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The Scale by Mika Jolie

The Scale
By: Mika Jolie
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Published: July 16, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Content: M/F, Oral Sex
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Spicy
Reviewer: Marchelle
Date: July 20, 2014


Twenty-seven year old, African-American, Minka Greene has to endure watching her twin sister marry the man she loves. Her weight is up, and her confidence is down. Not exactly the ideal time to meet the real man of her dreams.

The Scale opens in Martha’s Vineyard with Minka attending Keely and Blake’s engagement party at Martha’s Way, the beautiful inn owned and operated by the tall, blond, tattooed man with the piercing blue eyes. It just so happens Jason Montgomery is also Blake’s childhood friend and the best man. Dealing with a whirl of emotions, Minka faints in Jason’s arms.

When she wakes up naked in Jason’s bed after a night of passion, the Vineyard confirmed bachelor struggling with his own demons and the woman filled with self-doubt and pining for another man are joined in an experience that will change their lives.

The Scale is the first book of the Martha’s Way series.

WOW!! Amazing! I loved this book! Minka is vacationing for two weeks on Martha's Vineyard for her fraternal twin sister, Keely's wedding. She is carrying a torch for Blake, her sister's fiance and feeling very sorry for herself while doing her best to pretend to be happy for the couple. Blake is part of a foursome of hot, rich guys. Enter Blake's best friend Jason. Right away there is a spark between Minka and Jason but her poor self image is holding her back, not to mention the heartache at losing Blake to her thinner, prettier, more likeable twin.

This story is about an amazing journey of self acceptance and courage. Minka is a woman filled with self doubt and definitely someone many women can relate to. I could not help but root for her when her feelings for Jason were starting to deepen yet she still lacked the confidence to put herself out there and go all in on the relationship. When she took the first tentative steps toward mending her relationship with her sister, I could almost feel how hard it was for her. Her transformation throughout the story gave the reader hope that she would be just fine whether she ended up with Jason or not.

Jason is HOT! Strong, sexy and self assured with just a touch of arrogance while at the same time he's not afraid to show his vulnerability. He has family issues of his own to deal with and when he shows Minka the pictures and tells the story about his mom, I just wanted to shake her for not instantly forgetting Blake in that moment and declaring her undying love for Jason.

This is an excellent book! I don't want to spoil any of the story but I have to say, when the "kiss" happened (if you read the story, you'll know what I mean as soon as you get to it) I found myself exasperated with Minka and had to put the book down for a minute. I was so immersed in the story that I had to remind myself that it was a work of fiction.

Lastly, I hope there is a book about Lily and Adam coming. I can't wait to see how that plays out.

Together In Cyn by Jennifer Kacey

Together in Cyn
By: Jennifer Kacey
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing Inc.
Published: June 12, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Content: M/F, F/F, M/F/M, Ménage, BDSM, Spanking, Bondage, D/s, Voyeurism, Exhibitionism, Anal Play, Anal Sex, Oral Sex, Toys
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Scorching
Reviewer: Lexi
Date: July 22, 2014


Members Only, Book One

She knows it’s wrong. Cyn shouldn’t have feelings for fraternal twins Jared and Chris, her best friends. She shouldn’t want them to tie her up or strap her down, to take her one at a time—or together. The only way to control her taboo desires is to write them down and lock them away in her diary. Guys like Jared and Chris could never be interested in someone like her, or in the kind of sex she craves.

But Jared and Chris have read her diary, and sweet little Cyn is in for the shock of her life. The brothers not only own a members-only BDSM club, they want her. Need her. And now, with their unlimited funds and an entire establishment devoted to fulfilling her darkest pleasures, they’re going to claim Cyn for their own.

Inside Scoop: If you have a kink, this book probably has it too. If you like your ménage romances extra hot with a side of male-male romance, spanking, voyeurism and girl-on-girl action, come and get it.

