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Due to FTC regulations, any book reviewed on this site was sent for free by the author/publisher to The Pagan & The Pen Book Reviews. We are not paid to give reviews by Author or Publisher. Once review has been made, said books are deleted.

Aug 5, 2011

A Librarian’s Desire by Ava Delany



Title: A Librarian’s Desire
Author: Ava Delany
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Length: 28 pgs.
Reviewed by: yadkny

RATINGS FOR:
Cover: 4
Presentation: 4
Editing: 5
Story: 3
Writing Ability: 3.5

Overall Card Rating:
                                                            

About The Book: When an innocent preppy girl gets too drunk at his frat party, Daniel knows he has to keep her safe. Prequel to Librarian's Love.

Erica loves her studies. Library Science, the smell of history…it intoxicates her. But when she gets drunk at a frat party and reveals a bit more than she intends to in a game of Never Have I Ever, she finds her life of books and card catalogues not quite as satisfying as the handsome man whose attention she attracts.

The mousy librarian doing drunken keg stands grabs Daniel's attention from across the room. What a fascinating study in contrasts—one he can't wait to discover what mysteries her drab blouse and glasses may hide. And after hearing her sexy answers during Never Have I Ever, he's more determined than ever to know her secrets before the game is done.



The Review:
A fun celebratory night out was what Erica wanted, but a night she couldn’t remember the next morning was what she got instead.
Daniel knew there was more to the little librarian than met the eye. So many guises for one woman has him utterly fascinated, and wanting to learn more about her. What could possibly be better than finding a sexy enigmatic woman with a kinky side dressed as a librarian?
So short but still so good. The story is quick-paced, humorous, exciting, but most of all, very sexy. Erica is a relatable, hard-working character with layers to her personality. Daniel is handsome and confident but in a laid-back sort of way with a bit of dominance to his personality. I very much enjoyed Ms. Delany’s writing style and would definitely recommend this story to readers looking for an erotic short.
Readers should be aware that this story is a prequel to The Librarian’s Love, also by Ava Delany, which carries on with a bit more of Erica and Daniel’s story.

Loving The Beast by Naima Simone



Title: Loving The Beast
Author: Naima Simone
Buy Link
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Length: 113 pgs.
Reviewed by: Gabrielle

RATINGS FOR:
Cover: 3.5
Presentation: 4
Editing: 4
Story: 4.5
Writing Ability: 4.5

Overall Card Rating
                                            

About The Book:
Gwendolyn Sinclair needs help. And the one person who can give her the aid she urgently requires is exacting a high price.

Desperate to keep the neighborhood community center open, Gwendolyn seeks out Xavier St. James, her childhood friend and the brother of her dead fiance. Xavier’s family foundation possesses the funds necessary to keep the center open, but instead he offers a bargain—a devil’s bargain: submit her body for his pleasure for seven days, and the building doesn’t close its doors.

Left scarred from an accident, Xavier is bitter, resentful, and alone. When Gwendolyn reappears in his life, need and loneliness override conscience, and he proposes an arrangement she can’t afford to refuse. With the woman he has always wanted but could never have finally in his bed, he hungers for more. Her heart. But could she come to love a beast?


The Review:
There are not many books out there that touch your heart as this one did. This was definitely a fairy tale come true; a beautiful love story with great characters that reaffirms the power of love.
I adored Gwendolyn and her courage and strength. She has loved and lost in her life and has always longed for what she thought she could not have. When she gets a chance at tasting what she has longed for all these years, it is too much for her to pass up. Xavier is a man who had everything and in one quick moment, he lost it all. He has given up on the world and closed his heart to everyone. Yet it seems Gwendolyn finds her way into his heart with her love and acceptance. Watching the relationship bloom between these two was beautiful to read.  They each must find their way past pain and anger to find love and each other.
The author does a wonderful job of immersing the reader into a wondrous world with characters so full of emotions and depth. I truly enjoyed this book and will be sure to look for more from this author in the future.

Belonging by Nancy Henderson



Title: Belonging
Author: Nancy Henderson
Buy Link
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 181 pgs.
Reviewed by: Lana Sullivan

RATINGS FOR:
Cover: 4
Presentation: 4
Editing: 4
Story: 4
Writing Ability: 4

Overall Card Rating
                                           

About The Book:
When she finds herself unwed and pregnant, Nan answers an ad for a cook at a logging camp. Claiming to be a widow, she travels to North Creek, determined to learn how to cook before anyone notices her lack of skill.


Butler Cross expects an older woman, not the young and beautiful woman who brings out the wolf in all two hundred lumberjacks. Butler is determined to send her packing, but can’t help trying to discover the secret she’s hiding.


