Title: The Matchmaker’s Mark
Author: Regan Black
Rating: 4 spiders/ 2 on the heat intensity
The first of a brand new, lighthearted paranormal romance series set in Charleston, South Carolina. When you’re ‘more’ than human, finding your soulmate isn’t as easy as answering a few questions online. It’s best to track down Campbell Consulting, a.k.a. the Matchmaker. In Charleston, South Carolina half-elf Lily has a birthmark her elders vow is a mystical promise of true love. So far she’s yet to encounter Mr. Right in either the elf or human realms. Dare, a wood elf, has led the Matchmaker’s security team for years. In town on a simple errand, when the Matchmaker disappears his future is turned inside out. And Amy Campbell is a completely human English professor about to discover the true magic of the family business…
Lily had a special way with flowers. It seemed only natural that she would start her own business as a flower designer. She knew special charms and small spells that would have her customers leaving with a smile as she fulfilled their needs. She had come to terms with her inability to do magic like the rest of her family. She was raised on tales that were suited to the special mark on her arm. The stories included the whispered name of the Matchmaker. But Lily was done with that. She had accepted her fate and choose instead to stay in her mothers world and live the life of a human. She secretly yearned for more, but knew that it was probably out of reach. Until Dare tries to come into her shop.
Dare was on a mission. He had to deliver a letter to the reluctant niece of his employer. She was resisting him, which was an unusual response. Most people were very agreeable in his presence. It must have something to do with this town. He refused to back down on the quest and proceeds to retrace her steps throughout the day. His wanderings bring him towards the local flower shop, which is conveniently closed, but he spies someone moving around inside. Eager to continue in his path he knocks on the door in hopes she’ll take pity on him. No such luck. She turns and points to the closed sign. He pleads with her to allow him to come and pick out an arrangement for his mother. Lily shakes her head at the obvious lie but makes her way to the cooler to pull out a sunflower arrangement. She brings it to the door, still not allowing him in, and charges him twenty dollars. But as their hands accidentally brush, they both forget everything.
This book has bits and pieces of the Matchmaker’s history, but she really is more like a side story. This book has an array of creatures that jump in and out of it. The mixture makes it quite delightful. You have a girl transitioning into becoming the Matchmaker, while the love story is being played out between Dare and Lily. Its completely hilarious the situations Amy brings about because she doesn’t quite grasp the concept of her power or how to control it. She literally becomes a walking embodiment of cupid which draw all kinds of people to her. Dare was a bodyguard to the old Matchmaker, who happened to be Amy’s aunt. He tries his best to direct her and teach her about protocol but Amy resists. She refuses to give up her freedom. That’s when things really get started. This book was really entertaining, with all sorts of magic, humor, and twists weaved into the plot. Even the pets had an important role to play. Lily was my favorite character. She was very easy to relate to. She never felt good enough and was always trying to over compensate for the things she felt like she lacked. She had a good heart and it was really brought out in her work! In truth all the characters were very well written and completely enjoyable. Even her overbearing brother. It is a sweet light paranormal romance that will have you starry-eyed with its sweetness!
Author: Russell Bittner
Rating: 4 spiders/ 3 on the heat intensity
Why would a woman entering middle age–attractive, sexy, articulate, imaginative, intelligent,
Why would a woman entering middle age–attractive, sexy, articulate, imaginative, intelligent, charming, charismatic, wealthy and successful in almost every aspect of her life–knowingly give up the only thing missing from that life: namely, love? And love with a younger man she meets serendipitously not once, but three times–and whose appreciation of her quickly grows from mere physical attraction to adoration and then to obsession? The riddle from start to finish is perhaps to be found in the word “knowingly.” The answer to that riddle? Revealed only in the final chapter.
DANEKA SØRENSEN is a Danish transplant to NYC, where she manages her life from an Upper East Side apartment building by night and from the top floor of a mid-town skyscraper by day–ostensibly, all under tight control. KIT ADDISON is a fashion photographer with a sideline penchant for flora and poetry who lives on the Lower East Side. The distance between them, however, is about much more than a mere hundred city blocks.
In Chapter One, serendipity brings Daneka and Kit together for the first time as both are exiting the Columbia campus–she from a poetry class in which she dabbles once a week, he from Philosophy Hall in which he labors days and nights without respite. This first encounter is both poetic and philosophical–but too hot to be captured in a mere haiku, too impulsive to be squeezed into an imperative, moral or historical, for either of them. At the start of Chapter Two, already eleven years later, they–or rather his camera and the front bumper of her limousine–meet a second time on a zebra crossing. Her search for a photographer for a special project (too hot and too imperative for any of the more than competent staff of a major magazine of which she is the Managing Editor) leads to a third serendipitous meeting. What follows these three meetings is, in the coming weeks, a game of cat and mouse–until, that is, their affair becomes such that “it seemed as if they might engulf each other in this single, ferocious act, like tigers chasing their own tails and slowly churning, turning, burning into butter.”