Imagine spending half of your life, longing, for the other half of your heart and soul. Cyn is a wounded girl, frightened by the dark desires that have haunted her since she was a teenager and damaged by the parents who abandoned her. Cyn’s attempt to explore these desires ended badly and she has been scared ever since. Her fear doesn’t stop the fantasies that live on if only in her diary, fantasies that involve her two best friends. How could she ever choose one?

Chris and Jared Kennedy are fraternal twins from the right side of town but nothing alike. Jared is light and fun loving while Chris is dark and brooding. They have been best friends with Cyn since they were kids. After high school, they just up and join the military without telling anyone, even Cyn. Now back from the military, the brothers have set their sights on Cyn.

After accidentally reading Cyn’s diary, Chris and Jared discover that Cyn isn’t as sweet and fragile as they once thought. Their Cyn longs to submit. She craves the touch and command of Chris and Jared. Lucky for Cyn, her best friends are also known as Master C and Master J. With a little encouragement, can these two Masters help Cyn live out all of her fantasies?

Together In Cyn, book one of the Members Only series by Jennifer Kacey is filled with hot steamy sex scenes, MFM ménage and a sprinkling of bondage and discipline to keep things interesting. This love story is laced with tragedy, which highlights the importance of BDSM being safe, sane and consensual.

A Special Kind of Love by Tamara Hoffa

A Special Kind of Love
By: Tamara Hoffa
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Published: November 11, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Content: M/F, Oral Sex
Length: Novella
Heat Level: Spicy
Reviewer: Marchelle
Date: July 20, 2014


Through Fights and Fire, Prejudice and Passion, Burns A Special Kind of Love.

A divorced school teacher, estranged from her family, wants to start over. Sharon Daily moves to Gaines, Wyoming with her ten year old autistic son, Aaron. She hoped to find kindness and acceptance in this small town. She wasn’t looking for love…

Tanner West, the Fire Chief of Gaines, seems to have it all. Great job, loving family, and any woman he wants to warm his bed at night. But, Tanner has suffered too. A Native American in a white world, he longs to find love and acceptance. He is ready for more than someone to share his bed. He wants someone to share his life. And Sharon really lights his fire.

Making a life with Sharon will require A Special Kind of Love.

Once I started this book, I couldn't put it down and ended up reading it in one sitting. Sharon and her son Aaron are starting a new life in a small town in Wyoming. Aaron has Asperger's Syndrome and has been rejected by his father and grandparents, making his mother very protective and highly determined to give him a normal life. They meet fire chief Tanner West, a Native American man, and he takes on the task of teaching Aaron to ride horses. He and Sharon develop a relationship, leading his family to accept Sharon and her son into their fold. Just when things are going really well for Sharon and Tanner, Aaron runs off into a dangerous situation and they have to find him before it's too late.

The prejudices that Sharon and Aaron face due to his Asperger's and the prejudices Tanner faces because of his Native American heritage, makes them finding each other that much more special. They each understand the difficulties the other faces and it helps them bond on a deeper level. This isn't one of those stories where they meet and two days later they are in love and can't live without each other. Their love develops over time spent together talking on the phone every night, time spent with Aaron and time spent with Tanner's family. It gives the reader a feeling of depth to the relationship. It definitely makes their emotions more real, especially since they are not young, impetuous 20-somethings. They are older and more mature and their approach to their relationship reflects that. It gives the reader hope that the future is bright for them and they both deserve it.

I enjoyed the fact that the author never gave a dramatic, in-depth description of Tanner. She gave a quick two or three line description of his outward appearance. The true attraction of Tanner came from his words and actions throughout the story. When reading the story, I didn't find myself picturing him physically while I read but I still found him swoon-worthy because of his actions whether it was moving Sharon behind his body when confronted by the drunk man at the dance, giving Aaron earplugs so he could enjoy the fireworks or any of the other subtle moves that showed his true nature as a gentleman. And really, let's face it, writing him as a hot guy is fine, but when your audience is reading rather than watching the story, the things the hero says and does are more important. This author seems to understand that concept well.

