by Stacey Espino, Doris O’Connor, Shyla Colt, Lila Shaw, London Saint James, Sandra Bunino, Katalyn Sage, Nikki Prince, Eve Meridian, Persephone Jones, Giselle Renarde, Jeremy Hosack
Genre: Erotic Romance
Categories: Contemporary, Paranormal, Interracial, Menage, M/F/M, M/F, Virgins
Published: August 15th, 2013
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Length: Approx. 311 pages
Source: Review copy from author
Strength. Power. Experience.
No obstacle is too great when an alpha male decides what he wants, and these dominating men are so sexy and irresistible, no woman would dare think of anything but submission. Billionaires, Doms, and mobsters alike aggressively go after the women they want, and they will stop at nothing to fully possess them and make them beg for more.
Come and find out how good it feels to be HIS.
Overall this was one hot, HOT anthology! Some stories were better than others, but on the whole they were well-written. This anthology isn’t your typical collection of shorts that feel like a chapter ripped out of a longer story. Each story was around four to five chapters long, so the majority of the stories had a decent character and plot development. The heroes were powerful men, both in bed and out, well endowed and cunning linguists. The majority of the stories had a few things in common: 1) virgin heroines 2) CEO heroes 3) older heroes and younger heroines. There was definitely something for everyone. A few mistakes here and there slipped through the cracks, but this book is still definitely worth getting. Out of the twelve stories, six of them were stand outs, in my opinion.
My rating for each story was derived from my first impression after reading it, the overall comparison to the writing level/content of the other stories and lastly how memorable the story was or whether I would read it again.
#1) The Billionaire’s Florist by Stacey Espino
Elements: Older hero, younger heroine, dirty-talk
Karlee Jones is up to her eyeballs in debt. Getting the job to cater for a wedding is her saving grace, until the man she mistakes for the groom hits on her and shows her pleasures beyond her wildest imagination. Will her prejudice stand in her way of a HEA will the older billionaire?
I liked it. I didn’t mind the age difference between the characters; at least Karlee was running a business , or trying to. As a hard-working woman trying to make ends meet and the stark differences mentioned in the story between her and Andrew made her prejudice against Robert Black quite believable. After their night together, I wasn’t surprised that she disappeared out of self preservation. The sex was oh so HOT! Robert was well-endowed, had the stamina of a twenty year old, and he delivered on the dirty talk. I didn’t really buy the heroine fancying herself in love after spending a few hours in his bed. Even though this story was around four chapters, it felt much shorter and a bit more rushed than any of the others.
#2) The Proposal by Doris O’Connor
Elements: PNR, shifters, CEO
Interior designer Lara Butler is late for a business appointment. She’s about to be really late when the smell of the sexy stranger in the elevator makes her salivate and want to jump his bones.
I liked that the hero had been aware of the heroine for a year, so in a way, their meeting wasn’t simply fate intervening. Jameson Harold was one hot alpha male, and he had the moves to prove it. Another thing I appreciated was that he didn’t jump her at the first opportunity; instead he let he do her job and in turn he did his. The sex was hot, but since they did it three times in this story, there wasn’t much else to the story.
#3) Seduced By the Millionaires by Shayla Colt
Elements: Interracial, ménage M/F/M, M/F, foreigners
Thirty-five year old Dmitry Arsenyev is a cleaner with the Russian mafia. He’s tired and lonely. That is until he meets sweet and pure Lila. Twenty-two year old Lila has led a very sheltered life thanks to the preaching of her parents. She fled home to go to college in the big city. She works in the Arsenyev’s club to put herself through college. The brothers are instantly drawn to her purity. She’s like the light to their darkness, and they want her. An attack sends them into lock down, Lila included. Her life as she new it will never be the same.
Another good story. The author did a very good job of introducing the characters to life. From the few short chapters I felt Dmitry’s loneliness and the burden of his job. In a world as dangerous as theirs, it was up to him to keep his family safe. He hadn’t been in a relationship since the last woman tried to play him and Val against each other.
Lila was described as being sheltered and her naiveté held true throughout the story considering she’d been working in that club for a while and had no idea who her employers were or what they did for a living. Her near brush with death made her want to experience what the two brothers were offering her.
The sex was hot, but I found it odd that the virgin had been playing with B.O.B. For a long time, yet she still had a hymen to break.
#4) Slave Driver by Lila Shaw
Elements: M/F, contemporary, friends to lovers, widow, humor
Thirty-three year old Kristy Kreem let herself go after the death of her husband nine months ago. On doctor’s orders to get her health back up, she joins a gym. Not just any gym, but one known for the most grueling workouts at the hands of personal trainer Blake Smith. She’s surprised that Blake is really BJ, the notorious bad boy she knew from high school and who stood her up for homecoming. Blake can’t believe the goody two-shoes he once had a thing for in high school is in his gym. He never forgot her or the fact that she stood him up at homecoming. Maybe now that they’re older they’ll have a chance to explore that high school attraction and take things further.
