**This is my Recommended Read for the month of September 2007!**
When I was offered the anthology Exclusive for review, I jumped at the chance to read it! There is not a single author in this book whose previous work I do not love, and I expected at the very least an entertaining trio of stories, and at the best a book guaranteed to keep me up way past my bed time in order to finish it. I had a strong feeling it would be the latter, and I was not wrong.
Each of these authors is already on my must-buy list, and this anthology proves to be an excellent representation of each of their writing talent. I think the only negative thing I have to say about any of the stories in Exclusive is that they ended! LOL
If you have never read any of these authors, then this book is a perfect way to get a taste of their work. If you have read these authors before, then you are most certainly already a fan yourself and will not want to miss this one! If you enjoy erotic novellas with unconventional romances and plenty of steamy scenes, then run to your nearest bookstore and pick up your own copy of this gripping book!
~Sanctuary by Eden Bradley~
Until the night her best friend drug her to the fetish club, Devin never thought she would find herself in such a place. And she most certainly never expected to find herself enjoying it, even drawn to it.
But since that night at he Ring inside Club X, Devin has been unable to get the sights out of her head. Nor can she forget Master Shaye, who flirted with her so shamelessly, and delivered `punishment' to his willing submissives so deliciously as she watched...
Eden Bradley has a knack for creating BDSM stories that make even us vanilla lovers a bit curious... I first enjoyed her work with her full length novel, The Dark Garden, but she really moved up a notch in my list of favorite authors with her entry in this anthology, Sanctuary.
Shaye's job at 'Club X' playing Master to various subs fulfills his urges quite well without risking emotional entanglements. Charismatic, playful, and a touch dangerous, Shaye is the kind of man who could charm a woman into most anything he wanted.
Devin is a bit gun shy, and understandably nervous of the BDSM lifestyle, which she never in a million years expected to be drawn too. We feel her nervousness and excitement as if they were our own, and lose our hearts to Shaye right along with her.
~Wild Nights by Jaci Burton~
Mike Nottingham has seen it all, done it all. Having become a bit jaded, he is looking for something, anything different during his stay in Las Vegas. When a friend secures an invitation for him at an exclusive club catering to the sexually adventurous, he is intrigued by the idea. Upon his arrival at the club, he is even more intrigued by the reality of Grace Wylde, the sexy and untouchable proprietor.
However, Grace is not something different. In fact, she is all too familiar to Mike - almost a mirror image of himself. Finding himself on the receiving end of the treatment he typically doles out to the women in his life, he finds it doesn't set well with him. But is his interest piqued solely because of her seeming lack of interest, or do his feelings run much deeper? And how does a player who has met his match convince her he wants forever with her?
While Jaci Burton's story, Wild Nights, works perfectly as a standalone novella - even to readers as anal as I am about reading series books or connected books in order - it will be greatly enhanced for those readers who have already read her novel Wild, Wicked, & Wanton (Berkley Heat). Continuing the story of Mike Nottingham, a supporting character from that previous book, Burton explores what happens when a player falls head over heels for a woman who is more than his match and even more reluctant than he is to commit. Watching him fall is fun, but decidedly most fun for readers who met him in Wild, Wicked, and Wanton!
Grace is the kind of heroine that can keep both her lover and the audience guessing. Determined to prove to herself and to Mike that their brief tryst meant nothing and that she doesn't need a relationship, she does everything she can to drive him away. When Mike's tenacity and devotion prove unshakeable, she finally gives in, much to our delight and her own, not to mention Mike's.
Be aware, this story does not follow the typical romance `rules'. Remember I described these novellas as unconventional romances, and none fit that description better than Burton's Wild Nights. What the author does deliver in this tale is a story that totally fits the two main characters involved, and leaves the reader with a more than satisfying ending.
~Purple Magic by Lisa Renee Jones~
Half-human, half-vampire Jolene will do anything to save her mortal friend Carrie from the clutches of the dastardly vampire Alex - even if it means asking the help of the fearsome Drago, one of the vampire council's deadly Slayers. But it is either that or walk into the lion's den all by herself and, even as intimidating as the Drago is, the first scenario is definitely the preferable one.
Posing as a traitor to the vampire council while working undercover to bring Alex down, Drago is nearer his goal than ever. He definitely does not need another Slayer's daughter compromising his investigation, no matter how his instincts scream that Jolene is his mate and must be protected at all costs. But he knows Alex is drawing Jolene into a trap, and to save her, he must force her submission to him...
I've been a fan of author Lisa Renee Jones for some time now, and whether she is writing a contemporary romance or a paranormal romance, it is always fantastic! In Purple Magic, Jones introduces us to a whole new world, one I am very hopeful we will see more of in her future releases. With vampires and humans knowingly co-existing peacefully as races, and the oh-so-hunky and powerful team of Slayers who I am sure can slay a woman's heart as easily as they defeat their enemies, this story is surely only an introduction into a fascinating new series. This is purely wishing on my part, but a fan can hope, right? J
Drago is the typical reluctant hero who will do anything it takes to save the day, but shrugs off the acclaim that comes with his own successes. His sense of duty to both his friends, his team, and to those under his protection is commendable. But it is his ability to combine fierce passion with tender caring that was my undoing- er, I mean Jolene's undoing! LOL
Jolene's loyalty and determination are noble, if ill-advised in the matter of rescuing her friend. Unwaware that Drago is working undercover to rescue all the women imprisoned by Alex, not just her roommate, she rushes headlong into danger only Drago can save her from. Once apprised of his mission, however, she easily follows his lead, trusting the sexy warrior with not only her own life, but her father's and her friend's. And there is the little matter of trusting him with her heart...