Friday, April 4, 2014

Armed and Dangerous (Cut & Run #5) by Abigail Roux

Left alone in Baltimore after his unpredictable lover bails, Special Agent Zane Garrett takes his frustration out on everything in his path until he is ordered to Chicago to back up an undercover operative. When he gets there, though, he finds himself face to face with his wayward partner, Special Agent Ty Grady. They have to deal with the uncertainty lingering between them while they work to retrieve their intended mark, a retired hit man and CIA wet-works operative named Julian Cross.

Ty, once a marine and now an FBI hotshot, has a penchant for being unpredictable, a trait Zane can vouch for. Zane is a man who once lived for his job but has come to realize his heartbreaking past doesn’t have to overshadow his future. They're partners, friends, lovers, and the go-to team for unusual cases. With Cross and his innocuous boyfriend, Cameron Jacobs, in tow, Ty and Zane must navigate the obstacles of a cross-country trek, including TSA pat-downs, blizzards, their uncooperative prisoners, CIA kill teams, a desperate lack of sleep or caffeine, and each other. Ty and Zane are determined to get Julian Cross to DC in one piece, but it’s starting to look like it might be the last thing they do.

The author's first solo entry in the C&R series is a hit, in my honest opinion.  I have to be honest, if I had been given this series with no author names and information, I really don't think I would have noticed the difference. 
When Ty and Zane are told to bring Julian Cross in, they have no idea what they will be facing.  If you thought Ty and Zane had an interesting beginning, wait till you read how Ty and Julian get along.  When you throw in Julian's boyfriend, Cameron, who he insists come along, you have these four running the gamut of emotions and insults that you never knew could happen in one book.
The passion between Ty and Zane is as usual, extremely hot and incredibly loving.  Now that they've decided to be completely open and honest with each other, I can't wait to see how they are able to handle all the truths as time goes forward.

Rating:  5 Stars

Author Bio:
ABIGAIL ROUX was born and raised in North Carolina. A past volleyball star who specializes in pratfalls and sarcasm, she currently spends her time coaching middle school volleyball and softball and dreading the day when her little girl hits that age. Abigail has a baby girl she calls Boomer, four rescued cats, one dog, a crazy ass extended family, and a cast of thousands in her head.

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At Their Service by Isla Munro

Can a prince, a maid, and a valet live happily ever after?
Forced to be a maid to her family, nursemaid to her birth-mother, and slave to her step-mother, the only high point in Drella’s life is a new job at the palace. She will get to meet the handsome Prince Abran. However, Drella is not expecting to be attracted to both the prince and his valet. The equally handsome Oshan invites Drella to enjoy a night of passion with both men…all three of them together. Can Drella put the messy relationship between her own four parents aside and accept the love offered by a prince and his valet?

Prince Abran is heir to the throne of Erotania. He loves his country and he loves his valet, Oshan. But his passionate relationship with the manservant cannot produce his own heir. In a culture where family groups consist of up to four bi-sexual adults and their offspring, it’s not much of a leap to bring a woman into their bed chamber. But what woman will be acceptable to his mother, attracted to both men, and willing to put up with his arrogance?
Oshan loves his master and knows he needs an heir. When Drella starts work in the palace, he can tell that Abran is attracted to the pretty maid. But Drella has her own challenges to face. Can Oshan and the man he loves discover Drella’s demons and help her fight them? And can a prince, a valet, and a maid defy the impossible and find their very own happily ever after?

