Saturday, 30 January 2016

Book review - Burned Deep by Calista Fox (erotic romance) 3/5 stars

Burned Deep by Calista Fox
Erotic romance 
3/5 stars 


Dane captivated Ari from the first moment their eyes locked. Every second thereafter proved they were either fated for love...or devastation.
It was a little scary how my body trembled and my breathing wouldn't return to normal. But I couldn't escape the intensity of our desire for each other--and how vibrant and alive he made me feel. Like I'd merely existed before. Gotten by. Now I was acutely aware of my surroundings. Of myself. Of him. Of every sensation blazing inside me...
Ari DeMille has spent her life focusing on the details and planning down to the minute. Haunted by her parents' ugly divorce, Ari believes the only way to prevent emotional scars is to always maintain control. But when the devastatingly handsome-and powerfully dominant-Dane Bax, her new boss, pushes Ari's boundaries, she must learn to shatter the ties that bind her if she is to sate her newfound desires... But giving into insatiable lust comes with a price. Dane's luxury hotel business is threatened by a consortium of dangerous men who threaten everything Ari holds close. And as the stakes are raised, Ari is treacherously close to losing all control of her life...and her heart.


I've been putting off writing this review to try and get my thoughts in order as I have mixed feelings about this book. I honestly expected to love it, but sadly I didn't. I'm struggling to pinpoint a reason why I didn't love it though, it just didn't make a strong impression on me. I've read other reviews where people absolutely loved this book, so it seems like the problem lies with me rather than the book - we just weren't a good match.

I did like the hero, Dane, he was an interesting character - and very sexy - but I struggled to connect with Ari. There were some very hot and nicely written sex scenes, but the rest of the story failed to keep my attention. Three stars.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Blog tour & giveaway - The Very Best of Bare Back Magazine

Title: The Very Best of Bare Back Magazine
Editor: Natasha Brooks
Genre: Erotica

With lots of love and dedication, Bare Back Magazine delivers to you the very best erotic fiction and poetry for your sensual pleasure and erotic reading delight. These stories and poems explore it all, taking you to exotic places from the southern comforts of New Orleans to the bright lights and high towers of New York City and all places in between. You’ll meet some very naughty housewives, experience deliciously intense group encounters and explore love on the internet. Among the stories in this collection, there will also be an unforgettable masquerade for your reading pleasure. We’ll add a dabble of flavor, as we tempt your taste buds in very steamy erotic encounters. These scorching hot short stories will stimulate a variety of intense moods for you, the reader.

The Very Best of Bare Back Magazine features new stories and poems from both up-and-coming and popular writers likePeter Baltensperger, David Hornbuckle, Gianni Shamari, M. Earl Smith, Lane Pierce, Tonia Mansfield, Natasha Brooks, Jerrell Khalil Smith, Jillian Kander, Javier Rokusaburo, Jake Kaida, Bob McNeil, Robyn Alezanders and many more; this joyful celebration of erotic stories and poetry is deliciously sexy, sophisticated, and insanely addicting.

Bare Back Magazine was founded by Editor-in-Chief, Natasha Brooks in September 2005; the first issue was published online in November of the same year. With the help of many talented writers, editors and contributors, Bare Back Magazine has become one of the premier ezines on the web, featuring erotic fiction, poetry, articles and art that explore the diverse spectrum of erotica. Over the years, we have published the works of writers and artists from all over the world. 

It has been an incredible ten years. We will continue to celebrate erotica and the talents of all erotic writers and artists by publishing erotica of all genres, celebrating erotic diversity and all of the reflections of erotica
WARNING - This book contains steamy romance scenes and is not suitable for all ages.
Visit us online @
Published by Emerging Edge Publishing @

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Thursday, 28 January 2016

Book blitz - Shattered Sapphire by D.W. Marshall

Shattered Sapphire: Publishing January 27, 2016

Life in The Chamber has been a dream for Sapphire. From day one The Chamber has been more like home to her than any other place on earth. No matter the sexual request, she went at it with enthusiasm. While the other girls referred to the men that feasted upon them with names of dread, she referred to them as lucky bastards. In The Chamber she was a star.

Sapphire's world falls apart when she learns that, like the other six girls, she will be sent home. While the rest of the girls cheer for their freedom, Sapphire realizes that at home she will never be free. At home she will be judged for her sexual appetite. At home she will be forced to become Emmanuella Maria Alves, daughter of devout Brazilian Catholic parents that have never accepted her for who she is.

In Shattered Sapphire, Emmanuella's journey begins when she fights to find her way back to The Chamber, back to her true love’s arms, and to become the woman she was meant to be...Sapphire.

