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Barbara A. Mazzuca "Risqué Reviews" RSS Feed (Wherever my imagination takes me)

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The Hardest Thing: A Dan Stagg Mystery
The Hardest Thing: A Dan Stagg Mystery
by James Lear
Edition: Paperback
19 used & new from $6.26

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great mystery, action, suspense, and graphic unrestrained sex!, September 6, 2013

The Hardest Thing is the first book I've read by James Lear. And I quite enjoyed it. The story's subplots add such insightful musing, producing a richer story. As the scheme intensifies, unraveling truth from lies becomes increasingly more difficult. Especially pertaining to the puzzling pieces that encompass the young protégé/secretary Dan is hired to protect. Secondary characters, both good and bad, are essential in a good story. Lear doesn't disappoint in this area. They are all well-defined and instrumentally placed at the right moments within the story. Frequently leading in ways just enough that have you query their motives.

From the beginning of the story the main character Dan Stagg has continued flashbacks into his past. These flashbacks are as integral to the story in as much as making Dan actions and personality perfect for the main character, seamlessly adding a twofold depth to his character--in so much that it binds all the forces within this story, hurling the reader toward its pinnacle finale.

When the young secretary adds sex to mix, Dan takes full advantage of what the young man offers him, over and over again. Instead of the heat burning itself out it grows to a full-out firestorm. Soon Dan can't decipher if the feelings he has for this man are because of the explosively brute sex they share, or something more. Dan's emotion stability is becoming more and more difficult to define the longer the two are together.

While together, the secretary divulges his past to Dan and a spiral of trepidation and conflict about this whole setup worsens. Soon an ominous series of events begin to commence, adding more fuel to Dan's suspicions about this charade even more. When suddenly the young man disappears, Dan realizes he's being played. The nagging question in Dan's mind is what part the secretary ultimately played. With Dan, the last time he didn't have a choice in the matter of his fate. This time, he's not going out without a fight!

If you're looking for a great mystery, with a lot of action and suspense, together with graphic and unrestrained sex, then I highly recommend you read Lear's, The Hardest Thing!

Title: The Hardest Thing - A Dan Stagg Mystery
Author: James Lear
Release Date: August 11, 2013
Genre: GLBT (m/m)/Mystery
Pages: 264
Publisher: Cleis Press
ISBN: 978-1-57344-929-8
Reviewer: Barb
Rating: 4 Stars

Heat Level: III ~ Requires a Diagram: Love scenes are frequent, extremely detailed and very explicit. The storyline pushes the envelope, as do the sex scenes and may involve multiple partners, partner swapping. The story may also contain controversial subject matter not for the faint of heart.

Warning: Rape Scene
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 6, 2013 12:18 PM PDT

Beyond The Sun [2 CD Deluxe Edition]
Beyond The Sun [2 CD Deluxe Edition]
Price: $16.99
64 used & new from $10.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy Chris Isaak, December 31, 2012
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Have always enjoy Chris Isaak.I Bought this as a Christmas Gift for my husband. And he was very happy, especially after recently seeing him live.

Best of Chris Isaak
Best of Chris Isaak
Price: $5.99
49 used & new from $5.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Huge fans of Chris Isaak, December 31, 2012
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This review is from: Best of Chris Isaak (Audio CD)
Both my husband and I both enjoy Chris Isaak. We recently saw him live and enjoyed ourselves very much. I thought this would be a nice gift for my husband for Christmas. By the smile on his face I knew he agreed.

Nocturnally Vexed
Nocturnally Vexed
Price: $0.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sends the reader into overdrive trying to keep the pages turning...yum., December 14, 2012
This review is from: Nocturnally Vexed (Kindle Edition)

Jack-the-Ripper is back! And Chastity Worthington is the reporter that is about to blow the lid right off the roof with the story. Stories like these happen only once and she is going to run with it until she gets the answers that will not only jump started her career right into the big league, that is if she can live long enough for all of that to happen. Meeting the mysterious and sexy Vex is not going to make staying alive any easier. Jack-the-Ripper is back and Chastity is hot on his trail and only Vex will be able to stop him and keep Chastiy from being his next victim. That is as long as Chastity doesn't distract Vex too much from what he needs to do.

Born from a bloodsucker and a shifter-rapt, Vex and his brothers have the unusual ability to sense when either is present. A handy ability when there are times you are there to kill a rogue troublemaker. What he senses about the "copy cat" Jack-the-Ripper is keeping him up at night. This is one of his people and only he can and must stop him before he disappears again, because right now Vex knows the Rippers what Chasity as his next victim. Who is Vex keeping Chastity safe from, himself or Jack? Right now, Vex isn't sure which is more dangerous to her.

