CC’s Reviews

Title: Preach.
Author: Stylo Fantôme
Genre:  Dark Romance
Type: Book 2 of a duet
POV: Shifting

Expected Publication: November 8, 2018

4 Stars!

 

 

 

Without interruption in the timeline, Emma Hartley and Church Logan are in a critical position if they are to move forward. Church knows they are meant to balance each other, but he needs Emma to also fully realize their dynamic to evolve as a couple. Despite her fears, Emma tests her resolve to prove she’s capable of trusting the darkness that lurks in her mind. 

“She wanted to become a monster. She wanted to use her teeth and claws to break bones and spill blood.”

While the first book concentrated on the heavy hand of Church’s manipulation for his own gain, this narrative takes a different path in that Church and Emma are equally working together toward a common goal. Though most of the time, Emma is trying to trust her feelings toward Church, she takes the necessary steps to acknowledge her weakness and take what is hers. Acting as a partner, Church gives Emma the space she needs until there isn’t any other choice.

“It means in order for us to fit together, we already have to be in pieces. My pieces can’t exactly fit if you don’t have any edges. If you’re already whole.”

From the beginning, the pace is swift with a looming sense of the unknown, as anything is possible due to Emma’s spontaneity and Church’s need to shield her. With shifting POVs, getting into Emma’s maze-like mind is like a riding a roller coaster, and I liked how her inner monologue intensifies her emotion. Getting more insight into Church made all the pieces connect into one giant sociopathic puzzle. I had a suspicion about a certain element and it proved to be a highlight of the plot. 

“He knew where to find me. It was all real. We don’t need words. We don’t need anything. We’re connected. Connected in every single way possible now.”

With Church being a sociopath and Emma on the wrong side of crazy, they make quite the pair and they accept all each has to offer. For me, I like how they have different pasts yet share a unique commonality. With all the turmoil, deception and scheming, Church and Emma were willing to go to extreme lengths to achieve their end game, thereby creating an intense emotional and physical connection. 

In closing this duet, many questions were answered which led to moments that were satisfying for different reasons. Though, I am still curious about some plot elements and how it would affect the characters in the long term. Overall, this story is one that stays true to the dark side of its characters to the very end. 

Preach. is a dark romantic thriller that would appeal to those who want to experience a fast paced storyline, intriguing characters and blurred boundaries. 

Church series:
Church. (Church, #1) by Stylo Fantome Preach. (Church, #2) by Stylo Fantome

*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.*

This review can also be found on Goodreads!

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Title: The Necromancer’s Bride
Author: Brianna Hale
Genre:  Fantasy Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person

4.5 Stars! 

 

As a little girl, Rhona became gravely ill until her father requests help from Meremon, the local village’s Necromancer. Despite her pleas, Rhona is saved and she forms a unique bond with the mysterious cloaked man. As such, she is treated as an outcast until years later when Rhona selflessly decides to approach Meremon in an effort to rid the village of impending deaths.

“I tasted your tears. I know what those people did to you and I wish I could have stopped them. You will know no more loneliness my Rhona. No more sadness and dark nights. I have you now.”

While reunited with Meremon, he seems the same yet Rhona has grown into a woman and the pulls she feels toward him intensifies. During this time, Meremon and Rhona become acquainted and she learns about his circumstances. However, Meremon being the ever resourceful sorcerer, is prepared to please his Rhona as much as he can and he hopes she will accept him for what he is. These moments offer kinky hot scenes but also tender and kind sentiments. 

“His breath is hot and ragged against my mouth as he kissed me between thrusts. After a moment he pulls his length out of me, seeming to marvel at the sight of it, think and hard and slick with my wetness.”

Told from Rhona’s POV, the narration is concise and sets a fantasy landscape in a world where superstitions persist and sorcery remains alluringly taboo. I must say, the magical elements definitely enhanced this story and made the kinkery quite hot and memorable. I like how Rhona is principled and a kind soul. As for Meremon, he melted my heart from the beginning and that feeling just deepened at the end.

The Necromancer’s Bride is a romance about unconditional acceptance and love. I could have read more as this theme and novella are enchantingly intriguing and perfectly crafted by Brianna Hale.

 

This review can also be found on Goodreads.

 

 

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Title: Marrow
Author: Tarryn Fisher
Genre: Dark Thriller
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person

4.5 Stars! 

 

 

Margo Moon grew up in a derelict neighborhood and in a home where she had to fend for herself. Though she lives a lonely existence, Margo manages to befriend a neighbor who becomes her lifeline in many ways. Offering hope and providing the connection she needs, Margo slowly begins to realize her self-worth but she also discovers a stronger drive from within when a tragic event strikes.

“Weak people let their pain choke them to a slow, emotional death. Strong people use that pain, Margo. They use it as fuel.”


Told solely from Margo’s point of view, the narration sets the tone for all that Margo sees and feels. The mundane details are included as it establishes a certain pace and creates a realistic landscape of her life. Margo’s fears, vulnerabilities and flaws are out in the open, but like most living in the Bone, no one seems to notice while they’re contending with their own issues. And, that sense of desperation and apathy underscores Margo’s newfound purpose. 

“You can’t run from who you are. You have to accept who and what you are, you have to embrace it. You can’t run away from your marrow.”


The theme of this complex story is steeped in a dark, serious and twisty premise. With deep character development, Margo’s flaws are exposed and it makes her endearing. Plus, Margo’s motivations are uniquely hers, though based upon the idea of righting wrongs, it also comes with consequences. Going down Margo’s path is one that evokes sympathy and it also emphasizes the importance of coping mechanisms. From the beginning, I felt her insecurities and the effects of her family situation. Ultimately, I was rooting for Margo and understood her provocations. 

“I am so afraid that someone will see me for who I am.”


Marrow is a compelling and pensive narrative that seems to live and breathe on its very own. It’s real, disturbing and brutally honest yet hopeful. Tarryn Fisher is an author who isn’t intimidated to write about the conditions that make us fragile or genuine. 

 

This review can also be found on Goodreads.

 

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Title: Ballistic (Vigilantes #3)
Author: Keri Lake
Genre: Dark Romantic Suspense
Type: Standalone within the Vigilantes series
POV: First Person – Dual
Expected Publication: October 30, 2018

 

 

4.5 Stars!

 

Dax Wolfe grew up in foster care and learned at a young age about cruelties and depravities. With a deep instinct to protect the innocent, Dax created his own network of justice. Needing to avenge his sister, he’s close to his target but complications arise causing Dax to modify his end game.

“Unapologetically strong, yet unwittingly handsome. Probably what made him even more attractive – the guy didn’t even seem to notice the attention he stirred.”

At 18 years old, Nicoleta (“Nic”) has already endured enough hardships than most people experience in a lifetime. Determined to make those who hurt her pay, she is fearless in her pursuit and uses every mode available to achieve what is necessary. 

“He hurt someone you care about. That’s why you carry shadows behind your eyes.”

Though their introduction is fortuitous, Dax and Nic begin on unsteady ground until it becomes clear what each seeks. Not willing to compromise their objectives, this leads to a balancing game as Dax and Nic weigh the options. What ensues is combustible with Dax and Nic squaring off but not backing down. For both, they experience many firsts together and it emphasizes the connection they feel.

“What started as a spark ignited into flames, as we burned with more intensity than I’d ever felt before. I let it consume me, reveling in that unforgiving scorch, as I pistoned into her tight little body with reckless abandon.”

Told in dual POV, this complex plot landscape is immersed in an underground world of greed, immorality and corruption. Probing into darker subject matter, the narrative feels authentic in that these characters delve into their souls to survive and those who are stronger overcome but don’t forget. For Dax and Nic, their pasts are different yet converge in a way that unites their need to protect others from predators.

What I love about this story is how Dax and Nic are unique characters with their own vulnerabilities. While working in tandem strengthened their efforts, it didn’t stop either from acting on their own instinct – whether good or bad. Though previous books in this series had a stronger focus on the male characters, this one tilts a bit in Nic’s favor and it balances them as a couple. 

Taking the reader into the decrepit areas of Detroit, Keri Lake crafts an edgy narrative that intensely captivates. Ballistic is an adrenaline-charged twisty plot steeped in a dark underworld full of shadowy players and the need for revenge. This book would appeal to those who enjoy a romantic suspense. 

Vigilantes Series:
Ricochet (Vigilantes, #1) by Keri Lake Backfire (Vigilantes, #2) by Keri Lake Intrepid (A Vigilantes Spinoff) by Keri Lake Ballistic (Vigilantes, #3) by Keri Lake

*An ARC was kindly provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Title: A Breath of Innocence
Author: KA Merikan
Genre: MM Romance
Type: Book 8 in an ongoing series
POV: First Person – dual
Published May 14, 2018

4 Stars! 

At 21, Mark Vincitore is ready to pursue his photography interests and wants to see if he still has a chance with the one that got away. Off to England, Mark has a plan until he starts to really see the appeal of the fresh-faced beautiful man he has befriended. With Mark’s tainted past, he has to be cautious for many reasons, but for the first time, he wants to be a better man.

“Was it so wrong of Mark to just want someone sweet and pliant for once? A late birthday present to himself in the form of a boy with skin like rose petals. He wouldn’t hurt the pretty thing. He’d be gentle, take his time, and show Griff the ropes.”

Griffith “Griff” Elswood is newly 18 years old and is pursuing a law degree at university to please his parents, though his passion is ballet dancing. Luckily, Griff can practice dance in his private studio and he manages to capture the audience of Mark. Inexperienced in relationships and open with his orientation, Griff wants to take it slow.

“He watched Mark’s hand for a moment before glancing to his handsome face. Everything about him was mysterious, as if he were the hero of an urban fantasy novel about to reveal his true form.”

With Mark being sexually experienced, he recognizes the innocence in Griff and that only makes him more attractive. By witnessing his dads and how intense their relationship can be, Mark wants a real connection like they share and Griff offers that ray of hope. Gentle and kind, Griff feels the pull to Mark’s dominance but he also gets to see the vulnerable side Mark has hidden away for years. Not to mention the sizzling chemistry they share.

“He let Griff pull him in and gently kissed the soft lips that he craved more than even Seth’s baking. His heart skipped a beat, and it was as if this time it was him coming alive, awaking to a possibility that maybe, just maybe, he was worthy of this beautiful boy.”

Trying to avoid the fallout from happened years ago in the jungle, Mark must protect his family and doesn’t want Griff to learn the truth of his dark past. But with a constant reminder in their life, secrets come to the forefront and they choose to find strength in each other. I was definitely surprised by one plot point, and the way Mark chose to handle it, really showcased his true nature. 

Being the eighth book in the Gun n’ Boys series, it was time for Mark to establish himself as adult and accept that he’s capable of being loved. To see Mark have some of Dom’s characteristics was sexy and humorous at times, but he’s also well rounded by his own personality and Seth’s softer side. Griff is absolutely adorable in his naiveté and balances Mark perfectly. 

A Breath of Innocence is a coming of age romance between two people from very different walks of life. It’s sweet and sexy, and for fans of the Guns n’ Boys series, it’s a must read. 

Guns n’ Boys Series:
Guns n' Boys He Is Poison (Guns n' Boys, #1) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys He Is Mine (Guns n' Boys, #2) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Paris (Guns n' Boys, #2.1) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Homicidal Instinct (Guns n' Boys, #3) by K.A. Merikan Blood & Marriage (Guns n' Boys, #3.5) by Miss Merikan Guns n' Boys Swamp Blood (Guns n' Boys, #4) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Chokehold (Guns n' Boys, #5) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Bloodbath (Guns n' Boys, #6) by K.A. MerikanGilded Agony (Guns n' Boys, #7) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys A Breath of Innocence (Guns n' Boys, #8) by K.A. Merikan

 

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Title: Heath
Author: K. Webster & Nikki Ash
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – multiple
Expected Publication: October 25, 2018

 

4.5 Stars

In this modern retelling of a literary classic, the story of Heath and Caterina is revealed and how their actions impact each other and future generations. From the beginning, Heath is a passionate and determined man ready to claim what he believes to be his in business and love. However, Caterina is a difficult woman with selfish tendencies and her decisions have lasting effects. Fueled by the need for vengeance and to sooth his darkened soul, Heath launches a campaign to ruin those who ever underestimated him.

“The door slams and my life ends in one horrible second. I will ruin them all. And then get my girl back.”


With Heath’s personality and deep desire dominating the storyline, it brings an added layer of tension to the past and present. Having such a stronghold on other characters, Heath is relentless and as the plot evolves to underscore the obsessive path of destruction, it also offers hope as others make certain choices.

“This brutal cage of a body imprisons my soul – a dark, heavy soul who only wants his other half.”


Heath is such a memorable character with his tenacity, misguided love and vulnerability. His strength was also a weakness and thankfully the authors stayed true to his character arc. With Caterina, she too was conflicted and it affected all around her. As for the secondary characters, they all had a significant role, but especially Harrison and Cat. Sharing characteristics but quite different in their choices, the parallels of their path sheds light on the past and impacts the future. 

Having not read the original book in which Heath is based, I had no expectations or knowledge of what could occur and that added to the overall plot tension. The collaborative effort between K Webster and Nikki Ash is seamless and their interpretation on this classic is a whirlwind offering a range of intense emotion and scorching chemistry. 

Heath is an epic story about obsession and sacrifice. This book would appeal to those who enjoy an imperfect romance with dark twists.

*An ARC was kindly provided in exchange for an honest review.* 

 

 

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Title: Long Live the Beautiful Hearts
Author: Emma Scott
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Type: Book 2 of 2 
POV: First Person – Dual
Publication Date: October 14, 2018

4 Stars!

 

Continuing without interruption in the plot timeline, Long Live the Beautiful Hearts opens with the protagonists – Weston Turner, Connor Drake and Autumn Caldwell – facing difficult and serious issues. Knowing the longstanding demons Weston has faced, it affects how he processes loss. As for Connor, he continues to search for fulfillment. 

“The heart hides itself behind the mind.”


Told in dual POV, the author’s narrative is one that delves into the character’s doubts and fears about love and self-worth. The brotherly bond between Weston and Connor is truly tested, as they sacrifice for each other to the point of losing all they know and love. With Amber playing an important role, she is a constant reminder to Weston and Connor of past mistakes and missed opportunities.

“But what I’m feeling right now… I can’t describe it except there’s nowhere else we’re supposed to be. Do you feel that to?”


In starting this book, I was extremely nervous for Weston and Connor because it was apparent that so much was at stake. Their connection is heartfelt and absolutely my favorite aspect of the book. After the plot moved to a point, the storyline unfolded an expected pattern and I was hoping for a bit more intensity given the situation. However, the theme of war and its consequences is extremely moving and is an important topic to bring forth awareness.

The Beautiful Hearts duet offers a poetic story about friendship and sacrifice that allows for moments of reflection to highlight the flaws and strengths of these characters. Emma Scott has created a world where nothing comes easy but the rewards seem greater due to the journey.

 

Beautiful Hearts Series:
Bring Down the Stars (Beautiful Hearts Duet, #1) by Emma Scott Long Live the Beautiful Hearts (Beautiful Hearts Duet, #2) by Emma Scott Una Bella Anima A Beautiful Soul (Beautiful Hearts Duet, #2.5) by Emma Scott

*An ARC was kindly provided in exchange for an honest review.* 

 

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Title: Suit (44 Chapters #4)
Author: B.B. Easton
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Type: Standalone (Book 4 of 4)
POV: First Person 
Expected Publication: October 18, 2018

 

4.5 Stars! 

 

In the final volume of this series, it begins with 20 year-old psychology student Brooke “BB” Bradley post breakup from her rocker boyfriend. While she is over a friend’s house, the non-drinking, non-smoking couch buddy she’s come to know as pajama guy suddenly sparks her interest and he officially gets a name. Though BB already knows this man is like Teflon, she isn’t about to back down from a challenge. 

 

“Ken was no boy. He wasn’t even a man. He was a rare subspecies, commonly referred to as a gentleman, that I didn’t even know existed.”

At 23, Ken Easton is the general manager of a movie theater and is a quiet guy compared to BB’s gregarious personality. Even though BB affectionately refers to him as an asshole, Ken is a solid friend and a man that proves he is capable of much more than BB initially expects.

 

“He’s … I don’t know. He’s not my type. Like at all.”
“That’s good.” My mom smiled … “Your type sucks.”

As told strictly from BB’s perspective, she takes us on the journey of how she and Ken become official and it’s uniquely their story. With Ken having personal space issues and doesn’t show emotion, BB doesn’t anticipate the challenges that lay ahead until she painfully realizes she can’t expect more than he can give. Therefore, they learn together how to meet each other’s needs while not compromising their core. 

 

“Nine words.” His chest expanded, nostrils flared. “I can say nine words.”

 

In reading this novel, there were so many laugh out loud moments. RomComs aren’t usually a subgenre I read, but I really liked the author’s way of telling a story – a little bit crazy, a ton of passion and a good dose of self-deprecation. With her inner monologue turned up to eleven and Ken’s sharp-witted sense of humor – including a keen ability to be frugal, there really isn’t a dull moment. 

Suit is a romantic comedy that offers insight into the tricky balance of relationships and how priorities change thanks to maturity. Ending the 44 Chapters series with Ken’s book made the journey come full circle. 