Copyright © 2016 by D.W. Marshall

Chapter 1 - I Want Him To Want Me
can’t believe these girls. Not one of them can appreciate how good we have it here. Why would anyone want to leave this place? The Chamber is perfect. Sex is just sex. I mean, I have told them all this fact at least a million times. They need to seize this moment because we will not have these bodies forever. Not one of them thinks like me, but one day they will.

I am the only one who treated each day at The Chamber like an answered prayer, like I hit the lottery. And because I am too much of a chickenshit to tell Mason that I want to stay, I am being shipped home this morning with the rest of my weak sisters. Don’t get me wrong—after a year of being in their presence, they have all grown on me. I can really call them sisters now. Still, to say we have much in common would be telling a lie. I am an island. The only person I ever met who I have anything in common with is Mason. Oh, and Ivory.

It’s my own fault. There is no one else to blame but me. It’s not like I have any excuses. During the past year I had nothing but time and opportunity to tell Mason that I wanted to stay, especially when he sent for me so many times during my year of welcomed captivity. In my defense, I thought we were getting serious enough that he would want to keep me. I believed that what we shared was the start of something. My pride got in the way, because I obviously got it in my head that what was developing between us also meant something to him. I wanted Mason to want me to stay—I wanted him to want me. My desire was for him to show me that he felt the time we shared together was special. 
Guess what? I’m heading home.

The other reason I think I held back is the fact that he’s married to Ivory. I mean, he’s married to her. How can I mean anything to him when he already has a wife? My first night here he commented that I could be his next wife. But what does that mean really? Men talk, right? Especially since his cock was down my throat when he said it. Thing is, if I was only special enough to him to be an addition to his harem, then what we shared wasn’t as important to him as I thought. Damn. Out of all of the men on the planet to fall in love with, I pick the most damaged—someone incapable of love. 

A man like Mason lives by one code:  life is about fucking. 

Author Bio:

D.W. Marshall an author of an elclectic array of romance novels writes direct and distinctive dialogue wrapped in sensual imagery. The first in her series, featuring Vivian Travis, is Stolen Flame. As a wife and mother residing in Las Vegas, Nevada, Ms. Marshall uses the sexuality on the streets of Sin City to fuel her stories. She is in her bliss with pen in hand creating her characters.


“…much more than the usual erotica books, as it has humor, drama, action and reality.”

“ book runs at 100 mph from start to finish.”

“…dynamic and it really stirred my imagination. The book clearly left me thirsting for more.” 

“A dark yet captivating story line keeps you engaged the whole time.”

“I’m actually excited to see how the other girls handled their time during and after the chamber!”

Release blitz - Drift Heat by Adrian R. Hale

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Drift Heat Cover
I didn't want to only be known as the pretty, blonde daughter of a famous race car driver. I wanted to make a name for myself and I wasn't going to let anyone get in my way. So when I saw the opportunity of a lifetime, I jumped. Being the face of the hottest new racing team in the business was a dream come true.
Until he showed up.
Griffin McGregor. Bad boy star driver. On the track, he's gold. Off the track? He's everything my daddy ever warned me about. Infuriatingly egotistical, explosive temper, argumentative know-it-all...why does he have to be so freaking hot?
It'll be a miracle if we can get this team to the championship title without killing each other. Or worse. Because the last thing I'm going to do is wreck my career by jumping in bed with a race car driver.
DH Teaser 1
DH Teaser 2
Adrian R. Hale is a whirlwind of energy and optimism, just as ready to tell you about her books as she is to invite you over for cookies. She is a big dreamer and believes in chasing them down with speed and enthusiasm, much like the characters she writes. You can find her cycling around Austin, TX, running trails, baking gourmet cupcakes, beautifying people for weddings and photo shoots, and traveling all over the country in pursuit of those interests. Once upon a time, Adrian went to college thinking she would be a journalist, but dropped out to go to beauty school. Her first published novel ended up being about a hair and makeup artist. Things have definitely come full circle! She loves hearing from her readers at

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Blog tour & 5* review - Taking The Lead by Cecilia Tan

Taking The Lead by Cecilia Tan

Date of Publication: January 26, 2016


When the rich and famous come out to play, nothing is off-limits . . .

Everyone knows Ricki Hamilton as the icy heiress living in a billion-dollar mansion, high up in the Hollywood Hills. But few realize that behind the gilded gates, Ricki is the mistress of LA's most exclusive private club. A place where no fantasy is forbidden and no one goes unsatisfied-except for Ricki. If she had her way, she'd leave the business behind . . . until she meets the one man with the power to change her mind.

The hottest rock star in the world, Axel Hawke, has the requisite sexy look and bad-boy reputation. Yet even his biggest fans have no clue just how decadently dangerous he can be. From the moment he meets Ricki, he knows there is no other woman who will satisfy him. He can feel the heat hiding beneath her cool demeanor and he's determined to stoke her flame.

