Cherished is a two for one. That is there are two great stories written by two great authors in the same book. The books are not connected or tied together in any way. Each can stand alone and does not need to be read in conjunction with the other.

The first story is Exiled by Maya Banks. Prince Alexander, Xander, Carrera is the heir to a country in turmoil. He’s waiting until the rebel forces who assassinated his father falter and fail. Then, he plans on returning to take the throne without bloodshed. Before all the problems, Xander met Talia Montforte. He sent her to school and had her mother treated for cancer. Talia has finished school and her mother is doing better so it is time for Xander to have Talia brought to him. He’s had her sign a contract, medically examined and insured she is still a virgin. Now, he plans on taking her virginity and sharing her with his three closest friends and his security force, Sebastian, Garon and Nico. Talia is sure she is being brought to Xander as a mistress or something similar. The contract was only for 6 months! Xander has other plans. Will they have a meeting of the minds or will reality split them apart?

The second story is Sway by Lauren Dane. Levi Warner is a 40 year old widower, wealthy, a lawyer and going to a dance class he doesn’t need to shut his future sister-in-law up. There he meets Daisy, a 24 year old Hispanic woman who attracts his attention immediately. Levi tells himself that he’s too old for Daisy but when he bumps into her for the third time; he can’t help but to ask her out. He soon finds himself enchanted with the warm out going Daisy and when they finally end up in bed; her submissive tendencies strike all the right notes. Though Daisy has no problems introducing Levi to her friends and family, he doesn’t seem to want to do the same. Is Levi ashamed of Daisy or is he hiding something else?

Exiled is the longer story at a little over 200 pages while Sway only has around 150.

I couldn’t wait to start reading this book. I truly enjoy both authors and couldn’t wait to see what these stories would be about. Because they are both so long, they should have their own reviews and not lumped together.

Exile has a really good premise but I’m not sure if it came through. All of the men are suppose to be alpha, in charge types. Xander, who is the prince, is the leader of this pack. However, except for a few sparks of individuality from Sebastian, the men appeared to be more submissive than dominant. It was very hard to believe that they were a security force. Talia’s questioning of her place was good. She thinks she knows her role and she plays it well. Xander seemed to expect to have everything first and to have the best. He had an air of entitlement and superiority. This is not one of Ms Banks’ best works but it still is an enjoyable story. Of course, I’m not sure if Ms Banks’ can write a horrible story.

Sway had me questioning it’s characters within the first few pages. I had the same reaction as Levi’s older brother, what is he doing with a 24 year old. That big of an age gap usually is a turn off for me. However, Daisy isn’t a typical 24 year old and that also comes across very early in this story and hold true for the entire story. Her friends are older, she works with her grandmother, and she has a career that is taking off. All of these things give her an older perspective and an older impression. Soon, I forgot about the large age gap and found myself thoroughly involved with this story. Each character felt well rounded and interactions with friends and relatives allowed their personalities to grow. A little kink was introduced and Daisy learns that this isn’t a bad thing. Levi is enjoying her submission in the bedroom but appreciates her ability to stand on her own outside of it. I found that I really liked this story and could visualize it. Ms Dane did an awesome job.

Two totally different authors and two totally different stories makes Cherished a totally unique book. The women in each story feel cherished, though in different ways. Of course, love doesn’t come in just one style either!

Fans of both authors will probably enjoy both stories so don’t worry about buying this book on that account. In fact, each author may get new fans due to this.

Those who haven’t read these authors before are in for a treat as they get a taste of each author’s writing style. This book is well worth the price.

Book Blurb for Cherished

Two all-new novellas that cross the boundaries of desire.

Exiled by Maya Banks…Enticed to the island paradise where an enigmatic prince is living in exile, beautiful, virginal Talia is introduced to a world of forbidden pleasure where the prince’s every whim is fulfilled and her fantasies are rendered in exquisite detail. But when the prince is summoned back to fulfill his duty to his struggling country, reality is thrust upon Talia all too soon. She returns home, heartbroken, convinced she was a passing fancy for an idle ruler and his most trusted men. Until the day they arrive on her doorstep, determined to have her back where she belongs.

Sway by Lauren Dane…Levi Warner is an established, older man—wealthy, powerful, and above all, respectable. Then Levi meets Daisy, an uninhibited 24-year-old dance instructor and artist, not exactly the kind of woman Levi is accustomed to. But the young, free spirit, brings out something in him he only experienced in fantasies. When their scorching affair turns into something unexpectedly deeper, Levi finds himself torn between preserving his reputation, and exploring a wilder and much more satisfying kind of life.

Night Owl Reviews Jul, 2012 4.00