Their affair takes them from New York to Paris, to the coast of Portugal, to Rome and Positano, Italy, to the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, then back to New York City. What they discover about each other in those few weeks is more than most people discover in a mate or lover over a lifetime. The exploration is an erotic Elysian field, but also a psychological inferno.
What gradually comes to light in the space of two continents and one return transatlantic flight is that, while love’s bite may initially be sweet, the aftertaste may be exceedingly bitter–when not downright nauseating.
The human psyche has quite often fascinated me. It bends, compromises, breaks, and more often than not, punishes itself. How often have you witnessed a behavior or peculiar habit and thought why does he/she do that? Daneka, one of our main focal points in this lavishly erotic tale, has several such habits that are quite fascinating. She is a complex and utterly fascinating character that tries to escape her past by locking her dark secrets away. Unfortunately, our past helps shape us, for good or bad, and always finds a way to break through to the surface. Such is the case in her dealings with Kit. Her carefully erected facade begins to chip away under his continual presence and uncontrollable emotions tumble forth. Emotions, that Daneka has been able to bury and deny the existence of. She chooses instead to concentrate instead on sensations, and uses her erotic dabblings as an outlet.
This story is about their romance. It takes you through their first erotic encounter, to the next professional one, and through the downward spiral of their relationship. This book is an exceedingly volatile roll-coaster ride through the erotic decadence in which their relationship springs forth. Their passion burns hot, and their sexual encounters throughout their travels are each more sensually erotic than the last. But complexity that makes Daneka’s character so fascinating, could be the breaking point in the relationship. As worldly as Kit seems to be, Daneka brings a whole other edge, to which in my opinion, proves too much for Kit to handle. Communication is such a fragile thing but it is completely necessary for the growth into something more. Can these two characters climb out of their heads and bring to the table the necessary attributes needed to make this love affair last?
This was a fascinating read. It was erotically off the charts and gives you a taste of the darker side of passion. I enjoyed this book even though many parts of it made me sad. It also makes you reconsider some situations in your own past, and how you may view them differently now. The full picture can be heartbreaking. I’m glad, in the end, that I was able to review this book. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Title: Below the Belt
Author: Skye Warren
Rating: 4 spiders/ 3 on the heat intensity
Black belt Abe Montgomery is focused on winning gold. But at nationals, Abe meets Paris, a beautiful, mysterious woman. Paris Rivera has sworn off men and martial arts. Her black belt cost her more than years of dedication and sweat. The fight of Abe’s life looms ahead, with his dreams of owning a school and his future with Paris hanging in the balance. He may dominate on the mats, but he’s fallen hard for her. When the time comes for them to part, he may not be able to let go.
BELOW THE BELT is a 30,000 word novella of erotic romance featuring explicit sex and graphic language. Not for those under 18 years of age or those uncomfortable with the subject matter.
Abe is a completely focused, alpha, intent on winning that championship so he can obtain his dream of opening his own school. He was his masters prize student and dedicated his life to his art. At an extremely boring opening ceremony, Abe finds his eyes wondering the crowd to the same old throng of partygoers and brainless blondes. He would much rather be practicing for the competition or in his room sleeping then here. His buddies try to liven up the party by forcing Abe to make a bet. Intent on seeing the wager through, he scans the crowd for a challenge. His eyes land on Paris and what happens next blows him away.
Paris so wished she could be anywhere but here. She had long ago given up this lifestyle and wanted as far away from it as possible. But her sister counted on her for support and to keep their mother from totally driving her nuts. That in itself was a full time job. Her mother had been completely disappointed in her when she had decided to drop out of her martial art. So here she was, being a good daughter/sister when Abe approaches her table. At first she is shocked because she knows who he is and couldn’t help but wonder why he approached her. Then her hormones start doing a happy dance and all logic fails.
This was a cute short story about love/lust at first site. I would definitely say it starts with lust and ends up in love Both characters have their own issues and work through resolving them in this book. Paris has a little more than Abe. Together you get some hot sex scenes and a little sweet romance. I enjoyed this book and can’t wait for more form this author!!
Title: The Third Son
Author: Elise Marion
Rating: 4 spiders/ 3 on the heat intensity
Rake. Rogue. Scoundrel. Each of these words has been used to describe Damien Largess, youngest prince of Cardenas, most frequently by his ridiculously somber eldest brother. Damien is perfectly content to spend his days drinking at the card tables, and his nights in the bed of his scheming mistress, especially since doing these things seems to vex his high-handed brother to no end. But when he steps into a glittering ballroom on the night of his twenty-fifth birthday, the roguish young prince’s life will be forever changed.
