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Texas Hold ’em by Desiree Holt

Texas Hold ’em
By: Desiree Holt
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Published: May 18th, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Content: M/F, BDSM, Bondage, Rope Play, D/s, Oral Sex, Toys
Length: Short Story
Heat Level: Scorching
Reviewer: Gabrielle
Date: May 25, 2015


Sage Drummond left her life in Dallas when her situation with her Dom, a life she fully embraced, turned into a nightmare. Sure she’d never find the kind of relationship she wanted, she look for nothing more than a scene now and then at Club Fantasy. That was until she met Garrett Long, the very sexy, very Dominant former rodeo cowboy. In the private room at Club Fantasy he led her into a world of submission she never thought she’d find, capturing both her body and her heart. And losing his at the same time.

What happens when you take one former rodeo cowboy and one submissive and put them together for one intimate scene at the darkly sensuous Club Fantasy? Fireworks that neither expected or planned for. But life has a funny way of dealing its own hand in the game of Cut the Cards. And for Sage Drummond and Garrett Long, this might just prove to be the best hand of allB

Running away was Sage’s only option when she made one of the biggest mistakes of her life. She soon found herself in a bad relationship and when she finally realizes it she knows she must start out fresh. Sage takes a chance and builds a new life in a new town. Starting over is hard but Sage works hard and succeeds; now she must take another chance and start back in the world that she longs for. She has come to Club Fantasy for awhile now and with the help of Reulas she may be ready to try again. Sage longs for the connection between a good Dom and a sub. She longs for someone that to share her life with and even maybe someone to share her life with again.

Sage and Garrett’s story makes for a wonderful read. Their attraction is there right from the start and sparks soon turn to fireworks. Garrett understands Sage and is more than willing to show her that he can be trusted when it comes to her safety and what she longs for. Sage is a strong woman. She has been through hell and came out stronger and wiser. The two make a great couple and I enjoyed seeing the two meet and find their way through things. Garrett is patient and understanding, wanting only to gain Sage’s trust not pushing her to only obey him as they play. The two are good together and they seem to be made for one another. Sage’s past and pain may have brought her to Club Fantasy but it also brought her to the man she has been looking for all this time.

The Pleasure of Discretion: Books 1-6 by Elle Thorne

The Pleasure of Discretion: Books 1-6
By: Elle Thorne
Publisher: Barbed Border Press
Published: November 13, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Content: M/F, F/F, M/F/F, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Voyeurism, Exhibitionism, Anal Play, Oral Sex, Toys
Length: Collection of Six Novellas
Heat Level: Sigh, Sweet, Spicy, Scorching
Reviewer: Dana
Date: May 14, 2015


The Pleasure of Discretion is a new adult series that delves into relationships and complications. Sex can be one of those complications. As the series progresses, some of the scenes may push the boundaries for some. In the same way that life pushes boundaries at times. It spans the relationships between couples, and at times, others.

Jessica, a college student raising her teenage brother needs a job. She needs a job a lot more than she needs a boyfriend. And she doesn't need her boyfriend to be the nephew of her new boss. Not that player, hell no.

Rick just wants to sink into women and booze. And self-torture. That's the only way he can deal with the demons that haunt him.

Lucas owns a club that caters to those who want to explore their kinks and sensual pleasures. He doesn't need his stepsister- the one he made the mistake of falling in love with- reentering his life.

Miranda wasn't bothering anyone. Just stripping at Trinkets, snorting her recreational coke. Who said she had to want more out of life? Who said she had to want Lucas?

Jessica's Dilemma - Book One
Heat Level - Sigh

Jessica is willing to do anything to keep her job. Even staying away from her boss' manwhore nephew. Jessica doesn't think it will be too hard, considering she has sworn off men and has too much to lose if she loses her job. Except that she didn't expect Rick, the manwhore, to be as H*O*T* as he is. 

When fate throws them together, can Jessica resist?

Clearly, this first story is setting us up for what's to come, and aside from a few stolen kisses, not much happens between Jessica and Rick.

I'm still trying to figure out if there is any real chemistry between them. Both have secrets and clearly are in need of a friend. Until they can rid themselves of their demons, they'd better stick to being friends only.