Together Ricki and Axel indulge their every desire. The deeper they go, the more she craves. Submitting to Axel opens her eyes, and for the first time Ricki knows exactly what she wants. All she has to do is take it . . .

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"Okay, where were we?" Sakura drank a bit more of the sake. "Last time I'm going to say this: if Axel did anything sketchy, beyond carrying you off for a lark, anything that violated the rules of consent, then his name is mud in the BDSM community and you definitely shouldn't be inviting him to join your club. But nothing you've told me so far really sounds all that sketchy. He carried you off, you willingly had some light role play and heavy sex; you played the submissive role and had, if I'm not mistaken, some of the best sex in your life. And that's why you're upset."

"Because the sex was good?"

"Because you discovered that letting someone else be in charge is a turn-on for you. Ricki, let me assure you, being submissive in the bedroom isn't the same thing as being subservient or second-class to the pushy men in your life."

I dug in my heels. "That's easy for you to say because you're dominant."

She sighed. "The other thing is, really, if something's going on in your head, it's probably got more to do with youthan with him. The way to straighten it out is to talk it out with him. Axel may be fairly new to serious dom role play but I know for a fact that he knows about aftercare."

Aftercare. I huffed. He'd tried to take care of me and I'd kicked him out. Sakura was making sense but I couldn't quite put it all together in my mind. It was a lot to take in at once. "Okay, I confess. The thing is, when I'm near him? All common sense flies out the window, Sarah. I literally can't get together with him to talk about this without melting into a puddle."

"Ahhh." She seemed to think that explained a lot. "Well. Have you tried calling him?"

"Of course I haven't. I don't even have his number."

"Yes, you do." She gave me a sly, knowing smile. "I programmed it into your phone before I gave it back."

"You sneaky thing!" I pulled my phone out to see if what she said was true: sure enough, there was an Axel Hawke in my contacts now.

There was also a text from Paul. Schmitt's pressing me to schedule an appointment with you, his message read. Y/N?

            "Tell him he can have an appointment with me after he gives me a slot to address the CTC board of directors," I said aloud.

Sakura sipped her tea. "Huh. Speaking of pushy men in your life. Schmitt?"

"How did you guess?" He couldn't want to talk about the upcoming kinky dungeon party. He'd want to meet with both me and Gwen for that. "I have no clue what he wants now. I guess I have to meet with him to find out."

"Don't be silly. Have Paul get an agenda from him. No agenda, no meeting. If the items are too sensitive to put on an agenda, well, that gives you the answer in another way."

"Right. Why didn't I think of that?"

"You've got to stop thinking of yourself as at the beck and call of these guys in suits, Rick'. Start thinking of yourself as the Queen of the Universe whom they all serve."

"What are you talking about? I'm already Queen Bitch of the Universe twenty-four-seven these days and I'm tired of it, Sarah."

"Tsk tsk. I didn't say bitch. You do pretty well with your staff; I've seen it. You're firm, fair, but very definitely in charge and demanding your due."

"But they're my employees. Of course I can be all leader-like with them."

"And I'm telling you, act like that with these executives and lawyers in the club or they're going to treat you like Cy's little girl forever." She set her sake cup down. "You're afraid that being a sub in the bedroom means you'll be submissive to these jerks, too? Don't let it happen. I don't care that they're three times your age. You can buy and sell every one of them. Act like it."

"I have a ‘game face,' " I said in my defense. "Ice queen."

"Drop the ice and just think queen. Think: crown on your head." She pointed to the top of her own head where a tiara would go and I felt myself sitting up straighter without even trying. "Demand their respect and you'll get it, Ricki. Axel already respects you a hundred times more than these assholes."

"Does he?"

I tried to imagine what getting on the phone with him would be like. Part of me longed to hear his voice again. But what exactly did I want to say to him? Could I make him understand the reasons why I couldn't be with him? Could I make him understand what was going on in my life? "I just don't know, Sar'. What do you say to a guy who's turned your whole world upside down?"

The door slid aside and there was our waiter with a gigantic wooden tray shaped like a boat in his hands, well laden with a display of fish as colorful and gorgeous as a jewelry display at Tiffany's. He sailed it onto our table, gave us another smile, and then retreated again. The arrival of such a feast distracted us completely from the fact that Sarah never answered my question.


I really enjoyed this sexy rockstar romance - it's a nice easy read that kept me gripped from start to finish. Hollywood glamour, bad boy rockers and secret BDSM clubs make this a thoroughly entertaining story, The storyline is unusual and in some aspects a little unbelievable, but this didn't matter to me as it's such a fun world to escape to after a tough day in the real world.

