An accidental meeting and a misunderstanding lead to a life-altering connection.
When chubby gamer Oliver receives a job offer from the best boutique game developer in the country, he leaves his family and his less than spectacular existence in Oklahoma without a second’s hesitation. Determined to change more than his career and his geography, Oliver implements a plan to finally land a boyfriend. Step one is improving his skills in the bedroom.
A life that looks perfect on paper, but feels empty in reality. Attractive, successful, charismatic Jaime Snow has a life other people envy.
An accidental meeting, a misunderstanding, and falling in love. Building the lifetime relationship they both desperately crave will require trust, time, and a little misunderstanding.
Robyn is a curator of historical artifacts. Somewhere along the line she met and married Maxim Vallois. He is a vampire who hunts vampires who are still old-fashioned enough to kill humans. Maxim's job is often dangerous, so he doesn't usually tell Robyn much about it. Centuries ago, the fae, the werewolves and the vampires decided to appear to humans as themselves, and attempt to coexist with them. A huge part of that was that they needed to police their own, so that humans aren't considered "food" anymore. Of course there are humans who still want to hunt and kill paranormals. In fact, Maxim had an affair with a British woman who came from a family of hunters. When she was injured, she chose to die rather than allow him to bring her into eternal life as a vampire. But their child, a dhampire (half-human, half-vampire) named Heath, still lives with Maxim. In fact, he's part of the comedy relief, since he refers to his father as "the old bat."
The plot of this story involves a mummy being delivered to the office where Robyn spends her days cataloging and displaying the artifacts that Maxim has bought over the years. When she finds the mummy in a big box, she's intrigued by the oddities surrounding it. Robyn seeks to have it examined by experts which is of course, a huge mistake, since it's a vampire mummy, who is totally upset that he's been forced to endure the centuries living only in his own mind, thirsting for revenge. He recognizes Robyn as a "shaman," which is never mentioned by anyone else, so I suspect that will be part of the story in future books in the series.
When I was done with this book I was smiling. Then I realized that I've done that each time I've read one of Alexa Piper's books. The word that sprang to my mind was "frothy" but now I realize that her writing style is like that of the old romantic comedy movies that used to star Cary Grant. The hero is undeniably sexy, but he's also urbane and suave. He's smooth as silk, and he adores his chosen female to distraction. The heroines are smart and independent, while head-over-heels in love with their man whatever species he happens to belong to. The stories are fun to read because of the easy relationship between the characters, and how much they enjoy each other. That makes me enjoy reading about them.
Prince Raven of Dark Sphere has more power than anyone else around him has ever known. But when the traditional fortune-teller attended his birth, she predicted that he would lead his people to the destruction of their world. So he's been shunned his whole life. He's now in his early twenties. He's only got a very few real friends, since his tragic reaction years ago to discovering that his family had been slaughtered in an attempt to get him to return to Dark Sphere, so he could be killed. His emotions and his power combined, and he's been depressed about it ever since. He puts strong metaphysical chains around himself at least twice a day, to try to keep himself sane.
Veracity is the third child of a king and queen whose other two children will not be inheriting rule over their planet, C7. Her brother, Prince True, died in a tragic accident. And her older sister, Whimsical, Whimsy for short, fell in love with Gaedrian and ran off to marry him. He's a prince also, but not the one her parents had chosen for her. So Veracity is determined to make her parents happy. Unfortunately, the man they've chosen to unite her with is boring beyond belief. The only man her heart wants is referred to only as Dark. And he's barely acknowledged her existence. When her sister's twins turn three, there is a huge birthday celebration. Since Gaedrian is one of Dark's only friends, she knows he'll be at the party. She decides to throw herself at him, to try to get his attention. And somehow, she has to get rid of her betrothed.
I was so captured by this story that I had to keep reading long after I should have gone to bed. Dark is sent on a perilous assignment, and Veracity is determined to prove her love for him, so she decides to stow-away on the ship he travels in. Dark has been keeping his strong feelings for her to himself, because of his mistaken belief that no one so pure and beautiful could love a monster like him. He suffers eloquently. But little-by-little, she wins his trust. Since she's a virgin, once again there is the required deflowering scene, where she suffers minimal discomfort after he pleasures her with his tongue. But for all of his talk of how violent his urges are, and how afraid he is that he'll hurt her, he proves to be such a considerate lover that I wanted to join her in yelling at him--"I won't break!"
They have many adventures before they realize their HEA, but when Prince Raven is finally able to undo what he had done so many years before, I was thrilled for the relief he felt. And when you care about the characters that much, you really enjoy reading the book.
