LACED WITH DESIRE
JACI BURTON, JASMINE HAYNES, JOEY W. HILL, DENISE ROSSETTI
Rating: 4 Cups
No Strings Attached
Ella Hicks owns her own construction company. She is a widow and has been grieving for a few years now. However, she has decided it is time to move forward with her life and she is ready to have a no-strings-attached affair.
Clayton “Clay” Mansfield owns a rival construction company but that does not stop him from being good friends with Ella. He cares about Ella, and he has made it his business to look after her, at least when it comes to business. That is about to change.
When Clay discovers that Ella is going to Hawaii for a week for a little R&R and recreational sex, he does not like the idea at all. While he has been strictly hands off with Ella, the idea of her having sex with some random stranger really bothers him, and he decides that if she is going to have sex with someone, it is going to be him. However, when their “fling” is over with each discover they have feelings for the other. Will one of them step forward and admit it, or will they go their separate ways?
No Strings Attached was a great story with lots of steamy sex! The whole premise was totally believable, and it is very easy to relate to both Ella and Clay. I look forward to reading more by this author.
La Petite Mort
Sophia is a former model who has just discovered she may have uterine cancer. Terrified at the prospect of both dying and going under the knife, it is all she can do to hold it together and do her job for Caprice Cosmetics.
Ford is Sophia’s boss and a widower. While he is attracted to her, he has never done anything to act on it. However, when Sophia begins acting strangely, he knows something is wrong and wants to help.
When Ford asks Sophia if everything is okay, she eventually breaks down and tells him about the lump found on her uterus. When Ford asks her what she would want if this were her last day, she finally admits that she has a fantasy about having sex with two men. Ford makes her dream come true, but in the process he falls for Sophia and she for him. Will they have a future, or will Sophia’s health problem eventually cause them to lose each other?
I really liked La Petite Mort. This is one classy erotic romance! The sex is sizzlin’ but there is plenty of caring in there as well. I also liked the fact that the heroine and hero were not youngsters. So many romances have really young couples these days that it is nice to occasionally see one where the couple is older.
Peter is a soldier in the National Guard who is about to be shipped out to Afghanistan. His friends take him to an upscale BDSM club as a present before he ships out. He is a Dom and hopes to find a sub for a night while there.
Dana is also in the military and will be shipping out the next day as well. She is a sub and paid for a one-time visit to the club as a treat to herself.
When Peter and Dana come together it is like gasoline and fire; they burn so bright together. However, both know that they may not see each other again and that their experience is just temporary. Or is it? Peter is so impressed by Dana that he actually finds out what airport she is flying out of and meets her there. Dana tells Peter that they will not see each other for at least a year, and while she feels the same as he does, a year is a long time. She asks him to write to her, not e-mail but actual hand written letters. At the end of the year when she returns they will see where they are. Unfortunately, Dana is severely injured in combat. She becomes bitter and it will take all of Peter’s patience and love to convince her he still cares and wants her in his life.
This was a particularly stellar story in that it really outlined the dangers our soldiers face in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not to mention the kind of obstacles couples face in staying together. Peter was one of my favorite characters in this selection of stories because of the fact that he saw Dana for who and what she was on the inside, not just the beauty on the outside. Their relationship is tumultuous and while the lovemaking is scorching, you can tell these two have to work at their relationship. I liked the realism of that.
Rhio is the captain of the guards for Queen Sikara. He, his guards, and the queen are visiting another nation with the hope of finding something to help the queen’s debilitating arthritis. Rhio has no idea he is about to meet his match.
Dancer is a slave, the last survivor of her people. She comes from a nomadic warrior tribe where women fight alongside their men. She is impressed by Rhio but she does not expect him to act any differently than the other men she knows.
When Dancer picks out Rhio to participate in a little knife throwing exercise, he is less than enthused but goes along with it. However, it is not long before he is impressed by more than Dancer’s knife throwing abilities. When Dancer gives him her bodice, asking that he hold it and then dances for him, it is all he can to keep it together, she makes him so hot. But there are other players in this game, and Dancer is merely a pawn. When the lights go out after her dance, Rhio loses it for a second, concerned someone is going to harm his queen. Fortunately, she is fine, but if not for his intervention, Dancer would be punished for simply performing the dance as she always has. While Rhio is able to keep her with him and protect her for a time, there are others who will do anything to cause harm to both the queen and Dancer. Can he protect the woman he is coming to love and his queen?
I loved Rhio’s Dancer! Of course I am a huge fantasy romance fan, so when I get to read a treat like this story, I am very happy. The world building is descriptive and well thought out. The romance between Rhio and Dancer is very emotional, though Rhio seems a bit confused at times. Still, I thought the author did a great job of showing the reader that. I will definitely be reading more from this author!
Overall, this is a very well written anthology. Each author provided a story that was unique and entertaining, as well as, erotic. I’m looking forward to reading more stories from each of these authors. I highly recommend this anthology; you really do not want to miss it!
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