4 STARS: "MARKED MATES by Erin M. Leaf is an interesting, and fascinating read. You are drawn right into the story and are hooked. The story is set in a modern day US, though with significant differences. Some people develop bonds with one, or two mates. This is the story of Sparrow, who after a year of pre-bonding symptoms still has not found her mate, but is dreaming each night of the hot and sexy president of the US, Morgan, and a nebulous third. When she goes to Washington D.C. the happy end seems assured, but there are oppositions. Through kidnappings, shootings and other hurdles, the three have to not only find each other, but also protect the safety of all bonded pairs. There are some issues with the book, the biggest among which is that it should be read after the other three books in the series. Without the previous parts of the story, the reader is thrown out of the flow again and again. Some basic information about the world is presented as an unexplained fact, or introduced very late, so that it becomes hard to relate to it. But there are also inconsistencies within the story, from the timeline to outright contradictions. Even though these issues niggle, the humour and the tension of the story, the deep connection between the characters and the sheer amount of happenings make it a book worth reading. More so if you have read the ones before. MARKED MATES is very well written and the dialogue has a spark, full of humour and sassiness. The beginning especially has a lot of power, with the heroine, Sparrow, holding your attention and emotion throughout it all. The story is new in many ways and could break all records if it were developed in a more coherent and consistent way. It is a book for a fun evening with a glass of wine, an evening of pampering and a short thrill." -- Christine Blackthorn, The Romance Reviews
4 STARS: "Morgan knows he has bond mates but his job precludes him from having the freedom to search for them. Sparrow just wants others to look beyond her looks to see the woman within but when she starts dreaming she convinces herself it means nothing since she does not exhibit any other symptoms of bonding. Justin has been commissioned to link the database of bonded. Even though he sporadically exhibits the symptoms of bonding, he too convinces himself it means nothing. But that does not change his opinion that linking the database is a bad idea and he is determined the system is never linked to the internet. However, when the system is hijacked and he is kidnapped, will he survive to complete the bonding or will the poison, which has blocked his bonding, kill him and his bond mates? Marked Mates by Erin M. Leaf is fourth in the Dream Marked series. This series is best read in chronological order. This story was well developed and written. Ms. Leaf gave us characters that felt believable. While the relationship between Morgan, Sparrow and Justin developed quickly, it fit within the nature of a bonding. The chemistry was a part of the story and not just a reason for sex even though the sexual component was hot. I enjoyed seeing the characters learn to live with the additional skills that came with bonding. While Morgan had more information prior to bonding, he was compassionate and understanding while his bond mates came to terms with the changes caused not only by the bonding but by his job. I loved that Ms. Leaf gave us three distinct individuals. They were strong on their own and together became something much more. This was a wonderful addition to this series. It flowed well from what happen prior. I look forward to reading more from this author." -- Manic Readers
Sparrow rubbed her temples tiredly. She thought coming here would make her feel better, not worse. She’d be able to visit, gawk a little like every other tourist, and then, voila! She’d be over her ridiculous crush on Morgan Wilde.
Because there is no way, no freaking way, I’m bonding with the president of the United States. That’s just impossible, right? she told herself, stomach churning. Who would believe her, even if it were true? Certainly not the man in her dreams. Morgan Wilde didn’t even know she existed.
She thought back to last night. In the dream, Morgan’s face had been so familiar to her, she wasn’t even surprised anymore to find him haunting her so often. They were always in a car, driving somewhere in the dark. In every dream, he’d kiss her, and she’d feel as though her entire body was on fire. Months of these stupid dreams had made her dread going to sleep, not sure if he would appear again. Not sure if she wanted him to appear. And then, last night, another man comes into the dream like so much smoke—thick and disturbing and impossible to ignore. What does that mean? She had no idea who he was. That she was here, in the White House, in pursuit of a dream was insanity enough without adding a second man into the equation.
“Sparrow!” Mary hissed suddenly.
Sparrow jerked her head up. Mary’s face had gone white. She looked around, but didn’t see anything wrong. The other tourists were milling around, waiting to be admitted into the main part of the building.
“Your wrists,” Mary said, crowding close. “Look.” She grabbed Sparrow’s right arm and turned her hand over.