 

44 Chapters:
44 Chapters About 4 Men by B.B. EastonSkin (44 Chapters, #1) by B.B. EastonSpeed (44 Chapters, #2) by B.B. EastonStar (44 Chapters, #3) by B.B. EastonSuit (44 Chapters, #4) by B.B. Easton

 

*An ARC was kindly provided in exchange for an honest review.*

*This was a (F)BR with Twinsie Hawkey and Crazies Loyda!*

This review can also be viewed on Goodreads.

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Title: Blood Prince
Author: Celia Aaron
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – dual
Expected Publication: October 16, 2018

3 Stars

 

 

Set in a Greek mythological world, this tale is a modern retelling of the romance between Paris and Helen of Troy. With present and past sequences intermixed in the narrative, it becomes clear how Paris emerged and now searches for his beloved. Though centuries have lapsed, once they reunite, Paris must prove his worth to her and to earn his legacy. Of course, Helen, known as Elena in the modern world, is a powerful warrior of Artemis and is prepared to fight for her freedom without sacrificing those she loves. 

“If I had prevailed, then I would have won peace in the war and the chance at a real life with Helen – two things I valued above all else.”

From the beginning, it’s known what Paris and Helen must do in order to succeed which brings forth an adventure steeped in fantasy and action. Venturing to the underworld, Paris and Helen are confronted with various mythological creatures and obstacles; which speaks to the author’s creativity. 

For me, this book didn’t resonate. While I liked the mythology and fantasy elements, certain parts felt ungrounded and ultimately I didn’t feel the connection between Paris and Helen. 

Blood Prince is a paranormal romance set in a world of good versus evil. This book would appeal to those looking to escape in an action-packed fantasy.

*An ARC was kindly provided in exchange for an honest review.* 

This review can also be viewed on Goodreads.

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Title: The Silver Cord
Author: Anonymous
Genre:  MM Romance
Type: Book 2 of 2
POV: First person
Published: October 2, 2018

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4.5 Stars

 

 

In this companion novel to The Silver Cage, we are transported back to Caleb Bright as a pre-teen who commences his first session at summer camp. During this time, Caleb befriends a shy boy named Jamie Foust. Discovering how their lives are quite different, they share a common bond of religion but also they seem to balance each other in every way. As each year passes, Caleb and Jamie reunite at camp reinforcing their friendship, but they also come to realize their feelings are much deeper than they could have imagined.

“Wanting him and being unable to do anything about it was like burning alive, but inside, where nobody could see. And I was supposed to smile and act normal, to go day after day in that state, for the rest of my life.”


What took seed at summer camp was formative to Caleb in that he realized he was wired differently than he thought. The feelings he developed for Jamie were grounded in the desire to protect, nurture and love and yet he was taught such a relationship between two men was wrong. Battling to please his parents and to conform to doctrine, a war raged inside of Caleb. The ever-present tension of doing what is expected and trying to appear “normal” is inescapable. As the years pass, the pull doesn’t diminish causing Caleb to assimilate due to necessity.

“Loving him, protecting him, had been my life’s purpose. I should never have put anything before him.”


With this narrative focused on Caleb’s perspective, the enormous pressure he feels is intense and tangible. There were times when I wanted Caleb to renounce his beliefs and be honest with his family but then the consequences became suffocating. Though Caleb experienced stolen and precious moments with Jamie, those times remained the most brilliant.

“He was made for me. He begged the whole time, even when I sped up, even when I pushed him flat on the mattress and began pounding against him. We shook the bed. The grip of his body was intoxicating.”


Experiencing a range of emotion while reading, the injustice of their situation is resounding. To what degree must Caleb sacrifice his true self and who shall truly benefit? Knowing that Caleb and Jamie had their time is the silver lining to a poignant and painful life.

Silver Cord is about a man’s journey struggling with his own sense of duty and the truth. Filled with moments of self-discovery, wonderment, love, hopelessness and pure sadness, this story is important and the characters have lasting value.

 

 

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Title: Dane
Author: K Webster
Genre:  Contemporary Romance/MM
Type: Standalone
POV: First person – dual
Published: October 6, 2018

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4 Stars! 

 

 

Dane Alexander is a successful attorney but his personal life is in the midst of a transition. Upon meeting a hunky guy at a bar, Dane starts to come to terms with his suppressed desires and he’s ready to move forward at full speed.

“There’s something tethering us together. It’s as tangible as our physical connection. You have things I need and I have things you need. Let’s give them to each other. Let’s take from each other. Be a greedy bastard with me.”


Nicholas “Nick” Stratton is a fresh out of law school with boyish charm and magnetic good looks. Used to getting his way in the bedroom, Nick propositions a delicious looking man but he didn’t foresee how it would all unfold. 

“He wants it so badly. He fights for us. He fights for me, dammit.”


Together, the attraction between Dane and Nick is combustible. Without rules, they do what feels right for them, and for the first time, they both feel relief and comfort. While their relationship isn’t without challenges, Dane brings a lifetime of experience that helps ease Nick’s difficulties, while Nick reinvigorates Dane. The result is loving and smoking hot. 

“Right now, you’re going to bend over that bed and open that ass so I can stick my cock inside.” Heat rushes down across my flesh straight to my dick, which rises instantly.”


Told in dual POV, getting a feel for Dane and Nick was immediate as their personalities shine through instantly. I liked how Dane is domineering and logical but isn’t afraid to take a chance despite some blowback. With Nick, he is adorable in his pouty ways; however, he exudes confidence in all the right ways. 

As always, K Webster doesn’t impose boundaries on her characters and in Dane she explores the challenges both Dane and Nick must overcome. Narrated realistically, these characters are easy to like and lust over. There are also many secondary characters that make appearances from other books in the standalone Taboo series. Having only read one book in the series, at times I was at a bit of a disadvantage, but it didn’t detract from the overall storyline.

Dane is a book about second chances, acceptance and standing up for what you want. Filled with hot MM action, this one is sure to please those looking for a gratifying romance. 

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

 

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Title: Cadence (Deception #2)
Author: D.H. Sidebottom & Ker Dukey
Genre:  Dark Erotica
Type: Book two in a duet
POV: First person – multiple
Published: December 15, 2014

 

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3 Stars

Without interruption in the timeline, Cadence opens with the tone of looming danger as a deadly confrontation is now inevitable. Dante Troy continues on his mission of claiming what belongs to him, but the consequences are compounded when Cade reenters his life. As for Faye, she makes certain sacrifices to fight regain what she’s lost.

“It didn’t matter, I didn’t need her to love or want me. She had no fucking choice anymore.”

Told in multiple POV with past sequences weaved into the present, the depth of Dante’s vengeance takes hold. Cade is purposeful and ready to confront his greatest fears to protect what he knows in his heart, but Dante has had many years to fuel his dark soul.

“I saw no soul in my reflection. She had burned that up with her mistakes long ago and there was no retrieving it. But she would have to live with the monster she created.”

As this story progresses, various plot points started to feel a bit ungrounded. In particular, the relationships between Dante and Cade needed more development relating to the past and present, as their bond could have been even more powerfully rendered. Lastly, those surrounding Cade seemed to appear from thin air and it felt a bit unbelievable considering the world in which Dante operates. 

From the beginning, I was on Dante’s side due to his loss and path for retribution. With such strong emotions, it didn’t justify his actions but his character was strongly developed and he overshadowed the others. 

Though I had some major issues with certain elements in this book, D.H. Sidebottom and Ker Dukey continue to be go-to authors for me in dark erotica and everything in between. Dante will continue to be a favorite damaged anti-hero and I never gave up hope for a certain ending.

Cadence is about obsession and vengeance. This book will appeal to those looking to delve in true dark erotica. 

Deception duet:
Facade (Deception, #1) by D.H. SidebottomCadence (Deception, #2) by D.H. Sidebottom

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Title: Facade (Deception #1)
Author: D.H. Sidebottom & Ker Dukey
Genre:  Dark Erotica
Type: Book one in a duet
POV: First person – dual
Published: September 29, 2014

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4.5 Stars!

 

Suddenly without her memory and in a strange place, Star doesn’t know what is happening but her choices are limited upon realizing she isn’t free to leave. Quickly trying to learn how to survive, Star is tempted and dominated by a man she finds attractive and hates how well he manipulates her body.

“You will quickly learn that what I reward you with is a gift and should be accepted as such and appreciated.”


Dante Troy is a highly intelligent and dangerously handsome man who has the means to carry out his longstanding plans. Preying upon Star’s darker sexual desires, Dante knows exactly what she wants and he is more than capable of giving it to her on his terms. 

I could have taken her right then but anyone can be taken by force, there was no power in that. I wanted her to give herself willingly so she hated herself for it.”


Told in dual POV, what ensues is a complex plot centered on the depravities and lengths someone will take to ensure what belongs to him. Layers of revenge and desire meld into questionable morality as the continual questions of truth pervade the storyline. The perspectives of Dante and Star are in stark contrast and it fuels the mystery of her identity and his past, but their connection is visceral and steaming hot.

“His fingers replaced his cock, gathering his cum and rubbing it all over every inch of my pussy. “Who do you belong to?” he whispered. “You,” I panted my response.”


From the outset, Dante intrigued me with his devious motivations and filthy mouth but he also has a backstory that humanizes him. As for Star, at first I sympathized with her plight and her tactics, but she also tried my patience as more is revealed. However, such a dynamic kept me teetering between sides. At this point, I am definitely on a certain team. 

With this co-author team of D.H. Sidebottom and Ker Dukey writing dark erotica, there aren’t any real limitations and it’s good to be back in the dark with such dedicated writers. Dante is a character that readers will either love, hate or love to hate. No matter the side, this story is full of thrilling hot revenge. 

Façade is about obsession and vengeance. This book will appeal to those looking to delve in true dark erotica. 

Deception duet:
Facade (Deception, #1) by D.H. Sidebottom Cadence (Deception, #2) by D.H. Sidebottom

*Note: My advice is to start Façade without reading any reviews and avoid reading the blurb for Cadence, book two in this duet, to avoid spoilers. 

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Title: All Strings Attached
Author: Miss Merikan
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: Third person
Published: February 23, 2015

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4 Stars!

 

Anna’s world revolves around dolls, specifically ball-jointed specialty dolls. As a freelance artist, she customizes dolls with make-up to create unique modifications. As a collector, Anna takes pride in her dolls by displaying them proudly and showering them with attention. When Anna meets a certain goth guy bearing resemblance to a particular specialty male doll, she is thrilled but she soon realizes he may be much more than a pretty face. 

“A tall black mohawk elongated his silhouette even more than his denim-clad legs. With his skin so pale, and his clothes a mix of black and silver, it was as if he came out of a punk-rock noir movie.”

Gavin is a stylist and make-up artist by trade, but his life has taken a different turn for the past year since his accident. Adapting to his new normal, Gavin has ups and downs but his romantic relationships have been hurtful and challenging. Agreeing to a blind date, Gavin is taken by Anna’s beauty and eccentricity but wonders how he would fit in her life. 

“I like your lip piercings,” she whispered. Her eyes were so sincere and open it felt weird. The last thing he wanted was to have her jump to conclusions. Gavin grinned up at her blissfully. “I like your pussy.”

Immediately, Anna and Gavin are mutually attracted to each other and they share a good rapport. Upon deciding to a “friends with benefits” dynamic, Gavin assumes the role Anna needs for her kinky desires and shows how he can be her dominant dark prince. 

“She moaned in surprise but quickly settled into it, her firm legs embracing Gavin’s head and pulling him closer. Her pussy was swollen from the fucking, its lips thick, pulsing furiously against his tongue as she rocked her hips at her favorite speed. “That is a fucking dream,” muttered Anna, spread out on the bed.”

Anna is a character infused so much optimistic energy and brightness. From the beginning, I liked the way she treated many fairly and didn’t make rash judgments. With Gavin, I admired how he accepted his disability and showed his insecurities pertaining to it as well. Believing he doesn’t have much to offer to women, Anna provides the perfect balance of support but also doesn’t coddle Gavin. 

Overall, this story offers a romance between two characters that truly deserve each other. There were times when I wanted a little more development, but enjoyed the dynamic between Anna and Gavin. 

Lastly, I learned about an entire new realm of dolls and found it quite fascinating. 

 

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Title: Axios
Author: Jaclyn Osborn
Genre:  MM Romance/Historical
Type: Standalone
POV: First person
Published: July 20, 2017

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4.5 Stars!

 

At the young age of seven, Axios began military training to prepare him to bravely fight as a true Spartan warrior. Though this was a rite of passage for boys, Axios wasn’t ruthless but rather someone who contemplated justice and morality. As hard lessons toughened Axios into adulthood, he would fight to death for his loved ones and brethren.

“We wear red so out enemies will not see us bleed. We are gods in their eyes.”


Offering a balance to Axios’s philosophical mind is his friend Eryx, a boy born to be a fearless soldier and leader. From the beginning, Axios and Eryx share a connection and as they mature, their bond is fortified by love and loyalty. 

“We must stick together. Fight as one. Let them keep their lashes for we have something they do not. Unity.”


Told in first person and spanning decades, Axios evolves into a compassionate and skilled soldier who never foregoes who he really is. In his times of doubt and defiance, Eryx grounds Axios with his steady way of guidance. 

“His fingers trailed along my jaw before he stepped backward. “You may not see it now, but when the time comes for us to go to battle, you will be brave for your heart is bigger than any I know.”


 

What I loved about this story is the hardships these characters experience. With varied beginnings, they share the experience of soldiers and overcome their burdens. Axios is an endearing and admirable character. As for Eryx, he is a bright light with natural charisma and leadership skills. Together, their connection is combustible and deeply loving. 

Axios is about friendship, sacrifice and bravery. This book would appeal to those enjoy an epic tale weaved with historical elements.

 

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Title: Broken
Author: Megan Hart
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First person
Published: September 12, 2012

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5 Stars!

 

For the past four years, Sadie Danning has been living a life she didn’t expect. As circumstances changed, Sadie learned to cope and balance her career with marital demands, but it became quite a lonely and exhausting existence. A dutiful and loving wife, Sadie gave what she had and absorbed her loss gracefully in silence.

“I’d been content to circle him the way the earth revolves around the sun, dependent on him to lead me. What happens when the weaker becomes the stronger?”


Though Sadie’s routine is dependent upon her husband’s needs, she allows herself an indulgence once a month at lunchtime. During this time, she befriends a man named Joe Wilder and becomes immersed in his stories. While not poking into her private life, Joe seems to be an open book in many ways and feels comfort in talking to Sadie as well. 

“Poor Joe,” I whisper. “They all want you but none of them know you.”


Told in first person, the narrative flows well giving pause to the deep issues and feelings surrounding Sadie’s situation and the reprieve she craves. Additionally, as Joe recounts his sexual escapades, he is revealing so much about himself and hoping not to be judged. As Sadie and Joe share a unique intimacy yet also a sort of measured distance, they need each other for their own reasons. 

“I wished I had someone to talk to. It was difficult to mourn losing something I wasn’t supposed to have.”


There are so many vying emotions at play in this book and just when it seems like all will be resolved for these characters, it becomes a realistically complex plot. It was easy to relate to Sadie’s struggles and admire her persistence and loyalty. While at times she couldn’t completely empathize with her husband’s plight, it didn’t diminish his feelings or the situation. As for Joe, he wasn’t completely free of baggage, but Sadie provided a safe haven for him while he gave her time to forget.

With layers of lust, love, grief and doubt, these characters must find their new purpose while everything continues to change. There were angsty times when Sadie and Joe made certain decisions, but it did serve to enrich their characters with a healthy dose of vulnerability and soul searching.

Broken is about sacrifice, friendship, love and finding oneself. This book would appeal to those enjoy a thought-provoking plot with a range of genuine heartfelt emotions. I highly recommend!

 

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Title: 44 Chapters About 4 Men
Author: BB Easton
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Type: Standalone in a series
POV: First person
Published: November 17, 2016

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4 Stars!

After nine years of marriage, Brooke “BB” Easton is on a mission to influence her husband, Ken, into changing certain characteristics of his behavior. As a school psychologist, BB is well versed in behavior modification but when she realizes her private journal has been compromised, the experiment begins. With carefully constructed entries that include a bit of fiction, BB is determined to reach her goals and reap the benefits.

“Kenneth Easton had all the power, and he was using it to make me take control. As much as I didn’t appreciate being manipulated, I couldn’t deny how empowering it was to be the puppet master of this hunky, mysterious, real-life Ken doll.”

From the beginning, the first person narrative made me laugh due to the ease of BB writing in such a self-deprecating manner. While there were times when she was ready to strangle Ken, it was balanced by the many good qualities he possesses. And getting to the place where BB could appreciate Ken’s strengths was based on her past boyfriends and their unique experiences together. 

“Whenever Knight told the story, he would always muse, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight. It’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

To discover whether BB was successful in her experiment, you’ll have to read the book, but she writes about her own insecurities and bad decisions with a certain honesty that is entertaining and relatable. 

44 Chapters About 4 Men is a humorous and sexy read. It’s recommended to start with this book as a foundation before moving on to other books in the series. 