The Review:
Paige had no idea what she was in for, taking the job as camp cook for so many unmannered and uncouth men. Yet she’s determined to learn the skills needed in order to provide a home for her unborn child. An orphan boy, Danny and young worker, Billy are two of the many rich secondary characters in the story, aid her.

Butler is stubborn and ornery at first, two of the qualities needed to keep control over the worst of the loggers. Yet his patience with Paige will endear him to the reader even before he softens.

All in all, Belonging has the sweet romance, conflict, and a satisfying ending sure to please any historical romance fan.

Haunted by Debra Glass


Title: Haunted
Author: Debra Glass
Buy Link
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: YA Romance
Length: 192 pgs.
Reviewed by: BettyJean Pryor

RATINGS FOR:
Cover: 4
Presentation: 4
Editing: 5
Story: 5
Writing Ability: 5

Overall Card Rating
                                        

About The Book:  Can a heart still love once it stops beating?
My hopes of having a normal life died when I did. Especially since my near death experience turned me into a clairvoyant with a disfiguring scar. Not exactly most-popular material.

Now, because of me, my whole family has been forced to move to some small town in Tennessee. My parents think a quiet new school and a new set of friends will heal me of the scars I carry both inside and out.

There’s just one problem. Jeremiah Ransom, the charming ghost of a Civil War soldier who lived and died in my house, is haunting me. His presence makes me feel perfect. As if there’d never been a wound in the first place.  But I’m afraid that loving him will result in my death all over again.

The Review: This is a wonderful story about tragedy, young love, and possibilities.  Wren is a character that anyone can relate to in many ways.  The idea of falling in love with a ghost is explored in every way.  This book grabs you from the beginning.  The author really brings her characters to life with the vivid descriptions of their feelings and activities.  Young adults are sure to enjoy this book and be able to relate to the characters.
Pagan Elements: None

Dane (The MacKenzie Brothers Quartet, #1) by Liliana Hart



Title: Dane (The MacKenzie Brothers Quartet, #1)
Author: Liliana Hart
Buy Link
Publisher: Bodysways Publishing
Genre: Erotic Romance
Length: 63 pgs.
Reviewed by: yadkny

RATINGS FOR:
Cover: 4.5
Presentation: 4.5
Editing: 3.5
Story: 3.5
Writing Ability: 3.5

Overall Card Rating
                                          
                                           


About The Book: Bad boy, Dane MacKenzie, is coming home to Surrender, Montana. It’s been ten years since he left the woman he loved behind to make a name for himself, and now he’s bound and determined to claim her once and for all.

Charlotte Munroe has no desire to welcome home the Prodigal Son with a fatted calf. The bitterness of Dane’s betrayal runs deep, and she has no plans of letting him back into her life. Especially since she’s trying to protect the son Dane isn’t aware exists. from heartbreak, since she’s sure he’s only going to walk out of their lives again.

The Review:
Dane never thought he’d step foot back in Surrender again. Nevertheless, here he is back where it all happened. A place where he experienced some of the greatest highs and lows in his life… where nothing ever changes and life moves at a slow pace… where his mother passed away and the love of his life was left behind. Now he’s back to face the small town that held so much, but one thing's for certain – he didn’t expect to see Charlotte or the wrench she threw at him.
Charlotte (Charlie) has made a decent life for both her and Jayden. Given the hand she was dealt at a very young age, she’s managed to keep it together. Her arrival back in Surrender wasn’t due to happy circumstance, but after coming home to the place she grew up, she decided to stay. It isn’t until she sees Dane that things start to fall apart. The man standing before her looks and feels familiar, but the day he walked away is still fresh. She risked her heart before on Dane and lost, but that was before someone else depended on her.
Reunited lovers are one of my favorite storylines in romance. Everything is old and familiar, yet young and new at the same time, since absence does make the heart grow fonder. Dane and Charlie are no exception, but the storyline seemed a bit heavy for so short of pages. The events and characters in the story would have been more believable had there been room for further development. I wanted to be more emotionally invested in the characters before their ultimate HEA. For a woman scorned and left to raise a child on her own for the last ten years, I would think Charlie would have had more anger and resentment toward Dane. However, the lust between them was not a problem at all, which was almost palpable from the start, so I very much enjoyed Charlie and Dane’s physical reunion.
This is the first in a quartet of books the author plans for the brothers introduced in the story. The dynamics between them was interesting and entertaining, so I look forward to seeing where each of their storylines is taken. Contemporary erotic romance readers will come for the delicious eye candy found on the cover, but be pulled in by the story.