Ricki is a Hollywood heiress with a reputation as an ice queen. Ricki and her sister inherited a billion dollar mansion from their grandfather, but there was an unusual clause in his will - they have to continue to run the exclusive BDSM club that's hidden in their home! Ricki hates the lifestyle and has no desire to submit to anyone - until she meets rockstar Axel Hawke. As soon as Axel meets Ricki he knows that she's the woman for him - but can he convince Ricki that they're perfect together?

Axel is a fabulous character, he is very sexy. His bad boy image hides a soft heart and a good man. I also love his relationships and banter with his band mates and friends. Ricki and Axel had great chemistry, they were so hot together. The storyline was interesting, the characters were likeable and the sex was steamy - five stars.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

About Cecilia Tan

Cecilia Tan is "simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature," according to Susie Bright. RT Magazine awarded her Career Achievement in Erotic Romance in 2015 and their prestigious Pioneer Award. Tan's BDSM romance novel Slow Surrender (Hachette/Forever, 2013) also won the RT Reviewers Choice Award in Erotic Romance and the Maggie Award for Excellence from the Georgia Romance Writers chapter of RWA. She lives in the Boston area with her lifelong partner corwin and three cats.

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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Book review - Eventide of the Bear by Cherise Sinclair(paranormalménage) 5 stars

Eventide of the Bear by Cherise Sinclair 
Paranormal M/F/M ménage romance 
5/5 stars 


She risked her life to save a human child. Pain was her reward.

All her life, Emma longed for someone to love. Instead, disaster sees the brand-new bard banished from her people for long lonely years. Injured saving a child, the werebear has to steal food from humans, breaking shifter Law. The territory’s Cosantir and his lethal grizzly warrior catch her in the act. To her surprise, she’s healed and welcomed. Obviously, they don’t know her past. But oh, she can’t resist being around other shifters—especially the captivatingly powerful warrior. Maybe she can stay…just a little while.

As a grizzly warrior, Ben is ordered to house the pretty werebear until she heals. His littermate abandoned him, his home is empty, and he’s been alone for a long time. Intelligent and sweet and lushly curved, Emma is a delight…even if she is oddly reticent about her past. Although having sworn off females, he’s sorely tempted by this one. Damned if he doesn’t want to keep her, secrets or not.

Females were trouble. Years past, one split Ryder from his littermate. Now the panther shifter is returning to Ben, bringing his cub with him, a four-year-old he stole from the abusive female. To Ryder’s annoyance, his brother is sheltering a wounded bear. A female. Even worse, she’s beautiful and gentle and loving—damned if he’s going to fall for that act again. But when the dark of the moon arrives and death reigns supreme, he’ll discover that not all females are alike.

In a world filled with hellhounds and pixies, can three lonely shifters and one silent cub create a new family together? 


Cherise Sinclair is one of my favourite authors and I'm a huge fan of her Masters of the Shadowlands and Mountain Masters series, but somehow I've managed to miss reading any of her Wild Hunt Legacy books. So when I was offered the chance to read book three in the series, Eventide of the Bear, I jumped at the chance. Shifter romances are very hit or miss for me, but I should have known that anything penned by Ms Sinclair would be a big hit. This is an absolutely awesome book, I loved it so much that I didn't want it to end. 

Emma is a werebear who's been banished by her clan and forced to live in the wild. She's seriously injured while saving a human child and then caught stealing food from humans. Expecting to be severely punished by the territory's Consantir for breaking shifter law, she's shocked when she's healed and welcomed by these strangers. Lonely grizzly warrior Ben is ordered to house and care for Emma, an order he's very happy to carry out. His litter mate, Ryder, abandoned him years earlier for a female and since then his home has felt very empty. When Ryder unexpectedly returns with a cub he is welcomed by Ben, but Ryder's surprised to find a woman sharing his house. After a bad experience with a conniving female he doesn't trust Emma and makes his feelings known. Can these three lonely shifters make a life together despite Emma's secrets and Ryder's mistrust?

All three characters have a great depth to them and as a result I really felt involved in their lives and I cared about their happiness. Emma was my favourite character, she is so strong, brave and caring. I also really loved the developing relationship between Emma and Ryder's child, it was heartwarming to witness. The storyline is strong and has many layers, it had me hooked right from the first page. This is a fabulous book that I really recommend for fans of ménage and shifter romances. Eventide of the Bear receives five big stars!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

Release blitz, giveaway & 5* review - Timeless by Brynley Bush

Title: Timeless
Series: Black Brothers (Standalone Novella)
Genre: Erotic Romance
Author: Brynley Bush
 Release Date: January 26, 2016


Marcus Dunn came into my life ten years ago and possessed me body and soul, introducing me to a world of dark and forbidden pleasures before disappearing without a word.
I’ve never forgiven him.
Or forgotten him.