Charlotte (Charlie) Bisset was born to a witch family, but has no magical power at all. She's a sexy librarian who has not just one, but two devoted men. I use "men" loosely, since Dr. Hugo is a centuries-old vampire, and Laurette is Elven royalty with untold power. He's also a devoted baker who takes up knitting in this book. Charlie has been to Hell and back, literally, (Elvenswood Tales 2) with Laurette, and she's still enthralled with the knowledge that both of these sexy guys love only her--well, she's their only female lover.
Seems that Dr. Hugo and Laurette have been besties for many years, but their relationship was never physical until Charlie came into the picture. Now she's got her reverse harem to enjoy, and when she's not available or the mood strikes them, (which is often--these folks are mighty lusty!) the two guys will eagerly pleasure each other.
The plot of this book, the third in the series, involves unnatural vermin attacks in Elvenswood. Seems there is a protective spell woven on the museum at the center of town, which was built and maintained by the earliest elves to live there, to show their devotion to their human lovers. When evil bunnies start chomping on innocent folks, then rats, frogs, and chickens get into the act, Laurette is determined to get to the bottom of this, because it's upsetting Charlie--and that can't be allowed. It's also spring, and Dr. Hugo wants to go on the yearly Easter Egg Hunt run by the local witches.
Please, ignore the cover of this book. It doesn't begin to capture the fun of reading these stories! Even the supporting characters are well-drawn--a couple just for comedy relief. The plots are secondary to the relationship between the folks in this triad. Hugo isn't possessive, but Laurette is--of both of his lovers--whom he dresses in his royal house colors when they go to the hunt, so everyone will know they both belong to him. I thought he was overbearing when I first started reading these books. But he's the perfect foil for Charlie and Hugo, who need to be reminded that human concerns are not all they should be involved with. And no review can be complete without mentioning the smokin' hot sex scenes! These three are lusty to the max, and hot for each other--which manifests itself in frequent steamy encounters that will convince you that maybe, just maybe, it really IS possible for a triad to be successful. Now where can I find me a vampire and elf to make MY dreams come true?
Layla is still learning how to be a witch, under the sporadic tutelage of her bonded lust-demon Ink. She's always been dyslexic, so reading her spell book, which apparently only she can read, is difficult for her. She's learning by the seat of her pants, as monsters keep creeping into her life, and she has to draw wards and learn spells on the run, to stay alive. But she has Ink to satisfy her every desire--practically as soon as she thinks it.
She also has Cal, her boyfriend. She'd lusted after him for many years, while they were in a study group for the nursing classes they're both taking. Finally they both seized the opportunity to make things reality--while she was learning all about his past, and his horrible upbringing in a werewolf pack known for the cruelty of its leader--his father. He's been spectacularly endowed by nature with an 8-pack of abs, despite his diet of junk food--and a male member she describes as being the size of a coke can. Um, yeah. Lots of lube required, as you discover in a very hot scene early in this book!
I've enjoyed all of the stories in this saga, including the two short stories she's published. Now it's starting to seem like Layla is collecting males like a queen bee. They all gravitate to her, falling in love with her, despite her being convinced that she's unlovable, due to her awful childhood. But she really loves sex, and the men are all too willing to pleasure her, for their mutual benefit. Phew! I love a heroine who can indulge her every desire, heedless of societal rules. In this book, Layla is almost stymied when she starts lusting after a ghost--who seems to be able to help her by reading her spell book to her. Ink dismissively refers to him as a whisper, or a memory. Is he jealous? Perhaps. But Cal isn't worried--she can't touch the ghost and he can't touch her--right? So there's no harm in her working with him to discover who killed him many years ago. The harm becomes apparent little-by-little, and the author makes sure that you'll enjoy every minute! If you like paranormal romances and/or reverse harem stories, you must read this book! (Then you'll want to go back and start with Ink, then read the other two in this series.)
Tammy is strong, resourceful, a survivor. She’s had to let go of her feelings and focus on one day to the next. She knows how to kill but she doesn’t know how to love. Aiden is a very powerful werewolf who finds that Tammy is his mate. She’s got attitude and wants nothing to do with the lust between them. That could be a problem, there’s also a bounty on her very pretty head. What’s a werewolf to do but protect his mate, no matter the cost.
I love Gail Koger books! She always manages to blend humor, romance and action. I admit to being a little tired of the werewolf theme. However, Gail manages to hook me in the first scene. I absolutely love how tough Tammy is. She isn’t a woman to roll over and take anyone’s orders. Now she’s stuck as a meter maid with a completely new look and you know what, she doesn’t care as long as it keeps her safe. Then Aiden comes into her life. Everything is thrown in chaos and she once again has to fight for her life. This time, she has the sexy werewolf by her side. For me, Blackheart’s Treasure is a must read! I love this book from the exciting beginning to the promising ending. I cannot wait to read more in this series. This is book one in the Blood Moon series. I’m anxiously waiting for book two!