Cross-Stitch and Brimstone by Stephanie Beck



Title: Cross-Stitch and Brimstone
Author: Stephanie Beck
Publisher: Breathless Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Length: 20 pgs.
Reviewed By: Madeline Smoot

Ratings For:
Cover: 5
Presentation: 4
Editing: 4 
Story: 3
Writing Ability: 4
Overall Card Rating: 
                                                  

About the Book:
Marc kills demons. While he doesn’t love it, he’s happy to do his job, keeping people safe and destroying the brethren of the demons who stole his human life.

Beth lives quietly, content to stitch her samplers and fancywork in an era she wasn’t born to but is magically destined to live through.

A late night visit changes both Marc and Beth’s worlds, reuniting them after over a hundred years, long after their love affair ended tragically during the Civil War. Back together, the two must decide what their future holds as they battle the real threat—a demon with a bad case of rose envy.

The Review:
A delightful story of lost love reunites with a paranormal twist is the best way to describe the novella, Cross-Stitch and Brimstone. With well thought out characters, this book comes to life with the story of Beth and Marc. The love scene fits the story perfectly while the two reunite after 150 years of separation. The only real flaw that I found in this heartwarming story is that it seemed a bit rushed. I would love to see the heart of the story expanded into a full-length novel and the character described in more detail.

This heartwarming story of love rekindled is both a classic and a refreshing look at the paranormal genre. This is definitely an author to watch and to enjoy for years to come.

Listen to Your Heart by Cindy K. Green



Title: Listen to Your Heart
Author: Cindy K. Green
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 34 pgs.
Reviewed by: Lana Sullivan

RATINGS FOR:
Cover: 4
Presentation: 4
Editing: 3
Story: 4
Writing Ability: 5
Overall Card Rating
                                             

About The Book:


Kit McCauley is beyond excited over her upcoming wedding to Beau Tucker. They’re choosing furniture for his ranch, her mother has made her wedding dress, and life just couldn’t get any better. Then a woman arrives calling Beau by a different name, and Kit’s world crashes in.
Beau thought he’d left his past behind, but Lillian Davis has tracked him down with news that could ruin his plans with Kit. Duty forces him to face his past, but his heart isn’t sure where his future will end up.


The Review:
Cindy Green never fails to satisfy, at least in the books I’ve read. Listen to Your Heart is a follow-up novella to The Heart Never Lies, written to appease the readers who begged for more. It stands on its own in passion, characterization, and plot, packing the next stage of Kit and Beau’s tale into one quick read, although I’m sure it would be even more fun to read following THNL.
I do have to register my usual disgruntlement with the editing - too many typos that should have been caught by a copy editor. I wish the publisher would put as much heart into their books as the authors do. I don’t recommend you skip this book because of it, but I have to acknowledge the typos for the readers who are put off by them.

In the Cards by Cynthia Selwyn




Title: In the Cards
Author: Cynthia Selwyn
Buy Link
Publisher:  Breathless Press
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
Length: 95 pgs.
Reviewed by: yadkny

RATINGS FOR:
Cover: 4.5
Presentation: 4
Editing: 5
Story: 4
Writing Ability: 4

Overall Card Rating
                                            

About The Book: 

Alexandrea Taylor writes historical fiction, not erotica. She can’t even think the word…um…p-e-n-i-s. But she wishes she could. When her editor wants her to write a story about a cowboy and a bordello using a pack of sex-aid cards, she fantasizes about buying her dream home. Except she’s sure she’s too boring in bed to imagine erotic scenarios. She can’t even keep her fiancé satisfied—she caught him in their bed with another woman. If it wasn't for her friend Zach, she doubts she’d feel attractive at all. 

Zach O’Connor would do anything for his friend, Alex. She’s the only woman he’s ever met who doesn’t treat him like a piece of meat. And now that they’re sharing a hotel room at a conference, it’s his opportunity to show her what she means to him. When she asks for his help with a sexy role-playing assignment, he knows this is his chance to show Alex she’s not only the woman of his fantasies, but the woman of his heart as well.


With some silk scarves, massage oil and imagination – it’s all in the cards.


