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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Cowboys in Charge by Starla Kaye

Publisher:  Black Velvet Seductions Publishing
ISBN:  9781936556137
Publication Date:  December 02, 2011
Pages:  299 KB/116 pages (e-book)
Rating:  4 ½ stars

This is an anthology of some great short stories.

The first story is titled Snowed in With Her Cowboy.  In this story, our main characters are having a heated conversation about what else but working too much.  Right away you can tell that a match of wills is going on.  This book seemed like a teaser and I wanted to know if there was another story out there.

The second story is titled Too Much Red at Christmas.  This particular story covers the subject of a woman who likes to shop a little too much.  It just seems to be something in a woman’s DNA.  For some of us it’s an addiction.  But you will just have to read this story to find out what happens.

The third story is titled Love of His Cowgirl.  What I loved about this story was that it starts with some singing.  It made me wish that my e-reader came with sound.  It also shows how they really know how to celebrate the holidays.

The fourth story is titled Cowboys and Their Toys.  It seems that our main couple likes to play games.  The female character seems to be a very impatient person.  Especially when she doesn’t get what she wants.  Got to love your toys.

The fifth story is titled Naughty, Naughty Cowgirl.  This was a story that seems to be about not giving up on your partner.  It’s also about believing in your love for each other.  This makes this story a great holiday read.

Starla’s next story is titled All I Want for Christmas (Biggest Prize Ever).  It’s a story of a woman who loves a bull rider.  But nothing ever comes easy and things will need to change if they have any type of future.

And then Starla ends with A special Gift for Her Cowboy.  This is a story about getting away.  How many of us want to get away with our special someone and just spend some time together.

What I loved about this anthology was that even though it was centered around Christmas, it would translate very well for Valentine’s Day.  It’s also a book that you can read any time of year.  If you are really busy around the holidays and you want your romance fix, this would be a great read.

If you only have a short amount of time, you could read one story at a time.  But because they are short, you could get the book read in just a couple of hours.  It’s a great book to cuddle up in front of a fire with your favorite blanket and your favorite drink.  If you want more of a setting, put on your favorite music – for me Michael Bublé.  For those that love country, who would you choose to listen to?

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Highland Heart by Heather McCollum

Publisher:  Entangled Publishing, LLC (Flirt)
ISBN:  9781622669950
Publication Date:  December 17, 2012
Pages:  196 KB/55 pages (e-book)
Rating:  4 ½ stars

This story takes place in the Highlands of Scotland in the year 1512.

Rachel Brindle and her sister, Isabelle, are on their way to meet their father’s business partner.  Then she sees him.  She later finds out that they have met in the past.

What most people don’t know is that Rachel has some special abilities.  This comes in handy when she comes face to face with Alec Munro.  What’s great about this novella is that Rachel is having an adventure right from the beginning.  Alec is a man of action and very possessive.  He doesn’t appear to be a man that wants a “shrinking violet”.

Alec is labeled a barbarian but you can also see that he is a romantic man.  In a lot of the historical romances where the hero is labeled a barbarian, some of the men have all the say and expect the woman to follow.  Alec wants Rachel to be her own woman and make her own choices.

This was a sweet romance with no sex.  Sex was not needed to make this a great read.  Heather also left me wanting to read more.  She lets us use our imaginations to finish the story.  I also did an internet search to see if there is more.  If you go to the Entangled Publishing web site,, you will find that Heather has another book in this series titled Captured Heart.  If you liked her novella, like I did, you may want to go ahead and get the book that started it all.  I also look forward to see what she has in store for us next.

I was provided a copy of Highland Heart by Entangled Publishing for the purpose of an honest review and was not compensated for this review. 




Thursday, February 14, 2013

Trails of Love I Crawl, Part 2 by Ciaran Dwynil

What do you do when you face the biggest fear of losing
somebody you love? And what do the boys and men in this
epic story about lust for life and love do? Do they cave in
and lose their faith or do they fall, get to their feet again
and fight on for the most powerful belief of all? And how do
immortals influence their fates? Deathbearer is prowling
around the Cherson's army encampment and this time she
has found a better instrument for her malicious vengeance.
Will her plotting destroy Belial's favorites or will he be able
to protect them from all harm?
Two boys, five men, and two immortals. Twenty-two nights of life. What will the full
moon night bring? Find out in the second part of Trails of Love I Crawl trilogy.