Sparrow’s heart gave a sick, hard thump. The faintest outline of a tattoo was delicately etched on her skin. She couldn’t quite make it out yet, but there were definitely three circles. They looked like bruises. She snatched her hand away from Mary. “It’s nothing.” It had to be nothing. Otherwise, all those nights…no, she wasn’t crazy. She wasn’t bonding.
Mary narrowed her eyes. “Has this happened before?”
Sparrow shook her head. “I probably just banged it against the sink or something.”
Without warning, Mary seized her other wrist and held it up.
Sparrow froze. Three circles. Faintly outlined on her skin, same as her other wrist. She sucked in a harsh breath and clenched her fist. Impossible. “What’s happening to me?”
Mary grabbed her arm and hustled her to the corner, near the windows. There were still people all around, but at least they had a little more privacy here.
“You need to find your mate.” Mary grasped Sparrow’s hands and lightly touched a thumb to one of the circles. “Or mates. You need to, or you’re going to get very sick, from what I’ve read.”
Sparrow shook her head. “Mates? That’s insane.” She couldn’t think about this here. She couldn’t think about it at all without wanting to run away.
Mary squeezed her fingers tighter, making Sparrow wince. “Maybe. But you told me you dreamed about two men last night. Two.”
Sparrow pulled away and folded her arms around her waist so that her wrists were hidden. She really didn’t feel well. “What do you think I’m doing here, Mary?”
Her friend stared at her. “Holy fucking shit.”
Sparrow snorted. “Yeah. Exactly.” She thunked her head on the glass. It only made her headache worse. At this point, she felt like she was seeing everything through a filter of white noise. All the low voices around her were just static. God. She rubbed her forehead, trying to will the ache away. She hoped she wasn’t about to faint. Or throw up. That would be mortifying.
“What are we going to do?” Mary asked. She stepped away and started to pace. “It’s not like you can just waltz right in—”
“Excuse me,” a young man interrupted Mary’s low-voiced murmur. “Could you both please come with me?”
Sparrow straightened up. The man wore the standard Secret Service uniform that all the guides in the White House sported. She wasn’t sure what he wanted, but no one else was paying any attention to them.
“Is there a problem?” she asked, swallowing against the rising nausea. If she didn’t get a chance to sit down soon, she was pretty sure she was going to be very, very sick right on the very shiny floor.
“There’s no problem, ma’am. I’ve just been asked to escort you to a private area,” he said. “If you would come with me?” He stepped back and held out his arm.
Sparrow glanced at Mary, who shrugged, then lifted an eyebrow as if to say, “Isn’t this what you wanted?”
“Okay,” Sparrow said. “Lead the way.”
The young man smiled politely and led them down the hall to a door hidden behind a tall plant. None of the other tourists paid them any attention. Sparrow frowned. How had she not noticed that door before? It wasn’t exactly hidden, but it wasn’t obvious, either.
“Where are we going?” she asked, following him.
“This way,” the man said, opening the door into a private garden courtyard that Sparrow had no idea even existed.
This isn’t on any of the public floor plans. She stumbled, still fighting her monstrous headache, but caught herself before she fell. The smell of flowers wafted across her face.
“Sparrow? Are you okay?” Mary asked, putting a hand on her arm.
Sparrow tensed. Her friend’s hand actually hurt. She shrugged it off, trying not to show how completely fucking freaked out she was.
What’s wrong with me? Is this what bonding feels like? If so, it sucks. She’d suspected she was bonding for a long time now, at least on some level, but she hadn’t expected to feel this wretched. And she still refused to believe that Morgan Wilde, president, was her bond mate. Or one of them, she thought very privately to herself.
Morgan ripped open his shirt, buttons flying. Sparrow reached out, then forced her hand back down. If she touched him now it would be all over, and she wanted Justin, too. She didn’t want to make love without him again. Now that they’d figured out why their bonding was so screwed up, she didn’t want to take any chances.
“Hurry,” she said, instead of touching him.
