Monday, November 29, 2010

Falling, Freestyle Hot Romance from Vivian Arend

Falling, Freestyle

Vivian Artend

Samhain Publishing

Never venture out of bounds without a buddy—preferably two.

Dara’s past four incredible years have been lived to the fullest. Along with her best friends, Kane and Jack, she’s left no local wilderness unexplored, no ski slope unchallenged. Yet lately she wonders why they’ve never seen her as more than a buddy with breasts. When—or if—either man will cross that unspoken line.

It’s a line Kane eyes harder every day. Since high school, he and Jack have shared everything. A condo, vacations—and their best girl. Kane’s ready to get serious about his wilderness school and outfitter business, and that includes putting down roots. Preferably with Dara.

Wary of the men who’ve recently been sniffing around Dara, Jack has a growing sense that he or Kane better make a move soon, or they’re going to lose out on their perfect match. Question is, who does she prefer…and who’s going to bring their easygoing trio to an end?

Overhearing the boys arguing over her, Dara’s floored—and torn. Choose between them? No way. Drastic measures are called for, a plan for their annual holiday getaway that will clarify her feelings once and for all—or lose everything in a sexual storm of whiteout proportions

Warning: Old friends turned lovers can get into the most trouble—exhibitionism, bondage, spanking. Anal sex, oral sex, unauthorized use of ski safety harnesses, icicles in the hot tub… The author apologizes in advance for any melted monitors.

Vivian Arend has a flair for stories on the edge, and this one is no exception. I love the character development in this one, and the sly wit that peeks in from time to time. The world building is realistic and the story is filled with laughter, emotion and scorching hot sex. The subtle touches by the characters, and their interactions and reactions are perfectly depicted.

Living life full tilt is the only way Dara knows. Whether it is wilderness adventures or skiing all out with her best friends, Jack and Kane, she gives it her all. For four years, they have been the Three Musketeers, all for one and all for adventure. Dara wants to settle down, and enjoy life with a future filled with love, but how does a girl choose between the two most perfect men she knows? When, on the eve of their big ski trip, she accidentally overhears the guys discussing how they both feel about her, she plans a little surprise of her own for them. By the end of the trip, if it all goes according to plan, Dara will know which man is her perfect mate. Can Dara choose between her best friends, without ruining their friendship? Or will what she wants ruin what they have between them now and in the future?

There really were only three characters in this story, other than some incidental folks that are in and out, but in this story, it really works best. I liked how the two men didn’t suspect what Dara did, and there were a couple of really deliciously naughty escapades to heat this one up quickly. This one is coming out just in time to warm up a cold winter evening.

I like Dara. She is smart and sassy, and determined to have her way-with both of her hunky buddies. She is tired of being “just buddies” with Jack and Kane, so instead of waiting for them to decide, she takes it all out of their hands, with some very sneaky planning of her own. I enjoyed her courage and determination to have it all.

I loved both of the guys, even though they were really quite different. Jack is the serious, thoughtful and logical man, while Kane is the devil may care risk taker. Both are delicious, and I understand why Dara wants both of these men. I was happy to see that, although they worried about the consequences, they were determined to remain friends no matter who Dara chose.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Night Critters A Collection by Lena Austin and Tuesday Richards

Night Critters: A Collection

Lena Austin & Tuesday Richards

Changeling Press

The Thornburn Pack was normal, once. Normal for werewolves, anyway.

Then they began to fall in love with mixed breeds like a Chuskie (half Husky, half Chihuahua – don’t ask how), a fiery Goth half-angel, a foo-dog/dragon, and an angry fairy with a shotgun.

Life -- and love -- has never been this hilarious.

The world has definitely changed. Humans are in the minority since the great plagues of 2010, and paranormal beings are a recognized part of society. The strongest, richest and most powerful pack in America is the Thornburn Pack, and at one time they were considered normal, at least for shifters. But when they started meeting their mates, all bets are off. The stories in the Night Critters collection follow five of the Thornburn pack on their personal journeys to true love. So I suggest you sit back, relax and prepare for lots of laughter and screaming hot sex to fill the night.

Must Love Dogs Corbin Thornburn is tired of being chased by the females in the pack. He wants to be loved for himself, not because he is “heir to the throne” of the Thornburn pack. So he registers as human on a computer-dating site, and hooks up with Roni Engleman, a mixed breed were-dog. This is Romeo and Juliet for the furry set, and these two are perfectly matched.

Faux Paws Lucky Thornburn is a faux paws, shifter born, but he can’t shift. When he meets Charmaine Merrill, a Goth Nephylum, he’s smitten. When he finds that she is in need of his expertise in the construction field, he calls in some favors to help her out. When he discovers that this quirky winged do-gooder is his mate, and thus his only chance to ever shift, he decides he’s in for the long haul, even if it means thwarting his brother’s business plans.

Paws to Heal It’s time to heal the breach between the Thornburn and Engleman packs once and for all. Duke Thornburn and Eduardo Engleman were college friends, and Katiena was the one thing they shared back then. To unite the packs, these three join together just like in the old days, bringing together hybrids of many breeds and forging a new alliance.

Bad Fur Day Staci Thornburn is a logical, no nonsense journalist, trying to get an exclusive interview with the new Chinese UNESCO ambassador. She is the granddaughter of Roni Thornburn, and is part Nephylum, part were-dog and all skeptic. When she tells the ambassador she doesn’t believe in luck, he places a curse on her, because he is a Foo Dog/dragon hybrid, and a minor luck god. Who knew this could create an international incident that nearly led to death sentences for both.

Santa Paws JR Thornburn is trying very hard to break out of his mold of planning every bit of life with lists and charts. His sister in law tells him to be more impulsive, so he dresses as Santa to deliver toys and gifts to the orphanage founded by her. He thinks he will be alone, so he didn’t expect to be facing a loaded weapon, in the hands of an angry wood fairy. Phaedra Hates JR for what he did to her and her family, but when he explains that he is trying to make amends for his past, she senses his sincerity, and she also senses something else-he may be the man who ruined her home, but he’s also the hottest thing she’s ever seen. Just the kind of Christmas present she’s always wanted.

These five stories have a few things in common. Wonderful characters, lots of humor, and loads of scorching hot sex in all kinds of places, with all sorts of beings. Threaded through all of them is the feel of family that comes from the Thornburn and Engleman packs. This is a great one for those times when you want hot reading mixed with laughter.