The Review:
Settled in a relationship of convenience with a cheating jerk, Alex hasn't yet fully accepted that her ex-fiancé is just that – an ex. Now in the midst of a romance writer's convention with her personal life in shambles, there is only one man that can come to Alex's rescue. He's the man she bases all of her book hero's on, and the same man she's been half in love with all her life. Too bad he's on the 'friend' list.
Zach's friendship with Alex is the most important relationship with a woman he's ever had. She's always seen and accepted the real man beneath the fantasy exterior other women seem attracted to. So when Alex called looking for assistance that only he could provide, there was no way he was going to say no. Soon Alex is given a project that requires two-person participation, and Zach sees an opportunity. What starts out as friendly “research” just might be their undoing, but Zach has every intention of giving her enough pleasurable material.
A friends-to-lovers story, complete with a down-on-her-luck romance author and a ruggedly handsome cowboy. The character dynamics in the bedroom were wonderfully playful and sizzling. It was a little unfortunate to see Alex sell herself short when it came to that cheating jerk of an ex, but I enjoyed reading how Zach bolsters her confidence and makes her feel beautiful. Zach is the perfect blend of alpha male with a sensitive side. With a bit of sexy role-playing, this story is a great read for those looking for an erotic romance between friends.

Pagan Elements: N/A

Riding Shotgun by DD Symms




Title: Riding Shotgun
Author: DD Symms
Buy Link
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Erotic Romance
Length: 43 pgs.
Reviewed by: Gabrielle

RATINGS FOR:
Editing: 4

Cover: 4
Presentation: 4
Story: 3
Writing Ability: 3

Overall Card Rating:                    
                                                   

About The Book: 
Hollywood producer Brianna Heathstone flees a humiliating divorce driving Highway 395 from LA to Tahoe for a well-deserved vacation. But when her BMW breaks down in the High Desert, she discovers a sexy mechanic who gives her an erotic ride bursting with passion. She discovers love and eroticism can co-exist.

The Review:
Riding Shotgun is a fast-paced read. I enjoyed watching Brianna deal with her predicament. She has a strong personality, and seeing her give in to her wants and needs was nice. Andrew is a good man who wants more from his love life and isn’t afraid to ask for it. Brianna and Andrew make a great couple, both giving each other just what they need – and more. While I enjoyed the characters, I found it a little unnerving that Brianna would let a man she just met not only dominate her but also restrain her. That is a big thing to trust someone with, and she allows Andrew to restrain her only hours after they meet, making it hard for me to immerse myself into the story and enjoy it.

Although I was not pulled into this story, I found the banter between the characters made for a cute read and I can only imagine the adventures Brianna and Andrew will have in the future. It was nice to see not only the main characters shine but also the secondary ones make an impression. I loved Mike, and hated Pete just as much. The author does a wonderful job of making the reader feel the characters' emotions and personalities.

Pagan Elements: N/A

Scoundrel by Rebecca Goings




Title: Scoundrel
Author: Rebecca Goings
Publisher: Carnal Passions
Genre: Historical/Western
Length: 115 pgs.
Reviewed by: Lana Sullivan

RATINGS FOR:

Cover: 5
Presentation: 4
Editing: 4
Story: 5
Writing Ability: 5

Overall Card Rating:
                                                  

About The Book:
Shirley Bloom is the town pretty girl, but she’s tired of no one seeing beyond her looks. She wants to marry and finally have a family like her sister, but her beau has yet to ask for her hand.


When sexy stranger, Luke Austin propositions her on the street where anyone can hear, Shirley is both shocked and aroused. Luke’s words are outrageous, and awaken longings Shirley has never felt.


A shotgun wedding isn’t the start either expected, and now they are forced to find something beyond their sexual attraction to build a life around. Can the wandering cowboy and the self-centered merchant’s daughter find love together?


The Review:
Warning: Don’t start this book late at night! You’ll want to finish it in one read.
Luke is a rough-around-the-edges, crude cowboy who loves to shock people, and had no trouble speaking plainly about matters that should be kept private. I fell in love with him on the first page!
Shirley is equally loveable, a strong, beautiful woman who hasn’t found the man who can sweep her off her feet. She’s waiting for the pastor’s son to ask her to marry him, because he can provide her with a safe, secure—if dull—life.
This book is full of passion, the pages sizzle when these two get together. But there is real emotion and real conflict balancing the heat. If you enjoy westerns, love sexy, outrageous cowboys, put this book on the top of your list.
Pagan Elements: none

The Wet Reunion of Two Souls by S.E. Holden




Title: The Wet Reunion of Two Souls
Author: S.E. Holden
Buy Link
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Erotic/Contemporary Romance
Length: 30 pgs.
Reviewed by: yadkny
RATINGS FOR:
Cover: 4.5
Presentation: 4
Editing: 5
Story: 4
Writing Ability: 4

Overall Card Rating
                                            


About The Book: On a glorious Thursday afternoon, May's dream of having a baby is finally coming true. Bursting with excitement, she's eager to share the news. But her best-laid plans disintegrate when Jim returns home from work with a different idea... one that didn't include her.