Vex's challenge will be to keep Chastity alive, capture Jack, and keep everything that's going on a secret. Piece of cake.

Alisha Paige takes the vampire and shape-shifter genres and puts a delightfully new slant on the paranormal world. It's not easy to come up with new ways to intrigue the reader but Ms. Paige has done just that. Trying to deny what is happening between them, makes that moment they can no longer resist explosive the sex more enticing and sends the reader into overdrive trying to keep the pages turning...yum.
The static of the anticipated touch when the characters are mere inches from each other bounces off the pages right into the reader's lap. The shock when that first touch happens will make you shiver. Got your attention? Good, because that along with the intriguing story is exactly what you will get when you pick up Alisha Paige's Nocturnally Vexed.

Rough Canvas
Rough Canvas
by Joey W. Hill
Edition: Paperback
19 used & new from $9.43

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, October 18, 2012
This review is from: Rough Canvas (Paperback)

Marcus ( a character that was first introduced in HOLDING THE CARDS) is an art dealer from New York. Thomas is quite farm boy with an untapped dexterity of talent and skill, Marcus is immediately drawn to him and his art. Thomas is also a sexual submissive who responds to only one Master, Marcus.

As Marcus instructs Thomas in what it means to be a sexual submissive, he is delighted to find Thomas to be the perfect rough canvas for what he intends to create between them. Thomas seems to be unable to deny his Master anything which thrills Marcus to no end. That is until Thomas does the unexpected and walks away from Marcus when he is called back by his family to help run the family business after his father's death and his brother is injured. So with the pressure from his family to return he is forced to choose between Marcus, his art, and family duty. Thinking that for Marcus this is just a fling because how could someone so refined as Marcus ever need some farm kid, Thomas decides this is as good a time as any to end their affair. With his heart breaking he walks away from the man he loves. What Thomas doesn't realize is that Marcus is nearly torn apart when Thomas makes the choice to leave him and return alone to his family.

Joey W. Hill is one of the best erotic authors for a reason; she writes so elegantly that you will almost forget that this is an erotic novel about two gay men who enjoy a complicated BDSM lifestyle. Almost being the operative word here, Ms. Hill's extraordinary talent of being able to bring fascinating characters to light along with their sexual exploration to her stories is abundantly clear in ROUGH CANVAS. Ms. Hill exploits a wealth of sinfully decadent sex throughout this enthralling tale. I mean let's face it, what good is a riveting erotic story unless there is an ample amount of lustful scenes with wickedly delicious abandonment through sex.

ROUGH CANVAS is the perfect title, because Ms. Hill is an artist that creates the perfect picture of two lovers and as she spins the tale it's just like a painter as she sweeps across each page stroke by stoke, but instead of a brush she uses a pen as she captures their emotions with words instead of paint. She creates a titillating love story that is dripping with sexual anxiety. A winning combination that will keep the reader immersed as the pages almost turn by themselves.


Holding the Cards (Nature of Desire Book 1)
Holding the Cards (Nature of Desire Book 1)

5.0 out of 5 stars Joey W. Hill is one of the best authors of erotica for a reason..., October 18, 2012
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Joey W. Hill is one of the best authors of erotica for a reason, her exceptional ability to bring together the difficult task of complex characters along with gripping romances that revolve around the world of BDSM. She also has the uncanny skill to bring together male subs and female Doms in a way that is realistic and very sexy. Even though the male can be the sexual submissive in her stories they can never be mistaken as weak. They are very tough in body and mind and have a strong need to protect as well as please their mistress, a shrewdly decadent combination. In HOLDING THE CARDS she brings together three such characters, each from different backgrounds, yet similar enough to find a common bound among themselves. As the story unfolds some very deep wounds are uncovered. Yet before any healing can be achieved each character will have to bring forth their unique talent to help accomplish that goal. Together they will discover new heights of ardor and absolution as each distinct personality becomes clear, and the roles they play in each other's life become apparent.

HOLDING THE CARDS brings to the table an entrancing story, explicit sexual activity that will tantalize the imagination and executes every expectation one comes to look forward to from erotica. Ms. Hill's talent in writing about the erotic world of BDSM comes through with immense detail as events unfold in HOLDING THE CARDS. When Ms. Hill writes a love scene she brings all of the senses to life as she stimulates the reader's imagination with her attention to details. This is such a necessary component in the richness this brings to her stories, especially when describing a moment of uninhibited sex. This is often missed by other writers of erotica and these are details, that when used correctly, brings so much more to the titillating effect of eroticism. Ms.Hill has an exemplary way of delicately bringing in the philosophy of the lifestyle involved in a D/s relationship so that anyone, no matter what their preference, can understand and relate to it. So if you are afraid that this may be out of your realm of taste in reading material, I highly suggest you rethink that equation and take a chance with one of Joey W. Hill books. You may find yourself just as captivated as I found myself the first time I picked up one of her books.