This story was sexy and so funny! I think Blake got a kick out of torturing her during the workouts as a bit of payback for the past. Her snark both rolled right off of Blake and made him hot for her. I liked that every other chapter was a flashback to the past where we got a glimpse of just how different those two were. They ran in different circles and never openly flirted, but Blake pulled an older version of “pulling a girl’s pigtails”. I liked how their friendship evolved slowly until Blake addressed their communication issues from the past to help them get over that pesky hurdle. Their first time was sexily awkward, but it seemed to suit these characters. I’ve read a few other stories by this author and she never disappoints.
Blake let go of her with a yelp. Her legs collapsed beneath her and down she fell onto her back, her arms still bent in the gripping position.
#5) A Whisper of Silk by London Saint James
Elements: First person POV, foreigner, M/F, virgin
Twenty-nine year old Luci Karins is reliable, predictable and boring. With no social life to speak of, she doesn’t protest when her boss gives her a moment’s notice to pack and jet off to Rio on a business trip. One night with a sexy stranger named Rafi leaves an impression on her. When she misses her dinner date the next night, she has no way of finding or contacting him. Once back in New York she can’t forget the man or what could have been. Will they ever meet again or was their time destined to remain a one time only experience?
I loved this story! It was so descriptive from sights, sounds and smells, but what really caught my attention was how I could instantly picture Rafi in my mind. He was the epitome of the Latin Lover. This story had a great, sensual flow to it, and I liked both characters equally. I definitely want to read more from this author.
#6) The Mobster’s Promise by Sandra Bunino
Elements: Reunited lovers, M/F
Julia Hale is back in New York for an appeal hearing in the case of her father’s murder two years ago. The last person she expects to see is Roarke Velasco. She blames him for her father’s death, and she’s still hurt that he let her go so easily. Now he’s her bodyguard and constant shadow. She reluctantly puts up with him, but maybe all isn’t as it seems.
I really enjoyed the tension between the hero and heroine in this story. They may have loved each other, but she wasn’t about to compromise her own wishes and overlook Roarke’s job. The twist at the end was great. Not only was it a nice surprise, but I loved the reaction it got out of Julia and heightened the tension a little more. I thought keeping her waiting was a nice little payback for being a bit of a brat in the beginning. The love scene wasn’t as hot as what I’m normally used to from this author (pssst, check out her BDSM-lite series, The Satin Rose Experience).
#7) Angels Incorporated by Katalyn Sage
Elements: M/F, fantasy, PNR, angels, virgin
Twenty-one year old Chloe Terranson is a third year college student working on the side as a barista. A regular and strangely persistent customer had been trying to talk her into modeling. She just may be desperate enough to do it now after getting laid off. When she meets the CEO of Angels Incorporated, Malcolm Thane, she feels a bone deep connection she can’t explain.
Not a bad story. I liked the PNR part of it, but the drama portion was so cliché. I thought everything about this story was rather predictable. The sex scene lacked the oompf factor, but perhaps it was because of the setting/circumstances.
#8) Owning Desire by Nikki Prince
Elements: BBW, CEO, older hero, younger heroine, M/F, exhibitionism/voyeurism
Twenty-six year old Desiree Lawson has always been attracted to older men, especially her boss whom she’s had a crush on for years, fourty-four year old Sterling McKenna. When he returns unexpectedly from a business trip and calls her into his office, she knows something is wrong. She nearly cost him a deal, and his brand of reprimand is a double-edged sword. He has a proposal in mind that could either fulfill her secret fantasies or cost her her job.
At first glance, this story could have come across as the boss propositioning the hot secretary. Luckily the reader was given some pointers that the attraction was mutual, and therefore any agreement on either part would be consensual. This was one of those stories that you had to read and finish in order to get the whole picture because pieces of information were scattered throughout. Most times it felt as if an explanation was delivered right on the heels of what could be considered a questionable situation.
Overall, I was a bit disappointed with this story. I didn’t like the hero very much. He knew she was into the lifestyle, but instead of trying to court her, he basically blackmailed her and threatened her job in the process. He knew she was supporting her siblings yet he had no qualms about putting her between a rock and a hard place. His conversation with his lawyer, Ryder Yoshida, about golf could have been left out because that just interrupted the flow. Sterling’s matter of fact delivery that Ryder would be there to watch them for their first time kind of rankled, and Desiree’s repetitive insecurities about what would happen if he ever tired of her was a little annoying. To be honest, I was far more interested in Ryder than the other two.
#9) Virgin Territory by Eve Meridian
Elements: M/F, CEO, older hero, younger heroine, virgin
Twenty-eight year old Sabrina vowed never to end up like her mother – always in debt, always moving. No, she would not get involved with the opposite sex, but she couldn’t help but notice her sexy boss. Forty-two year old CEO Drake Norton vowed never to get involved with an employee ever again. Not since his last lover accused him of sexual harassment in retaliation for ending their relationship. Will Sabrina let her guard down long enough to let a man in, and will Drake learn to trust his instincts again and end his loneliness?