Morgan fumbled with his pants. His erection sprang out and Sparrow trembled. His cock was thick and dusky and perfect. She hadn’t had time before to really look at him before. They’d screwed on the table, still mostly clothed, because the bonding heat demanded it from them. She wanted more. His well-muscled chest looked like something out of a magazine. His hair was mussed, but she didn’t care.
He shoved his pants down. When he straightened up, she stepped back. She could hear the water in the shower shut off. Morgan’s blue eyes gleamed and then Justin stepped out of the bathroom, naked and wet.
Morgan swallowed hard. Sparrow looked at their bond-mate, admiring the toned perfection of his body. Her eyes landed on his erection. He was just as aroused as Morgan. His cock arched up against his abdomen, wet at the tip. When he reached down and palmed himself, she groaned.
“Fuck,” Morgan whispered. “I guess labels like straight or bi don’t really matter once you’re bonding.”
Justin grinned. “I was always bi, I just kept it to myself.”
Morgan sighed. “Same here. It doesn’t matter anymore. If I don’t touch you in the next ten seconds, I think I’m going to lose my damn mind.”
Sparrow agreed. “Yeah, what he said.”
“I’m not going to last,” Justin said in a strained tone of voice.
“Get on the bed,” Morgan said.
Sparrow didn’t know if he was talking to her or Justin, but she obeyed anyway. She backed toward the bed until her knees bumped the mattress. Justin came closer, hand still on his erection.
“Suck him,” Morgan commanded.
Sparrow’s entire body went white-hot. There was something so ridiculously sexy listening to Morgan giving orders. The president just told me to suck a man’s cock, she thought, burning up. She glanced up at him to find him also holding his erection. The shaft pushed out from between his fingers and she realized he was squeezing to hold off his climax. God, he’s hot. She sunk fingers into her pussy, unable to stop herself. She touched her clit, arching her back as sparks of pleasure shot through her.
“Fuck,” Justin said, watching her.
“Come closer,” Morgan said to Justin.
Their bond-mate nodded and moved between her legs. She licked her lips and leaned in. Justin aimed his prick at her mouth and she opened up.
We’ve never even kissed, she thought vaguely. It didn’t matter. He fed his erection into her mouth and she moaned as the warmth of him penetrated. He tasted good, sweet and musky, and he smelled like vanilla.
“God,” Morgan murmured.
Justin gasped as she used her tongue on him, then he eased out. Morgan took his place, carefully laying the tip of his cock on her lips. She licked him and he shuddered.
“So fucking hot,” Justin said, moving close again. His cock bumped Morgan’s and both men groaned. Justin waited until Morgan slid out of her mouth, and then he slid in. She sucked him, enjoying his pleasure. The bond was flaring inside the three of them, so that each one felt the others’ pleasure. When Sparrow licked her men, she felt it in her cunt, hot and decadent.
I’m going to explode. She reached up to hold both men in her hands. She began alternating between the two cocks, holding them close so that all she had to do was move her head a little. She sucked and licked until Justin started trembling so hard she was afraid she would catch him on her teeth if he had to stay upright much longer.
“Fuck me,” Sparrow said, urging him onto the bed.
The men looked at her, then at each other. The next thing she knew, Morgan was rummaging in the nightstand and Justin was pushing her up the bed. He rolled onto his back and hauled her on top.
“We’ll take it slow,” he said, kissing her.
She laughed into his mouth as his words penetrated her lust-hazed mind. “I don’t think slow is really an option.” Behind them, she heard the rip of plastic. A condom? But I told him about my implant, she thought, remembering their earlier bout of sex on the table, but then Justin ran his hands down her back and she forgot her confusion.
“Too bad,” he murmured against her lips, hands still stroking her spine. “I like it slow.”
“I’m in the mood for fast,” she said, smiling. She sank her hands into his messy hair, leaning her weight on her elbows.
He kissed her—probably to shut me up—and then she gasped as Morgan slid in behind them. His cock slotted up between her ass cheeks, hot and wet.
“God,” she said, gasping and arching away from Justin’s mouth. Justin grabbed her head and forced her back down, kissing along her jaw while Morgan rubbed his dick against her asshole.
Oh. That’s what they meant about taking it slow. And why he needed a condom. She felt stupid and blurry, just now understanding that they meant to fuck her at the same time.