 

 

44 Chapters series:
44 Chapters About 4 Men by B.B. Easton Skin (44 Chapters, #1) by B.B. Easton Speed (44 Chapters, #2) by B.B. Easton Star (44 Chapters, #3) by B.B. Easton Suit (44 Chapters, #4) by B.B. Easton

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Title: The Stablegirl
Author: Miss Merikan
Genre:  Erotica
Type: Standalone
POV: Third person
Published: July 25, 2015

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4.5 Stars

 

 

Set in the early 1900’s London, one year into Annie’s servitude as a scullery maid, she is assigned to be the groom for her Master’s prize stallion, Coal. During this time, Annie takes her duties seriously and forms a bond with Coal even though he never utters a word. 

“You’re my only friend, Coal.” This time her voice did break down. “And now even you will be taken away from me.”


Dante Salvai is an actor who has an enormous presence based on his stature and good looks. Though talented, he suffers professional sabotage and agrees to become a stallion for one year in order to be free of his debts. A man of his honor, Dante convincingly assumes the role of Coal but doesn’t foresee meeting a beautiful and tender woman.

“I wanted to fuck this tight hole of yours every time I’d see you bend over to get hay,” Dante said, and she could hear his smirk.”


As Annie and Dante reunite, he intends to grant her wish of becoming a mare. While training in her new role as Crema, Annie is so anxious to please her new Master in every way. Though Annie has much to learn, Dante is patient despite the pressure surrounding him. However, as Crema and Coal they are able to enjoy each other without any limitations leading to hot times.

“He slammed hard into her pussy, and his balls smacked against her sensitive flesh, forcing a moan every time he pushed his cock in all the way to the hilt. Annie loved the way Coal filled her and would stay with her ass up high even after he finished, just to make sure none of the precious seed from her stud spilled.”


In starting this book, I was expecting the dynamic of Master and pony but not the experience of two ponies choosing to engage in roleplay. Needless to say, I loved the relationship between Coal and Crema. By shedding their every day personas, they were able to express themselves in ways that led to total acceptance. While there was conflict, Annie and Dante confronted it on their terms.

Due to her social status and Annie is a character that I rooted for from the beginning. Though she is uneducated, she remains honest and loving and is willing to fight for what is right. Dante also proves his worth by making sacrifices that would benefit others in spite of harming his pride. Not to mention he exudes sex. 

The Stablegirl offers hot pony play but also a plot with heart and main characters that are endearing and likeable. For those who want to test the waters into this kink, this book would be a good start.

 

 

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Title: You
Author: Caroline Kepnes
Genre: Thriller
Type: Standalone in a series
POV: Second person
Published: September 30, 2014

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4 Stars!

 

Joe Goldberg is a twenty something that lives in Brooklyn and works at a privately owned bookstore. Dedicated to reading, Joe lives a fairly solitary life but he enjoys his routine until a unique customer catches his attention. 

“It is fun to fuck with you and you can’t decide if I’m pretentious or insane and I can’t tell if you’re being sweet or patronizing when you laugh.”

Guinevere Beck (known as Beck) is a MFA student at NYU without much direction in her personal life. Always wanting to be accepted by her friends and flirting with men that draw her attention doesn’t capture what she’s lost and seeking. 

“Full of disclaimers, you’re like a warning label on a pack of cigarettes.”

Told from Joe’s perspective, the story unfolds with his account of Beck’s life as he stalks her. With his observations and inner monologue, getting acquainted with Joe’s beliefs and thoughts becomes second nature. Following his trail of Beck offers insight into her personality, as well as the lengths Joe will take to obtain what he wants.

“You are a woman and I am a man and we belong in the dark together and you smell good, pure. I like this”

In starting this book, I was expecting a heart pounding thriller but the story became more of a character study of humanity and often how it is sadly lacking. Ironically, the character that should have been the most repellent was the most relatable despite his creepy and disturbing methods. As for Beck, I did not like her nor did she ever seem to learn from her mistakes or try to be accountable for anything. 

Overall, the storyline kept me intrigued, as I wanted to know what Joe would do next, but the pacing was slow at times and diminished the buildup of certain plot points. That said, Joe is a memorable character who will always keep the reader guessing his next move.

You will appeal to those who enjoy reading about flawed characters and their descent into immorality and deception. 

 

 

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Title: Picture Perfect Cowboy
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Genre: Erotic Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: Third person
Expected publication: November 5, 2018

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3.75 Stars! 

 

Simone Levine is a photographer and professional submissive. Being her gregarious and sweet self, Simone makes an impression on the man posing in front of her lens. Comfortable with her kinky lifestyle, she is open with her choices making her endearing and relatable.

“I think I could go crazy about you pretty fast, but I’m not going to get involved with a guy who treats women like they’ll break if so much as breathe on them.”

Jason Waters is a former champion bull rider who now manages his horse training business in Kentucky. Raised to be a gentleman, Jason struggles with balancing his conservative values with his fantasies. However, when Jason meets Simone he quickly realizes that it may be the opportunity he’s been waiting for.

“I need to believe I’m a good man,” he said. “I don’t know if I can be that or do that and also be a good man.”

Feeling a connection, Simone offers to “play” with Jason in hopes of helping him act out his deeply hidden desires. What transpires between these two is unexpected as Jason gives himself permission to dominate as he wishes. With Simone being a seasoned submissive, she is familiar with emotional boundaries but Jason’s playfulness and sweet side has her contemplating much more. As he opens up more, they find a rhythm in their dynamic.

“Red, wet, and throbbing,” he said into her ear. “That’s how I want your pussy.”

Knowing details about Simone from previous Original Sinners books, I was envisioning her to be with an intense dominant partner, however with Jason, she finds more of a playful balance since Jason is very inexperienced. For me, because of the need to obey and Jason’s enjoyment from inflicting punishment, the dynamic between them felt like DD/lg. 

Due to Jason’s conservative upbringing, his transition from trying kink to accepting it as an indelible part of his being is integral to his character. While Simone couldn’t have been a better partner to pop Jason’s Dom cherry, I wanted to delve a bit more into the conflict with his family and his acceptance. I was certainly glad when Simone set the record straight showing she isn’t a pushover.

Ultimately, Picture Perfect Cowboy is a book that will make many smile as the narration is infused with humor, sexiness and a touch of kink. For those who have not read the Original Sinners series, this book can be read as a standalone but it would be more enjoyable to those familiar with the subtleties of the series. 

Picture Perfect Cowboy is a love story about acceptance and being honest with yourself. This book would appeal to those who enjoy a sizzling romance with sincere, likable, and good-natured characters.

 

*An ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley.*

 

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Title: The Glue
Author: K Webster
Genre: Erotica/Menagé
Type: Standalone
POV: First person – multiple
Published: September 3, 2018

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4.5 Stars! 

Vaughn and Vale Young have been married for eight years but have drifted apart due to a difficult circumstance. A Professor of economics, Vaughn is composed and very sexy. Vale recently opened a new business that keeps her distracted from her troubles. Though they love each other, both feel like their marriage is broken beyond repair.

“We’re not broken,” he assures me despite the way his voice trembles. “We’re just cracked. All we need it a little glue.”

Aiden Blakely is a college freshman trying to do his best balancing work and school, but being in Professor Young’s Econ class isn’t helping his GPA. Always one to feel the spectrum of emotions, Aiden is instantly attracted to the two people he should avoid but he can’t help himself.

“I’m going to fuck this man. Or, he’s going to fuck me. Someone is getting fucked.”

Told in multiple POV, these characters are ruled by their range of emotions and their circumstances. Fueling the intensity is a deep sexual attraction that is immediately palpable. Knowing he shouldn’t act on his urges, Aiden doesn’t restrain himself with Vaughn or Vale and it leads to incredibly hot times. As their arrangement progresses, it becomes clear that it’s more than fleeting kinky encounter and these three sizzle together. 

“What do you want to do?” I ask. “I want to fuck her,” he says without hesitation. Then his eyes burn into me. “While you fuck me.”

From the beginning, Vaughn establishes himself as the voice of reason but he also has the broody sexy professor vibe in spades. His dedication to his marriage is heartwarming and the way he treats Aiden is hot and endearing. Vale proved to be an effervescent personality once she was able to move forward from the past. And Aiden is an absolute gem of a character with his charm, lust, and big heart. 

Being that this book is set in a taboo world, there aren’t any limits and I liked how these characters decided what is right for them despite what others many think. The chemistry between Vaughn and Aiden is off the charts and when Vale was added to the mix, there weren’t feelings of jealousy but rather completeness. I really enjoyed how they all transitioned from a place of loneliness to being utterly sated.

As always, K Webster’s narrative is written in such a way that creates an immediacy between the reader and character. With this story being grounded in erotica, it also has tremendous compassion and character dimension.

The Glue would appeal to those who crave unconventional character dynamics and like their taboo good and dirty but with some heart! 

*An ARC was kindly provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Title: Story of O
Author: Pauline Réage
Genre: Erotica
Type: Standalone
POV: Third person
Published: March 26th 2013 (first published 1954)

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2.5 Stars

Story of O begins with the protagonist, only known as “O,” being trained as a submissive at the request of her then lover. Consenting to his wishes, O’s life changes as she learns about her deep needs in regard to love, freedom and submission. Treated as a possession, O finds pleasure in pain and the concept of feeling owned. 

“And yes, by the way: while it is perfectly all right for you to grow accustomed to being whipped—since you are going to be every day throughout your stay—this is less for our pleasure than for your enlightenment.”

As the story progresses, O transitions from simply wanting to please and obey her lover to wanting the peace and satisfaction she finds from being enslaved. But as O seems to find the man who can control her mind and body, and she goes to extremes to ensure his love, she remains on a precipice of uncertainty. The question remains whether O found solace in her ultimate submission or if her sacrifice was based on misunderstood affection. 

“Would she ever dare tell him that no pleasure, no joy, no figment of her imagination could ever compete with the happiness she felt at the way he used her with such utter freedom, at the notion that he could do anything with her, that there was no limit, no restriction in the manner with which, on her body, he might search for pleasure?”

Told from a narrator’s perspective, the plot is divided into four parts, with each signifying O’s progression into debasement. Originally published in 1954 and in French, there is debate about the quality of translations; however, the third person POV is quite detached, flowery and verbose which left me feeling unattached to O until practically the last twenty percent of the book. Though I had suspicions how O’s story would end, I didn’t expect the abruptness or the suppressed alternate endings. While I could potentially deal with all three possibilities, why not publish as the author intended and ground the story with a proper finale.

As for other characters, the men remained aloof, entitled and selfish. The sole standout character was Ann-Marie because she thrust herself into this world by choice and dictated her own terms. In comparison, it seems O came to a certain acceptance at the end but being led was still part of her needs.

Ultimately, Story of O didn’t work for me and it wasn’t due to the subject matter but rather the narrative feeling choppy and incomplete. 

 

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Title: The Butcher
Author: Celia Aaron
Genre: Romance Suspense
Type: Standalone (Dark Protector series)
POV: First person – dual
Expected publication: August 28, 2018

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4.5 Stars!

David Raven is an interrogator with effective skills of torture and growing up in an abusive home environment reinforced David’s need to inflict pain. After serving five years in prison, David is ready to resume life as an adult, but he never forgot the one girl who captured his heart when he was only sixteen. 

“I felt pierced, something inside me beginning to bleed. And she was the arrow, her gaze the razor tip that cut through every bit of muscle and bone and hit straight through the heart of me.”

Angel is a fighter but catching a break is tough when at fifteen she is left with the choice of pain or compliance. Pretending to be “Daddy’s little girl”, Angel is running low on resilience until she realizes there may be a spark of hope. 

“You’re cute.” I patted him on the arm – the ridiculously muscled arm. “But you don’t need to worry about me. I can take care of myself.”

With both David and Angel having had to fend for themselves, they formed a unique bond as teens in a world where it’s hard to trust anyone. David knew that his future would be dark considering his talents but he always wanted to protect his angel and give her everything. 

“He returned to my clit, bring my wetness with him. “Once you’ve tasted a perfectly ripe peach, nothing else can even come close.”

Told in dual POV, the timeline spans an extended period with circumstances that build the plot and lets these characters face challenges yet retain their essence. Interestingly, this timeline ties into characters from the previous two books in this Dark Protector series. What I liked about David is that he doesn’t run from his darkness and one particular fact was a surprise. With Angel, she is capable of many things, and despite a time when she loses some hope, she takes hold of her true potential, which I loved.

In The Butcher, the narrative is simmering with heat and the underlying plot of vying mob factions adds action and a sense of risk. This book would appeal to those looking for romance suspense with dark elements.

 

The Dark Protector series:
Dark Protector by Celia Aaron Nate by Celia Aaron The Butcher by Celia Aaron

 

 

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.

 

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Title: Taking What’s Envied
Author: Alexa Riley
Genre: Erotica
Type: Book 8 in a standalone series
POV: First person – multiple
Published: July 21, 2018

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4.5 Stars!

 

While Allison and Max are home alone and enjoying each other, they are confronted by an intruder who has his own ideas of an erotic night. Ready to take control of the scene, Rocky quickly restrains Max and sets his sights on sexually needy Allison.

“I shake my head and pull her to me as I carry her up the stairs. “You’re my fuck toy tonight, girl.”

What ensues is thoroughly hot as Rocky puts Max in his place and has him watch his wife be filled and used. To her delight, she enjoys the audience and eager to please the intruder and her husband.

“You aren’t only asking for it, your pussy and ass are begging for it,” he adds before he licks all the way up the side of my neck. “Now be a good little girl and get on your husband’s cock.”

Staying with tradition in the Forced Submission series, these characters are shameless in their need for pleasure and aren’t above demanding or begging for it. I definitely enjoyed the dynamic in this novella and the theme of cuckholding. The writing is hot and erotic and my advice is to read in private. Lol. Additionally, I was pleased with a certain action between characters, and if further explored, it would have sent this story to 5 stars for me.

Taking What’s Envied is an unabashedly smutty novella that hits the spot. This book will appeal to those looking for a hot and dubious threesome.

 

Forced Submission series:
Taking What's Mine (Forced Submission, #1) by Alexa RileyTaking What's Ours (Forced Submission, #2) by Alexa RileyTaking What's Hers (Forced Submission, #3) by Alexa RileyTaking What's His (Forced Submission, #4) by Alexa RileyTaking What’s Wicked (Forced Submission, #5) by Alexa RileyTaking What's Naughty (Forced Submission, #6) by Alexa RileyTaking What's Owed (Forced Submission, #7) by Alexa RileyTaking What's Envied (Forced Submission, #8) by Alexa Riley

 

 

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Title: Bring Down the Stars
Author: Emma Scott
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Type: Book one of two
POV: First person – dual
Published: August 20, 2018

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4.5 Stars!

 

Weston “Wes” Turner learned at a young age that life can be cruel at times. Left to pick up the pieces, Wes focuses on his hobbies and academics. Earning scholarships, Wes is able to advance his education to satisfy his needs to help his family. Along the way, Wes faces adversity based on his economic status and loner personality. However, Wes does befriend one person that provides a sense of balance. Now that Wes is a junior at Amherst, he encounters a woman that gives him pause and he must deal with his reality.

“A guy with poetry in his blood,”… But he keeps his blood from spilling where anyone can see.”


Connor Drake is a gregarious and charismatic guy. Born privileged, Connor never had to live without much, but for the intangible that seems to always be in reaching distance. Once Connor meets Wes, they share an instant connection and compliment each other in many ways. Determined to make a difference for a change, Connor relies on Wes to help but he doesn’t foresee the potential complications. 

“Weston, you sweet, handsome boy. You’d get all the girls if you just smiled more.” I laughed and knocked his hand away. “You and your beautiful teeth can fuck off.”


Autumn Caldwell is a farm girl who has global humanitarian ambitions. Ruled by her heart, Autumn is resistant to another relationship and rather concentrate on her studies, but one man captures her attention by speaking to her soul and the other always offers a welcoming smile. Though she doesn’t have a malicious bone her body, Autumn is torn between what she knows and what she feels. 

“She’s too sweet for my bitterness. Too kind for my mean streak.”


With Autumn entering the picture, Wes and Connor have different feelings about her. Staying true to their friendship, competition is nonexistent but what ensues creates angst for Wes as he makes sacrifices. Understanding Weston’s reasons, his choices are touching and sad at times. The level of friendship is heartwarming though and it elevates the characters. 

This storyline certainly has its moments of strong feels and angst. Wes is a standout character with his deep pain and giving heart, such a sensitive soul. While he and Connor are very different, their friendship is a beacon. Autumn is also a highly likable character with her genuineness; however, there were times when I wished she listened more to her instinct.

Emma Scott has been on my radar for sometime and I’m glad Bring Down the Stars was my initiation. Emma’s style of writing is effortless and I truly felt like I was part of the plot landscape. Overall, this is poignant story about friendship, love and sacrifice. I look forward to reading how it ends in the final installment. 

 

Beautiful Hearts duet:
Bring Down the Stars (Beautiful Hearts, #1) by Emma Scott Long Live the Beautiful Hearts (Beautiful Hearts, #2) by Emma Scott

 

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.

 

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Title: Over the Edge 
Author: CD Reiss
Genre: Dark Romance
Type: Book four of four
POV: First person – dual
Published: August 13, 2018

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4 Stars!