I really enjoyed this story. The characters and the plot were fleshed out nicely, and I felt a connection to both of them. There was enough back story to help me understand them and care for them. My favorite trait of this story was the maturity they displayed throughout the story. Drake knew what he wanted and they had a great open and honest conversation about what was happened between them. No unnecessary drama. I would absolutely read more from this author. (I just realized this author also wrote a story for the Keyboards and Kink Anthology and I gave it 4.5 Stars back then).
#10) Virgin Unbound by Persephone Jones
Elements: M/F, foreigner, professor/student relationship, virgin, dark, kink
Gertrude Tompkins has fallen for her professor, Dr. András Almássy. Of course, a man like him would never notice her, could never be interested in her. For her final exam in Sexuality in Literature, she wrote about one of her darkest fantasies. Not a problem since the essays were to be handed in anonymously. Professor Almássy has been pining for her and designed his entire course around the prospect of seducing her. Her story spurs him on to make his move and make her dark abduction fantasy and deflowering a reality.
Dark, sensual and well-written. This was one hot story, and Gertrude had one wild imagination. I loved that it started out with Gertrude’s story for her exam. It was unexpected, but it sucked me right in. I got the feeling that Gertrude was a young woman who knew what she wanted, but she wasn’t “there” yet in going after it. The fact that she didn’t outright try to seduce her professor made me like her a lot. As for András, his actions may have been a little creepy, but in context with the mutual attraction, Gertrude’s outward hesitance and the hidden yearning in her written words, he was the one with the most confidence to bring the dark seduction a life. Luckily, I enjoy stories like these, so I had no problem with their actions. If you want an erotic story with a slight edge to it, this is a great one to start with.
#11) Firemen on the Move by Giselle Renarde
Elements: M/F, interracial, older hero, younger heroine
Twenty-seven year old Bindi is secretly moving out of her parent’s house while they’re away on vacation. She hires a moving company to help her move her belongings. The movers are retired firemen. Having one of them help her put her bed together might figuratively blow her mind.
Disappointing. After she described the more handsome of the two men as 25-30 years older than her and looked like Patrick Stewart. The more unfriendly one looked like Tim Allen in the movie Santa Clause. My problem wasn’t the age difference because she’s more than legal, but her “voice” was unappealing in its immaturity and annoying with her whining. When she’s put on the spot of offering them something to drink, she realizes she doesn’t have the basic kitchenware.
Bindi realized she had no wine glasses. She had no glasses of any kind. How could she have overlooked something so basic? She’d planned to go out the next morning and buy a set of dishes and cutlery, but she hadn’t even considered glassware.
Despite being 27 and living with the parents, at least she had been away at college, so I didn’t buy this brand of utter helplessness. The sex was hot, and Steve had the stamina of a twenty-something stud. Aside from that, a lot of the dialogue was inane conversation and didn’t help her case. This is the second story by this author that I’ve read and couldn’t get in to.
#12) Running Mate by Jeremy Hosak
Elements: M/F, politician/intern
Senator Clark Crosby has the potential to not only become the youngest President but also the first single one. Heather Swift is an intern working on her master’s degree. When he accidentally elbows her in the eye, he feels bad and they get to talking about his campaign. Impressed by her knowledge and competence, he hires her on as his new campaign manager. Their work relationship eventually evolves into a romantic one, but in true political mud-slinging fashion, the opposition threatens to tear them apart. Can their relationship survive the run for the White House?
A great story! The dialogue was pretty humorous, but this story also had a nice, well-rounded feel to it. It had great characters, a bit of suspense and drama and hot love-making. I enjoyed the tie tugging and one scene that’s probably more typical of a male’s fantasy rather than a female’s. Overall though, I just really liked this author’s voice. Told in alternating first person POV, I never once felt annoyed by the character’s voice or thoughts, and that is usually difficult to pull off. I would definitely read more from this author.
Overall, I’d give this anthology a 3.5 rounded up to 4, and six authors should be looked at more closely: Sandra Bunino, Lila Shaw, London Saint James, Eve Meridian, Persephone Jones and Jeremy Hosak.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy from the author for the purpose of an honest review. The views and opinions expressed in this review are my own, and in no way represent the views or opinions of the publisher/distributor.
Buy Links are simply informative in nature. I am in no way affiliated with mentioned book sellers, nor am I under any type of affiliate program with said book sellers. Reviewed books were purchased by me unless otherwise noted. Any type of ad that appears anywhere on my blog are NOT sponsored. I do not receive monetary compensation. Giveaway prizes are provided by the author or publisher unless otherwise noted.
Find MsRomanticReads online
TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOOGLE+ | LINKY | NETWORKED BLOGS | TUMBLR | BLOGLOVIN’
Or subscribe to instant posts via Email in the sidebar