Monday, May 7, 2012

Review: Sheltered by Charlotte Stein

By:  Charlotte Stein

File Size: 309 KB
Print Length: 162 pages
Publisher: Ellora's Cave (March 9, 2012)

About: Evie has lived her entire life under her abusive father’s thumb. He controls everything. Where she goes to college, who she sees, what she does. But when she meets Van—a punk who shows her how different life could be—she realizes how much she’s been missing.Van offers her excitement, protection, love…and most of all, sex—even if he’s at first reluctant to give her all the things she’s been craving. She wants to explore this new world of arousal and desire, but Van is only too aware of how fragile she is, how innocent…And how much is at stake, when their love is forbidden.

Review:  Innocently sensual, sizzlingly sexual, Sheltered is the perfect blend of innocence, love, heat and trust.

I can truly and honestly say that Sheltered is one of my favorite read this year and I nearly wept when I came to the end.  I want more more more!!  I LOVE Evie and Van and I love what they have together.  Van is many women's dream - hot, sexy, caring, a gentleman and did I mention HOT?!  He deeply cares and cherishes Evie and will do anything to protect her and keep her safe from those she should be able to trust the most.

All of her life, Evie has been deeply sheltered from "real" life.  Her father is beyond strict, abusive and cruel.  She has never been exposed to music, movies, or any type of typical culture that teens, adults and children are exposed to.  The fact that she has met a boy is sin that is sure to send her straight to hell - after her Dad kills her.  Yes, this is a very real threat - I truly despised her father.

Needless to say, Evie is an innocent in every sense of the word.  When she meets Van, her body begins to feel things that it has never felt before and he opens up an entirely new world to her - not just physically, but emotionally as well.  The feelings that form between the two are all encompassing and drew me in deeply.

Sheltered is, indeed hot and sizzling, but in a way that is sweet.  Van is such an amazingly caring man and does not want to push Evie into anything at all.  He is the one that puts the halt to many encounters, not wanting to rush their relationship.  The chemistry smokes from the pages and the emotions tug deeply at the heart.  This is a story that blends true emotions, feelings and desire with an excellent story line that I could not get enough of.  I am not one to reread books - simply because I have so many to read, however this is one that I know I will reread.  Sheltered is the second book by Ms. Stein that I have read and I can say that I adore her work and plan on reading everything she has written that I can get my hands on.  Also, I want to mention that this is a story that is on the erotica side, however that aspect is very mild - meaning there are no whips and chains, kinky sex, toys or anything of that sort.  It is simply sweet, hot and full of emotions.

Before I end, I want to send a HUGE plead to Ms. Stein to write another book focusing on Evie and Van and their life together!!  Pretty please?!?!

Quote:  She hadn't meant it, and suspected that he definitely hadn't.  He's seemed averse to moving their suddenly passionate kiss to the couch, and had absolutely opposed anything like lying down.

But after a while they'd ended up like this anyway - the back of her head almost on the arm of the seat.  His body over hers, solid and glorious.  If she shifted just a little he'd be between her legs, and then what?

Oh God, then what?

"Evie, stop," he said between kisses.  She should have been relieved.  She should have, but really all she could feel was the heavy and constant ache between her legs.  How warm it made her feel, how daring.

And of course it only got worse when he said, "God, baby, you're so greedy."

It didn't even humiliate her.  Somehow he made it sound like the sweetest, sexiest compliment, and when she pushed a hand through his hair and tried to get him to kiss her again, his lips parted.  A ripple seemed to go through his body, as though it affected him as strongly as it affected her.

About Charlotte Stein:

Charlotte Stein has published over thirty short stories, novellas and novels, including entries in The Mammoth Book of Hot Romance and Best New Erotica 10. Her collection of short stories was named one of the best erotic romances of 2009 by Michelle Buonfiglio, and her first novel, Control, was recently called “…a non-stop crazy hot sex book”.When not writing non-stop crazy hot sex books, she can be found eating jelly turtles, watching terrible sitcoms and occasionally lusting after hunks. She lives in West Yorkshire with her husband and their imaginary dog.  Visit Charlotte's Website and Blog!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I am now reviewing at...

I am excited to announce that I am now a reviewer for A Naughty Reader's Boudoir!  I discovered this awesome site through Michelle at Romance in Review - so a huge thank you to Michelle!  For those of you who have not checked out either of these two sites, please be sure to do so - you will love them and discover tons of excellent great books and authors!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Frisky Friday Freebies!

How about a few Kindle (and Smashwords for all readers) freebies to kick off the weekend?  Please note that most freebies are for a limited time only, so grab them while you can!  Just click on the cover to be taken to the product page!