Ava apparently doesn't know just what she is, but she does know it's not human--even though that's what she looks like. She has snark and sass to spare, along with abilities that sometimes manifest that let her know that there's a lot her grandmother never told her about her background. Both of her parents are long-dead, and her grandmother is MIA, so there's no one left to ask. When this book opens, she's in Hell. Seems that Lucifer put some kind of mark on her in the first book, and it means she's been summoned to meet him in his palace. In Hell. But he didn't provide her with an easy route, since she appeared on the outskirts and has to undertake a long and perilous journey to get to him.
Ava has four big, strong men to accompany her--each with their own special abilities. Hunter is a hell-hound whose real shape resembles a dragon made of fire and smoke. He's from Hell and likes it there, so he's a great guide for them. Kase is a very old vampire who has been to Hell many times. Grant is a mage who can work enchantments to protect Ava, or to repel some of the demons they meet. He's been to Hell often to get supplies for his spells. Troy is a werewolf who hates what he is, and is the closest thing to a mortal of the bunch of them--besides Ava.
I don't usually like to read a series book without having read the previous book(s), because you often have trouble with what you missed. This one was fairly easy to follow, once I wrote down the men's names and what they were. The author does a fabulous job of creating the reality that is Hell. Her world-building involves imagining creatures that live there, and places for them to live in. I was interested in her view of Hell that didn't involve myths or religion in any way--it's just a horrible place to live in, and not so great to visit--unless you were born (?) there, like Hunter.
Each of the men is very attracted to Ava, and she likes sex, so whichever one is interested is okay with her. There are reasons for her having to have sex with various combinations of the men together, or singly, and I was on board with that. The descriptions were steamy and satisfying--except for one thing. I detest the "c" word in romance. I employ that word as my ultimate swear, using it sparingly, only when extreme situations call for it. I'm always pulled out of a sex scene when it's used as a common word, as if it has no special meaning--just a description of a body part. So despite the steamy scenes, I can't give this a higher rating on the steam factor, because of my personal "ick" factor. If it doesn't bother you, then you'll really enjoy the steamy scenes--especially as a counter-point to all of the ugly grossness of the inhabitants of Hell.
Jolene Gray works as a nurse during the day, but we never find out anything else about that part of her life. Since she was eleven, she saw a ghost named Iris, allowing her to communicate with the dead. She can only see the ghosts of children, but she can hear all of them. She's been doing weekly night meetings at a local church--they're usually crowded with believers who want any messages from their dead relatives. Iris makes them all speak one at a time, so Jolene can pass along their words.
Red MacFarlene is a director of reality TV shows, but what he really wants to do is direct movies. Unfortunately his younger brother, whose name we don't learn until the end since Red calls him Golden Balls, has made a name for himself as a highly successful and sought-after movie director. So they haven't spoken much for years. When Red's boss offers him a chance to direct the season finale episode of the popular show Canada's Most Haunted, he jumps at the chance to gain more visibility. They've hired Jolene to be the psychic responsible for ensuring that any spirits actually in the place leave the living folks alone.
I wasn't very convinced by the ghost story. The big bad ghost turned out to just be misunderstood, and the conflict seemed to be resolved too easily for me. What I really enjoyed was the steamy romance between Jolene and Red. I mean, when you're so hot for each other that your first time is in a maintenance shed of a cemetery, you know you've both got it bad! Complicating matters is that Red doesn't believe in ghosts, so at first he's afraid that he's having hot sex with a crazy woman. It doesn't stop him but he figures he'll need to get her some help, before they can have anything more. When he discovers, to his dismay, that the warning she gave them all about telling the spirits to not follow them home was really necessary, he's forced to admit that she's not crazy. She's got an ability he never believed in, and he's going to need her help to get himself free of a malevolent ghost.
Enjoy the ghost story, but read this book for the steamy romance!
After being thrown out of his pack by a cruel leader, Omega wolf Simon has learned to survive by ignoring his gentle nature. His mother was also an Omega, who couldn't allow her 13-year-old son to be on his own away from the safety of a pack, so she went with him. When the story begins, 12 years later, he's once again on the grounds of the Blue Mountain pack, to bury his mother, who asked him to accompany her there, knowing she'd die while there.
The first four pack members who find him, rough him up a little, to scare him off. Then they report back to Frederick, their current pack leader. He and his twin brother Mitch, killed off the last pack leader and his three beta sycophants, then took over the pack. They're both alphas, but Mitch has no desire to be a leader. He's the "enforcer" for the pack. His gruff manner keeps everyone at bay, and that's just the way he likes it.