Jessica Released
 - Book Two
Heat Level - Sweet

Rick and Jessica get closer despite Jessica's hesitation. Again, not much happens, except that this ended with the pair going to Discretion, a sex club because Rick won tickets in a poker game. The pair don't stay long, but Jessica's libido come out of hiding while there.

I would like this book better if Jessica stopped sounding like a middle school student.

Breaking Jessica's Rules - Book Three
Heat Level - Scorching

Jessica has two rules: Rick's dick belongs only to her, and Rick's mouth belongs only to her. Break them, and they are through.

Rick and Jessica have been together for a year now. It is Jessica's 23rd birthday and Rick has planned a surprise. He is bringing in a third to the mix. Miranda is supposed to be Jessica's surprise birthday present. Except that surprises are just that. Miranda was late and Jessica was on time, so Rick never had time to explain to Miranda that this night was for Jessica only. He was to be only an observer. Rick also had a few other surprises for Jessica that night, like a few video cameras to capture everything. 

Jessica is still annoyingly immature, but now that I know her age, it makes more sense. Rick is reverting back to his pre-Jessica ways, which may signal the end of the pair.

Miranda's Unfinished Business
 - Book  Four
Heat Level - Spicy

This book was all about Miranda and her stepbrother/boyfriend Lucas. Miranda is clearly very angry at the world, but the author uses Lucas to narrate that Miranda had been abused by an uncle, and her mother did nothing to stop it. It never got as far as rape, but it went far enough for a little girl. 

Miranda is bi-sexual, and doesn't quite understand why the only 
man she has ever loved is her stepbrother. 

When she goes to Club Hedonist for the night to drink away her sorrows, she spies Jessica there. Miranda hits on her, still thinking about their steamy night together on Jessica's birthday, and while Jessica is responsive, she ultimately stays faithful to Rick.

This book really offered nothing in the way of a background story on Miranda or Lucas, and how or why they are together, except that Lucas will do anything for Miranda and hates to see her self-sabotage.

Paying Jessica's Price - Book  Five
Heat Level - Spicy

Jessica finds out something awful about Rick and breaks up with him immediately. She then quits her job and disappears. In the meantime, her brother gets into an accident and is arrested for drunk driving. With bills mounting up, Jessica takes a job as a hostess at Discretion, after using Miranda's name to get in. Jessica maintains that she will not be a part of anything sexual, but the book takes a very weird turn and Jessica agrees to become a masked attendant because it is more money. On her first night as attendant, Jessica is drugged by another attendant and almost raped by the man who requested her, who had a connection with Jessica's supervisor. She is rescued by Rick's brother and her friend Levi.

This story just didn't work for me. The only thing I got from the story was that Jessica was desperate for money. Even the backstory part of this scene was bizarre.

This was also the last book in Jessica's story. It ends with Rick and Jessica being pushed together to talk. I was expecting more. I was hoping for at least some closure between the two, but didn't receive it.

Miranda Unlocked - Book  Five
Heat Level - Scorching

This last story was all about Miranda and Lucas. Miranda is trying and failing to get her life back on track. She meets Lucas at his club Discretion and they watch a foursome play with some new toys and new friends. As they are leaving, Miranda runs into an old nemesis, but because there is no backstory on who this man is, I don't know why Miranda cannot stand him. Words between the two are exchanged, and then the next scene is Lucas getting a call that Miranda has been drugged, attacked and brutally beaten and is in the hospital.

Lucas convinces Miranda to go to a special rehab where they can go and heal together. 

When Miranda's attacker winds up dead, both Miranda and Lucas are considered suspects.

At rehab, Miranda is slowly recovering, but a surprise visit from her mother has her falling back a few steps. Again, not sure why there is such animosity between the two, because it clearly is more than just the mother not protecting her daughter from her lecherous uncle.

Because Lucas is a suspect in Miranda's attacker's murder, Lucas is forced to leave the country and Miranda is forced to stay behind with her stepfather and continue to pick up the pieces of her life. Lucas and Miranda both promise to stay connected.

What grabbed my attention to want to read this collection were the blurbs.  A blurb can make or break a story.  While the blurbs made me want to pick up the stories, the stories themselves unfortunately failed to deliver what was promised.  