 

In the final book of the series and without interruption in the timeline, Caden and Greyson face more conflict that tests their relationship as well as their own limits. Using the knowledge they have from Caden’s ordeal, they try to apply it to Greyson’s circumstances, but due to her condition, more layers of complexity are revealed. Showing the lengths they will fight for each other, their love knows no bounds. 

“This wasn’t working. My fears had no boundaries. Fears with shape and weight were the demons of a sound mind.”

From the beginning, Caden and Greyson didn’t have it easy as a married couple but they believed in a greater connection. As the plot unfolds with Greyson’s trauma, the direction takes a turn yielding deeply hidden secrets. While Caden and Greyson share an intense sexual connection, it spurs on change that propels them forward. 

“Fuck all the lines. Draw me a million fucking lines, and I’ll cross all of them to get to you.”

In starting this finale, I had certain hopes of twists rounding out the journey of Caden and Greyson. While these characters are incredibly strong and yet flawed, the pacing started to feel bit rushed toward the end which lessened the impact. However, the intimacy Caden and Greyson share is consistently magnetic and palpable. In true CD Reiss fashion, these two characters present a multitude of dimension and battle to overcome challenges. The limits pushed added to the breathability of the overall plot.

Over the Edge is a unique and edgy exploration of romance that examines love, commitment and emotional health. 

The Edge series:
Rough Edge (The Edge, #1) by C.D. ReissOn the Edge (The Edge, #2) by C.D. ReissCutting Edge (The Edge, #0.5) by C.D. ReissBroken Edge (The Edge, #3) by C.D. ReissOver the Edge (The Edge, #4) by C.D. Reiss

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.

 

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Title: Faithless (Red Order #3)
Author: E.S. Carter
Genre:  Dark MM Romance
Type: Standalone within a series
POV: First person – dual
Published:  August 13, 2018

 

4.5 Stars!

 

As leader of the Red Order, Luke Hunter is exacting in his decisions as darkness saturates his emotions keeping him the ever apex predator. One to keep pets for his own entertainment, Luke avoids entanglements and enjoys such freedom to explore his depraved proclivities. However, when a friendly associate asks for assistance, Luke agrees to help but also finds himself wanting to take what isn’t his.

“I’m not a coward, I’m a killer. A successful one, but only because I weigh up every option before I strike. The only faith I hold is in myself.”

James Renshaw Cooper is an honorable man who fights for a cause. Having lost those he loved, he protects the remaining piece of his heart by staying focused on his long-range goal. After insulating his own needs, James begins to feel a pull toward a person who could bleed him dry and not blink an eye.

“I’ve never claimed to be a wise man, Luke. But I am a man, and I know what I want and what I’m willing to give up to get it.”

While Luke and James unite for different reasons, and as they have conflicting approaches, the sexual tension between them is undeniable. Luke is ever ready to take and doesn’t have any qualms about it. A strong man by nature, James isn’t about to do anything he doesn’t choose to do and he isn’t going to back down from the swirling attraction he feels toward Luke. What ensues is incredibly hot as their chemistry is off the charts. 

“His mouth attacks mine in violent kiss. Teeth, tongue, lips all battling for supremacy until blood and cum mix and swirl over my taste buds in a heady cocktail of depravity. This isn’t a kiss. It’s combat.”

 

Adding to the friction between Luke and James is the ongoing storyline pertaining to conflict with the Dominion’s leader and an unexpected female character. I thoroughly enjoyed the element Lily provided, as she enhanced James’ character by showing his compassionate side. Of course, Luke remained detached when it comes to collateral damage but he also showed some cracks in regard to James. The connection between James and Luke was felt from the first page and it had me dying for more. I loved Luke’s broody, unbreachable exterior and his dominance added to his dark and depraved sexual proclivities. While James was also incredible sexy, he balanced Luke with his sincerity and candidness. There are a quite a few scenes that have been permanently etched into my id. 

Faithless is a dark romance that sizzles from the beginning. This book would appeal to those who enjoy two strong alpha male characters. Be ready to take several cold showers while reading! 

Red Order series:
Feyness (Red Order, #1) by E.S. Carter Parasight (Red Order, #2) by E.S. Carter Faithless (Red Order, #3) by E.S. Carter 

 

 

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

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Title: Game Master
Author: D H Sidebottom
Genre:  Dark Psychological Thriller
Type: Standalone
POV: First person – dual
Published:  July 24, 2018

4.5 Stars! 

 

 

At 31 years old, Vanessa “Nessa” Griffiths wakes up in a strange place and is informed that she is to play this depraved game or else harm will come to her family. Thinking she’s escaped the dangers surrounding her childhood, Vanessa quickly realizes she has no choice but to compete in hopes of getting answers and saving those she loves. However, she doesn’t expect layers of truth and pain to be revealed along the way.

“This was his way of telling me he knew exactly who I was. I could almost foresee his next step.”


Caught off guard, Caelan Fen is thrust into a deadly situation where he finds himself partnered with a stranger. A detective by occupation, Caelan has plenty of enemies but time is of the essence as he tries to crack the game master’s cryptic riddles. Caelan is familiar with retribution but he isn’t prepared for the level of depravity in the games.

“The sense of my own death loomed in the moments ahead, my fate in the hands of each person following my every move.”


Told in dual POV, the immediate tone is ominous, tense and so much is unknown. Under enormous pressure, the only way to react is to hyper-focus on each game and cast aside fears. Nessa and Caelan are two unlikely partners and as they wonder why they’ve been paired together, complex layers of mysteriously shrouded clues create clarity and the unexpected. 

“When I felt the familiar calmness soothe the fury in my veins and steady the beat of my heart, I smiled coldly. “I’m not in the mood to amuse you any more. It’s time to fight for that end square and reveal who is the true Game Master.”


With time ticking, the race for answers is filled with adrenaline induced action and serious consequences. While Nessa and Caelan have secrets they want to keep, the game master makes it impossible and this enhances the potential conflict. Nessa is a strong character who isn’t a stranger to the underworld but returning to that place, she must descend into darkness and embrace valor. Caelan offers a steady balance to the plot but he also carries his own demons which makes him vulnerable. 

From the first page, I was intrigued with the circumstances affecting these characters. As more is revealed, the psychological thriller aspect is heavy but there is also emotion tied into motivations and choices. With two carefully constructed characters and a devious Game Master, the plot is diabolically propelled up to the final square of game. In true DH Sidebottom fashion, the evolution of the characters is fitting.

Game Master is a dark p

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sychological thriller that will keep the reader engrossed to the very last word. I highly recommend to those who are open to all possibilities.

 

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Title: Camden (Four Sons #4)
Author: K Webster
Genre:  Contemporary/Taboo Romance
Type: Book 4 of 4 
POV: First person – dual
Published:  August 10, 2018

4 Stars!

 

At 18 years old, Camden Pearson is the youngest son yet he is hyperfocused on his education and long-range career plans. Though he seems to have it all for a man his age, Camden’s past has a stronghold on his motivations. Determined to succeed, he won’t be denied.

“I want to pull everyone in and make them mine. Mine to do my bidding. Mine to control. Mine to conquer.”

Poppy Beckett learned early in life about appearances and how to please her family. Though Poppy is smart, she is also unhappy and that leaves her vulnerable to manipulation. As she learns more about the risks involved, Poppy also embraces the strength she always had and forges ahead. 

“Camden has the power not only to poke holes in my heart, but to suck every bit of happiness I have left out of me.”

Fueled by revenge, Camden is a master manipulator and uses all resources available to complete his mission. While Camden and Poppy have known each other for many years, he views her as a means to the end. To his surprise, Poppy is much more than a pretty face she begins to complicate his feelings. Together, there is a combustible push-pull attraction that draws these two together despite knowing how destructive they could be. 

“You’re so fucking juicy,” he growls. “My finger is soaked because of you, dirty girl. I thought you hated me. Yet here you are drenching me.”

Told in dual POV, Camden’s past is brought to clearer terms and these memories underscore his need for justice. With Poppy, her character gains dimension and she becomes a formidable and a solid partner for Camden. As the plot unfolds, Camden and Poppy head in a certain direction but there are a few twists that propel the story in true K Webster fashion. 

As the final book in the Four Sons series, Camden evolves into his own though he has the support of his brothers. In starting this story, I definitely had certain expectations for Camden. While Camden is young, he exuded so much sex appeal and confidence that the pages sizzled. However, I was disappointed in a big choice he made. Thankfully, Poppy and another character balanced what was needed. 

Camden a sexy read with a taboo element, but it’s also about healing and letting go. For those familiar with the Four Fathers and Four Sons series, Camden won’t disappoint. After all, he is a Pearson.

Four Sons series:
Nixon (Four Sons, #1) by Ker DukeyHayden (Four Sons, #2) by J.D. HollyfieldBrock (Four Sons, #3) by Dani RenéCamden (Four Sons, #4) by K. Webster

*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Title: Brock (Four Sons #3)
Author: Dani René
Genre:  Romance
Type: Book 3 of 4 
POV: First person – multiple
Published:  August 3, 2018

4 Stars!

 

 

Brock Pearson is the third oldest brother who enjoys being a free spirit, especially now that he’s at university. Two years have passed since the family’s loss and Brock relied heavily on his best friend to get him through the tough times. But now Brock can no longer deny what he’s known for some time.

“Even though we do argue, there’s something so much more between us—something I never knew existed. He’s brought me out of the darkness that consumed me.”

Ethan Blackstone grew up knowing the Pearson family and has been close to Brock. Always a source of friendship for Brock, Ethan is ready to act on what he feels.

“The line between what we’ve had and what we’ve so clearly wanted has been blurred. Brock and I took a step we can never go back from.”

Coming to terms with their attraction to each other, Brock and Ethan’s chemistry is palpable and very hot. Steeped in deep and longstanding feelings, each touch is sizzling while waiting for the inevitable.

“I need to fuck him. I need to be inside him right the fuck now. I pop my mouth off his cock and glance up. “I want to be inside you.”

While these two also enjoy sharing women, when Camila Alvaro enters their lives they want to experience an unconventional relationship. This arrangement leads to some smoking hot scenes, especially with the bond Brock and Ethan share.

Told in multiple POV, it becomes clear how Brock wants to embrace the present and future. As he matures, he sets himself apart from his father. For me, Ethan is incredibly sexy with his easy sensibility and nurturing ways. While I am a big fan of unconventional relationships and I applaud the effort, Camila just seemed extraneous to me and I never connected with her beyond wanting her to be a guest during playtime. 

As the third book in the Four Sons series, Brock continues to follow a progressive timeline and offers a solid focus on the main character. I was definitely surprised by Brock’s book and enjoyed how he matured. 

Brock is a sexy read that explores friendship and being honest with oneself. Now that Nixon, Hayden and Brock have had their books, I look forward to reading about the fourth and final Pearson son, Camden. 

Four Sons series:
Nixon (Four Sons, #1) by Ker Dukey Hayden (Four Sons, #2) by J.D. Hollyfield Brock (Four Sons, #3) by Dani René Camden (Four Sons, #4) by K. Webster

 

 

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Elizabeth Hades didn’t have a normal childhood and experienced severe trauma as an adult. As a result, she suffers with conditions that keep her caged in her own miserable world until one night when her fears are realized. Coming to terms with the person who holds her own demise in his hands, Elizabeth is given a choice though the options aren’t viable. 

“Life was my penance, my sentence. The price I was paying. And I deserved to live through every second of misery. I needed more of it to pay for my sins.”

Oliver is a solitary man who knows the darkness that resides in people. Adhering to his own beliefs, he is taken by surprise by a damaged creature. Though Oliver doesn’t offer humanity, he is willing to push boundaries for his own curiosities. 

“Humans don’t have enough self-preservation to spend time getting to know themselves. Otherwise they’ll see themselves for the monsters they really are. Not many people are strong enough to survive after meeting their monsters.”

Told in dual POV, Elizabeth’s fragile emotional state is underscored by the inclusion of shifting past and present sequences. Understanding her background reinforces how difficult it is for her to move forward. While Oliver makes it clear that others have had to overcome less and more, he wants her to feel rather than stay numb. Elizabeth is a strong character and Oliver recognizes how close she is to the truth. Though, Oliver seems to be a beacon for Elizabeth, their intense connection is grounded in the darkness they share and it percolates into hot and turbulent scenes 

“His entire body strained against the handcuffs, tensing as he let out a feral growl. His eyes glowed with desire so dark it melted into the walls behind us. I rode him. Hard.”

 

Anne Malcom is a new author to me and from the beginning this unique story with complex psychological layers captivated me. With both being damaged, they had their own way of dealing with trauma and the blackness that resides in all of us. As they evolved, nothing was straightforward or conventional and I liked how challenged each other in spite of their vulnerabilities. The ending is also very fitting for these characters and it made more of an impact on their journey. Birds of Paradise is a dark and psychological romance with emotion. With some twists and a steady plot, these characters will leave a lasting impression. 

 

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Title: The Handmaid’s Tale
Author: Margaret Atwood
Genre:  Dystopian Fiction
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person
Published:  March 16, 1998 (first published 1985)

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3.5 Stars! 

 

The Handmaid’s Tale is a story set in a dystopian landscape where modern government has been overrun and an extreme regime takes power assigning new roles to the citizens of Gilead. Told from the perspective of the protagonist, Offred, she recounts her life before the siege and the daily details of her new position as a Handmaid. With well-defined new roles for men and women, the Handmaids are the community’s breeders and must produce according to guidelines.

“There’s a lot that doesn’t bear thinking about. Thinking can hurt your chances, and I intend to last.”


Through Offred’s observations and thoughts, we learn about the oppression, hypocrisy and desperation to justify existence for mere survival. As it becomes clear that Offred has limited options, she tries to make connections with others in the Commander’s home but it is difficult considering the Eyes are always watching. With the knowledge of how others live, Offred begins to hedge her bet by trying to ensure her success in spite of such a high risk. As time passes, the pervading feeling is ominous and tensions rise. 

“Sanity is a valuable possession; I hoard it the way people once hoarded money. I save it, so I will have enough, when the time comes.”


In starting this novel, I expected it to stir a variety of emotions and provoke much thought about how such a society could be created and maintained. The political and social ramifications set forth are serious and far-reaching. While the women are stripped of all freedoms, including the ability to even read and write, theses oppressive measures also affect men of lesser social statuses. Those deemed to be heretics are punished to death. In an effort to return to a simpler life, they have lost a sense of humanity and rule with fear and hypocrisy. 

“We thought we could do better. Better? I say, in a small voice. How can he think this is better? Better never means better for everyone, he says. It always means worse, for some.”


For me, the first half of the book was quite slow and my mind was spinning in a search for answers. Though the pace later changed and ended in a crescendo, being left in the dark for so long didn’t foster the connection with characters that I had hoped to attain. Perhaps the reader is supposed to feel as ill-informed as Offred during her servitude and that element adds to the uncertainties and injustices, but how it all began would have been a helpful foundation. 

Ultimately, the message is a clear warning about abuses of power and the erosion of human rights yet it also shows how some will fight to the end for what is right. While this book was originally published in 1985, the parallels in history and the present underscore how these themes remain relevant today.

The Handmaid’s Tale is a cautionary narrative about extremes and how the human spirit can overcome such grievous and unfair treatments. 

*This was a (F)BR with Loyda and Liz!*

 

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Title: Sell My Soul (Sixty Days, #1)
Author: Jade West
Genre:  Dark Erotic Romance
Type: Book 1 of 3
POV: First Person – dual
Published: July 23, 2018

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4.5 Stars!

 

 

Paige Emmerson is a college student juggling expenses and family issues. Upon hearing about an opportunity to earn money, she enlists with the hopes of being accepted. While paying debts is her primary motivation, she also intrigued about the man who runs this dark operation and the power he holds to provide pain and pleasure.

“He was fierce. Terrifying. The most gorgeous thing I’d ever seen in my life, even though he was more than enough to give me nightmares.”


Brandon Grant is a mysterious and demanding man running an underground operation on the dark web. Offering high payouts to women who willingly surrender in every way for sixty days, Brandon’s predatory and sadistic ways manipulate every single penny wagered for sin and deviance.

“We offered fresh, innocent, corruptible. We offered wide eyes and genuine shock. Trembling fingers and shallow breaths.”


Told in dual POV, Paige emerges as an eighteen year old who believes her decision is grounded in the right reasoning. While most would be deterred by Brandon’s business, Paige is excited by the prospect of pain and becomes focused on the man that can deliver it. As Brandon’s background remains unknown, and from the short time he first encounters Paige, his life becomes unbalanced. Wanting more from Paige, he demands everything from her.

“I decide which dicks go in which hole, little girl. You’d better remember that.”


Told in such a way that is signature Jade West, boundaries are pushed which makes the decisions of these characters feel realistic and sets an angsty tone of what’s to come. There are times when I wanted to shout at these characters but more so, I wanted to see how far they would go. With Brandon being dominant in all ways, he becomes forbidden and his allure increases.

Sell My Soul is full of temptation in a dirty, dark and dangerous world. I look forward to reading how this story continues to unfold. 

 

Sixty Days series:

 

 

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Title: One (Love by Numbers #5)
Author: E.S. Carter
Genre:  MM Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – dual
Published: December 1, 2016

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4.5 Stars! 

 

 

Isaac “Iz” Fox is the hottest photographer around and openly bisexual. He always knew his tastes weren’t the norm, but his family always accepted him. Enjoying a bachelor lifestyle means Isaac’s bed isn’t empty often, but when Isaac makes a connection with another man, the reaction he receives is unexpected.