Walking away from Ariana McKnight was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
But running into her after all these years, handcuffed to a spanking bench, has me forgetting everything I promised myself ten years ago.
I still can’t have her.
But I can’t stay away.

One tough FBI agent who longs to give her power away—just not to him.
One former Navy SEAL who wants to take it, but can offer her nothing in return.
One snowbound weekend in the middle of nowhere with no choice but to resolve their unfinished business.

***STANDALONE NOVELLA *** (Black Brothers series)

Purchase Links




Chapter One


"Are you sure about this?" my friend Tori asks, shooting me a doubtful glance as we pull into the drop-off lane at the Austin airport. She frowns. "I still don’t think it’s a good idea.”

"You're one to talk," I tease as I open the door. "I swear I saw rope marks on your wrists this morning."

She has the good grace to blush at that.

I open the passenger door as Tori slams the car into park and gets out to follow me around to the back. Damn, but that woman can be persistent. It's one of the many reasons she’s one of the top FBI agents in the field office where we both work, and why I love being assigned to work cases with her. That and the fact that she’s one of my closest friends, along with Kate, the other female agent in our office who’s the third member of our bad-ass girl gang.

"If you want to see if you like being tied up, fine," she continues as I lift my carry-on bag out of the trunk. "I’m not judging, I promise. I just don't think your first experience with BDSM should be at a weekend retreat out in the middle of nowhere where you don't know anyone. Find a guy you like, get to know him, and then explore your fantasies with him. "

"You're the one who told me about the retreat," I remind her.

She rolls her eyes. "I thought you were asking for a case."

I love Tori, but she has no idea what it's like to be me. She's married to one of the sexiest and most self-confident men I’ve ever met, who in addition to being rumored to have singularly erotic tastes, also happens to be charming, wickedly funny, an incredibly talented singer, and completely and unequivocally in love with his wife.

I set my bag down and look her in the eye. "That would be ideal,” I agree, “but men like Drake are rare. You're lucky that you found someone who's not intimidated by your job. Men are only into me until they find out who I am or what I do. After that they either run for the hills or become groveling idiots. After eight to ten hours a day of being a bad ass, I just want someone else to take charge. Is that so wrong?”

Tori sighs. “Of course not. I just don’t know if this is the best way to go about finding what you want.”

"I can’t think of a better way,” I say resolutely. “This is actually perfect. I can explore what it’s like, and what I like, without any strings attached, and I won’t run into anyone I know since it’s in Denver. And you said yourself that your brother-in-law’s friend who organized the retreat is both classy and experienced with this…this kind of thing.”

Tori nods slowly. “That’s true. He’s owned an exclusive club in Houston for years and I know he’ll make sure things stay safe and consensual.”

“Don't worry. I’ll be fine," I assure her. "I catch bad guys for a living, same as you. You should know better than anyone that I can protect myself."

"I'm more worried about your heart,” she mutters darkly as I give her one last hug before walking into the airport.

My heart is the last thing I’m worried about. I’ve given up on finding anyone worthy of it, and I certainly have no intention of giving it to anyone. My body, on the other hand, is another story. It craves a man who can own it, who can take my senses, my power, and my choice and give me freedom in return. I want a man strong enough to possess me, a man I can surrender to, who can take what he wants and in the process, pry the world from my tight grip and set me free to just feel and experience.

I sigh. If I didn’t know a man like that existed, maybe I’d be content to settle for less. But I found it once, and that one man who made love to me a lifetime ago has ruined me for everyone since. I don’t even know why I’m thinking about Marcus Dunn now. It’s been ten years since he pinned my hands over my head and drove into me with a force that sent me spiraling into pleasure I’d never experienced before or since. I shake my head, trying to rid myself of the unwanted memory of him—the sculpted hard planes of his tanned face, his powerful body that he worked hard to keep in prime condition, the way his smile reached his expressive brown eyes, and his naturally commanding presence that demanded respect and deference from everyone he came in contact with.

I shake my head, mentally shoving the memories back into the box distinctly marked Do Not Open. I distract myself by talking to the sweet five-year-old seated next to me, and when my plane lands in Denver, I’ve successfully banished all thoughts of the man I shared the best summer of my life with. I’m ready to have some fun, and if things work out the way I hope, some mind-blowing sex!

I pick up my rental car and begin the hour-and-a-half long drive to the lodge that’s hidden in the mountains northwest of Denver. It starts to snow, and I watch the flakes melt on my windshield with awe. Living in Austin for the last two years and Miami before that, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen snow, and it’s absolutely beautiful.

I don’t think it’s quite as beautiful an hour later when I’m standing in it beside the rental car, freezing my butt off while I consider my options. One flat tire, no spare anywhere to be found, nonexistent cell service, and night quickly falling leave very few. I’ve about to decided to start walking when I see approaching headlights. Thank God!