Sacrificial Hearts (Time Guardians Book 1)
Sacrificial Hearts (Time Guardians Book 1)
Price: $0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A short read jam-packed with charm., October 18, 2012
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Skhye Moncrief's Sacrificial Hearts is a short read jam-packed with charm that kept this reviewer eagerly turning each page. The story begins with Twila's world plummeting, when her brother Danny disappears. Suspense continues to build since Twila will stop at nothing to find him. Even blindly following the mysterious, tall glass of water, Gerard Abercrombie, when he tells her he knows where her brother is and that he can take her to him. The only proof she has to go on is her brother's voice on the phone, telling her all is okay and she should go with Gerard. A gun to one's head can make anyone say anything...But with no other leads, she goes.

I can't tell you anymore. But I will tell you getting on that motorcycle (see blurb) with Gerard is the least of Twila's worries, because fate has other plans for her. And fate always prevails. And who is Gerard--what role does he play in Twila's fate? Is he an enemy or a friend or an indistinguishably other? Oh, don't you hate reviewers that do that?

The diverse characters smoothly blend together as each venue unfurls in Sacrificial Hearts. Moncrief brings us a flight of the imagination that feeds the heart with creative writing, a unique storyline, and vivid scenes. Add in a romance that is spot on no matter the time it takes place.

Genre: Time Travel
Pages: 80
Publisher: Self-Published
Series: Time Guardians (Book 1)
Format: Kindle
Posted: October 18, 2012
Reviewer: Barb
Heat Level: I
Winner of Risque Reviews Top Pick Award

Deadly Captive
Deadly Captive

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hits the floor running but loses some footing along the way..., October 5, 2012
This review is from: Deadly Captive (Kindle Edition)
Title: Deadly Captive
Author: Bianca Sommerland
Release Date: 04/11/11
Genre: BDSM
Pages: 210
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing, LLC
Series: N/A
Format: Ebook
ISBN: 978-1-60592-286-7
Posted: June 20, 2011
Reviewer: Barb
Rating: 3.5
Heat Level: III (Special Content Alert: BDSM, forced sex/rape, graphic violence, menage, dark erotica)


Deadly Captive begins very strongly with a gripping opening scene that doesn't let go. I really enjoy this type of beginning in romantica and erotica. And as much as I enjoy the extreme conflict, there were a few parts that befuddled me. I just didn't feel some of the scenes believable.

The opening scene begins when Lydia wakes up bound naked and totally at the mercy of a man beseeching her to "just let it happen" while he brutally rapes her. At one point, her assailant even says "I'm going to hurt you now"..."You'll like it, but pretend you don't". .I just couldn't understand how anyone would be able to comprehend, let alone"enjoy," what was happening during a violent rape. Next, Lydia realizes her cell mate is her rapist, and she readily forgives Joe and has sex with him again. Something was missing, seriously contrived, here for dark hot romantica. Lydia just seems a bit too trusting of a man she knows nothing about. I saw what the author was doing--two people who find themselves in such a dire situation where only they can turn to each other to find solace and comfort. I understand the author's intention and would have loved to have witnessed the two characters growing to trust and love each other. But it was just too unbelievable that Lydia, or any woman, after just being brutally raped, would so swiftly have sex with any man, especially her rapist. Even though Joe is as much a victim in this situation as she is, I would have liked to have heard Lydia internalize these rationalizations to help me connect with her point of view and continue to appreciate the relationship between her and Joe. Unfortunately, the next scene didn't help me continue rooting for the hero like I do with erotic romance (romantica).

Unaware of the kind of hypnotic power these creatures could yield and unable to resist them, Lydia is coerced into having sex with one of her captors. Afterward, Lydia's confusion and shame at her actions seemed to be of very little concern to Joe. Instead of Joe trying to help her like the nice guy he's supposed to be in trying to save her through sacrificing his morals and becoming a rapist, he gets angry at her for "giving in" to the captor and punishes her by withholding her food. When Joe finally relinquishes his anger, they promptly fall back into the role of happy lovers. Okay...He rapes her. She forgives him. She is, in essence, "raped" again by an evil creature. But he can't forgive her for submitting? Why? Was he jealous? After all, he is her savior. Shouldn't he be consoling her after what the creature did to her, proving he's not as bad as they are? Or is this a question of what type of man he is? I still don't know after reading the story. Up to that point, Joe was really growing on me. However, after the creature rapes her, my opinion of him fizzled quickly into jerk.