Ms. Thorne has a vivid imagination and her writing is satisfactory, but the story ideas seemed to be too complex and didn't flourish as they could have.  There were too many histories untold and complexities of families left behind; especially the additions of Lucas and Miranda’s individual stories.  While they were a great addition to the stories as characters, their individual stories seemed incomplete and forced.

One of the biggest distractions for me while I was reading the collection was the editing and/or formatting. I’m not sure if the problem of missing words, or improper placement of punctuation were due to formatting or not, but all I can say is that it was a constant bother and disrupted the flow of the books.  It led to the lack of clarity of sentence structuring and understanding, which made reading dialog and narrative very confusing at times.  All of these problems lead to me not having an enjoyable experience reading this collection.

While this is my opinion, others love the collection.  It just wasn't for me, but you never know for you.  Read the blurbs, other reviews and pick this collection up if you love New Adult romances filled with budding relationships, packed with complications of sex and youth.  You never know, you might find a beautiful gem.  

Unworthy Heart by Dorothy F. Shaw

Unworthy Heart
By: Dorothy F. Shaw
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Published: May 5, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Content: M/F, Spanking, Anal Play, Oral Sex
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Scorching
Reviewer: Marchelle
Date: May 15, 2015


Opposites not only attract, sometimes they spontaneously combust.

The Donnellys, Book 1

Ryan Donnelly’s past relationship may have failed, but he’s determined to make single fatherhood and his career a resounding success. He’s got his eye on the top of the ladder at an L.A. marketing firm when his gaze snags on co-worker Maiya Rossini.

She’s a feisty, witty, tattooed redhead who’s nowhere near his type, but she pushes every one of his hot buttons.

Maiya clawed her way out of her dysfunctional, trailer-park childhood to earn a college degree and establish a promising career. Her future dreams are big, bright and packed with full-throttle fun, but when it comes to matters of the heart and men—especially stuffy corporate types like Ryan—her past slams on the emotional brakes.

In the office and in the bedroom, Maiya and Ryan rub each other in all the right ways. Though Maiya is everything Ryan didn’t know he wanted, he’s got his work cut out for him convincing her she’s worthy of love—or the bright light she’s brought to his life could slip through his fingers.

Warning: Contains a lot of graphic, yummy sex. To those prone to lock their bedroom doors, fair warning. In this book, there are no doors, only windows. With no curtains. For those who aren’t afraid to keep their eyes wide open: Enjoy the show!

Amazing! I don't even know where to begin with this book. So I'll start with what I enjoyed the most - the banter. No one writes banter like Dorothy Shaw. It's at times laugh out loud funny, other times sexy, it can even be sarcastic, but it's never dull. The banter between Ryan and Maiya is definitely entertaining and is a huge part of what makes them such a perfect fit.

Maiya gives new meaning to the term fiery redhead. She is a force of nature. At one point when Ryan starts to think he may have feelings for her, he describes her as "a red-headed, tattooed angel...With heaven in her eyes, and hell between her legs." Nothing could be more fitting. She shows the world her strength and determination but Ryan sees through the mask she puts on for the rest of the world. He wants nothing more than to be her safe place but she reminds him of someone from his past and he's not sure if he can put himself or his son through this. At the same time, Maiya hasn't been able to rely on anyone but herself in such a long time, she doesn't know how to trust someone else to be her safety net. The only problem is they have this intense sexual attraction that leads to the hottest, most satisfying sex either of them has ever had. The sex makes their emotional connection deeper and it becomes painful for them to stay away from each other even though they both hold on to their own stubborn reasons for not being together. When her mom becomes ill and Ryan tries to support her, it becomes too much for her to handle and she pushes away the first person in a long time who only wants to give her unconditional love and support. The demons from her past do their best to convince her that she is undeserving of it.

I loved this story! It's a different take on a workplace romance. The characters are well-developed, the plot is original, the dialogue is interesting and the sex is off the charts H-O-T! The relationship between Maiya and Ryan feels incredibly real. It's messy, it's difficult, it's confusing, it's fun, it's sexy and all those things contribute to the feeling that you could be reading about people you know. The way they talk to and relate to each other is true to life. There's nothing fancy or over the top. That is a large part of what makes this book so great. It is completely believable.