My hazards are already on and I step out into the road and start waving my arms. Thankfully, the car pulls to a stop. The middle-aged couple inside immediately offer to take me to the nearest town and I gratefully climb into the backseat of the sport utility. They look harmless enough and I have excellent instincts, but I have my gun tucked into the waist of my jeans just in case I’ve misjudged them.

“Thank you so much,” I say politely. “I wasn’t looking forward to walking God knows how far in the snow at night.”

The woman shudders. “I can’t even imagine, my dear. You shouldn’t be driving out this way alone,” she tsks. “A beautiful young woman like you out here by yourself after dark! Thank goodness we came when we did. We almost took another way home, didn’t we, Herb?” Her husband’s grunts in affirmation. “Don’t you watch the news? All those stories of abductions and sex trafficking rings and bad things happening.” She shakes her head. “You can’t be too careful nowadays.”

I contemplate assuring her that I’m one of the good guys who stops those bad things from happening, but it might shock the curl right out of her perm if she knew the woman she picked up on the side of the road is an FBI agent. Most people don’t believe me when I tell them at first anyway. I don’t know what they expect, but it’s usually not me.

“Yes, ma’am,” I say dutifully.

They drive me to the next small town where they seem to know everyone, and an hour later they leave me in the capable hands of a beefy and thickly-bearded man named Clyde who runs the town’s car repair shop and has agreed to drive me back to my car with a spare tire.

“He’s good people,” the woman, whose name is Margaret, assures me in a low voice. In the short time we’ve been together, I’ve learned she has a son who lives in Chicago, a daughter with a tattoo who never calls her, a bad case of bursitis and a hankering for grandchildren. “You’ll be safe with him.”

By the time we get back to my car and Clyde changes the tire for me, despite the fact that I assure him I’m more than capable of changing it myself, it’s almost nine o’clock and I realize with sinking disappointment that I’m going to arrive at the lodge after the evening’s festivities have started. So much for easing into things!

I stop for a sandwich at a small diner, and by the time I pull into the gravel parking lot at the Five Pines Lodge, it’s almost ten o’clock. I stare at the cheerfully lit, snow-covered, stone and wood lodge surrounded by mountains for a long minute with excitement tinged with a little trepidation. This is it. Time to find out if there’s any hope for me and my love life. I so desperately want to meet someone who overwhelms my senses and sets my mind and my body on fire. I really do. But I’m starting to wonder if it’s ever going to happen again. I can’t help but feel like this is my last hope.

When every guy I dated after Marcus left me feeling bored and disinterested, I'd started reading romances, trying to figure out exactly what was missing in my own love life. The stories of domination and submission, of ropes and bondage and erotic punishments had been my favorites, and after my last relationship with a perfectly nice but perfectly boring accountant ended, I'd vowed to visit a BDSM club at least once and see if that might be the spark I needed. And now here I am at one. Sort of.

I grab my bag, take a deep breath, and step through the heavy wooden doors and into the lodge. It’s ruggedly beautiful, with walls and ceiling made of exposed pine, a roaring fire in the big stone fireplace that dominates the room, and rugs in jeweled tones scattered over the stone floor adding warmth. If I didn’t know better, I’d think I was about to check in at a typical ski lodge. Then I see a man dressed in black leading a beautiful, exotic-looking woman by a leash attached to a collar that’s fastened around her neck, and another man is sitting on the rich brown leather sofa in front of the fire, his head thrown back as a woman kneeling between his legs gives him a blow job.

Well, shit. I don’t know what I was expecting—this is a retreat for kinky people after all—but the reality of it is a little overwhelming. Tori was right. I should just leave now, find a nice guy to date, and forget all of this.

And die of boredom. I at least owe it to myself to see if this is what’s been missing, if I can somehow find someone who can make me feel alive like the bastard who broke my heart did. Surely he can’t be the only one who can chart my deepest desires like a cartographer mapping the stars. Besides, Tori had assured me there would be no pressure to participate, and there are some interesting classes I’ve signed up for tomorrow. If it’s really not my thing, I can always check out early and spend the next two days playing tourist in Denver. I’ve got this.

I take a deep breath, tilt my chin up and approach the check-in desk where a slender, ridiculously pretty man in his early thirties is frowning at the computer screen.

“Hi. I’m Ariana McKnight. I’m checking in for the weekend retreat.”

He looks up and flashes me a smile.

"Welcome,” he says cheerfully, his fingers flying over the keyboard. “I’m Gavin.”

“Sorry I’m late. I had a flat tire.”

He looks at me sympathetically. “Well that’s no way to start your vacation, but no worries. You’re here now! Are you here alone?"


"Are you a top or bottom?"

I frown. "I thought I asked for a private room when I registered. I didn't realize there were bunks."