Against the Wild by Kat Martin

Against the Wild
By: Kat Martin
Publisher: Zebra
Published: May 27, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Spicy
Reviewer: Toni
Date: July 17, 2014


Alaska: Where the men are as bold and untamed as America's last wilderness...

It's been three years since Lane Bishop tragically lost her fiancé, and she's finally ready to risk her heart on someone else. The hot look in Dylan Brodie's eyes says he's going to be that man.

But when Lane flies to the remote 1930s fishing lodge to help him renovate, she discovers a little girl who won't speak, eerie legends and strange sounds in the night. And when she investigates the history of the lodge, she uncovers a legacy of injustice and murder.

As danger stalks his daughter and the woman he is coming to love, Dylan must risk everything to uncover the shocking truth.

While Against the Wind was a very good read, it wasn’t what I expected.

Dylan Brodie is the middle Brodie boy. He grew up in Alaska and has recently purchased a lodge in the Alaskan pan handle. He has the help of the locals to renovate it, but the inside he is saving for a special woman, Lane Bishop. He now has his chance to revisit their attraction and he has the perfect lure to get her to Alaska.

Lane Bishop has been attracted to Dylan since the moment she met him. She tried and tried to ignore his advances, but he has offered her a change that she can’t pass up. So off to Alaska she goes.

Lane’s visit is full of surprises and goes beyond her highest expectations. She discovers her passion again after her loss of both her mother and fiancé and finally finds a home. It’s too bad that everywhere they turn they are being bombarded by continual obstacles. Can they conquer them all; even their biggest one - their doubts and fears of how their pasts will affect their future?

So what did I expect? Well a story that was truly a standalone novel for one. Yes, the story is basically a standalone, but there are too many references that seem to be from prior novels and a different series. I found the constant referencing too distracting. My mind would wonder to what story it was, who it was about and so on. Against the Wind is book one in the Brodies of Alaska series and that is exactly what it should have been, book one. A reference or two is fine; the number in the novel was not. I’m also sad to say, short of a very extensive search I have no idea what book Dylan and Lane first met in. Very frustrating.

Besides that problem, the story was very nice. The story had mystery, romance and some suspense thrown in. I will say Ms. Martin surprised me several times with the direction of the story. I really loved that she kept me on my toes. Her characters were also very entertaining. I can say short of the characters I was supposed to hate, I adored every single one of them. Ms. Martin made them very personable and I wanted to get to know and love them all. Great job!

Even though this book was packed with mystery, romance and suspense it still felt like a light read. The atmosphere never became too deep and dark, making it perfect for a summer read. She also wrote a plot that was interesting and fun and I could almost feel like I was back in Alaska. Thank you Ms. Martin. You reminded me how beautiful the state is and how wonderful the people are. I truly miss it more after reading Against the Wild.

Learning to Fly by Melissa Snark

Learning to Fly
By: Melissa Snark
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Published: September 7, 2012
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Content: M/F, Oral Sex
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Spicy
Reviewer: Marchelle
Date: July 18, 2014


Cassandra Claeys is a bohemian artist with a passion for shoes and architecture. Her past wasn't pretty and she's got the scars to prove it, but she's determined to live and love again and she's hoping her newest client is just the man for the job. But the crazed serial killer that once held her captive escapes from prison, willing to kill again to make his maniacal fantasies come true.

Architect Kyle McCloud hires the fiery redhead to illustrate his latest project, never dreaming that she would bring passion and danger to his door. Cassie is easily spooked and as flighty as one of his injured birds, but he's willing to work overtime to make her soar for him alone.

Cassie is on the run from a serial killer who escaped from prison after kidnapping and torturing her several years ago. She runs straight to Kyle McCloud, who is supposed to be her new employer. He knows immediately that something dark haunts her and he's determined to help her. Lucky for them both, Kyle's twin brother Kieran is a former Army ranger and now owns a security firm. With the McCloud brothers working to keep her safe, she may get out of this alive.