“I haven’t changed who I am, and I haven’t stopped wanting you, but I’m not an experiment.”

Flynn Phillips is a fitness trainer who gained notoriety on social media. Though he is a rising star, Flynn came from humble beginnings and suffered a tremendous loss that continues to affect him. After meeting Isaac, Flynn begins to feel in ways he’s never experienced and it makes him uneasy. 

“This man is dangerous to me. He’s everything I’ve never wanted. He makes me need to hate him.”

From the beginning, the chemistry between Isaac and Flynn is undeniable and palpable. Being comfortable with his sexuality, Isaac exudes an easy confidence that Flynn cannot resist. But while they have this pull to each other, Flynn hurts Isaac in ways that speak volumes about Flynn’s insecurities. As time passes, Flynn must accept the past and embrace possibilities in the present, which is vital to his happiness. As he moves forward, Isaac offers a level of intimacy and comfort that Flynn so desperately needs.

“You’re gonna ride me, Flynn Phillips. You’re gonna take what you need exactly how you want it.”

 

For Isaac, he is a grounded character who is ambitious, loving and willing to confront the difficulties of life. I admired his selfless decision to help his family despite how it could have affected his own life.

Told in dual POV, these characters are richly developed and experience life with its ups and downs. Together, Isaac and Flynn fit and their transition to a couple is ultimately fulfilling. With firsts for both characters, their story felt unique.

In One, E.S. Carter pens a multifaceted story told in a realistic manner that enhances her characters and adds weight to their journey. This MM romance is a story is about self-discovery, acceptance and love. I highly recommend.

 

 

Love by Numbers series: (can be read as standalones)
Nineteen (Love by Numbers, #1) by E.S. Carter Twenty One (Love by Numbers, #2) by E.S. Carter Three (Love by Numbers, #3) by E.S. Carter Thirteen (Love by Numbers, #4) by E.S. Carter One (Love by Numbers, #5) by E.S. Carter

 

 

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Title: Freaks (Dirty Nasty Freaks #3)
Author:  Callie Hart
Genre:  Dark Romance
Type: Book 3 of 3 
POV: First Person – dual
Expected publication: July 23, 2018

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4.5 Stars!

With the explosive ending in book two, Freaks continues the timeline with Felix Marcosa searching for the information he desperately needs to protect Sera Lafferty. Though Fix is a seasoned assassin and moves in certain circles, his world is a small one and that complicates their situation.

“Fuck,” he groaned. “The moment you slid your pussy down onto my dick, I was a fucking goner.”


Time is limited for Fix and Sera so the moments are intense as their bond is further fortified. Physically, their attraction is combustible, but they also connect on an emotional level. By learning about their personal challenges, it solidifies how they’ve grown in the face of adversity.

“I walked the road to hell, and I lived there for a time, but I’m not going to be another broken girl you have to take care of. You’re a fixer. But you don’t need to fix me.”


Full of action, twists and incredible storytelling, this trilogy comes full circle with some surprises. After the curious ending of Nasty, a timeline question arose, but it becomes very clear how the narrative fits within this series. What I especially liked is that Fix and Sera remained true to their characters to the very end. While they both have triggers, their instinct to protect is overwhelmingly strong and leads to them to a place where they can move forward.

Freaks is a book with edge, grit and heart pumping action. This book will appeal to those looking for a dark romance filled suspense.

Dirty Nasty Freaks series:
Dirty (Dirty Nasty Freaks, #1) by Callie Hart Nasty (Dirty Nasty Freaks #2) by Callie Hart Freaks (Dirty Nasty Freaks, #3) by Callie Hart

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

 

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Title: Nixon (Four Sons, #1)
Author: Ker Dukey
Genre:  Dark Romance
Type: Book 1 of 4 
POV: First Person – dual
Published: July 20th, 2018

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3.5 Stars!

Nixon Pearson has been a good brother and son but he questions the darkness in his soul. A natural protector, Nixon steadily assumes this role and begins to discover what kind of person he can be.

“I didn’t always have this darkness inside me. My soul became tainted, murky with other people’s darkness, their sins raining down over me like acid, saturating me, infecting my core.”


What ensues, is a journey for Nixon as he continues to mature and accepts the added responsibility created from turbulent times. Shifting between past and present, these scenes further develop Nixon’s character. True to his nature, Nixon shows that he is capable of more than he hoped.

“If you’re searching the sea of people you love in your mind right now, then you’re probably not a psychopath.”


In starting this book, I definitely had high expectations and lots of speculative theories about how Nixon was going to transition from the end of Wheeler. While I liked how Nixon matured beyond his years, his test also affected a certain character. In seeing the big picture, I can understand why, and even respect that it was him, but it’s killing me too.

A big problem I encountered was Rowan Wheeler. I didn’t feel she matured (or felt any remorse for her previous actions) and didn’t feel her connection with Nixon. Ultimately, he deserves a stronger partner.

As always, Ker Dukey shows how she is a master storyteller in weaving thrilling elements and taking no prisoners. Nixon’s story was compelling and his brothers remain intriguing.

Nixon is a dark romance about a captivating hero and how he develops into a man.

Four Sons series:
Nixon (Four Sons, #1) by Ker Dukey Hayden (Four Sons, #2) by J.D. Hollyfield Brock (Four Sons, #3) by Dani René Camden (Four Sons, #4) by K. Webster

 

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Title: Church.
Author: Stylo Fantôme
Genre:  Dark Romance/Thriller
Type: Duet
POV: First Person – dual and third person 
Published: July 20, 2018

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4.5 Stars!

Emma Hartley has endured abusive relationships her entire life and has the psychological labels to prove it. Longing to love and be loved, she finds a connection with an unlikely person. Knowing she shouldn’t act on her feelings, Emma’s overwhelming needs usurp common sense at times.

“Maybe this whole time, I should’ve been looking for someone as fucked up as me. Maybe two broken pieces can be glued together to make a whole.”


Church Logan is a mysterious man with loner tendencies. Learning to adapt to his traits at a young age, he remains aloof but his hometown return brings unexpected complications. Despite his end goal, Church discovers his true self.

“You don’t scare me. I see you, Church Logan,” she whispered. His eyes fell shut, then his head fell forward until their foreheads were touching. “You’re going to break me,” he whispered back.”


Together, they form a dubious relationship where Church manipulates Emma yet she is a willing participant. Their understanding of each other is unique and it fuels their bond, for better or worse. With each fulfilling a certain purpose, Emma is willing to do anything to keep Church while he believes he’s pulling all the strings. Their connection is emotionally intense and physically combustible.

“I want to do it whenever I want,” he started speaking fast as his hips picked up speed. “I want to see you covered in me. I want you to be mine.”


Emma is a complex character with a slew of issues that makes her detached when needed but she is also extremely vulnerable. With this potent combination, she believes she can finally have it all and she becomes a force.

Church is the gorgeous quiet guy who all the girls imagine conquering his heart (and other body parts). Steady and logical, his superiority complex is somewhat justifiable and makes him even more magnetic. Due to his level of influence mixed with a healthy dose of fear, Church is sexy and potentially deadly.

Church. is a dark romantic thriller that would appeal to those who want to experience an edgy storyline, compelling characters and blurred boundaries. I highly recommend and look forward to reading book two in this duet.

Church. duet:
Church. (Church, #1) by Stylo Fantome Untitled (Church, #2) by Stylo Fantome

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.

 

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Title: The Last Time I Lied
Author: Riley Sager
Genre:  Thriller/Mystery
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person 
Published: July 3, 2018

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4.5 Stars!

 

At 28 years old, Emma Davis is an artist plagued by mysterious circumstances that occurred 15 years ago while staying at Camp Nightingale. Trying to move forward, Emma finds solace in her paintings, but when she receives an invitation to return to the camp site, she decides to confront her fears and get answers.

“You are either very brave or very foolish, Emma. I can’t decide which one it is.”

Returning to the site, Emma settles into her cabin with a new group of campers. Though many of the old staff have returned, the atmosphere remains tense as many remember the tragedy from years ago. Determined to get the truth, Emma relies on memories and new information which leads to complications.

“What I don’t understand is why, after all this time, what happened at that camp still haunts you so much.”

Told from Emma’s perspective, the shifts between past and present set a mysterious tone where so many questions arise and the tension steadily increases. Not knowing who to trust, everyone is a suspect until it’s all revealed in a crescendo.

 

Emma is an interesting character as her doubts and regrets are relatable. This makes her vulnerable yet she is strong enough to confront her longstanding fears. With a cast of secondary characters, they all contribute to Emma’s obsession and cast doubt as to whether she needs help. These uncertainties further fuel the plot landscape.

Riley Sager is a new author to me and I liked his analytical approach to writing along with his ability to capture the essence of the camp location and characters.

The Last Time I Lied is a novel with thrilling elements and an ominous atmosphere. This book would appeal to those who like to follow clues to formulate their own theories and enjoy a thoroughly entertaining mystery.

 

 

*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

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Title: The Best Friend

Author: K. Larsen
Genre:  Romance Suspense
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – dual
Published: July 6, 2018

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4 Stars!  

 

Aubry Clark is an interior designer who has learned to appreciate all that life has to offer. While on location for a photography shoot, Aubry is in the right place at the wrong time. Upon realizing how precarious her situation has become, it’s too late to reverse what she has witnessed. Causing Aubry to transition to survival mode, she no longer has the choice of freedom.

“Most days of life are unremarkable. They start and end with no true memory made.”


Mike Chesterfield lives on his trust fund and enjoys flying his plane as often as possible. Known as a playboy, Mike has always felt a connection to Aubry yet he’s been hesitant to act on the attraction. However, he does not foresee how his thrill-seeking activities will affect him and Aubry. Acting to protect what he knows, complications arise.

“Mike sighs and draws slow small circles on my skin. “There are two side to every story, Aub.”


What occurs between Mike and Aubry is intense as each try to make the most of their limited time together. Mike knows the danger of their situation but by trying to shield Aubry, he must hurt her and lie to the one person he cares about the most. To Aubry, Mike’s actions are contradictory and don’t add up. Though she knows the truth, others begin to question the facts causing extra tension.

“The brain is powerful. It can make us believe lies. It can sway us to remember or block out truths or fallacies. It’s a skilled illusionist.”


Told in dual POV, Aubry’s experience is vividly felt as she tries to maintain a grasp on her reality. Once she discovers Mike’s role in her situation, she can’t separate her mind and heart. As she processes the truth, Aubry isn’t willing to let it all go without a fight. For Mike, life has always been convenient for him; however, once he realizes and values what is important, his actions show his true nature. 

Going into this book, I was expecting a twisty romance suspense and I enjoyed the elements of what occurred between Mike and Aubry in the first half of the story. After it all started to settle, I did feel some character disconnect since it seems storylines from previous books better enrich the total character experience. Aubry is a strong character and I like how she accepted challenges no matter how grim or difficult. Though he is quite sexy, I wanted to know more about what makes Mike tick. 

The Best Friend is a story about trusting your gut instinct when it comes to love and life. This book would appeal to those looking for a romantic suspense with darkish elements.

 

 

Note: while this book is not part of a series, I recommend reading in order for the most fulfilling experience.
The Tutor by K. Larsen The Brother by K. Larsen The Best Friend by K. Larsen

 

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Title: Power Play
Author: Cara Dee
Genre:  MM Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person 
Published: January 30, 2018

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4 Stars!  

 

At 21, Abel Novak-Hayes is a professional hockey player who tries to balance his condition with routine and low stress. From a young age, Abel relied on a close friendship with his father’s best friend to keep him grounded, but once Abel started to develop feelings for him, the dynamic changed causing Abel to feel rejected. With some nerve, Abel decides to chase the truth. 

“He was warm and all comfort and protection. This was my home.”

Madigan Monroe is a proprietor of a successful tattoo shop and has always valued his close bond with life long friends. Intent on keeping his promises, Madigan tries to avoid hurting Abel but fails on several levels. Knowing he must be honest, Madigan comes clean with all that he is. 

“Well, you have nothing to worry about.” He gestured toward the back, and I took the hint to return upstairs. “Mouthy little subbie boys are my weakness.”

As Madigan and Abel learn their sexual proclivities are very compatible, they become more open about exploring their kink. Abel finds the protection and nurturing that he always craves. With Mad always assuming the dominant role in their relationship, the transition to Abel wanting to call him “Daddy” feels completely natural and leads to some hot and filthy scenes. 

“You better clench, boy,” he’d advised afterward. “If you lose a single drop of Daddy’s come, you’ll get the belt.”

This is my first DD/lb book and I enjoyed how the kink was portrayed between Madigan and Abel. With them, it wasn’t just about age play and Abel being treated as a Little, but that Mad is also a Daddy Dom. The dynamic suited them perfectly in and outside the bedroom. Nutella is not optional. Lol!

In this book, there are many secondary characters included in the storyline, and at times, I was at a bit at a disadvantage and wondered if certain books should be read in a particular order since it seemed to detract from more in depth analysis of Abel’s difficulties. It’s clear that Madigan has a long history with Abel’s parents and I wanted to feel more of that impact toward the end. That said, the strong bond between Mad and Abel was effectively conveyed.

Power Play would appeal to those who have an open mind for kinkery and appreciate the risks of taking a chance on love.

 

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Title: Broken Edge
Author: CD Reiss
Genre:  Dark Erotic Romance
Type: Book three of four
POV: First Person – dual
Expected publication: July 10, 2018

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4 Stars!

 

In the third book of the Edge series, Caden’s demons are tested as his surroundings have the ability to recreate past trauma. Determined and detached, Caden is willing to take the risk in order to feel complete again. However, Greyson isn’t about to stand down while Caden’s mind and body are ranging a battle. Stubborn to a fault, Greyson makes certain decisions and sacrifices that are potentially destructive.

“The very things I loved about her were the things that made her difficult to keep.”

As more about Caden’s past is revealed, the balance between detachment and emotions becomes a necessity. Forced to confront what was hidden, Caden relies on Greyson to enable his healing. Faced with an enormous sense of duty, Greyson discovers factors that could inhibit or harm Caden and that’s when it all shatters.

“Sometimes you have to stop pushing. That’s all I’m saying. Let things be the way they are. You could make things worse.”

 

Divided into three parts, the reality of their current situation is intense and it forces the issue at hand; however, I was hoping a more emotion and more depth. With a steady pace, tension continues to escalate as the direction begins to shift to an unexpected plot point. 

In Broken Edge, the author continues to test boundaries with her characters by showing their vulnerabilities and how love isn’t always logical. For Caden and Greyson, the struggle isn’t over and I look forward to reading how it will all end. 

 

 

The Edge series:
Rough Edge (The Edge, #1) by C.D. Reiss On the Edge (The Edge, #2) by C.D. Reiss Cutting Edge (The Edge, #0.5) by C.D. Reiss Broken Edge (The Edge, #3) by C.D. Reiss Over the Edge (The Edge, #4) by C.D. Reiss 

 

*An ARC was received in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Title: Forbidden
Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Type: Standalone
POV: First person – dual
Published: May 27, 2010

 

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5 Stars!! 

 

Lochan and Maya Whitely aren’t your average teens, but rather have assumed the responsibility of de facto parents for their three younger siblings. Being just over a year apart, they have always relied upon each other like best friends and partners. While Lochan is practical and reliable, he is also painfully shy which creates problems for him. Maya is loving, tender and gives Lochan the calm he so desperately needs. Together, they are complimentary in many ways yet their closeness can ruin everything they love.

“I wipe my cheeks and turn my head to look up at him. “We haven’t done anything wrong! How can love like this be called terrible when we’re not hurting anyone?”

With Lochan and Maya their priority has always been to keep everyone together in spite of their mother’s negligence. Surrounded by parental challenges, in addition to their own personal insecurities and high school drama, Lochan and Maya soon discover feelings that complicate their lives. Knowing how they feel for each other adds pressure and they try to fight what feels normal to them; however, it slowly becomes known that such a relationship is forbidden.

“I’m so aroused I can hardly thing. I’ve got to calm down. I’ve got to stay in control. I can’t let this happen.”

Told in dual POV, this exacting and thoughtfully paced plot is riddled with angst due to the unknown and complex character development. Getting into the minds of Lochan and Maya serve to show how heavily their actions impact their hearts. Fearful of losing their family and each other, they are still wiling to fight for what they believe is a universal truth for them. Written in such a manner that allows the topic to be believable, yet isn’t an excuse for their difficult choices, the author balances societal norms with the possibility of an aberration.

“There are no laws, no boundaries, on feelings. We can love each other as much and as deeply as we want. No one, Maya, no one can ever take that away from us.”

 

This story is not for the faint hearted because emotions run high to the very end. From the first page, tension mounts while various plot points continue to cast doubts and fears on what is to come. Starting this book, I wasn’t completely sure what to expect other than being extremely nervous about the taboo factor; however, my fears were assuaged due to the author’s skillful prose and highly vulnerable yet likable characters.

Simply put, I loved Lochan and Maya. There were so many moments when I hurt for Lochan and just wanted to insulate him from the world, but I also admired his strength and how he assumed burdens beyond his years. As for Maya, she was the glue that held it all together and I respected how she was able to do it all with grace. Together, Lochan and Maya were at their strongest, as both were willing to make sacrifices. Additionally, their siblings add so much personality and depth by bringing out certain traits within Lochan and Maya.