“I meant sexually," he says, trying unsuccessfully to suppress a smile. "Are you a top or a bottom? Dominant or a submissive?"

“Oh,” I say, blushing. "Right. I’m, um, submissive."

"Is this your first time with us?"

"It's actually my first time anywhere!" I admit.

He stares at me. "You’ve never been to a BDSM club?”

I shake my head.

He nods knowingly and gives me a conspiratorial wink. “Just some kinky play at home, huh?"

“Not really.” I’m pretty sure the fantasies in my head and my vibrator don’t count.

"Shut up!" he drawls incredulously. “What on God’s green Earth are you doing here?”

I fix him with an icy stare. "Is that a problem?"

"Of course not," he says quickly. He studies me closely. "Are you sure you're not a Domme?"

"I'm not sure of much when it comes to all this, but I’m absolutely sure about that!” I say with a sigh. “But trust me, you’re not the first to think so.”

"So how did you find out about us?" he asks curiously.

"My friend Tori knows the guy who’s in charge of it. I think Dominic is his name?”

His eyes light up. "Tori as in Tori Black?”

I nod. “Yep. The same Tori Black who, depending on how things go, might be dead after this weekend,” I say darkly. Forget that she’s the one who tried to talk me out of coming in the first place.

“Girl! Why didn't you say so sooner? I adore that girl. She's enough to make me wish I was straight." He pauses to consider for a moment, then shakes his head. "Nah! Not really. But if I were straight, I'd fight her hunky husband for her. On second thought, maybe I’d fight her for her hunky husband.”

I can’t help but laugh. He’s like a puppy with ADD.

He cocks his head at me, considering. “Listen, since it’s your first time and you're a friend of Tori’s, if you want I could introduce you to a Dom that I know you can trust who could show you around tonight until you're comfortable."

I smile at him. "That would be great!" I say with relief.

An hour later, I’ve hastily unpacked, freshened my makeup and dressed for the evening’s theme—pirate night—in a white, long-sleeved, lace-trimmed shirtdress that barely reaches mid-thigh, a black leather corset that’s laced over it, a jaunty little black pirate hat, and black stiletto boots that conceals the smaller of the two guns I brought with me. What can I say? Agents always believe in being prepared.

Downstairs in the lobby, there’s no sign of Gavin. I wait ten minutes, but when he still doesn’t appear, I decide to take the bull by the horns. Gavin or no Gavin, it’s time for me to find out once and for all if this is what will fulfill my needs. Even if it's scary. When you’re five-foot-four, small-boned and your father is the head of the FBI, people tend to think that nepotism is the only way you got the job, and from my first day at the academy to every job I’ve been assigned to since, I've always had to work harder and be tougher than everyone else to prove myself. I've gotten where I am by never letting my fear get the best of me. I’m not about to let it beat me now.

Resolutely, I walk into the great room where this evening’s party is being held. Although it looks kind of like a nightclub with dim lighting, throbbing music and people mingling and laughing, the assortment of equipment—from huge X-shaped structures that I’ve read are called St. Andrews crosses to padded benches and hooks on the walls—is an unsettling reminder that it’s not.

First things first. I go to the scarred wooden bar and order a whiskey. According to the bartender, there’s a one alcoholic drink limit at play parties, so I figure I’d better make the most of it. I drink it in one gulp, set the empty glass on the bar and then wander around, taking it all in. There are people on the small dance floor, which seems normal enough, as well as several stages set up around the room where demonstrations are taking place.

I watch, fascinated, as a man in a long leather coat that’s opened to reveal a smooth, muscled chest wields a flogger over the back and buttocks of a pretty blonde who’s chained to a St. Andrew’s cross, her tanned skin turning a dusty rose as the leather strands kiss her bared flesh. I give a little shiver of apprehension mixed with anticipation, pressing my thighs together as my vivid imagination sets my own nerve endings on fire as I imagine what it would feel like to be chained there helplessly as a man warms my skin so erotically.

“It’s quite sensual, isn’t it?” I’m so involved in the scene in front of me that I jump at the low voice near my ear. I turn my head and look into the handsome face of a man who looks like he walked straight out of a Calvin Klein ad—blond, All-American good looks, hard body, and penetrating blue eyes. He’s a bit younger than me, but he has an air of confidence and authority about him that leaves no question that he’s a Dom. I nod, suddenly at a loss for words.

“What’s your name?” he asks kindly.

“Ariana, but my friends call me Ari.”

“Well, Ari then, as I hope we’ll be friends, it’s nice to meet you.” His smile is warm and it sets me immediately at ease.

We talk for a few minutes, and I learn that his name is Michael, he’s from Portland and he’s a paramedic. I tell him I’m originally from Virginia and currently live in Texas, but I leave out the part about my job. I suddenly want more than anything to see how this goes without anything screwing it up.