When Mitch and Frederick smell the blood of a foreign shifter on their reporting pack members, they both realize that this is Mitch's mate. Frederick tells him to go deal with the interloper. When found by Mitch, Simon panics, he's been treated badly by Alphas and other male shifters before he smells "off", because not only is he a rare Omega male, but he's gay. His first instinct is to roll over and submit, but he fights until he's worn out. Then he wants to bare his belly to allow the alpha to kill him, since he's tired of always having to fight to survive. But Mitch takes him to his home that he rebuilt out of an old ruined house, it's close enough to where the pack leader lives, but far enough away for Mitch to have the privacy he needs.
Simon fights against everything Mitch tries with him and he refuses to tell Mitch why. Luckily for them both, Mitch's rough exterior hides a gentle, loving man, who will give Simon all the time and space he needs to realize that they're a mated pair, bound to each other for life. The realism in this book was totally engaging. I was captured by Mitch's gentle giant, and astounded by Simon's inner strength, which he didn't believe in, but which kept him alive during his time living out of a pack. I loved both of these characters, and almost wept with happiness that they both found in each other, a harbor for their hearts and souls.
Chloe Hart is a wedding photographer who had to toss out her ex when she found him banging her supposedly close girlfriend. Chloe's still not over the betrayal, so she's not ready to date yet. She fears there aren't any men who could fulfill her the way that her "book boyfriends" do, since she devours romance novels and takes care of her urges herself.
One day a mysterious painting is delivered to her apartment, with the sender's info a mystery. When she unwraps the painting she's amazed that it's a realistic painting of "a big, blond Viking of a man," a perfect specimen of a man in his prime. He's physically perfect--or at least as far as she can tell, since there's an obtrusive animal skin draped across the crucial part of his nude body so she can only guess at what it's hiding, by examining his large hands. She promptly hangs it over her bed, to replace the nude photo of her ex that used to hang there. That night she has a wonderful dream involving the gorgeous man--she's in a medieval castle, and he's the conquering knight who has come to claim her virginal self. She laughs that she's not virtuous, but her words are ignored. The man makes wild, passionate love to her, resulting in the kinds of intense orgasms she never go from the ex who claimed she was a "pervert" when she suggested that if he tied her up, she might get some enjoyment out of sex with him.
Over the next few days, she dreams of the hot, hard-bodied man every night. She learns his name is Radolf of Varik. Of course he's been cursed by a witch. The witch gets power from the orgasms he gives to women in their dreams so she's been pimping him out all this time. And he's been hoping that finally he'd meet a woman who would love him enough to enter the painting and break his curse by kissing him awake.
This is a cute, clever take-off on Sleeping Beauty, only it's the man who's asleep and Chloe is just resourceful enough to figure out how to defeat the witch. Honestly, I'd probably enjoy reading a grocery list if it was written by Angela Knight. She writes toe-curdling, steamy sex scenes that can't help but fire up your imagination along with your body parts. This is a very short read, but it's got plenty of heat. I liked the nod to "romance-landia" where we all live, creating and reading about book boyfriends who are never too tired, are always hard, and always know how to pleasure a woman.
Cyprus Reid has exploded into the consciousness of the world. She's an overnight sensation whose fans are intensely dedicated, and whose detractors are equally rabid. When she sings, listeners are moved to tears. Everyone is intrigued by her. Her sexuality is blatant, irresistible and she is always accompanied by five ridiculously sexy men. Are they her body-guards or her lovers? A reverse-harem, or just eye candy for everyone, to add to the mystique of her allure?
Ex-Navy SEAL Jason Giles is a government-intelligence operative now, who has taken on a dangerous assignment. Scientists have been dying in the towns visited by Cyprus and her entourage. Is she connected in any way? When Jason gets himself hired by the hotel she's staying at, to provide protection for Cyprus, it doesn't take him long to realize he's in way over his head. Cyprus is much more than just a young man in a dress. What Jason discovers will change his life forever.
I'm a huge fan of sci-fi in any medium: movies, TV shows, and books. So I'm aware that building a world is time-consuming. The more you want to play in that world, the more painstaking you have to be in establishing the parameters. This is a very ambitious beginning to a series. I wasn't sure at first what direction the author was going in, until the action became as compelling as the sexy men surrounding Cyprus. With her being a hermaphrodite, even when a man is having sex with her lady parts, there is still a very functional set of man-parts to contend with as well. Once we start experiencing the sex that goes on within this coven, it gets intense very quickly. There is a whole lot of male/male sex going on, and because three members of Cyprus' coven are alpha-males, there is some very violent sex that takes place as the alphas try to force each other to yield. In the end, there is also a very-much-deserved avenging of a horrific wrong committed against Cyprus and her coven, but it's also very violent, so reader be warned.
Ms. Burke has created an interesting world, and the characters who live in it do so by their own codes. I will be watching to see how many books she plans in this series, and if any will be not just back-stories, but will continue the story she started here. The Coven is a highly recommended read!
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