“Hi, Drella.”
“Hi.” Her voice was a mere whisper, and she looked as if she wanted to be anywhere but speaking to him.
“Hello. I’m Clara.” The human girl shoved her hand toward him. He took it and smiled at her. It still seemed strange to shake hands with someone he had just met. The custom on Threni was to bow to new acquaintances.
“It’s lovely to meet you, Clara. Do you mind if I take Drella outside to speak to her privately? We won’t be long.” He could see Drella out of the corner of his eye shaking her head, a mutinous look on her face.
“Not at all. I would never stop her from talking to such a handsome man.” She fluttered her eyelashes. “And if she says no, please feel free to come and make your offer to me.” Her eyes were bright and sparkled with mischief—she was clearly joking.
“Please, Drella.” He turned his most pleading expression on her, and her mutinous look crumbled.
“OK,” she conceded, and got up, and marched out of the bar. Once outside, he took her gently by the arm and guided her to the quiet alleyway.
“What do you want?” She leaned against the wall and looked over his shoulder.
“I wanted to apologize if the prince or I embarrassed you today. He feels very bad about spying on us.”
“We were in the prince’s shower area. And besides, I spied on you.”
“The prince doesn’t mind that you were watching us. In fact, he’s quite turned on by it.” Oshan brought his hand up to cup her cheek, and she leaned into the caress. He breathed a sigh of relief. He was not being rejected. “He would like you to be involved next time. And so would I.”
“Yes, Drella. We both want you. We discussed it. Since we got together there has only been the two of us. But we like you and we both want you.”
She was wide-eyed again, which only made her more appealing. Her mouth opened slightly in surprise, and he couldn’t help himself. He leaned forward and ran his tongue along her lower lip. She tentatively touched his tongue with her own and placed her hand at his nape. He captured her lips fully. After a few moments, he drew away and raised an eyebrow at her.
“I’m with Clara,” she said as if it was some kind of explanation.
“It doesn’t have to be tonight.” She nodded in understanding. “What about tomorrow night?”
“I have to go home from work and make dinner, but I could come back to the palace afterward.”
“Dinner? Do you already have children?”
“No. It’s for my parents and siblings.”
“Can they not get their own dinner?”
“It’s a complicated situation.” Her shoulders sagged slightly and some of the glow left her gaze. She looked tired. What exactly was her situation that she had to make her grown-up family dinner?
“Very well. After dinner. Come up to the palace. You can use your pass to get in. If anyone asks, say Prince Abran has asked to see you. No one will ask any questions.”

Character Bios:
Abran – Crown Prince of Erotania
Abran is the only son of the King and Queen of Erotania – a Kingdom on the planet Threni. He has had every privilege: a good education, plenty of money and possessions – everything a kid could want. Now as an adult, he has his valet Oshan. His mother, Queen Emba believes he needs and heir and to beget an heir he and Oshan need to open up their spousal unit to a female. Like all Threni adults, he’s bisexual , so when he meets Drella, he believes she may very well be the one to complete his relationship with his valet.
Oshan – Valet to the Crown Prince
Oshan has had humble beginnings. He has managed to work his way up to being valet to Abran, Crown Prince of Erotania. He is practical and loving and regularly has to encourage the headstrong prince to do the right thing. Oshan loves Abran with a fierce loyalty and is more than willing to share him in order to fulfil Abran’s duties. When he meets Drella he is instantly attracted to her and knows that Abran is too. But he must be the go-between to bring her to the prince and reassure her that her station in life is immaterial.
Drella – Maid in the palace at Erotania and in her own home.
Drella has grown up with two mothers and two fathers in the usual Threni household (four bisexual adults make up one spousal unit along with any children). But with her birth mother ill, her fathers too wrapped up in each other and her “step” mother, Breda, bitter from loneliness, Drella seems to have drawn the short straw. She is maid, nurse and slave to her ungrateful relatives. Having given up the chance of further education, she has worked her way up in menial jobs until at last she gets a job at the palace. She even gets to make the sexy prince’s bed. But having seen the way her father’s act, she’s not so keen to turn out bitter and twisted like Breda. Can the Prince and his valet convince her that they won’t shut her out and that their relationship with her is as important as their relationship with each other?

As a fan of science fiction, I could have used more of the genre in this story.  That being said, I found this story to be an interesting and very scintillating read.  As a fan of erotica, I was more than rewarded by this story.  It's not often that you can find a decent blend of science fiction and erotica, but this author has managed it quite well.  The characters are intriguing and the relationships between Abran, Oshan, and Drella are refreshing.  Building a believable and equal connection between three characters is not an easy task and yet that's exactly what we get in this mΓ©nage.

Rating:  3 & 1/2 Stars

Author Bio:
Isla lives in tiny cottage in the wilds of Scotland. She loves history, sci-fi, romance and coffee. She is also passionate about music but has never put enough effort into learning a musical instrument properly.

She has always made up stories in her head or imagined the worst case scenarios whenever mildly dramatic events happen. She has always been told she had too vivid an imagination. Since she has discovered novel writing, she has thoroughly enjoyed putting that imagination to the test.

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