Ultimately, there’s no way to truly convey the enormous sense and range of emotionality contained in this book. Though I understand why certain choices were made, I still wonder about the possibilities. This story is beautifully and painfully tragic leaving a lasting impression. Forbidden is about how love can be a true sacrifice but also a gift that forever gives.

 

 

 

 

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Title: Ven (V Games #2)
Author: Ker Dukey and K Webster
Genre:  Dark Romance
Type: Book two in a series
POV: First person – dual
Published: June 27, 2018

 

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4 Stars!

 

Veniamin “Ven” Vetrov is the oldest son caught in his family’s web of power. While he is expanding businesses in his own right, his father continues to manipulate his life. Feeling a romantic connection with the daughter of a rival first family, circumstances change permitting Ven to pursue what he thought was always a longshot. However, the stakes are high as nothing seems to be transparent.

“I believe in fate. And we are fated.”

Diana Volkov is the oldest daughter of a powerful family. Groomed to take over the business she made profitable, everything changed when a startling discovery is made. Forced to pay for her choices, Diana must start over in a world where men rule. Knowing the limitations, she acts based on survival.

“When you live among wolves,” she tells me, tugging gently on my beard, “you learn to play like one.”

With a complex cast of villainous characters, Ven and Diana try to obtain the inevitable despite the consequences. To Diana’s dismay, her dishonesty and deceit hurts the one person she admires and loves. While Ven tries to move forward by immersing himself in distractions, Diana’s status irrevocably changes causing her to fight for her honor and rightful position. 

“Show me how to use a knife,” I tell him. “I want to know how to cut a man from his chin to his balls, and I want to know how to do it before they even have a chance to strike.”

What I liked about Diana is that she is a force within a world of morally corrupt wealthy men. Standing strong, she wouldn’t let them see her insecurities. That said, there was one decision where she shorted herself and should have been more savvy about risks. As for Ven, he wanted to escape the cast shadow of his father’s greed and that was commendable, but, I wanted more about his struggle over the years and how he branched out. Lastly, I was really looking forward to the games, but also hoped for much more detail about the competition and a longer struggle (mentally and physically) for a certain character. 

In addition to Diana and Ven, there are secondary characters that truly escalated the plot – namely Vas Volkov and Vika Vasiliev. Individually, they are either discounted or disgraced and that makes them much more interesting. While getting more of Vas will happen, I hope Vika gets her own book. Additionally, I’m patiently waiting for the timeline to coincide with Viktor’s return.

Within this landscape of greed and debasement, the pace is quick leading to gruesome action and a dark underbelly of illegal activities. The authors weave an intricate web that continues to expand. Ven would appeal to those looking to peak into a dark world without limits.

V Games series:
Vlad (The V Games, #1) by Ker Dukey Ven (The V Games, #2) by Ker Dukey

 
 
 

 

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Title: The Collector
Author: John Fowles
Genre:  Fiction/Classics/Psychological Thriller
Type: Standalone
POV: First person – dual
Published: May 1963

 

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5 Stars! 

 

 

Frederick Clegg is a simple man who led a lonely life. Working as a town clerk, Frederick tries to make friends, but his oddities prevent any real connections. Self-conscience about his social class and education, Frederick believes his luck will change now that he’s won the pools. With his winnings, he finds the monetary means and fortification to execute his dream of securing a companion – a beautiful young woman he’s admired for years, but rather than woo her, Frederick plans her capture.

 

“All right, you think I’m not normal keeping you here like this. Perhaps I’m not. But I can tell you there’d be a blooming lot more of this if more people had the money and the time to do it.”


Miranda Grey is a vibrant twenty year-old art student from an affluent middle class family. Her life seems to be bright and full of potential until she encounters Frederick. Waking bound and gagged in a cellar, her life drastically changes. To her credit, Miranda is determined to take steps necessary to survive.

 

“I must fight with my weapons. Not his. Not selfishness and brutality and shame and resentment.”


Told in four parts, the book begins in Frederick’s POV where he explains his thoughts and justifications for his actions. Quickly, it becomes clear that Frederick isn’t treated well by many, even Miranda issues demands to him, and this causes a bit of a sympathetic view. However, his need to keep Miranda overrides any sense of morals as he provides everything she wants given she remains his possession.

 

“Don’t look like that,” she said. “What I fear in you is something you don’t know is in you.”


With a shift to Miranda’s perspective, the tone dramatically changes and creates an alternate view of her belief system, hopes, and how she tries to survive captivity. At first, she seems snobbish and demanding, and in some ways she is, but she is resolute about doing what she must to ultimately escape. Reading about her coping mechanisms is compelling, along with her ideas of beauty, love, violence and art which make broader statements about the state of society at that time yet still relevant today. 

The way Frederick treats Miranda is perverse in certain ways, being a butterfly collector by hobby, she becomes his prized aberrational specimen. Though he believes he wants unconditional acceptance, it becomes clear what Frederick wants. Additionally, his own behavior is contradictory in that he has become what he’s always looked upon with disdain. Ultimately, the truth about Frederick is revealed leaving a lasting impression.

In this novel, the dynamic between captor and captive is deeply complex. While misguided love seems to be Frederick’s motivation, obsessive qualities soon appear. The dichotomy between creating worlds to justify reality was also fascinating and the author used these elements with exacting precision. And, the character references to The Tempest are skillfully apt. 

The Collector is a book that resonates long after reading the last word. A psychological thriller in genre, and perhaps one of the earliest of its kind, it delves into the minds of its characters and offers brutal honesty even when the reader is hoping for an alternative reality. I highly recommend!

 

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Title: Gilded Agony
Author: K.A. Merikan
Genre:  M/M Romance
Type: Book seven in the Guns n’ Boys series
POV: Third person
Published: March 24, 2018

 

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4.5 Stars! 

 

 

Two years later in the timeline, Domenico and Seth are living in the Amazonian jungle while Dom is the acting cartel boss known as Toro. While surrounded by the luxury of their compound, Dom tries to insulate Seth from all the violence and carnage he must endure. But even though Dom keeps his promise, Seth begins to feel isolated and craves the emotional intimacy he once shared with Dom. Amidst these feelings, Dom is forced to deal with business complications that could affect his long-range goal. 

“I understand how it feels to be in that kind of position. Sometimes you can’t say no. You just do what you have to do to survive, and then you leave that behind.”


As a faction is working against Toro’s hold in his territory, the suspense mounts but once Seth begins to take certain actions, the level of tension is off the charts. Knowing how disastrous and dangerous the consequences could be to Domenico, Seth and their family, the authors pushed these emotions all the way to the edge. And what occurs left me reeling and worried about the emotional impact.

“If you tell me right now that you really don’t want me anymore, then you can go. But I need you. There is no me without you.”


Coming into this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of character development, but Dom and Seth continue to grow as a couple despite setbacks getting to that point. Always holding Domenico to a position of strength made his pain so much more compelling. As for Seth, at times I wanted to strangle him for his choices but also empathized with his feelings. 

 

With the overall plot continuing to propel Seth and Dom to a place where they can return home, questions remain about a mysterious character. I’m looking forward to reading Mark’s new book and what he will experience. And, I still want to know about Miguel! 

Gilded Agony is a story about how love can be imperfect and volatile at times, but also passionate and loving. I highly recommend! 

 

 

Guns n’ Boys series:
Guns n' Boys He Is Poison (Guns n' Boys, #1) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys He Is Mine (Guns n' Boys, #2) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Paris (Guns n' Boys, #2.1) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Homicidal Instinct (Guns n' Boys, #3) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Swamp Blood (Guns n' Boys, #4) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Chokehold (Guns n' Boys, #5) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Bloodbath (Guns n' Boys, #6) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Gilded Agony (Guns n' Boys, #7) by K.A. MerikanGuns n' Boys A Breath of Innocence (Guns n' Boys, #8) by K.A. Merikan

 

 

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Title: Cutting Edge
Author: CD Reiss
Genre:  Dark Erotic Romance
Type: Prequel in a series of four books
POV: First Person
Published: June 1, 2018

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4 Stars!

 

 

This novella prequel goes back in time to when Captain Caden St. John and Major Greyson Frazier meet during their deployments. Volunteering as a surgeon after 9/11, Caden’s motives are personal but his dedication and focus to healing is boundless. Reared in a military family, Greyson knows the drill but it being around Caden starts to change her long-term outlook. 

“I want the taste of your cunt on my fingers when you leave.” Fly open, pants halfway down my ass, I was already wet for him. “I want you to be sore so you’re thinking of me when you land.”

Upon Caden’s arrival, Greyson is assigned to monitor the mental state of surgeons on duty. As they work together, their attraction is mutual and combustible. Caden is self-assured, competent and hot as hell, but Greyson becomes aware of Caden’s limits. 

“He stared at the way his thumb stroked the scars on my wrist. “I went out to prove that I could.”

Getting to read about how Caden and Greyson meet is essential to the foundation of their story. Additionally, the tone of being on base during wartime is effectively and convincingly conveyed and it underscores how Caden and Greyson process under stressful situations. 

Cutting Edge focuses on how people push themselves for a greater good and how they can find a deep connection during traumatic times. This prequel can be read any time after the first book, Rough Edge. 

 
 
 

The Edge series:
Rough Edge (The Edge, #1) by C.D. Reiss On the Edge (The Edge, #2) by C.D. Reiss Broken Edge (The Edge, #3) by C.D. Reiss Over the Edge (The Edge, #4) by C.D. Reiss Cutting Edge (The Edge, #0.5) by C.D. Reiss

 

 

 

 

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Title: The Vamp Experience
Author: Courtney V. Lane
Genre:  Paranormal/Erotic Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person
Published: June 7, 2018

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4 Stars!

 

 

At twenty seven years old, Regan Barcel became the product of her environment: detached and driven. Though successful in her career, her personal life has suffered. Upon receiving a fatal prognosis, she leaves it all behind to fulfill all her fantasies.

“Inside me was a free spirit dying to get out. She became strangled by my overbearing, control-freak personality…”


Tall, dark and handsome Calind Glace is assigned to provide Regan with her personal experience. Being an Adonis, it’s easy to swoon over his good looks and alpha ways, but Calind proves to be exactly what Regan needs. 

“If I left things at your preferred personal limit, this won’t progress. I will constantly blur the lines of your boundaries.”


Though Regan is a prickly and demanding character, she is also processing her fate and what her life has amounted to. Knowing she doesn’t have anything to lose, letting go is the only way she can experience it all. Along the way, her fantasies become layered with parts of her own reality causing her to make choices.

“I’ve finally broken you, sweetheart. You would do anything to have my cock inside you.” He thumbed my lips and pressed in forcing my lips to part. “Wouldn’t you?”


Told from Regan’s point of view, discerning where illusion and reality intersect becomes blurred. With Calind delivering a plethora of erotic fantasies, staying within the confines of her experience is a no brainer. However, Calind’s offerings require Regan to give what she gets. 

The creative paranormal and fantasy elements of this story are boundless making the reader question what is part of the experience. There were times where I wanted a bit more of a definitive line which would have supported certain plot points pertaining to Regan’s family. Though Regan was an obstinate character and often acted to her detriment, it also made her vulnerable showing a different side to her impenetrable exterior and I liked that. Lastly, Calind’s personality was complimentary to Regan’s turbulent side because while he wasn’t perfect, he was also willing to make sacrifices.

The Vamp Experience is a story heavily focused on paranormal and erotic fantasy within a complex landscape. This book will appeal to readers who enjoy drawing their own conclusions.

*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review. 

 

 

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Title: Epoch
Author: Jewel E. Ann
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Type: Book two of a duet
POV: First Person – dual
Published: April 9, 2018

 

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5 Stars! 

 

Without interruption in the timeline, Swayze Samuels is conflicted with her present and past. Still searching for answers in hopes of a greater good, the risk is high as Swayze can lose what she loves the most. 

“I don’t want to lose him. It’s not fair to ask him to share me with another life. It’s insane to ask him to understand. And I’m tired of feeling ripped down the middle.”


Told in multiple POVs, the emotional impact is felt by every character, as each has their own needs. Having to make decisions, even if its in best interest of another is painful and yet they make such sacrifices. 

“What if we all carry something to the next life? It’s possible we just don’t recognize it. Wouldn’t that be the purpose of the soul? Random knowledge. Déjà vu moments. Hidden talents. Oddly familiar faces.”


In this book, the author successfully creates a world where life isn’t a predictable or easy path. With Swayze, I empathized with her plight and felt the emotional loss when she ultimately decided to forge ahead. Griffin is one sexy character but he also grounds Swayze and ultimately acts in the only way he can. As for Nate, he is in his own category. In spite of his loss, Nate is stronger than he thinks.

“I think a part of you will be mine to love in every life.”


Overall, this duet is an incredible story that delves into the possibility of the unknown and how fate might be larger than we think. With emotions high, these characters remain true to themselves despite the pain during the process. 

Epoch offers a unique and hopeful story about second chances. I highly recommend!

Transcend duet:
Transcend (Transcend Duet, #1) by Jewel E. Ann Epoch (Transcend Duet, #2) by Jewel E. Ann

 

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Title: On the Edge
Author: CD Reiss
Genre:  Dark Erotic Romance
Type: Book two of four
POV: First Person – dual
Published: June 12, 2018

 

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4.5 Stars! 

 

 

As the timeline continues without interruption in On the Edge, book two of the Rough Edge series, Greyson and Caden are trying to confront the thing that has driven a wedge within Caden and potentially within their marriage. As they begin to recognize signs, they alter their behavior, but extracting certain answers remain elusive.

“I’d married a strong man. A rock. A man who didn’t know how to fail.”


Delving into tough mental health issues, the effect takes hold creating a myriad of emotions and reactions. For Caden, the dynamic becomes explosive causing him to make choices that could further harm the outcome. Though Greyson tries to balance her psychiatrist hat with also being a wife, her roles complicate as much as they serve to simplify the process.

“Every word was a challenge to my assumptions, and every space between her questions was an opportunity.”


As the plot unfolds, the level of complexity and conflict rises. With such strong personalities at play, no one is willing to surrender without a fight. Getting into Caden’s POV slowly reveals more about his past and how the mind reacts in order to survive. Though Caden remains confident, detached and irresistibly domineering, there is a screaming vulnerability that percolates under the surface. Reading about his struggle is fascinating yet painful, as his emotions vow to duel until the end. I loved the developing dynamic and how complicated Caden’s battle is becoming.

“I’ve always wanted you. That’s all there is to it. Past, present, future. It just is. There’s no starting point, and there’s no end.”


 

In this multi-faceted and gripping story the plot points continue to build creating tension and a sense of foreboding. Knowing these characters are willing to sacrifice and fight for each other, the stakes are high for considering what is at risk. With the ending at a pivotal point in their lives, the author is successfully taking the reader further into the depths and intricacies of the characters’ minds and hearts.

On the Edge, is an intensely realistic story that touches upon human weakness and immeasurable strength. CD Reiss has expertly created a narrative that leaves the reader hanging on every word. I highly recommend.

 

The Edge series:
Rough Edge (The Edge, #1) by C.D. Reiss On the Edge (The Edge, #2) by C.D. Reiss Broken Edge (The Edge, #3) by C.D. Reiss Over the Edge (The Edge, #4) by C.D. Reiss Cutting Edge (The Edge, #0.5) by C.D. Reiss

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

 

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3.5 Stars!

 

With the final installment of the Cloister series, the timeline continues with Adam and Delilah plotting for their freedom. Though she remains true to her original vision of avenging her sister, Delilah’s plight becomes more complex as her feelings for others at the compound escalate. With the continued experience of the Prophet’s oppression, Adam is desperate to salvage what he can.

 

“Nothing here is under my control, and I’m at the mercy of the clock – always waiting for something to happen instead of making it happen myself.”


Told in multiple POVs, the plot is driven by action sequences carrying the characters to points of no return. Given the extreme measures, vying factions collide leading to collateral damage.

 

“I want him so badly, an I want the life described. The two of us, free from the Prophet’s web. But it can’t happen. We were doomed from the moment we saw each other.”


For me, these characters stayed on the surface and I was hoping for more development showing how scarred they are from the past and their current situation. As a result, I didn’t feel the connection I wanted. However, the overall storytelling is compelling and sets an eerie tone of manipulation.

The Church would appeal to those who want to be immersed in romantic suspense within a dark world.

The Cloister series:
The Maiden (The Cloister, #1) by Celia Aaron The Prophet (The Cloister, #2) by Celia Aaron The Church (The Cloister, #3) by Celia Aaron

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Title: Transcend
Author: Jewel E. Ann
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Type: Book one of the Transcend Duet
POV: First Person – dual
Published: March 26, 2018

 

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4.5 Stars!

Swayze Samuels is a 21 year old nanny with aspirations of becoming an elementary school teacher. Throughout her life, she experienced situations that she couldn’t logically or scientifically explain. Feeling these memories and sensations caused her to question things but always seemed to subside on its own. Now that Swayze is experiencing it again, complications arise when she realizes an unexpected connection.

“Something’s wrong with me,” I whisper while choking back a sob. There’s a lifetime of concern etched into his forehead as he slowly shakes his head. “No. Nothing’s wrong with you.”