I'm interested to see how things work out for Ryan's brother Jimmy. We got a little taste of him in this book but it's obvious there is so much more there that hasn't been revealed. The same can be said for Ryan's sister Cyn. Dorothy gave us little teasers on several members of the Donnelly clan. If this first installment is anything to go by, the rest of the series will be incredible! Bring on book 2!!

Under a Wolf Moon by Various Authors

Under a Wolf Moon
By: Heather Long, Saranna DeWylde, Rebecca Royce, Cara Carnes, Virginia Nelson
Publisher: Self Publish
Published: January 30, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Futuristic, Action/Adventure, Anthology, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction
Length: Novella, Novel
Heat Level: Scorching
Reviewer: Toni
Date: May 26, 2015

Five brand new, hot paranormal romance stories from bestselling authors. Alpha heroes and heroines with dark pasts and the need to discover their own happy ever after will draw you in and make you turn to the next page.

Each novella offers a look into a different series and world, but each features the power of the wolf. Whether you like your wolves from small town, as billionaires, fighting wars they have to win or wrestling with ancient powers, Under a Wolf Moon has something for you.

Discover never seen before stories!
Meet tempestuous wolves!
Survive fiery battles!
Mark the date to meet their mates!

The wolf moon fills the sky and it’s time to howl!

Warning: Contains alpha heroes and heroines, scorching passion, tough love, family ties, and pack dynamics which bind them together. Sometimes a wolf’s greatest challenge is finding their way home…

Wolf Next Door by Heather Long
When Claire Webster was five years old Tyler Buckley, the wolf next door, told her he was her mate and then ordered her not to play with one of her friends. Butting heads throughout their childhood, her choice to leave Willow Bend tore them apart. Eight years later, she sends a request to the new Alpha—she wants to come home, and when he grants it, she’s both relieved and terrified. The first person she runs into is the last one who ever wants to see her again.

Princess of the Pack by Saranna DeWylde
Marchessa de la Luna’s duty is to the marriage arranged to the enigmatic and powerful, but aging Alpha Antony Rommulus. Her passion is for the rogue Cassius who can give her nothing except pleasure. Marchessa must choose if it will be duty or desire that will decide her fate and that of her pack.

Eternal by Rebecca Royce
Dougal Owens has served on the front line of The Dragon Wars for sixteen years. The last thing this Alpha werewolf expects is his mate to drop in with a plan to end the war. Together, they will battle to save the Wolves or die trying.

Hell’s Playground by Cara Carnes
The Quadrant Alpha once thought Mira’s death was the worst thing that could have happened. Learning she lives, and worse, survived torture and purgatory gives Adrik a chance to save Redemption and his mate.

Odd Wolf by Virginia Nelson
Dara is Alpha and used to taking control of the situation when it goes swirly. A rogue on her turf means a fight, and she’s ready to take him on. A woman with no plans to be tamed and a rogue wolf with no plans to stick around shouldn’t have more than a brief meeting to establish boundaries and be done. However, when Dara meets Lynwood, the call to mate might drown out logic altogether.

I got the Under the Wolf Moon anthology to read Heather Long's addition since I was reading Wolves of Willow Bend. I'm a stickler for reading order. Well, all I can say is that it downhill from there. I couldn't put the darn book down. Now I have read ALL of the stories and have countless additional series to read.

During my reading of this book I read, yes READ Saranna's Woolven Secret series - Blake Woolven is the bad boy CEO of Woolven Industries, but he’s badder than the luscious, BBW Randi Rutger would’ve guessed – Yes Please!!.

Researched and added Rebecca's Dragon Wars - Devin Owen has come back from the Dragon Wars a changed Werewolf – Dragons and werewolves. Sign me up!

I’m salivated for Cara's The Rending series - Hell's Highway--a parcel of land of genetically impure humans cast out during a savage battle between humanity's government, the NAH and the Paraspecies – Sounds dangerous and fun doesn’t it!

To top it off we have Virginia's The Odd Series – You get paranormal adventures, snark, sex and random acts of ineptitude – I’m always game for…well all of that!