Beautiful. Graceful. Sensual. When Esmeralda steps into the center of the King’s ballroom to perform for his youngest son’s birthday, every eye in the room is glued to the tall, lithe Gypsy dancer. One pair of eyes seems to burn straight through her, and though she has worked endlessly to shield her heart, she finds her defenses slowly slipping away in the presence of the handsome prince. She cannot resist his devastating charm, nor is she immune to the earth shattering desire in his kiss. As she falls rapidly under his spell, Esmeralda dares to hope for a future she would never have thought possible.
With a deadly plot against the royal family surrounding him in danger and intrigue, Damien will face a decision he never thought he would have to make. Would he step up to claim a responsibility that should never have fallen to the third son? Or will he abandon it to risk all for love?
Damien was the third son. He was not defined with a role and saddled with endless responsibilities as were his two older brothers. He did as he pleased. Yes, he was the womanizing bad boy with the looks and charm, that his older brother constantly frowned upon because of his reckless behavior. He supposed that he really should try to clean up his act, but it was such fun irritating his oldest brother. Being the baby did come with many privileges, the best of which was the unlimited amount of freedom. The truth was Damien had grown rather weary and lonely with his lifestyle, but was unsure of just how to fix it. Fate, it seems, was willing to help push him in an entirely unexpected direction. It all began with a simple dancer at his birthday party whose eyes were branded in his memory for all time.
Esmeralda had a wonderful and free life. Even though her gypsy life was a little at odds with what was considered the norm of her race because her father decided to settle down, Esmeralda loved her family and the club she had help to establish. A terrible accident had robbed her of her father among other things and his loss was a constant stabbing pain in her heart. But love seemed illusive in her life. Her childhood best friend had an extreme crush on her but she felt only brotherly love in return. She longed for the passion and heat that once upon a time her parents had known. But when she spotted Damien sitting in her club, all thoughts of never finding that special someone fled.
This was quite an interesting read!! Though the main part of the book focuses on Damien and Esmeralda, fate seems to throw them quite a cruel hand. The sub-plots in this story are well thought out and leave you quite in the dark about what is really going on in the castle. Esmeralda’s grandmother was my favorite character in the book. She had an old-world cryptic way about her and was a genuine fortuneteller to boot!! This story had a piece of a few of my favorite books inside, which made this book all the more enjoyable. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!! In fact this review was the only reason I haven’t dived into it yet!! I really enjoyed this book!!
Title: Bound by Pleasure: Dirty Discoveries
Author: Morticia Knight
Rating: I gave her 4 spiders/ 4 on the heat intensity
Young Jeffrey has been forcing himself to lead a very restrained and proper life. The only child of very conservative parents, he has been with the sweet, innocent Mia for almost three years, and it is pretty much a given that their families believe the nineteen-year-olds will be married as soon as they finish school. But while Jeffrey is away on a summer family trip for two weeks, it appears that something drastic happened to Mia – she is completely different and wants to break the whole thing off when he returns.
Jeffrey is distraught, and becomes determined to find out exactly what is going on with Mia. There are several dirty discoveries to be made, not the least of which is what Jeffrey has been hiding from himself. Will Jeffrey be able to convince Mia to come back to him? Or is he more likely to find comfort in someone else’s arms, maybe even one of the dungeon participants?
So getting into this book I really thought it was going to be about Mia. Low and behold my surprise that it turns out to be all about Jeffery!! Jeffery is your normal average every-day kind of guy. Not aggressive, pretty laidback, tries to do the right thing, and has been smothered in his parents firm religious beliefs. But Jeffery has a secret. A deep dark secret that would blow his carefully constructed world out of the water, should he ever allow his fantasies to run wild. Mia leaving him was probably the best thing that could of ever happened to him. Because through his quest to reclaim Mia, Jeffery meets Master Greg.
Master Greg was tasked with escorting Jeffery out of the house. He had seen Mia chained up, throat deep is some pretty intense sexual debauchery and had completely come apart. Jeffery was completely unprepared not only for the sights to which Mia had exposed him but also to his reaction. Thank goodness he had found a friend in Master Greg. But Greg had other ideas about what to do with Jeffery. As he listened to him sob out his misery, Greg began forming a plan in his head for some more time with Jefferey. After his tears had all dried, he handed him a card with his number and ordered Jeffery to call him tomorrow. He promised he could make Jeffery’s pain disappear.
Jeffery is unsure about what to do. Should he try to pick up the pieces of his dreams with Mia as his wife, even though that image of her was forever burned in his memory, or start over again? Mia had been the only person he had ever been with, if you didn’t count his impure thoughts. Calling Master Greg the next day suddenly seemed like the best advice ever. He desperately needed a friend.
I really enjoyed this book. It was a short hot sexy ride introducing the discovery of Jefferey:) Jeffery is kind of wimpy but I guess all men can’t be alpha, especially when your playing with BDSM. Bottoms are essential to the role playing world and Jeffery fits right in. But does he dare cross that line between fantasy and real life? Find out in this awesome series!!