Nathaniel “Nate” Hunt is a widowed professor and new father trying to find his way. Upon hiring Swayze as a nanny, his past comes full circle as she seems to be a missing link. Not a stranger to tragedy, Nate has accepted his fate yet he won’t reject the chance to reconcile his questions. 

“I need you to be the one to stay,” he whispers.”


As the story unfolds, it is clear Swayze is coming to terms with her life and she is in love with her boyfriend, Griffin, as he provides a sanctuary for her. But with attachments to an unexplainable past, Swayze begins to divide her emotions without fully knowing how it will affect everyone around her. Ultimately, there isn’t an easy answer and Swayze’s heart dictates how she should proceed.

“I’m so afraid of losing him in the process of finding myself.”


Prior to starting this book, I had some insecurities about character dynamics and the level of angst, but while, there is a good dose of escalating angst, the unique plot line combined with the individuality of these characters added much more and elevated the story. Swayze is funny and awkward at times which makes her endearing. I also like how she tries to deal with her situation despite not fully understanding how it works. 

As for the men in her life, Griff is sexy as all hell and tries to understand most of Swayze’s quirks to a point. However, Nate stole my heart for a number of reasons. I hope he gets what he needs and that process is going to hurt. With so much still pending, I’m hoping for a certain outcome that strengthens these characters. 

Jewel E. Ann is a new author to me and I found her writing style to be approachable and covering a range from angsty, funny, sexy and poignant. Transcend offers a unique and hopeful story that will make your heart ache and get your stomach all twisty wondering what is to come.

Transcend duet:
Transcend (Transcend Duet, #1) by Jewel E. Ann Epoch (Transcend Duet, #2) by Jewel E. Ann

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Title: Dangerous Control
Author: Annabel Joseph
Genre:  Erotica/BDSM
Type: Book three in the Dark Dominance series
POV: First Person – dual
Expected Publication: June 4, 2018

 

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4 Stars!

 

 

Massimiliano “Milo” Fierro is a violin maker for his Italian family’s prestigious business. With a passion for music and craftsmanship, Milo has a quiet yet commanding way about him. But when it comes to thoughts about his childhood friend, it’s nothing close to pure.

“You want me, don’t you?” she asked in a small voice, searching my gaze. “I want you too damn much.” I meant it as a warning.”

Lilly-Alice “Alice” Nyquist is a violin virtuosa who recently accepted an orchestra position at the Met. Being in New York brings her closer to Milo, the man she’s adored since she was a child.

“You’re big,” she said. For the first time, she looked as if her courage might falter. Yes, I’m big. I’m mean. I’m bad and rough.”

As circumstances happen, Alice and Milo rekindle their friendship but they also know that their feelings run deeper. Trying to fight his attraction to Alice, Milo believes staying away is the best way to protect her from his sadistic tendencies. However, Alice is willing to prove she can be the perfect maso-submissive. 

“My ass felt empty now, but my pussy was so, so full of him. He banged me there against his headboard, and it hurt, but it felt magical too, and when he started grinding his pelvis against my clit, I lost it.”

 

Told in dual POV, the passion Milo and Alice share for music and family is part of their strong bond. Not wanting to compromise what they already share, Milo must reconcile being a Dominant with the woman he loves. Meeting Milo halfway, Alice shows that she is a worthy partner.

Of all the Dominant characters in this series, Milo intrigued me the most and I’ve been looking forward to his book. With his passion, he warmed my heart but being that Milo is the owner of The Gallery and has the reputation for being a master sadist, I wanted to experience his expertise much more. However, their chemistry was still off the charts and the kinkery was quite hot. As for Alice, she is the perfect balance to Milo and I liked her tenacity.

Dangerous Control will appeal to those who enjoy a romance with BDSM elements between two characters who learn to find their way together.

 

 

 

Dark Dominance series:
Dark Control (Dark Dominance, #1) by Annabel Joseph Deep Control (Dark Dominance, #2) by Annabel Joseph Dangerous Control (Dark Dominance, #3) by Annabel Joseph

 
*Note: Each book can be read as standalones but it best to read in order for the fullest experience. 
*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Title: Rough Edge
Author: CD Reiss
Genre:  Erotica
Type: Book one of four
POV: First Person – dual
Published: May 22, 2018

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4.5 Stars!

 

 

After serving fourteen years in the army, Greyson Frazier is a psychiatrist acclimating to private practice and a new marriage. With a competitive streak, Greyson pushes limits within the confines of a structured environment but she slowly realizes the boundaries have changed.

“There’s so much we’re going to do together.” He kissed my neck. “We’re going to build an entire life out of a war.”


Caden St. John is a heart surgeon who volunteered his time to mend injured soldiers. Having a complicated past, Caden has always been able to separate his emotions but circumstances emerge that cause Caden to fight what he feels. 

“Something was there with us, in the room, and it wanted me.”


Together, Greyson and Caden are a complimentary couple with each offering a balance to their dynamic. As Greyson begins to observe changes in Caden, she attempts to help him using scientific methods but she also is willing to try what he believes will chase away his fears. As this pain and pleasure cycle occurs, their relationship escalates leading to self-discovery and to questions about limits. 

“I rotated my fingers on her nub, watching her try to maintain control over her questions. “While we’re doing it and you were hurting me? If I said stop, could you?”

 

Told in dual POV, Caden oozes dominance, sex appeal and offers a steady demeanor. With much mystery behind Caden’s conflict, the intensity of his inner struggle is effectively conveyed. In responding to Caden’s demands and needs, Greyson unexpectedly learns more about her own sexuality but her focus during this process is on healing Caden. 

In starting this book, I was under the impression this author was returning to her roots, and upon finishing, it definitely seems like that holds true. In this narrative, these two characters are complex, dynamic and willing to sacrifice and fight for each other. Additionally, the pathos present in Caden is constantly at the edge of his behavior driving him to force out his darkest demons. I am hoping it gets even darker as more is revealed and in how Caden and Greyson are able to reconcile what they discover.

Rough Edge is an intensely erotic story about characters making sacrifices and pushing limits. With a pulse on her characters and a plot that breathes on its own, CD Reiss will take you on the edge. 

 

The Edge series:
Rough Edge (The Edge, #1) by C.D. Reiss On the Edge (The Edge, #2) by C.D. Reiss Broken Edge (The Edge, #3) by C.D. Reiss Over the Edge (The Edge, #4) by C.D. Reiss Cutting Edge (The Edge, #0.5) by C.D. Reiss

 

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Title: Nasty (Dirty Nasty Freaks, #2) 
Author: Callie Hart
Genre:  Dark Romantic Suspense
Type: Book two in a series
POV: First Person – dual
Expected Publication: May 25, 2018

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4.5 Stars!

 

 

 

Without interruption in the timeline, Felix Marcosa and Sera Lafferty continue their journey but Sera has many questions for him now that she knows the truth. Though Fix has delicate information, it isn’t enough as they discover dead ends and new layers that complicate their circumstances.

“This is what happens when you go looking for death instead of running in the opposite direction. You find it. Or, inevitably, it finds you.”


Prepared to make sacrifices for Sera, Fix is determined to take the search all the way to the end. During this time, more is revealed about his past and how it’s connected to his business partner. Simultaneously, the stark reality of Sera’s childhood begins to surface and underscores her need to defend herself.

“I will never break you, Sera Lafferty. What would be the point? That fiery defiance that burns inside you? I am drawn to it like a moth to a flame. I adore it. I worship it.”


Told in dual POV, Fix and Sera develop added dimension as they relate to each other and how they deal with threats. While Fix exudes a cocksure attitude, filthy mouth and smart-ass comments, he will also go to great lengths to protect what is his. Sera is a force of her own, and while she’s never met someone like Fix before, she doesn’t hold back no matter the consequences. Together, their chemistry is combustible and I love the push/pull dynamic they share. 

“I’m beginning to think you might be a little obsessed with my ass,” I fired back. “Damn right I am. I’ve seen plenty of assholes, and yours is by far the loveliest.”

 


This series harkens back to signature Callie Hart with flawed but relatable characters and a narrative that continues to build complex layers. I absolutely adore Fix and his everything that flows from his sinfully erotic tongue. As for Sera, she is quietly complicated but that’s what makes her stronger and admirable.

Nasty is full of edgy, heart pumping action, dark humor and sex appeal. I highly recommend and look forward to see how the story continues, especially with that ending.

Dirty Nasty Freaks series:
Dirty (Dirty Nasty Freaks, #1) by Callie Hart Nasty (Dirty Nasty Freaks, #2) by Callie Hart

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Title: The Surviving Trace
Author: Calia Read
Genre:  Romance/Time Travel
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – dual
Expected Publication: May 21, 2018

 

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4.5 Stars!

 

 

Serene Parow seems content in her life with an antiques business and a fiancé that wants to set a wedding date until one day she becomes distracted by an old photograph dated 1912. Always interested in history, Serene begins to imagine what life was like in that era and particularly for one unknown man depicted in black and white. As she searches for answers, the truth takes Serene on an unexpected journey.

“Like everything else from this time, my mind whispers, you’re touching a piece of history.”


When Serene is transported back in time, she is confronted by the mystery man that has consumed all her thoughts. Seeing him in the flesh is a shock, but as she pairs the face (and body) with a name, she discovers much more about what makes Etienne tick. In trying to determine her purpose, Serene realizes the complexity and instability of her situation.

“His eyes dip toward my lips for a millisecond, then he moves toward me. I’m almost confident he’s going to kiss me. And if he does, I know I won’t stop him.”


Told mostly from Serene’s perspective, experiencing the level of unease and curiosity she feels is effectively conveyed and I felt immersed in her transition and the era’s history. Serene is a strong, competitive character that is compelled to do the right thing and ultimately trust her instinct and heart. 

“This connection we share is undeniable. It transcends time and all logic.”


 

Between Serene and Etienne the chemistry is combustible and the push-pull dynamic they share adds to the building sexual tension. Etienne infuriates Serene yet the more she gets excited, the more intrigued he is. While Etienne slowly reveals more about himself, he becomes sexier and completely won my heart.

This book offers an interesting premise with time travel. Due to the theme, some things just are inexplicable and it adds mystery and romance to the storyline rather than casting doubt. Throughout reading, it made me think of the possibilities, choices and fate these characters experienced. With endearing characters and a convincing narrative, Calia Read pens a compelling and thought-provoking story. 

The Surviving Trace would appeal to those who enjoy mystery with romance.

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Title: Rough, Raw and Ready
Author: Lorelei James
Genre: Romance/Erotica/MMF
Type:  Book within a series, but can be read as a standalone
POV: Third person
Published: November 10, 2015

 

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4.5 Stars! 

 

Chassie and Trevor Glanzer are happily married and they continue to overcome their family’s ongoing issues. While they are busy running their ranch, Trevor’s old friend and rodeo roping partner, Edgard Mancuso, makes an unexpected visit after three and half years have passed causing old feelings to resurface.

“You don’t remember how wet and eager my mouth felt sucking every drop of spunk from your cock? You don’t think about how deep I reamed that tight asshole of yours as you bucked and begged me for more?”


Though Trevor never could forget about Edgard, having him so close again begins to fill a void that Trevor chose to ignore. Being dedicated and loyal to his wife, Trevor battles strong feelings toward the only man that also captured his heart. While Chassie is an adoring wife and strong woman, she notices the unsaid words and stolen glances between Trevor and Edgard all while she also develops her own endearing bond with Ed.

 

“I’m stunned by the way you make me feel, Chass.” He pressed his mouth to hers. “Worthy.” A soft brush of his lips. “Safe.” Another kiss. “That I have value to you beyond what we both feel for Trevor.”


Once the truth surfaces, Chassie knows what’s at stake but she doesn’t want to lose her husband and she begins to willingly view their options. For Trevor, he has to overcome longstanding fears about his relationship with Ed and will do whatever it takes to keep Chassie content and happy.

 

“I never want either of you to be ashamed of what you feel for each other, or feel like you have to hold back in front of me or in our home,” Chassie said. “What you had was private, but now it belongs to all three of us. Can you guys handle that?”


What I loved about this book is how these characters approached an unconventional relationship. With this threesome, they built a foundation with one another individually and all together. While I was initially concerned about feelings of jealousy, it was quickly extinguished by the balance Chassie, Trevor and Ed share with each other and the chemistry between all is off the charts.

In this series, Chassie and Trevor both had to overcome certain adversities and challenges and seeing them come together is rewarding. I liked Chassie’s open mindedness and her ability to accept what makes her happy despite what others may think. Trevor is more of a broody cowboy at times but his love and respect for Chassie never wanes and his sexual appetite is insatiable. As for Edgard, he offers so much heart to the storyline making me love his sincerity and dominating ways.

Rough, Raw and Ready, is a steamy story about how three people fall in love and have the courage to live how they choose. This book will appeal to those who like sexy as hell cowboys and like to think outside the box when it comes to relationships.

Note: While it’s best to read the books in this series in order, Rough, Raw and Ready can be read as a standalone.

 

Rough Rider series:
Long Hard Ride (Rough Riders, #1) by Lorelei James Rode Hard, Put Up Wet (Rough Riders, #2) by Lorelei James Cowgirl Up and Ride (Rough Riders, #3) by Lorelei James Tied Up, Tied Down (Rough Riders, #4) by Lorelei James Rough, Raw and Ready (Rough Riders, #5) by Lorelei James Strong Silent Type (Rough Riders, #6.5) by Lorelei James Branded as Trouble (Rough Riders, #6) by Lorelei James Shoulda Been a Cowboy (Rough Riders, #7) by Lorelei JamesAll Jacked Up (Rough Riders #8) by Lorelei James Raising Kane (Rough Riders, #9) by Lorelei James Slow Ride (Rough Riders, #9.5) by Lorelei James Cowgirls Don't Cry (Rough Riders, #10) by Lorelei James Chasin' Eight (Rough Riders, #11) by Lorelei James Cowboy Casanova (Rough Riders, #12) by Lorelei James Kissin' Tell (Rough Riders, #13) by Lorelei James Gone Country (Rough Riders, #14) by Lorelei JamesRedneck Romeo (Rough Riders, #15) by Lorelei James Cowboy Take Me Away (Rough Riders, #16) by Lorelei James

 

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Title: Evolved
Author: N.R. Walker
Genre: Romance/Sci-fi/MM
Type:  Standalone
POV: First person
Published: April 21, 2018

 

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4 Stars! 

 

Lloyd Salter is a professor of philosophy who lives a private life due to his OCD tendencies need for solitude. After failed relationships and limited friendships, Lloyd decides to purchase an A-class companion android unit called Shaun that is completely personalized to his intellectual and physical preferences.

“Are you nervous?” Shaun asked. “Your heart rate is elevated and your pupils are dilated.” “You can see that?” “Of course. I am designed to be attuned to you.”

As Lloyd introduces Shaun to his lifestyle he realizes how he has missed a connection with another person. Shaun’s responses to Lloyd are based on his programming but he craves just as much companionship as Lloyd. Evolving more than Lloyd could have ever envisioned, it appears that Shaun can feel human emotions and this takes them into a completely new level.

“I didn’t want to make him do anything. I wanted him to be my equal.”

This book’s theme certainly intrigued me from the beginning due to the moral questions surrounding a relationship between a human and synthetic creation. For Lloyd, he didn’t view Shaun as a robot but always treated him as he would a person. With the complexities of microprocessors and cutting edge technology, Shaun becomes more than just circuitry making this process interesting and quite entertaining.

“I traced my thumb across his bottom lip which slid with lube, like lip gloss. I couldn’t resist the urge to bend down and kiss him, plunging my tongue into his mouth.”

The idea of personalizing your own male android is very appealing and the naughty options are endless! But in this story, there is also balance between companionship, humanity and love. I related to some of Lloyd’s idiosyncrasies and admired his morals. As for Shaun, he made me laugh and as the plot developed, I easily connected with his character. The chemistry between Lloyd and Shaun is off the charts too.

This author is new to me and I enjoyed her writing style combined with an original plot. Evolved is a MM romance story that addresses how society might advance bringing both positive and negative changes. This book would appeal to those who like the unconventional in relationships.

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Title: The Art of Mutual Pleasure
Author: K.A. Merikan
Genre: Erotic romance/MM
Type:  Standalone
POV: Third Person
Published: March 29, 2017

 

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4.5 Stars! 

 

Benjamin Snowley a young gentleman in the midst of a physical and emotional crisis due to his need for self-pleasure and being aroused by certain deviant acts. Feeling as though his urges for onanism are against societal norms, and because he wants a wife and child in the future, Benjamin seeks medical intervention for his affliction. Committed to healing himself, Benjamin sets out to reinvigorate his body and calm his mind.

“How can the same man be so graceful yet so debauched at the same time?”


As Benjamin learns his naivety has been harmful, he doesn’t want to be ashamed of the pleasure he experienced. With the help of an old friend, Benjamin is learns to accept who he is and embrace his sexual needs without guilt.

“If you were one of those men,” Benjamin said, losing all inhibition, “not only would your cock be inside of me, but also rub against another at the same time. I would squeeze you both so tightly.”


