisie is my favorite because she is a symbol of the growing independence of women of that time.
The Second book in the set is Love Remembers When is also a historical romance. It’s about an ex husband and wife who fled Sawyer’s Folly after the death of their child only to be drawn back by an inheritance. Peter Bonham fled Sawyer’s Folly years ago and his brother’s wedding brings him home again to place where love broke his heart. Peter returns and so does the ex-wife who broke his heart.
This story was okay, but a little repetitive for me. Peter’s ex Lillian was engaged to a guy who seemed a little over the top of a jerk just to make Peter look like the better guy. I can only give this one a 3 because it seemed to drag a little which I didn’t like. There is too much rehashing of their pain over their son’s death and now neither seemed to be able to just heal and let go. You never get over losing a loved one, but these two took too long to get closure for me. That closure came in the form of them both visiting the cemetery where their son was buried. I would recommend it to anyone who likes the genre though.
The final book in the series is When Love Arrives is also a historical romance. This one caught me right off. It was about a man—a bit omega in my book, who fled his home in search of work and finds love with a lonely widow. Ethan meets a jerky guy who just happens to share his first name, Ethan. Ethan dislikes Ethan immediately because this stranger tells him he’s newly married and is out to fleece the poor woman. As it happens, this jerk doesn’t get the chance. The train they are on has an accident and kills the jerk Ethan along with several others leaving hero Ethan hurt. Enter the wife. Ethan is urged by the doctor of Sawyer’s Folly to pretend to be the dead Ethan because the wife, Abigail has suffered emotionally in his book. Ethan does but only after trying to set the record straight. Abigail wanted a husband to help her maintain her farm and Ethan is just the man. The romance develops rather quickly, but is very PG though Abigail is eager to take it to the R level while Ethan holds back. There are a few moments of drama as Ethan struggles to do the right thing without hurting Abigail, he sends a letter to his sister which Abigail finds. This creates doubt in her mind about who he is. Then, Abigail’s ex in-laws show up wanting to buy the land. Ethan’s belligerence toward them lead them to have him investigated. He ends up getting thrown in jail for impersonating the dead guy. Abigail finds out she’s pregnant and decides to go get her man. All in all a nice story. It does drag a little, but I’m not the biggest fan of the historical. I give this one a 4 because I enjoyed the concept of the mistaken identity-assuming the dead guy’s identity. I also liked the very independent woman that Abigail is.
The author did a great job of keeping the language and descriptions of dress true to time. This is a plus in my book. All the stories were a well-written, good reads if you enjoy the historical romance, the western historical romance genres, or sweet romances, you’ll like these stories.
Lawless is a five story anthology about men that aren’t exactly the nice guys. Avoiding danger and falling in love isn’t an easy balance. Dark and dirty accompany these short stories about lawless men who find love whether they’re looking for it or not.
Monsters by James Cox
Sunshine and Snakes by L.J. Longo
Live or Die by Kai Tyler
$250,000 Love by Jessie Pinkham
Silent Devotion by Angelique Voisen
This is a mixed bag for me. There are stories in this anthology that amazed me and other that just didn’t work. So, I’m going to talk about the one’s I did like.
The first story is monsters by James Cox. A simple, average guy is going out with a new man. But then the boyfriend blows up his lover’s whole family! I had no idea how the hell that was going to work in a romance?! I am pleasantly surprised and then I was turned on. Seriously hot! Let me just say, a dom that’s a bottom and holy hell, so freaking hot! I’m excited that this is part of a series too.
The second story is Sunshine and Snacks about a hitman that always gets his guy, even when he’s in prison. However, when he finds out who his next victim will be, he hesitates. This is a great story! Plenty of action, lots of the feels and a beautiful if dark and dirty romance. I really, really, really like this couple!
The third story I like is Live or Die by Kai Tyler. This has to do with an undercover agent, a cartel and old romances that haven’t been doused. The action and twists are done beautifully! I love pace that kept me on the edge of my seat. The characters are okay. I’m not totally in love with one of the main characters personality. This does have a great ending though.
I know what you’re thinking. If I only love a few stories why should you buy this book? Because those stories are not just great, they’re fabulous and sexy and totally worth it!
To ENTER: You must comment below. Tell us why you want to read this Lawless anthology and which of the authors you've read before. For extra entries share this post using the Facebook and Twitter buttons below. Good luck!
James Cox Outlaw books: Jodi, Laurie and Lorraine
$5 Evernight Gift Card: Dale
Dark, dirty, dangerous ... lawless.
This is a twelve story anthology about all the sexy lawless couples you could possibly dream of. The one thing they all have in common is a lot danger and a lot of sexiness. These would be great to read before some alone time with your other half or with them!
The King of South Side by Loralynne Summers
Gentleman Jackson by Nicola Cameron
Hungry Eyes (The Covenant) by Gwendolyn Casey
Vandal by Amber Morgan
Given to a Killer by Sam Crescent
Angel Mine by Maia Dylan
Kiss of Death (Dark Heart) by Sandra Bunino
Hitman's Seduction by Olivia Starke
Hitman's Angel by Elyzabeth M. VaLey
Eli Logan's Return by Lila Shaw
Trust by Kait Gamble
The Last DiLuca by Beth D. Carter
I can only say I had hard time picking just one story as my favorite. They each are perfect for romantic suspense readers such as myself. If I had to pick just one…damn I can’t! It’d be a three-way tie between Angel Mine by Maia Dylan, Kiss of Death by Sandra Bunino and Hitman’s Angel by Elyzabeth VaLey. They had the best stories that really packed a punch in such a short span. I wasn’t so crazy about the MC stories. Maybe because lately they all seem to have the same plot? One thing all the stories did deliver on was the sexy factor! Yummy!