Word count: approximately 98,800 words
Content note: Trails of Love I Crawl Part 2 is a
gay, erotic, paranormal fantasy. It contains explicit sexual
scenes, including BDSM elements, and may be considered
offensive to some readers. All characters in the novel are

Excerpts (several ones given for variety) Excerpt 1:
A cold shiver raked Viktor's spine as he gaped into his abductor's pale fluorite
irises. There was nowhere where he could hide from their inquisitive glint. They
saw into the deepest depths of his soul. They measured, they evaluated and
nothing could be concealed from them. Nothing. For this was Hell. This was
where the card game with life ended. It only surprised him that he was actually...
still alive. Mortified to the core by the lack of self-control he had just exhibited...
but alive.
The creature's full lips curled in a smile worth dying for and the most seductive,
husky tones of his voice drowned out all disconcerting, rasping moans coming
from the yard. “There is no reason why you shouldn't be alive, Viktor. Void can
be a very lively place and some of its attractions are better consumed when you
still have your body.” Dear Lord, the sensual melody of the demon's speech was
dripping with lust, need and pleasure. It whispered and screamed of delighted
moans and anguished delectation. All desire of the world was in its harmonious
euphony. It felt as if an ancient, beautiful deity spoke to a puny mortal, making
him long to hear every word again and again and again. But he couldn't yield
to the spell, though it partly soothed his fear. No. His hand might be empty at
the moment but... there still there were cards to play with life. Back in the mortal
realm. As long as he was alive he could still hope that one day, just perhaps, he
would be able to speak to his Amédée again and win him back.
Strangely enough, this close encounter with danger swept all self-pity thoughts
away and Viktor's mind regained its ability to actually think and bounce back
from the latest setback. One lost round didn't prefigure that everything was lost
forever. But if he wanted to see his bunny again, he had to make it out of here
alive. And it meant two things. Not to anger the alluring child of darkness in front
of him and not to listen to his bewitching lullabies.
Bracing himself for the hardest game of his life, against a player countless
times more experienced than he was, Viktor licked his lips and answered: “Your
Lordship, with all the due respect to your hospitality, I would prefer to consume
the attractions of the mortal realm while I still have my body.” But the demon only
shook his head in amusement before he spoke again. “You're being cheeky, pet.
Cheeky but still respectful. It saves you from punishment for now but the mortal
realm is beyond your reach and it will stay so.”
No, Viktor had not expected another answer for the start. The demon hadn't
kidnapped him for nothing. And from the way he kept addressing him, Viktor
could easily deduce his prospective role here. It wasn't to his liking. Not even for
a god like creature. But still he couldn't really wrench his sight off the pale irises
that had imprisoned him in their smoldering look. Gazing into them, he gave a
cracked: “Isn't there a way to earn a privilege to... visit it... again, my lord?”
The demon arched his brow at his boldness and reiterated: “No, darling pet. It's
just in fairy tales for children that a daring prince gets a bargain from a devil. You
are no longer a little boy to believe such stories, are you?”
Fairy tales. He had believed in one. And it had ended all too quickly. He had
ended it all too quickly. “No, I don't believe in fairy tales, my lord. But I have an
unfinished business there. Couldn't I be allowed to tend to it before...”
“An unfinished business you say. Amédée?” So, the demon really knew
everything. And the tone of his voice revealed how entertaining he found Viktor's
struggle to be together with his bunny. But there was nothing amusing in his
plight. It burned in his mind and in his heart like the flames of inferno. But his
abductor wouldn't understand. Nobody would. Biting his upper lip, he nodded and
finally managed to avert his sight. Just a little. Just not to let the demon see the
glint of unspilled tears.
“Oh, I think that is a closed chapter. He told you he wouldn't leave with you. Don't
you remember?” It sounded as if the voice wanted to pull all his anguish to the
light and make him admit a defeat. But he wouldn't. Only his throat tightened
involuntarily still before he replied: “Words can be spoken in a rush. It doesn't
make them the truest of truth.”
“No, it doesn't. I'll grant you that. After all, who should know it better than a
charming impostor like you are.” Touché. A painful one. So, the demon really
knew everything, and Viktor didn't manage more than an uneasy croak: “Is that
why I'm here?” and a quick glance back into the demon's eyes. If he was actually
mistaken about his role here, Void might be a hotter place than the pillory in
Cibinium. And Maker knew what the demon actually meant by the attractions of
Void and what the ways to consume them were. A cold fist of fear punched his
stomach and forced all air out of his lungs. It didn't seem likely that he would be
able to pull an inhale in any time soon. Lowering his sight, he awaited the verdict
and felt cold sweat of fright forming between his shoulder blades once again.
“Partly. But mainly because you roused my interest, Viktor. You'll be allowed
a choice later tonight whether you want to be here as my pet or as a trickster.
