Wealthy, attractive Lucas Reika treats life like a party, moving from bar to bar and man to man. Thumbing his nose at his restaurateur father's demand that he earn his keep, Lucas instead seduces a valued employee in the kitchen of their flagship restaurant, earning himself an ultimatum: lose access to his father's money or stay in the middle of nowhere with a man he has secretly lusted over from afar.
Quiet, hard-working Jared McFarland loves his farm on the outskirts of Hope, Arizona. Jared agrees to take in his longtime crush as a favor. When Lucas invades his heart in addition to his space, Jared has to decide how much of himself he's willing to risk and figure out if he can offer Lucas enough to keep him after his father's punishment is over.
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!
Brandis has had to overcome so much in his life: tragedy, addiction and losing the one woman he loved, Blair. When she comes home back, he hopes this is his second chance. Blair seems determined to keep them apart, even though she’s falling for his slobbering pooch. Can they find a balance and a happy ending?
This is book nine in the series. I definitely recommend reading the previous books because I became lost several times. I think reading the others in the series would have smothered that confusion. That said, I really like this book! Brandis and Blair are made for each other. Their past managed to split them apart but that’s what second chances are for. I like the reluctance of Blair to let Brandis in. Her heart was broken once before and she refuses to open it again. It is wonderful to read how Brandis has grown and improved with his recovery. That is very well done. Liz Crowe is a talented writer and I can’t wait to read more!
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.
Maggie was only 18 years old when the world changed. Overnight, large swaths of the world's population died--presumably from some kind of virus. She lost both of her parents to it. She's spent the past 3 years staying out of everyone's sight. She's traveled alone, keeping herself alive by sheer strength of will, and her wits. But her luck runs out when she encounters the first man she's seen. He's a lower-level lackey for someone, so when he overpowers her, he tells her he's going to "gift" her to the guy in charge, so he'll be forgiven for his mistakes. But when she sees him, she's shocked.
Clay Knight was a high school History teacher in his previous life. Now he's the leader of a rag-tag group of folks who depend on him to keep them safe. But years ago he was tempted for the only time in his life, to date a student. Maggie's curves imprinted themselves on his mind, and she's all he's thought about for the past 3 years, while he turned down any other females who offered themselves to him. When she's thrown at his feet as an offering, he's not interested in her mind. He just wants what he's desired for years.
This book's first sex scene is a virgin-being-deflowered one--which I don't care for. The females who've presumably never even touched themselves before, suffer only a minimum of pain, before they're screaming out their ecstasy as they experience multiple orgasms. I guess this is a fictional story, after all. But this was an interesting look at a possible dystopic future society. The journey that the small band of survivors take is similar to the journey of emotional rescue that Maggie and Clay experience. They both come to realize that despite their age difference, they are perfectly suited to each other. They've found a home in each other's hearts just like they find a place to call home for their people.
Princess Ellegra is chafing at all of the rules she must follow as a princess. Most of all, she's tired of being watched all of the time--she wants to experience a little spontaneous fun. So she disguises herself while she and her entourage are visiting another planet, and goes for a stroll along the beach. When a sexy man assumes she's been sent to pleasure him, she's smitten with his smoldering looks, so she plays along with him. But the deed once done, cannot be undone.
Xandore is the Prince of Planet Artemis. He knows what he must do, and a politically-advantageous marriage has been arranged for him. It will benefit his planet as well as that of the Hesperians. He's willing to marry the princess, but has no plans at all to be monogamous. He's thoroughly enjoying being single, and sees no reason to stop taking mistresses, just because he has to marry and produce offspring with a chosen wife. He just hopes she won't be too hideous, and won't ask too many questions when he's off pursuing his pleasure elsewhere.
When Ellegra and Xandore meet each other, they realize that their dalliance set them up for more steamy encounters. The courts of both planets are pleased that these two seem to be so hot for each other. But Ellegra has heard all about Xandore's wanton ways, and refuses to look the other way, or to forgive him any straying. So there's a huge fly in the ointment of their pleasure together. Through a series of events, Xandore comes to realize he doesn't need other women, since his wife is more than enough woman for him from now on.
I really dislike virgins-being-deflowered scenes. There is always just a quick pain that disappears instantly, allowing for the formerly-virtuous woman to start enjoying sex like she's been doing it for years. How a female who hasn't ever even pleasured herself, can suddenly become like a cat-in-heat is beyond me. So for me, the initial sex scene wasn't believable. That being said, this is a cute short romance that involves a female forcing her man to accept that now that she's his wife, he has to accept that his days of fooling around are over. And she gets the benefit of his years of experience in pleasuring females. Win-win for both of them.
rough edges, opposites attract and a passionate romance blossoms despite the differences in age and background.