Love Me: A Contemporary Romance Orchids in Moonlight The Price Of Innocence Until the Dawn (Nemesis, Book One)Cover for 'The Freebie' Enchant the Dawn (Passion Magic) Already Home Seven Minutes in Heaven (Naughty Games, Book One)Taken (An Erotic / Erotica BDSM Menage Romance)  Imposter Kiss Me Deadly Cover for 'Forced Awakening' Cover for 'Varick: The Reluctant' Cover for 'Ecstasy Overload' BAIT: The Angler Series Book One

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Review: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)
Fifty Shades of Grey
By:  E.L. James

File Size: 2330 KB
Print Length: 529 pages
Publisher: Vintage (May 25, 2011)

About: When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

My Review:  Multidimensional and thought-provoking, Fifty Shades of Grey is a story that will twist you, bend you and cry for you to submit to its intrigue.

Okay, normally I am not one to grab a book that is being "hyped up" in the media.  However, when Fifty Shades of Grey began to pop up everywhere, the nerd in me came bursting forth and Googled the title.  Yes, I Googled it.  What I found was a very varying and diverse thought spectrum - which is actually a good thing, in my opinion.  It seems that people either loved it or hated it.  Now, what really grabbed me was an article that I read where some psychologist or Dr. of some sort was saying how this book was considered "Mommy Porn" and that it was a very unhealthy thing for woman.  Um, excuse me?!  It is socially acceptable for men to look at and ogle women/porn online, in bars, in magazines, etc, but if a woman reads something that is even slightly touted as "erotic" it is unhealthy?!  Let's see - a woman reads and thereby uses her intelligence to  take in the words and has to use her creativity and imagination to bring these images, portrayed within the story, to life for herself and that is unhealthy?  How is this any worse than a person reading murder mysteries, horror stories and anything of violence?  Needless to say, this ticked me off.  I knew right then and there that I had to get the book and read it myself.  Now, to take a step back, people may say "How can it be acceptable to allow a man to tie you up, make you eat when he wants, etc?"  Well, it is not.  However, if there are two consenting adults and they get their kicks that way - well, let them go forth and dom/sub.  I do want to say, however, that these issues were blown waaaay out of proportion with this book.  There is no where near the type of dominance that some say is so horrible and demeaning to women (and for the record, there are books out there were the men are the submissive - it is fictional entertainment after all) within Fifty Shades of Grey.  Okay, on with the review of the actual book.

For me, Fifty Shades of Grey was a great look into the psyche of a man who grew up with a tortured start to life.  He learns to cope in life with strong walls and a hard shell built around himself.  He does not allow himself to become close to any one person and relationships with woman are something to enjoy physically and devoid of emotions.  So far within his life, he has been able to keep things going at this level.  That all changes, however, when he meets Anastasia (Ana).  For Christian, Ana is unlike any other woman he has ever met before.  She is not only beautiful and intelligence, she is innocence and strength.  Ana does not bend over backwards for Christian and she knows her own mind and morals.  I want to mention that this is something that pleasantly surprised me.  When I first read about this book, I had pictured Ana as a very submissive person who would be, more or less, a puppet on a string.  I was not thrilled with this idea, however I pushed it aside as I began to read.  Ana is not at all like my preconceived notions.  Nor, for that matter, was Christian the jerk, dominant "I am man, do as I say" type of character that I had thought he would be.

I fully believe that the reader will get out of Fifty Shades of Grey what they put into it.  I have heard, repeatedly, about the hot sex, the bondage, etc of this book.  Yes, there is sex.  Yes it is steamier than Harlequin, however it is not nearly as sexually explicit as some erotica books out on the market.  There is one scene of slight violence, however it was handled in a way that truly lent to the book.  I am not going to go into this any further because I do not want to give anything away.  As far as bondage?  Slight.  Being controlling?  Slight.  An actual story of love?  Yes.  A story that goes deeper than sex?  Absolutely yes.

Going in, I really had no expectation for Fifty Shades of Grey.  I was neutral and curious.  This is what I took from it:

Christian is an amazing character.  He has some major issues that began at a very early age, which have damaged him deeply.  He has a need for control on a psychological level that goes beyond machismo.  He doesn't feel the need for control for a shallow reason, but one to survive.  He is a lost soul who needs to find salvation.

Ana is a young innocent college grad.  She has the world in front of her.  Ana has also never felt the need or desire for a physical relationship with a man.  That all changes, however, when she inadvertently meets Christian.  Her world spins in a way she worries she will lose control of, but manages not to drown in.