With that said, Deadly Captive has loads of conflict that a straight dark erotica needs to keep me captivated. This story hits the floor running. If you are squeamish, I must warn you the scenes are graphic and explode off the pages and is not for the faint of heart. On the other hand, if you like it hot, then Bianca Sommerland's Deadly Captive will be blazing up your ally. Despite a few precarious motivational weak spots that leave holes in the story's romantic growth, Sommerland smoothly redirects them with a wicked plot that has enough twists and turns, as well as a take-the-wind-out-of-your-sails surprise towards the end, which will make you glad you kept turning the pages.

This will not be the last book I read by Bianca Sommerland!

Seductive Sands (The Fire and Ice Series Book 2)
Seductive Sands (The Fire and Ice Series Book 2)
Price: $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kim Faulks has done it again!, September 2, 2012

Seductive Sands Book 2 in the Fire & Ice series by Kim Faulks begins where RECLAIMED, the first book in this series, ends, with Natalie and Malik headed to Arabia--going back to the place where everything started in the hope of finding some of the answers Natalie seeks. But what Natalie finds literally overpowers her as she struggles with her desire for both of her immortal lovers, Alexander the Vampire and Malik the Djinn, one of Fire the other of Ice. In love with both, yet she's still not yet sure she can totally trust either.

In Seductive Sands Faulks introduces a new character, Marrah, another ancient creature, older and more powerful even then Malik, but her origin is unknown. However, she may be a new character in Seductive Sands but like Alexander and Malik she once shared a part in Natalie first life, as a past lover. And she will let nothing stop her from possessing Natalie's body and soul once more. As much as Natalie is captivated by this ancient creature and the answers she may hold, she's also afraid if she lets Marrah get to close, she may not be strong enough to stop Marrah from carrying out her plan of possession.

Adding yet another piece to this never-ending puzzle Natalie finds herself, through each installment of the Fire & Ice series, thrown into newer and bigger challenges. And as this journey nearly breaks her, she decides it's time to head home. But alas that is not what fate has in store for our heroine. So, the queries still dodge Natalie in her quest to find the answers to what happened in her first life as Kasha--what started all of this--as do the true motives that drive Marlik and Alexander in their quest to win Natalie's love.

You will not be able to resist as each book takes you deeper into their intertwining lives past present and, well we have yet to see what is in store for them as far as a future. And as Natalie's uncontrollable hunger keeps growing for these two men, that same hunger will grow stronger inside of you. I guarantee it. Or maybe warn is a better word...

Kim Faulks has done it again! Her gift of seducing the reader deeper into the world of these three characters grows stronger with each book. Her secondary characters add depth and her subplots blend so smoothly that you never see what's coming next until it strikes. And thus brings us to the third episode of her journey in Enslaved book 3 in Kim Faulks Fire & Ice Series. Hang on... A little birdie told me this one is going to be tough one. Can't wait!!

*This series in reading order

Seductive Sands (Book 2)
Enslaved (Book 3)
*Emergence (Book 4) and Book 5 (Unnamed) will be released sometime
this year.


Promise Me
Promise Me
Price: $2.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Promise Me is packed with exciting surprises!, September 2, 2012
This review is from: Promise Me (Kindle Edition)
Genre: Paranormal/Vampire/Shape-Shifters
Series: Book 1 in the Promise Me Series
Heat Level: 1


I am a sucker for vampires (pun intended). I mean what's not to love about finding a handsome unconscious vampire right in your front yard? And it's only a book. So what could go wrong? A lot. Promise Me is packed with exciting surprises, a villain or two to keeps things exciting, and a cast of characters that you will grow to love, starring the hero Danial and Sarelle, the heroine. Both characters are strong-willed and passionate. However, neither overwhelms the other or the story. Hall's casts of secondary characters add that extra punch at just the right moments. And the underlining subplots are edged between facilitating matters between the obsession that is growing stronger between Danial and Sarelle, while other subplots set hurdles.

I should mention The Promise Me Series is the type of series, however, where the end of each book leads you into the next, thereby leaving a lot of open-ended voids to be filled. I normally am not too crazy about this type of series. By the time I realized that was the case here, I was too caught up in Promise Me to care. Hall is a talented author and started this series strong with an intriguing lead in PM. So if you normally don't get into these types of series, might I suggest Hall's Promise Me be the one you take a chance on. Here's hoping the next book in this series, Broken Promise will continue what PM started - to keep me riveted and wanting more (*keeping fingers crossed*).

Originally Posted at Risque Reviews Website on 8/23/12

The Promise Me Series: (In reading order)

Promise Me✴ Book I (published May 27 2012) Melange Books

Broken Promise✴ Book II (To be published Fall 2012) Melange Books

Taken in the Night✴ Book III(To be published Winter 2012) Melange Books

Taken for His Own✴ Book IV (To be published early Spring 2013) Melange Books

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