Let's get you ready for your decision.” Maker, it wasn't exactly a reassuring
statement. Especially given the fact that while casting his eyes down, he hadn't
been able to avoid catching a glimpse of the demon's naked magnificence. Of
his almost alabaster white, unblemished complexion, his sculpted body, and...
his... package. While everything about this creature was breathtakingly beautiful,
Viktor just knew he couldn't possibly take the demon's shaft into his body and
so the prospect of getting ready for a decision didn't fill him with an excited
anticipation. His executor chuckled above him and the sound forced Viktor to
tilt his head back again and seek the demon's look, despite the protests of his
neck muscles. Why did the creature have to be by two heads taller than him and
why did he have to be so well endowed? The former was a pain for his neck, the
“Your thought processes amuse me. I'll have to disappoint you though. Your
preparations don't entail what you think they do.” Oh, Viktor was in fact as far
from a disappointment as Blodwyn from Rhyda. A vast sea of relief lay between
him and that emotion. But only until the demon added: “My pets will help you to
get ready. You are to obey their every command, Viktor. And if you are as clever
as I think you to be, you will do exactly what they'll say.” The nonchalant words
jabbed at Viktor's pride so hard that he swayed. He... he had had a master but
never, never had he been a pet of somebody's pets. A protest was rising to his
lips but he managed to swallow it. Together with his momentarily unhelpful pride.
Not to anger the demon. That was the key to his freedom. If there was a key in
the first place.
The wide smirk on the demon's full pouts revealed that he shamelessly enjoyed
reading every single thought in his mind. It wasn't fair. But the gamble with life
rarely was. And so it came as no surprise when his kidnapper advised him of
his view. “Freedom is a severely overestimated concept.” Without giving him a
chance to react in any verbal way, the devil snapped his fingers and called his
pets: “Argyros, Donn!”
Before the proud something in Viktor cringed in expectation of the unspeakable
humiliation of submission to playthings, the first of the demon's minions appeared
out of the nowhere and his beauty left him with his mouth agape. Thunderstruck
with loveliness of darkness, he could barely breathe and almost overheard his
captor's entertained words: “Servitude, my dear, is but a small price to pay for
closeness with perfection.” He couldn't shake his head to disagree. Not when
whole his attention was on the silvery apparition approaching him so slowly.
So painfully slowly. Everything about the demon boy seemed to be made of
the purest, shiniest silver. More alluring than moonlight could ever be. His
complexion, his lips, his hair. Everything. Everything but for a pair of wings in
the most delicate pigeon blue and rose colors. Viktor could almost hear their
silent swoosh through the air when the youth half unfurled them in apparent
excitement from seeing his master. And the demon lord responded with the same
gesture. His pale green membranous wings greeted the young one with a light
flutter and Viktor immediately understood it was an unspoken way of the same
reaffirmations he so much longed to hear from Amédée's lips. Yours I am and
You're mine were exchanged in front of his eyes without a single word. And left
him aching for such intimacy.
We'll see. But the words remained only in Belial's head. He had watched Viktor going through
a plethora of emotions tonight. Hope, despair, fear, desire, anger, doubts, hesitant affection,
bravery, denial, acceptance, powerless fury, sadness, distress... and they had all been clashing in
the man's soul again and again. He doubted that Viktor's resilience would carry him through much
more in the next few hours. No. His pet needed to rest and sleep. There would be other days
when Viktor could adjust his opinions. Just slightly. But not tonight. Tonight there would be just a
pleasurable stress relief. All the rest could wait.
Purring quietly: “Do what you see Argyros doing,” he repositioned to stand behind Viktor and his
nod invited his Fallen to demonstrate the full exercise. Argyros' tender half-smile brimmed with
playfulness again and Donn's face lit up with sweet anticipation too. Just a bat of his eyelashes
told them that he knew, understood and approved. They didn't need more encouragement to
show their desire and need off. Smiling, he let two horizontal rods descend slowly in front of
Argyros and Viktor. His silvery kitten grabbed his one without any hesitation. Yes, they had
played this game plenty of times. Viktor wrapped his palms around the cold steel far more
gingerly and cautiously. As if he half expected the rod to burn him. “Nothing what happens
between now and the dawn will hurt, Viktor,” Belial whispered into his ear to brush away a part of
the lingering worries and the shiver his hot breath invoked pleased him more than he allowed his
pet to realize. Indeed, all would work just well between the two of them.
His will made the rod in front of Argyros rise above the boy's head. And higher still. His pet held
onto it obediently all the time and when the bar finally stopped its movement, Argyros' body was
stretched most alluringly. The lad balanced on his toes and every muscle of his figure presented
itself to hungry eyes shamelessly.
Donn's hands shot in view and his fingers flicked his companion's nipples lightly. It was enough to
wake the soft buds up and coax blood to gush into their capillaries rapidly. So rapidly that Argyros
