LAID BEAR by Eve Vaughn

LAID BEAR by Eve Vaughn

Description: After a near-fatal collision, Zora Calloway wakes up in the cabin of three sexy bear-shifter cousins determined to claim her as their mate. Goldilocks and the three bears, indeed! The Good: This is a really sexy take on a beloved fairytale. Ms. Vaughn is a master of old-school erotic romance structure, and the sex really drives the story. But she also gives us a really interesting and well-executed mystery — it provides just the right amount of plot. I also loved that the level-headed, somewhat beta bear was in charge, and this word pairing: “awesomely serious.” The Bad: The relationship-building gets a little lost in the fray of thick sexual tension during the first half of the book. And Heath and Logan often read as alike, as...

CLAIMING SHAYLA (True Mates) by Zena Wynn

CLAIMING SHAYLA (True Mates) by Zena Wynn

Description: When Shayla flees Refuge, North Carolina after an intense mating session with Rory McFelan, she thought she was done with the alpha of the Sparrowhawks. But as it turns out, she has to go back for her favorite cousin’s wedding. Also, she’s pregnant. And perhaps most importantly of all, Rory isn’t at all prepared to let her go. The Good: As always, Ms. Wynn’s excels at introducing really hot sex into unique situations. There’s a lot going on in this book plot-wise: a rip-roaring romance, a meaty family mystery, and some seriously hardcore sex. Ms. Wynn really goes there — so sensitive readers, be warned. I was worried at points by how many balls she had going up in the air, but somehow she manages to juggle them and...

TATTED by Renee LaRuse

TATTED by Renee LaRuse

Description: When good cop, Misha Barrett, collides with reformed ex-con, Mark “Nello” Giovanello, it’s instant chemistry. But can they navigate their extreme differences to make a relationship work? The Good: I love when authors really go opposite with the “opposites attract” trope and Ms. LaRuse absolutely does. TATTED is a very compelling story with an engaging and funny hero. It’s easy to see why a cop would initially be attracted to this bad boy, who turns out to be a truly dedicated love interest. I also love that he talked too much; he felt like a real guy. This novel is both interesting and different. I have a lot to say in “The Bad” section, but fully recommend giving TATTED a read if you’re looking...

SNATCHED by Sharon Cullars

SNATCHED by Sharon Cullars

Description: Who knew that a love of short ribs could get one character into so much trouble? But when an angry Nailah throws a short rib at a group of dangerous bikers, the person she hits, Dele — who just so happens to be an undercover cop disguised as one them — is forced to kidnap her. Now all he has to do is figure out how to keep both of them alive and solve the case. The Good: I bought this, no sample needed, because Sharon Cullars has proven herself to be an amazing storyteller with a strong writing voice. The stakes are extremely high — I mean through the roof. Just when you think they’re as high as they can go, they jump up another level. This makes SNATCHED a burning page-turner, which will keep you on the edge of your seat. I...

TEMPTING WITNESS by Savannah Stuart

TEMPTING WITNESS by Savannah Stuart

Description: When Madison DuBois witnesses a crime, she’s forced to turn to her brother’s best friend, Detective Rafe Jackson, for help and shelter. Sparks fly, but can their relationship survive the people who want to harm her and their own internal reservations? The Good: Rafe is a sexy and extremely hot hero. The first time they have sex is somehow hot, funny, and really, really awkward at the same time. Great price point for the length. The Bad: I liked that the majority of the suspense and crime stuff happened off page, but some readers might not. Other characters tell us who Madison is as opposed to her showing us who she is herself. This makes for a rather disjointed characterization overall. I could not for the life of me figure out the race...

WOLF IN WAITING by Shyla Colt

WOLF IN WAITING by Shyla Colt

Description: Years ago Kalyx and Luz were best friends in love, bonded over their mutual inability to shape shift. But when Luz shifts, Kalyx runs away, feeling their love can’t transcend their pack caste. Now she’s back for her sister’s wedding. Can Luz, who never stopped loving her, convince her that they belong together? The Good: This is a hot and compelling story. I love tortured alphas, and Luz is that. The Bad: There’s too much story stuffed into too small of a word count. And though, Ms. Colt has excellent plot points, she doesn’t take the time to really explore any of them, not even the H/H’s intriguing back story. This was a good story diminished by lack of good craft. Everything feels rushed and nothing is truly...

WYNTER’S PROTECTION by Tressie Lockwood

WYNTER’S PROTECTION by Tressie Lockwood

Description: When Assistant DA, Wynter King, finds herself being hunted down by a mob boss, she turns to her ex-fiance, Crowe Hanson. But can she take shelter with him without losing her heart to him all over again? The Good: This novella is well-plotted, and I love that the heroine is a strong woman with career ambitions. It was a very satisfying and complete read. I didn’t even remember that it was technically a novella until I sat down to write this review. The Bad: Though the narrative was tight, other craft points weren’t quite there yet. The story as a whole suffered from stilted dialogue and clumsily-written action, which at times made it hard to understand what was happening during the higher-octane scenes. The Naughty: Erotic.  Editing...