But can it survive a Kensington Board of Directors who believe Colt is nothing but a gold digger and a kidnapper determined to profit from the love of Mal’s life—dead or alive?
- Sneak Peek -
Whisky or Whiskey?
Being an author has some wonderful side-perks. One of my personal favorites is the research needed to flesh out locations and professions used in a story. I’m not a big drinker and when I began writing Whiskey and Moonshine I knew next to nothing about the process of creating these adult beverages.
The first thing I had to learn was how to properly spell the name of the spirits that were going to play an important part of the plot!
I’m sure you’ll notice the ‘e’ in whiskey. Interesting thing that ‘e’. Most of the world spells whiskey without that ‘e’, so it’s whisky to you in Canada, most of Europe, Scotland of course, and Japan. The reason for the difference is partially because of how the Gaelic language was translated to English way back when.
However, that’s not the complete tale of the badass ‘e’, and let’s face it the word whiskey with an ‘e’ looks so much more badass than when that ‘e’ is left out. There’s a much more important reason other than aesthetics. Back in the mid-eighteen-hundreds Ireland led the world in the sale of whiskey, producing something to the tune of 70% of the stuff world-wide.
Even the big Irish distillers used the spelling whisky.
There was no ‘e’ back then.
Then along came the Spirits Act passed in 1860 by the Gladstone government. For the first time whisky blends could be created using grain whisky and single malts, which was a big deal to distillers. This led to the Scotch whisky blenders to produce a very similar drink, but at a lower cost. That combined with their awesome marketing skills made a real dent in the Irish distillers’ sales. One thing led to another the Irish distillers began using ‘whiskey’ to set themselves apart from the Scottish spirit makers.
Sneaky them, creating controversy. And we all know controversy, like sex, sells.
Across The Pond (aka in the New World of North America) there were similar changes in the whisky industry. We Americans enjoy our Irish whiskey and like our Irish counterparts we’re a rebellious lot. To exploit the perceived higher quality of Irish whiskey and since it was more popular in the US, distillers here did the same thing. They added a badass ‘e’. Adding that ‘e’ also helped differentiate US from Canadian whisky producers.
There’s a whole lot more, such as the difference between Bourbon and Whiskey, but that’s a subject for another post.
What does all this have to do with my book, Whiskey and Moonshine, aside from the title? Well, since you asked! The words are representative of the main characters. Mal Kensington is the whiskey half of Whiskey and Moonshine. He’s a distiller, like his father, grandfather and generations before. He’s old money, but that doesn’t stop him from going against the grain, finding his own path and fighting for what he wants.
Like that ‘e’, he’s a little bit badass.
Here’s a modest taste of Malone Curtis Kensington, owner and master distiller of Kensington’s Distillery and Stillhouse.
Blasting around a bend, Mal nearly ran Colt over. He’d slowed to a brisk walk, head down and arms hugging himself. When the truck’s tires squealed, Colt jerked sideways.
Mal put the truck in park and rolled down the window. “Colt, you can’t walk all the way back.”
“Oh, bullshit. I’ve walked across a city before.”
“There are bears and coyotes and cougars.”
“I lived on the streets for ten years and dealt with gangs. I’ll survive,” Colt snapped.
“For God’s sake, Colt, you smell like roast beef sandwiches and three types of cheese. Every carnivore for a hundred miles is going to want a piece of that,” Mal shouted.
A deer bounded out of the woods and darted in front of Colt, then bolted across the road and into the woods on the other side. Colt yelped and jumped to the side.
“Whatever is chasing that deer isn’t going to be so picky as to pass up you and chase it,” Mal called. It was a mean and crappy thing to do, but he reasoned Colt wouldn’t know any better.
Colt turned and stared at the woods for a few seconds before running to the truck and scrambling into the passenger seat. He wrapped both arms around himself and stared straight ahead.
Mal put the truck into gear and started driving. “Colt, I—” Colt turned his head and glared at Mal, silencing him. What was he going to say? He wanted to protect Colt, not see him hurt, yet that’s exactly what he’d done. After a few minutes of silence, he knew what to say. “There is nothing in that document that can’t be negotiated. Every contract can be negotiated.”
“Signing it can be negotiated?” Colt sniped. When Mal pressed his lips together and focused out the window at the road, Colt mumbled, “Yeah. That’s what I thought.”
“Will you just read the whole thing? For me? Please?”
Colt shifted so his back was to Mal and stared out the passenger window for the rest of the ride home. The second Mal drove down the drive, Colt grabbed the papers, opened his door, and dropped out of the still-moving truck. He landed on his feet and hurried into the house.
- GIVEAWAY -
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