couldn't really hold a moan inside his mouth. It sounded as softly as a morning breeze and just as
sensually. And Belial's white teeth flashed in a wide, unconcealed smirk. If he wasn't mistaken,
his unwilling pet wouldn't be able to resist this powerful display of lust.
“Stop for a moment, Donn,” an order came but Viktor's soul didn't respond with gratitude. The
command announced but a break in his suffering, not its end. Yes, receiving this brand felt
different from the other one years back. Hundreds of little pains replaced one gust of agony... but
the process was still the same. Suddenly, he wanted to bite down. He needed to hurt the turgid
shaft in his mouth. He craved to express his anger at the demon for doing this to him. But he
couldn't. Something stopped him and he couldn't even say what it was. Perhaps gentle cupping
of his face, nudging him to let go of the engorged manhood. He did and it surprised him how
reluctantly, despite all his inner exasperation.
“Does it hurt too much?” Belial asked, tilting Viktor's face up. Crab suas! Of course it hurt too
much, what did the demon think? That it was a delicious treat to get tattooed on such a private
and sensitive place? It wasn't. Glaring into the fluorite depths, he uttered: “What do you think?”
immediately regretting his words. They would only irritate the demon and would win him nothing
but punishment. But... again... there was no hard chastisement coming. Instead he heard: “That
you're very sensitive between your legs, pet. Turn around and let me see.”
It wasn't exactly what Viktor had expected and he couldn't even find a curse which would relieve
his confusion or his irritation. All the swearing colorfully portraying one's fate in hell seemed
somehow... inappropriate, considering he actually was in Void. To demur at the command was
equally improper and ineffective and so he was left with only one option. To do what he had been
told to do. Poking his bottom lip out like a boy who is forced to do something what he disagrees
with but is afraid to kick up a rumpus, he shifted and knelt again with his posterior facing his
master. A dubious comfort flashed through his mind: at least he could say he mooned a High
Demon. He wasn't quite sure where he would boast with such an achievement but if nothing else,
the thought helped him not to feel like a scapegoat on an altar.
Waiting for the verdict, he tried to suppress nervous chewing on his own lips but was far from
being successful. Maker, he felt like a bride forced into a doggie style. He needed to know what
was happening behind him and was afraid to look over his shoulder. Donn's hands pulling his
buttocks even more apart and Argyros' palms placed on his waist to hold him in position only
made it all worse. Fine. Now the bridesmen would assist the bridegroom to claim his prize.
Nothing against wedding night customs but he wasn't a virgin and there was no trophy to be
had here. But still his fingers scratched the sheets lightly. In a moment of trepidation which only
underscored the unwelcome parallels.
Hot fingers ghosted over his violated, sore flesh, and he pulled in an inhale through gritted teeth.
A shudder raked his frame when the digits grazed his skin and a small moan leaked out of his
lips. Right now he didn't want to be touched there. In fact, he longed not to be touched anywhere.
But nobody cared about his momentary preferences. It shouldn't surprise him that much. Had he
paid much attention to the desires of the boys in the reformatory? No, he had not. So, why should
he expect a different treatment now when he ended up in this high-prestige reformatory of souls?
“Reformatory of souls?” the High Demon chuckled, “an interesting thought, dear.” But Viktor
wasn't quite in a position to appreciate either his amusement or the little praise. He would only
prize a return to the mortal realm which wasn't going to happen today. “Are you sure it's the only
thing you can value, Vik?” Belial murmured and the diminutive sent Viktor in bewilderment. Out
of the sudden it wasn't so clear what his answer would be if he were to be honest with himself
and the demon. Something was telling him he in fact cherished the care granted to him before the
morning had come. But he couldn't...
“We will see,” his inquisitive tormentor said. Was it a promise or a threat? Maker knew what it was
and didn't find it necessary to share his knowledge with Viktor.
Shivering, Viktor nodded. Yes, they would see. That he wouldn't stay here.
“Which is why you need the tattoo in the first place,” Belial chided him, patting his bottom lightly.
And still before Viktor could complain inwardly about injustice of such preventative measures, he
added: “But you also need a distraction from the pain. Unbend and let me make you feel much
Hmmm... if somebody could make him feel better, it was the High Demon. The realization trickled
into Viktor's mind like honey onto a wound. Slowly and causing discomfort everywhere it touched.
Despite the smarting sensations, despite the sticky feeling... honey had the power to heal. But
Viktor decided to dismiss the cure. He wouldn't have needed anybody to alleviate his pains, had
the demon not caused them in the first place. Yet, still he couldn't decline the offer. His thoughts
picked up the pace as he tried and tried and tried to find an acceptable answer. And then the
solution peeked out from behind the clouds of indecision like a sun ray. He would let just his body
get the easement. But not his mind. He wouldn't grow attached. And would run away. Satisfied
with his shrewd decision, he nodded again and loosened up.