Together, Christian and Ana battle emotional demons as the sparks of heady chemistry roars between them.  For Christian, Ana presents many "firsts", which both surprise and scare him.  For reasons beyond him, Ana is different and reaches into him unlike anyone he has ever met before.  Ana battles her sub-conscience and "inner goddess" to figure out what is right for her and how far she is willing to let herself stretch for Christian.

I truly adored both of these characters.  They came to life in an amazing way for me and truly made me care for both of them - particularly Christian.  A bit of food for thought:  Christian asks that Ana's hands (or whomever he is having a relationship with) to be bound during sex.  His biggest fear?  To have his chest touched.  Connection?  See, for me, the bondage issue went way beyond kinky sex.

In any case, I really enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey.  I can't wait to continue with the trilogy to delve deeper into Christian's past and discover the demons that have tortuously branded him.  I anxiously look forward to seeing how the lives of both Ana and Christian unfold.  For me, this was a story of two lives who deeply connect and love one another.  One of those people unable to form a healthy and "normal" relationship, nor ever had the desire to, until now.  This was a story of strength, demons, trust and faith.  It was not a story of sex.

I do want to mention that the story was not perfect for me.  The writing was very good, however many times the author would pop in words that seemed out of place within the story.  The words would be the type of words not normally used in every day conversation (at least for me) and would break up the flow of the story for me a bit.  Some examples?  Infinitesimally, envisages, medulla oblongata (ex: And from a very tiny, underused part of my brain - probably located at the base of my medulla oblongata where my subconscious dwells - comes the thought:), and there are others throughout, these are just a few that stood out.  E.L. James does use amazing word visualization and easily drew me into the story and the scenes.  When the scenes were sizzling, they were hot, when the scenes were emotionally tortured, they were very heart-tugging and when the scenes were sweet, they were heart-melting.  All-in-all, Fifty Shades of Grey is a wonderful book and one that I highly recommend - not because it is so media "hyped" but because it is a wonderful story - just please do not read it simply for the sex, but delve into the complex emotional and psychological aspects of the story.  And for the record - I have heard this being dubbed the "dirty Twilight" books.  Honestly?  Other than a tortured male character and an innocent female character - there is absolutely no similarities - at least none that I could find.

*Did you know that Fifty Shades of Grey has a soundtrack?!  Well, it does and please be sure to check it out!  (click here)

About E.L. James:

E L James is a TV executive, wife and mother-of-two based in West London. Since early childhood she dreamed of writing stories that readers would fall in love with, but put those dreams on hold to focus on her family and her career. She finally plucked up the courage to put pen to paper with her first novel, Fifty Shades of Grey.

E L James is currently working on a new love story...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Guest Review: Blissfully Snowbound by Red Phoenix

I don't usually review erotic romance on my blog because it's not a good fit with the rest of my reviews, so April has been kind enough to allow me to post here occasionally when I find something I really loved. I have become a big fan of Red Phoenix. Her stories are short, but usually not overly short, and they tend to be a great combination of sweet and hot. Blissfully Snowbound is free right now and I adored it!

Check out the blurb:

Two couples plan a mountain getaway, but only Dan and Jenny make it before the blizzard strikes. That leaves them alone together for five days. With tons of time on their hands and a natural attraction for each other, things start to heat up. Dan has a crush on her and finds creative ways to seduce Jenny. By the time it's over, the two must make a choice - either way, hearts will suffer.

This sexy novelette explores what happens when two responsible adults find themselves in a situation where hidden love can flourish.

(Just a note, this one is definitely for adults 18+.)

Be sure to stop by and check out Red Phoenix at her blog: and find her on Twitter: @redphoenix69

Michelle V
Life in Review

*I want to give a huge thank you to Michelle for being a guest reviewer and hope that she will review many many more books here in the future.  She rocks - if you haven't already, please be sure to check out Michelle's blog, Life in Review!

As a side note, if there is anyone who would like to guest blog on Cafe Smexy, I am more than thrilled to have you!

Friday, April 13, 2012

More Freebies! (Limited Time)

Dark Surrender Beauty and the Feast Unwrapping Amy Director's Cut Come Back to Me The Trove of the Passion Room Love Me Tender Love Lust (Vegas ParaRealm, #1)  Angel on Fire (Angel Investigations) In the Midnight Hour High Seas Deception

Okay, here are a few to get your weekend started. I will be adding more later on. Once again, just click on the cover and it will take you to the Amazon page. If you have any freebies you would like to share, please let us know in the comments!!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sizzling Freebies! (Limited Time!)

Here are some sizzling sounding freebies to get while you can!  Simply click on the cover and you will be taken to the Amazon book link!  Enjoy!!