I also need to finish Heather’s Wolves of Wolf Bend. Then I find out one of the next stories will be in this huge new anthology coming out, Romancing the Wolf with even more authors. I counted them, TEN new amazing stories. I’m excited and scared at the same time. I can see more series in my future.

Their evil plans worked! I'm now further buried under amazingly huge to be read list. The only reason I'm not jumping into the other right now is prior reviewing commitments. Please grant me more time in the day to read these new series before I add more with the next anthology. Pretty please!

Wolf's Return by Rebecca Royce

Wolf's Return (Black Hills Wolves #1)
By: Rebecca Royce
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Published: January 9, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Paranormal
Content: M/F, Spanking, Oral Sex
Length: Short Story
Heat Level: Spicy
Reviewer: Toni
Date: March 2, 2015


A hidden wolf pack. Lies. Intrigue. And reluctant heroes. Get to know the Black Hills…

Drew Tao left the Black Hills in disgrace, banished by his father. He has spent the last ten years a lone wolf, living on his own. Called back home, he finally gets the chance to set things right. If such a thing is possible….

Betty Holden has hated her mate every day for the last ten years for abandoning her and their pack. She's been running things in Los Lobos, and she has no intention of letting Drew Tao slip back into her life like nothing has changed-even if she has never been able to resist him .

Can there be forgiveness? And can he protect her when another enemy arrives?

Ten years is a long time to keep your mate waiting. With no word from her mate, Betty has lived a miserable life in a dying town. No goodbyes, nothing.

Drew has been miserable since he was forced to leave his pack and his mate. Living with humans has strengthened him and now with news from home, it’s time to return.

Wolf’s Return is almost too short. I enjoyed it and I understand that the world will continue to be built; it would have been nice to have the stage a bit more secure. Ms. Royce still did a great job to bring the errors of the past into the light and show how even mates can’t deny their pull to each other. She definitely has my attention and I can’t wait to read more additions to the series.

This is a short story; well it could almost be considered a short novella, it’s right on the edge The Black Hills Wolves series will be written by several authors, each gifting us with snippets of life in the town of Los Lobos. I’m looking forward to diving into these stories of blooming romance and the rebuilding of this small shifter town. I think this will is a brilliant concept and I have always enjoyed short stories written under an umbrella theme. It allows authors to have a set base to start with and since the readers already know the main backstory, the authors have the freedom to focus on the main characters, without significant world building. This concept heightens my enjoyment of short stories immensely.

Tara of the Fey by Misha Tagliaferro

Tara of the Fey
By: Misha Tagliaferro
Publisher: Sweet Craving Publishing
Published: March 29, 2013
Genre: Historical, Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction
Length: Short Story
Heat Level: Sigh
Reviewer: Suki
Date: April 21, 2015


Sailing through the Minch, fey princess Tara enjoys her last taste freedom before facing her betrothal to an Irish prince—a man she doesn’t love and has no interest in marrying. The smooth voyage takes an abrupt turn for the worse when a group of ornery Blue Men of the Minch appear and brew up a storm. Tara has no choice but to give into their whims when she is swept overboard.

Caeden, a fey cursed to live as a Blue Man, can't believe he is seeing the grown version of his childhood best friend. He hopes she’ll be the one to break his curse and allow him to return to life on land. Tara sees the fey man trapped inside the blue exterior, but is she his one true love and the key to breaking the curse? Or will Caeden live as a Blue Man of the Minch forever?

Short story writing can be difficult and when dealing with the complicated work it can be made more complicated when a writer is delving into mythos. This story from the beginning had me confused I was unfamiliar with the what Minch were and eventually had to stop reading to look it up on line. Some descriptions of the other men or even a brief paragraph telling up about these creatures would have gone a long way for me.

The rest of the book seemed rushed as if the author had only 20 pages to tell a story that could have taken chapters. I love a good short story but this one just wasn’t given the time it needs. I wanted more information. What kind of serpent did she turn into when she went underwater? What did she look like? What were the punishments of the Chieftain?

In the end the book left me feeling like part of the story hadn’t been told. I would definitely give this author another read as she had passion for what she wrote.

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