Buy Links
Please use the promotion code for a 10% discount from the sales price TM68J The code is valid only for a purchase from Smashwords and expires on 1 March 2013.

Author Bio:
Ciaran Dwynvil, the bard of gay erotic fantasy, writes for... the characters. “I'm their happy scribe
and their personal bard. When they come to me, their story is already there and they just need an
author willing to listen in silent midnight hours, paint their life with words and then sing about it on
pages of the books. That's what I do and what fills my days with joy.” This approach to writing
resonates best with thoughtful readers for whom character emotions and plots are just as
important, (if not more) as the erotic aspect of the stories. The lines in Ciaran's novels flow like
verses in a minstrel's tales from the time long passed. Like stitches on a tapestry they create
intricate images for those who dare to join the characters in the moments of bliss and in the
moments of their darkest hours. Readers will get pulled in a complex fantasy world and will live
through stories of faith, life, love and lust that will leave them aching for more. The narratives
never use solely one character's point of view. Just like a tapestry doesn't rely just on one color,
Ciaran's novels aren't told in one voice only. All heroes and villains speak on the pages and thus
allow a reader to experience their story from multiple perspectives until a rich, complete vision
fully emerges.

 Contact Links
web page:

 My Thoughts:
4 Stars

This is a book for those people who enjoy reading something totally different from what they may have read before.  This is a book that is M/M erotic fantasy.  There is a lot of explicit sex scenes - this is a read that is not for the "faint of heart".  Personally, I felt that you need to read book one in order not to feel confused.  This way you will also know some of the characters from the first book. 

While I was reading, I felt that some scenes compared to the <em>Dark Shadows</em> series.  I loved watching that series growing up.  So, I could see this transforming very well as a paranormal soap opera.  The only thing I'm not sure of is who would be the actors.  And then which cable channel would be the best fit.

Some of you may know more about the BDSM scene than I do.  There was one scene where I just wasn't sure if the beginning would be considered BDSM but I figure that I will need to do some research on that in order to answer that question.  It is something you will have to strongly think about if you are thinking about role-playing.

I got the impression with the paranormal aspect we have brother and sister going against each other.  The brother seemed almost like a conductor, or puppeteer, and the humans are his orchestra or puppets.  It added a little extra to this tale.  Are we there for their entertainment?  I will be interested to see what Ciaran has in store for his readers next.