“Do you like the flogger?” he asks as casually as if he’s asking if I like coffee.

“Um, I don’t know,” I admit. “This is my first time. But it looks interesting.”

He smiles at my admission, and it lights up his entire face. He is amazingly attractive. How did I get lucky enough to meet this gorgeous, nice guy right off the bat?

“Would you like to try it? Maybe pick out a flogger and see if you like the feel of it?”

When I hesitate, he adds encouragingly with the hint of a smile, “We’re in a room full of people. All you have to do is say ‘red’ and an army of monitors will be there faster than you can blink.” He cups my chin in his hand, bringing my gaze to his. “I promise I won’t hurt you. That is, unless you want me to.”

I swallow hard as butterflies flutter tentatively in my belly. Do I? “Yes, I’d like to try it,” I whisper.

I follow him over to a wall where a variety of floggers are displayed, and he straightforwardly explains the differences between them—how the wider strands, called falls, feel more thuddy and the narrower falls deliver more of a sting. Apparently, what the flogger is constructed of makes a difference as well, and I learn that suede is the least painful and oiled leather the most. At Michael’s suggestion, I choose a black and red suede one with a thick braided hilt, and with more than a little trepidation, I follow him to one of the padded benches.

“Is it okay if I restrain you?” he asks.

My stomach drops to my toes. My pulse is racing and my palms feel slightly sweaty, but this is what I came for. I nod.

“Say yes or no,” he instructs.

“Yes,” I say. It comes out louder than I intended and I flush with embarrassment.

Then his hand is on my upper back, pressing me forward until my chest is flush with the padded surface of the bench, my left cheek resting against the cool leather. He gently takes one of my wrists and fastens a leather cuff that’s attached to the bench around it, and then repeats the process with my other wrist. I pull against the restraints, testing them. My heart beats a little faster as I realize I can’t move my arms at all. Oh god.

I can feel Michael move behind me and then he flips the short skirt of my dress up, exposing my ass. Oh crap! I’m wearing nothing under the dress except a sexy, black scrap of a thong —it had seemed to fit the pirate theme when I put it on—and I feel utterly exposed. I squeeze my eyes closed, trying not to think about the fact that everyone who walks by can see my bare butt. I can feel the cool air of the room whisper across my skin and then Michael’s hands are on me, kneading and stroking each cheek until I feel myself begin to relax.

He removes his hand, and seconds later I feel the thud of leather against the warmed flesh of my buttocks. It’s pleasurably noticeable, but not painful at all, and the rhythmic dull impact of the soft leather against my bare skin lulls me into a slightly foggy-headed stupor, like when I get a massage.

“Ah, there she is!”

Gavin’s distinct drawl yanks me straight out of my blissful state of relaxation. My eyes fly open. Two pairs of masculine legs fill my vision—one muscular pair clad in black with an unmistakably large bulge at the crotch and the other pair slimmer and ensconced in black leather boots. The boots disappear and Gavin’s face appears.

“Looks like you already found someone to show you a thing or two,” he says with an impish grin. He inclines his head toward my bare posterior. “Michael’s a good guy, but I wanted to introduce you to the Dom I was telling you about.”

Another face appears next to his and warm cognac eyes meet mine. I’d know those eyes anywhere. After all, they’ve haunted my dreams for the last ten years. I am totally fucked!


If you're looking for a quick, sexy read then you can't go far wrong with this fabulous novella from Brynley Bush. It's a spin-off story from The Black Brothers Triolgy and it can easily be read as a standalone. It is very steamy, there is a lot of very hot sex here, but there is also a decent storyline featuring fabulous characters. 

Ariana is a tough FBI agent who longs to submit to a strong Dom, so she books a weekend at an exclusive BDSM retreat. But the last person that she expects to see there is the man that broke her heart ten years ago. Marcus had no choice but to walk out on Ariana ten years ago and he has never forgotten the woman who stole his heart. He's stunned to walk into a BDSM party to see Ariana cuffed to a spanking bench. Marcus still believes he has nothing to offer Ariana, but he just can't resist the gorgeous agent.

As well as the romantic storyline there was an interesting mystery for our heroine and hero to solve which added a nice amount of suspense to the story. My only complaint is that I wish the book was a bit longer as I absolutely loved Marcus and Ariana and wanted to know even more about them and their relationship. Timeless is a great book, full of passion and emotion - five stars!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

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Author Bio

Brynley Bush has had a lifelong love affair with words. She earned her degree in English and Creative Writing and wrote magazine feature stories for years before turning to writing fiction. She writes the kind of books she likes to read: steamy contemporary romances featuring smart, sassy heroines with a sense of humor and strong, dominant alpha males who love their women a little feisty. When she's not writing, she loves to read, spend time with her family, and travel.

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