If you’re looking to get a glimpse into some sexy stories but not commit to anything too long, Lawless should already be on your tbr list!
I wasn’t too sure what to expect when I got a copy of I Need a Hero. This is a six-story anthology about superheroes and it’s not at all like I thought it’d be. It’s better! Superheroes have died out and long forgotten but in this anthology, they rise once more.
Behind The Mask by Elizabeth Coldwell
Riptide by Helena Maeve
Saving the Day by Jambrea Jo Jones
Flying with the Stars by Sarah Masters
Unseen by Lucy Felthouse
The Angel on the Northern Line by Catherine Curzon
Each story has a seriously unique take on the superhero theme and most of them grabbed me, refusing to let go until I finished the very last page. Sure, some were better than others but the one that stood out to me was Behind The Mask by Elizabeth Coldwell. What a story! Overall, this is a fantastic anthology that I would highly recommend to m/m romance readers who likes action with their sexy bits.
Dark and Dirty is a 4 story anthology that’s all about the dark romance. Does it deliver? Yes! Sexy? You’re going to need a cold shower or your significant other available. How about a plot? Nothing is worse than hot sex without a story to go with it. Guess what, this anthology has it all!
NOT ONE NIGHT by D.C. Stone
REDEEMER by Kastil Eavenshade
SLICK by Lea Bronsen
ADDICTIONS by R. Brennan
Each story has its own unique contemporary plot and sexy characters. I enjoyed them all. If you’re looking for sweet romance then run right along. If you like things on the edgy side then definitely give this book a try.
Dark and Dirty is exactly as the name implies, a highly recommend read!
Title: Owned by the Alpha
Authors: Rose Wulf, Sam Crescent, Stacey Espino, Doris O’Connor, Lily Harlem, Maia Dylan, Michelle Graham, Elyzabeth M. VaLey, Wren Michaels, Beth D. Carter, Elena Kincaid, Roberta Winchester
Genre: romance, shifter, paranormal, anthology, erotic
TBR Reviewer: Bella Star
Rating: 5 Stars - A Must Read!
Heat: 5/5 - Orgasmic!
If you love shifters and the search for their mates then you have to read Owned by the Alpha. It’s the newest anthology from Evernight Publishing and it’s amazing! Seriously, I couldn’t even begin to tell you which story is my favorite because all of them are tied for first.
Scent of Destiny by Rose Wulf
Taken Mate by Sam Crescent
Finders Keepers by Stacey Espino
The Hunt by Doris O’Connor
Alpha at Altitude by Lily Harlem
Fated to the Razorback Demon by Maia Dylan
Running Home by Michelle Graham
Alpha’s Sunshine by Elyzabeth M. VaLey
Checkmate by Wren Michaels
Frozen Heart by Beth D. Carter
Wolf Hunter by Elena Kincaid
Returning to the Coyote by Roberta Winchester
It’s like a buffet of hot men, sex and engaging plots! I’m totally in love with this anthology. I think Finders Keepers by Stacey Espino may have inched out in the amazing department. I’ve read it twice and still enjoy every second of the story. But don’t discount the other stories! What an amazing bunch of sexy shifter tales.
Love anthologies? Read this! Love shifters? Read this! Love romance or drama or action....Basically, read Owned by the Alpha!
Beneath The Layers Anthology
Authors: Caitlin Ricci, C.L. Mustafic, Elizabeth Coldwell, Sita Bethel, E.M. Hamill, Sydney Blackburn, C.A. Blocke, Asta Idonea ,Nicki J. Markus
Genre: Gay, Romance, Anthology
TBR Reviewer: Bella Star
Rating: 3 stars - A Good Read!
Heat: 2/5 - Flirty!
This is an eight story anthology of men who like satin and lace. Each story revolves around the softer and more romantic sides of some hunky men. I liked the anthology. My favorite has to be Satin Secrets, I love sexy police officers. Although each story brought an interesting twist they are all a bit rushed. More heat would have been appreciated. I feel like there is this sexual tension in the stories but it isn’t fully explored. Let me just say, that cover is really beautiful. I like it’s simplicity.
Overall, Beneath the Layers is an interesting mix of gender friendly, lace loving men.
All the proceeds from this anthology will go to a non-profit, children’s literacy program. That alone is a fantastic reason to buy this book. But you know what really helps? This anthology is a highly recommended read! There are thirteen stories by talented authors in many different genres. Talk about something for everyone. And they all have that winter wonderland feel to them.
Summoning a Dragon by Lori Whyte
Ice Hot by Jayelle Morgan
Music of His Heart by Fionn Jameson
One Night in the Chupacabras Ranch by Ani Gonzales
Orc in Winter by Melisse Aires
Wolf on Holiday by Skye Jones
First Fight by Mima
Glitch by Megan Matthews
Try a Little Tenderness by Christa Maurice
How to Take Revenge on a Disloyal Scot by Amy Quinton
A Change on New Year’s by Lyn Brittan
A Christmas Eve Gift for Elyzabeth by Patty MacFarlane
A Daring Game by Regina Welling and Erin Lynn
Yes, that’s a lot of story and they are all really good to fantastic. My favorite has to be Music of His Heart by Fionn Jameson. It is so sweet and romantic and paranormal goodness. Love is Winter Romance is not only a fantastic read but for a great cause. I highly recommend you buy a copy for a cold winters night!