I really enjoyed the motherly housekeeper, Shelly Arthur. She and her husband Henry, the groundskeeper, took care of Kyle and Kieran after their parents died tragically when the boys were only sixteen. Now, as grown men, their interaction with Shelly is teasing and loving while still respectful. She is outspoken and demanding as only a mother would be. I laughed out loud at her manipulation when presenting Kyle with forms to sign, putting him on a waiting list with an exclusive nanny agency, even though he has no current prospects for a wife and no plans for children in the near future. Yet, he still signs the papers.

The hawk rescue was an interesting part of the story. Early in the story, Kyle is called out to save an injured hawk. He nurses it back to health until it is ready to be set free to fly again. His actions with the hawk is symbolic of his relationship with Cassie. He is also helping to save her, while drawing her out of her shell and helping her to trust again so she is free from the past and ready to give love as well as accept it. As successful as he is with the hawks, it gives the reader hope that he is the right man for the job with Cassie as well.

"Learning to Fly" is very well written with a solid story line and like-able characters. There are a couple of times, it alludes to a woman in Kieran's life, hopefully setting up the next installment.

Engineering Her Racy Pleasure by Tara Rose

Engineering Her Racy Pleasure
By: Tara Rose
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Published: April 28, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Content: M/F/M, Ménage, BDSM, Spanking, Bondage, D/s, Exhibitionism, Anal Play, Anal Sex, Oral Sex, Toys
Length: Novella
Heat Level: Scorching
Reviewer: Marchelle
Date: July 17, 2014


When Harper Montgomery moves to Racy and joins the marketing team at Notus, she’s pursued by sexy mechanical engineers and Doms, Lee Parker and Mason Sinclair. But when her ex-boyfriend’s cyber stalking becomes serious after he turns up in Racy, her new life is filled with danger.

Lee Parker loved once and had his heart broken. He’s drawn to Harper because of her humor and sexy curves, but can he give away his heart again? And can he share her with his co-worker and best friend? Mason Sinclair is devoted to his work and has always shied away from falling in love. But all that changes when he meets Harper. He has no problem sharing her with Lee, or with the way his heart flutters whenever she’s around.

But when Harper’s ex-boyfriend breaks into Mason’s house one night during a storm, Harper is alone, and her ex is out for revenge. Can Mason and Lee reach her in time?

Wow! I rarely give a book five stars, but I read this book all the way through and when I was done, went right back to the beginning and started again. With the right mixture of humor and heat, it takes off fast and never loses momentum. If that doesn't deserve a five star rating, I don't know what does.

Harper is starting over. She moved to Racy, Indiana, firmly set on moving forward - new town, new job, new life. Her first day at her new job she meets Mason and Lee, who immediately turn her world upside down. Not long after, a threat from her past makes its way into her present and she becomes conflicted. She doesn't want the new men in her life to be involved. However, they have a different idea and will not be deterred. Having lived in Racy all their lives, Mason and Lee know everyone and start pulling people together to help. And when trouble comes in to their private little community, they need all the help they can get.

The relationship between Harper, Lee and Mason is easy and comfortable. They quickly develop a serious relationship of mutual respect and affection. The sex between the three of them is blistering hot! The bad guy is just the right amount of disturbed. The story grips you and holds your attention all the way through. It flows nicely from start to finish.

I had two extremely minor issues with the story. First, how can there possibly be ten triad couples already existing in a town as small as this? That just doesn't seem very realistic or even remotely possible. Second, when Lee and Mason are telling Harper about the other triads over dinner, it is impossible to keep track of that many people. That's 30 names dropped with a few extras added in to clarify how they all fit together, what families they belong to, etc. I'm sure they are each explained in their own books since this is #11 in the series, but it's very difficult to read through that conversation. Then when Harper meets some of the other women, I found I couldn't easily distinguish which woman was linked to which pair of men without going back and re-reading that conversation. Like I stated earlier, these are minor issues, especially considering the book stands alone but I think it's important for the reader to know so there's no pressure to remember all the names. You can always go back and read the rest of the series, as I intend to do.

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