Doubting whether they still share the same dream of a family, May contemplates her future with Jim until the rain washes in an unexpected tryst. Can their relationship weather the storm of emotions unleashed?


The Review:
After receiving the most joyous news, all May wants to do is go home and share the feelings with her husband. Now if only she could figure out the best way to tell him. But what starts out as a relaxing night in with a nice home cooked meal, quickly turns into disappointment and regret. Realization hits Jim with a staggering force, but is it too late to make amends?

A very well written and profound story. Although short, this story touches on a topic that happens to many couples, and does so with fluid pacing. The dynamics of Jim and May are believable and emotionally touching. I very much enjoyed reading the balanced perspectives of both characters.

Looking for a short story with a husband and wife erotically reuniting? Then check out S.E. Holden's The Wet Reunion of Two Souls
!
Pagan Elements: N/A

A Treasure for Sara by Allison Knight



Title: A Treasure for Sara
Author: Allison Knight
Buy Link
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 238 pgs.
Reviewed by: Lana Sullivan

RATINGS FOR:
Presentation: 4
Cover: 4
Editing: 4
Story: 3
Writing Ability: 3

Overall Card Rating
                                                      

About The Book:
When a letter comes from her father saying he’s found a treasure for her, spinster Sara McGuiness escapes the Philadelphia home she shares with her domineering aunt and travels to Yukon Territory.


She finds her father on his deathbed, cared for by a quiet, tormented mountain man called Bear. Bear has no wish for company since the death of his wife and child, and is eager for Sara to board a ship bound for anywhere but there.


Forced to winter together, Bear and Sara fight their attraction and the elements in the harsh northern land.

The Review:
A Treasure for Sara is a sweet historical romance set in one of my favorite areas, the Yukon. Knight captures the rugged land and animals well, often describing the beauty as well as the harshness.
Sara and Bear are likeable enough characters, each with pasts, which offer plausible conflict. I didn’t feel like I connected enough with them to really pull me into the story and want them to get their happily ever after. On occasion, Sara’s thoughts state the obvious, which slowed things down a bit, but overall the story was enjoyable.
I think most readers of sweet romance would enjoy this read, and I think if Miss Knight lands a great editor who can tighten some of the weak spots, she’ll be getting five-star reviews.
Pagan Elements: none 

The Best Man by L.A. Witt



Title: The Best Man
Author: L.A. Witt
Publisher: Carnal Passions
Genre: Erotic Romance, M/M
Length: 227 pgs.
Reviewed By: Madeline Smoot

Ratings For:
Cover: 4
Presentation: 3
Story:  4
Editing: 3
Writing Ability: 3.5

Overall Card Rating: 
                                                   

About the Book:
Jon Beatty thought he had the best man in his ex, Craig. But in the six months since their break up, Craig’s managed to find a new lover—a woman—and wants Jon to be a different kind of best man…at his wedding.

Reasoning that the only way to get over one man is to get under another. Jon heads for a local club to get drunk and laid. Bartender Liam Sable is more than willing to help with both.

Their one night stand turns into a rebound fling which enables Jon to move on. Craig, however, is having second thoughts about the break-up. While inconvenient and annoying, Craig’s antics are nothing compared to the danger posed to Jon and Liam’s relationship by another, more sinister threat.

The Review:
Captivating and eye opening, The Best Man follows the lives of Jon and Liam as they attempt to find peace and each other in the face of past relationships. When we meet Jon, he is pining away for his ex-boyfriend, Craig until he is asked to be the best man at Craig’s wedding. After repeated prompting to move on, Jon decides to go out and find a hook up to calm his sexual frustrations, instead he finds Liam, one of the sexy bartenders at a club called Wilde’s. One night turns into the powerful and honest love that each have been craving, but will it withstand the many obstacles that are designed to crush their happiness? 

Overall, The Best Man is a glimpse into the real problems and relationship issues that both heterosexual and homosexual couples face. Even though the story is fiction, it does have a bit of truth woven throughout the lives of the main characters. There were a few hiccups with the editing, and some were glaring almost to the point of annoyance. Along with the editing mishaps, some of the love scenes felt like an afterthought, more filler than an event to move the plot forward.

The Best Man combines real world issues and a blazing fictional love affair that can’t help but be endearing to the reader. Even with its occasional faults, the story itself wraps around the reader and before you know it, you are transformed into an active participant. The well-developed characters elicit strong emotions; they are either loved or hated. All in all, this is a very powerful piece and an author to watch.

Pagan Elements: none