What transpires in this novella is an incredibly hot journey of self-discovery. From the beginning, Benjamin is an endearing character who tries to do what’s expected of him but it simply doesn’t mesh with his desires. When he experiences such a low point, it’s felt and rooting for Benjamin is like second nature. 

“I am my own master, and my vices are my own.”


The writing team of K.A. Merikan delivers a story of historical significance with a spin of filthy goodness. The Art of Mutual Pleasure would appeal to those looking for an unabashedly erotic and stimulating read with some heart. 

 

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Title: The Prophet
Author: Celia Aaron
Genre: Dark Romance
Type:  Book two of three in the Cloister series
POV: First person – dual
Expected Publication: May 1, 2018

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4 Stars!

The Prophet opens with an uninterrupted timeline and resumes at a crucial point for Adam and Delilah. Knowing the penalty for her actions, the risk was high and Delilah pays for her transgression.

“She will be punished and cleansed until a serpent no longer dwells in her heart.”

As Adam is punished in a way that further fuels his need vengeance, the dynamic begins to shift and other unexpected contingencies arise that complicates the plan. Pushing forward is the only option leaving Adam to question loyalty.

“The water can’t wash away my sins. Not this one, especially.”

Told in dual POV, the tension continues to mount given the level of corruption and need to control. With practically every move being monitored, the feeling of desperation infiltrates the tone. Additionally, Delilah’s need for answers compounds as she realizes time is limited and they set it all in motion.

“I’m sorry,” he whispers again and releases his hold on my mouth. I kiss him through my tears and wrap my arms around his neck.”

This plot is steeped in action with various factions pushing limits. There were also more glimpses into Adam’s past that explain his lack of faith and his connection to a certain character. In fact, I started to appreciate her vulnerabilities and better understand her choices.

As for Delilah, I want to feel more of a connection between her and Adam and she remains a bit of a contradiction based on her thoughts and actions. With the addition of Evan, the plight of her future is grim no matter what happens but Evan’s tastes infuse depravity on a different level.

In The Prophet, Celia Aaron crafts a story that touches our fears and vulnerabilities. With corruption at every turn, the sense of being trapped is felt. With a crescendo ending, I am looking forward to the final book, The Church, in order to see the depths these characters will take to procure freedom and power. Needless to say, I am hoping for deep revelations and dark villainous action.

This series would appeal to those who want to be immersed in romantic suspense with a dark edge.

The Cloister series:
The Maiden (The Cloister, #1) by Celia AaronThe Prophet (The Cloister, #2) by Celia AaronThe Church (The Cloister, #3) by Celia Aaron

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Title: Knotted
Author: Pam Godwin
Genre: Dark Romance
Type:  Book one of three in the Trails of Sin series
POV: Dual – first person
Expected Publication: May 1, 2018

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3.5 Stars!

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Conor Cassidy grew up as a country girl on a ranch with dreams of becoming a veterinarian. At 16 years old, she seemed to have it all, a loving family and a boyfriend she adores, but her life changes in the course of one night.

“You were there, looking right at me, holding me with your presence. It made a difference.”


Jake Holsten always knew what he wanted out of a life, a life in cattle ranching and the fiery girl he called as his own. When the unexpected occurs, Jake is forced to question those he trusts and protect the girl who always had his heart.

 

“I did the only thing I could to protect her. I broke her heart because I love her.”

Told in dual POV, the experiences of Conor and Jake begin like most teen romances that evoke unbridled love and a deep connection. However, when they experience a life changing event, Conor and Jake are left to pick up the pieces. As Jake learns more, he takes the lead in an effort to shield Conor from danger but he also isolates her in way that shatters her heart.

“I’ve been wandering aimlessly, so lost and far away from myself. But I just found the door that leads me back.”

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As years pass, Conor’s pain doesn’t diminish but she also isn’t about to let all her dreams vanish. Pursuing her education, she finally has the impetus to return home and claim what is hers but she surprised to learn the reasons Jake kept her away. Now that Jake can protect Conor, he is dedicated to helping her heal.

In this narrative, a serious issue is at the forefront and then family complications further compound the situation. When it was time for Conor to confront her demons, Jake took the lead and at times it felt like he was undermining her strength. Additionally, the secret lost impact on me because it caused Conor so much unnecessary pain. While I did feel a connection between Conor and Jake, their reconciliation felt a little rushed. However, they did come full circle and I liked the symbolism of the ending. 

Knotted is a story about tragedy, sacrifice, trust and healing. This book would appeal to those looking for a second chance at romance.

Trails of Sin series:
Knotted (Trails of Sin, #1) by Pam Godwin Buckled (Trails of Sin, #2) by Pam Godwin Booted (Trails of Sin, #3) by Pam Godwin

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*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.*

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Title: Wheeler (Four Fathers #4)
Author: Ker Dukey
Genre: Dark suspense
Type:  Book four of four
POV: First person – Male
Expected Publication: April 23, 2018

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4.5 Stars! 

 

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Jax Wheeler is a successful entrepreneur with depraved tastes and predatory practices that feed his soul. Not one to be a people person, he manages to put on a believable persona in order to blend when needed. Protective of his teen daughter, she is the motivation that keeps his mask in place until it all irrevocably changes.

 

“I hate this part of pretending to be like them. Normal. I am not like them. And I sure as hell am not normal.”


Obsessive, exacting and sarcastic, Jax lives in the shadows of darkness and immorality. While his behavior crosses many boundaries, the fact he is a dedicated father adds dimension and humanity to his complex character. 

 

“Control is something I seek and want, and everyone can be controlled if you really want to dissect their psyche and find the trigger inside them.”


From the first page, I liked Jax with his neurotic and abnormal tendencies. Though his actions are monstrous at times, his perspective of not fitting in is completely relatable. There were so many times when I laughed out loud at his inner monologue and when he finally loses his controlled exterior, well, I was completely addicted. 

“She cut out my hollow heart and destroyed it ….”


In this novella, the pace is quick yet it certainly delivers an impact that was quite welcome at the end. [insert evil grin] As such, I definitely want to read more bout Jax and a particular younger character that peaked my interest in future books. 

Wheeler is a dark suspense steeped in unabashed depravity. For those looking for a thrilling ride in the mind of a charming yet dangerous man, look no further.

Four Fathers series:
Blackstone (Four Fathers, #1) by J.D. Hollyfield Kingston (Four Fathers, #2) by Dani René Pearson (Four Fathers, #3) by K. Webster Wheeler (Four Fathers, #4) by Ker Dukey

*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

 

 

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Title: Wishing Well
Author: Lily White
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Type:  Standalone
POV: Multiple and shifting
Expected Publication: April 18, 2018

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5 Stars!! 

 

 

Meadow Graham is a journalist who interviews the one man who holds answers to her sister’s death. While the clock ticks away, Meadow is ready to make him pay for his choices.

“Not only that, but you are my last victim, the woman who will forever mourn the last life I took.”

Vincent Mercier is a successful hotelier and with such resources he is able to satisfy his particular needs. Always in control, he’s able to create a certain world where he pulls all the strings. But with three days remaining before his execution, Vincent is ready to tell all. 

“And there it was, the moment I knew she was mine for the taking. The moment her cloak of rebellion faltered just enough for me to read inside and take hold of the desperation within.”

Told in shifting point of views and past/present timelines, what ensues is a tightly constructed plot full of twists and a steady crescendo of suspense. From the beginning, Vincent’s wicked motivations are crystal clear and the anticipation of reading how it will all unfold is enthralling. With Vincent being devastatingly handsome and devilishly charming, he easily ensnares the players in his game. 

“Desire is a slippery thing, easing inside a person’s skin to capture, to taunt, to strengthen and spread out until your mind becomes mud and your heart races in an effort to escape your chest.”

 

Aside from Vincent, the other main characters are just as crucial in this storyline and offer additional impact. Meadow’s role is one that offers contradictory feelings at times and enhances the question of how she will avenge her sister. This book is exactly what I love about thrillers and Lily White’s writing because while I was racing to get to the end, I kept slowing down to savor every page. Each character is compelling and elicits a range of emotion as the storyline pivots in a calculated direction. Trying to speculate the trajectory of this plot was refreshingly impossible and I loved it! 

Wishing Well is a psychological thriller at its finest. This book would appeal to those who want to be completely ensconced in deception and the relationship between sacrifice and tragedy. I highly recommend!

 

 

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Title: Double Vision
Author: L.M. Halloran
Genre: Romance Suspense
Type:  Standalone
POV: First person
Published February 22, 2018

 

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3.5 Stars! 

 

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Upon graduating college, Eden Sumner is ready to relocate back to the Pacific Northwest for medical school but upon attending a party one night, her fate forever changes after meeting two people. Inquisitive by nature, Eden’s life takes a much different course.

“Loyalty comes at a great cost, usually paid for in blood.”


Liam Rourke is a man with many answers and abilities. Though full of Irish charm, he isn’t a stranger to dangerous situations. Upon laying eyes on Eden, he knows the imminent risks.

“But it’s the look in his eyes that peels back my layers and finds the dark center of me.”


What ensues is full of action and deception with Liam and Eden trying to navigate through a web of greed. Feeling a fairly instant connection, each of their choices are based on protecting the other but soon it becomes apparent that no one can be trusted.

“No matter how far you fly, little dove, you’ll always come home to me.”


With continuous action, Eden learns much more about her past than she could have ever envisioned. Making choices that aren’t necessarily in her best interest, she tries to remain true to her heart despite the consequences. 


While I enjoyed this story, there were times when it felt like too much was trying to be squeezed into the plot and it left a superficial impression. Though I liked Liam’s character, I also wanted more sexiness and since he is also a Dom, more exploration of his kink. Eden seemed contradictory at times even knowing she isn’t a part of this underworld. 

Double Vision is about being true to yourself and standing up for what you believe. This book would appeal to those looking for a romantic suspense.

 

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Title: Love Drunk
Author: Marita Hansen
Genre: Romance
Type:  Book 4 of 4 within the Broken Lives series
POV: First person – dual
Published March 7, 2018

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3.5 Stars!

 

 

Continuing in the Broken Lives series, nine years have passed in the lives of Dante Rata and Clara Hughes. For Dante, he is on the cusp of a becoming a rockstar with a pending debut record deal but before he can move to the next level, rehab is a requirement. Agreeing to such terms, Dante is ready to move forward and try to cast his demons aside, but nothing is ever straightforward in his life.

“He continued, “I wanna know everything we did together, and you’re gonna help me remember it all. Cos if I get more memories as good as that one, my life isn’t as shit as I’d thought it wuz.”


Clara is adjusting to her new life as a rehab counselor, and given her record, she is grateful for the opportunity. While she’s paid for her mistakes, her love for Dante hasn’t waned over the years. Not expecting to ever have the chance to see Dante again, it all changes very quickly.

“He was so perfect it made my heart ache, and so beautiful it made my memories stir. In that moment, I could see innocence in him, of the boy I’d fallen in love with.”


As Dante’s path crosses with Clara, it brings a slough of controversy and causes many feelings to surface. With Clara trying to protect Dante, she tries to keep her distance but Dante continues to make it hard for her. Though his doesn’t have precise memories of his time with Clara, the sensation of a connection is present as he tries to discover the truth. When an unexpected development occurs, Clara and Dante make the decision to help each other despite their vulnerabilities.

“Like now. Because he still gave off that aura of vulnerability every time he spoke of his tragic past. It was such a conflicting trait of his, clashing with his intense sexuality, the man a paradox.”


Told in dual POV with candid dialogue that propels the plot, circumstances offer twists and challenges that bring Clara and Dante closer. The cast of secondary characters is vast and also full of diversity, which is unique to this series. Tane and Killer were definitely the highlight for me along with L. While others added to the various ongoing peripheral plotlines, I wanted more emphasis on the development of Dante and Clara as a couple and individually, as it started to feel like Dante hadn’t matured nor were the complexity of his issues truly resolved. While this author can certainly craft a multifaceted storyline, this one lost it’s way for me.

Love Drunk and the entire series is about taking responsibility and staying true to one’s beliefs. These characters make many mistakes which makes them human, but above all, their bond to family and friends always prevails. 

The Broken Lives series:
Broken English (Broken Lives, #1) by Marita A. Hansen Shattered Poetry (Broken Lives, #2) by Marita A. Hansen Jagged Pill (Broken Lives, #3) by Marita A. Hansen Love Drunk (Broken Lives, #4) by Marita A. Hansen

💋(F)BR with the Shhluts: Twinsie Hawkey, SueBee, Loyda, Timi, Dayna, Lu, Myla and Mer! 💋

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Title: Sinner
Author: Sierra Simone
Genre: Erotic Romance
Type:  Book 2 within the Priest series
POV: First person – male 
Published March 15, 2018

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4 Stars! 

 

At 36 years old, Sean Bell is a successful businessman on the cusp of achieving a long-term career goal. Trying to balance work and his personal life hasn’t been an issue because Sean has treated sex like a transaction and takes control of whatever comes his way. Now that a big development deal is causing bad press for his firm, Sean must fix the problem but doesn’t anticipate such a challenge.

“I don’t know what a good man would do in my place. I can only guess at what an unafraid one might do.”

Zenobia “Zenny” Iverson is following her life-long dream of serving her community and studying to become a nurse. At 21 years old, Zenny wants to have her own life outside of her parents’ influence but still feels some doubts about her chosen path. Before taking the big plunge, Zenny realizes she hasn’t experienced all she could and finds a way to sate her curiosity.

“It’s more like … I need to make sure that I keep not doing anything. Or if I do something, that it’s the right something.”

What ensues between Sean and Zenny is steeped in desire, as Sean has thirty days to teach Zenny all about the pleasures of the flesh. With Sean as a natural teacher, he eases her into lessons that are sizzling hot. 

“When it gets wet like this, that means it needs attention. It needs to be fucked.”

 

 

Told exclusively from Sean’s POV, the tone of his character is immediately felt with his cockiness and drive to succeed but it’s also apparent that he is a dedicated son and brother. Since he experienced an incredible loss during his childhood, Sean always assumed the responsibilities associated with being the oldest sibling and also the burdens. But what also transpires is that Sean finds a way to heal old wounds and find a balance that has been lacking. 

Together, Sean and Zenny have many differences in their personality, goals and life experiences, but they also seem to ground each other in unexpected ways. For Sean, she is also a teacher of sorts and makes him realize certain life choices aren’t in his best interest. I like how he evolved and how he was committed to his family during especially trying times. 

In this story, there are multiple taboo elements adding to the plot depth and I appreciated the increased steam factor. While Sean proved to be a dirty man, he was also caring and funny. Zenny proved to be a challenge to me because while I halfway understood her initial rationale, at a crucial time, she faltered at the expense of Sean and it felt uncharacteristic. 

Sinner is about self-reflection and ultimately being true to what you believe. This book would appeal to those looking for smoking hot scenes but also a journey about family and love.

Priest series:
Priest (Priest, #1) by Sierra Simone Midnight Mass (Priest, #1.5) by Sierra Simone Sinner (Priest, #2) by Sierra Simone

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Title: Intrepid
Author: Keri Lake
Genre: Romance Suspense
Type:  Standalone (A Vigilantes Spinoff)
POV: First person – dual
Expected Publication Date: April 10, 2018

Pre-order on Amazon

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4.5 Stars! 

 

 

Ty is a man fueled by pain and vengeance. Vowing to uphold his promise, Ty begins to exact his carefully constructed plan and hopes to silence his inner demons. However, he is challenged in an unforeseen way and must balance the need for justice versus destruction.

“Because although that first kill was sloppy and terrifying, there was also something deeply satisfying about silencing the screams.”

Serafina “Sera” Kutscher is a college student trying to break away from her controlling father. Since experiencing a deep loss, Sera believes she should live without regrets but she can’t escape the scars of her past. With a standoffish attitude and innate insecurities, Sera begins to slowly trust but she is surrounded by deception and lies.

“I’d come to trust people by how much pain their eyes held, and his bore the endless depths of sorrow.”

From the first page, Ty’s point of view is conveyed in a gritty and compelling manner that underscores his need to act as a vigilante. Hardened to the point where survival is instinctual, Ty learns how to be a predator yet his spirit is still vulnerable and broken. For Sera, she seems to be her own worst enemy at times and makes some bad decisions based on her need to be accepted. While Ty and Sera share a certain push/pull relationship, this tension starts to affect each of them differently causing doubts about moving forward yet they can’t stay apart.

“You’re the knife in my skin tonight. The temporary pain that’ll make me forget everything else. I’m going to fuck you, Sera. I’m going to fuck you so hard that every time I think back to this night, I’ll feel the pain over and over like a scar across my memories.”

 

With suspense of the unknown continually building as Ty attempts to achieve his goals, I kept rooting for him to succeed in his gruesome necessity to exact an eye for an eye. While on the outside he seems impenetrable, Ty also tries to quiet the voices from his past and those moments were deeply moving. Though Sera’s behavior provided a challenge for me at times, she remained true and ultimately persevered to the next level which was admirable.

Those familiar with Keri Lake’s writing know that she doesn’t shy away from pushing the boundaries and the plot takes a few pivots and twists revealing a multi-layered story showing thoughtful character dimension. Additionally, it feels like the city of Detroit is a character in that the overall tone of abandonment and suffering further emphasizes the plight felt by Ty and Sera. 

Intrepid is an adrenaline-charged plot steeped in a dark underworld full of shadowy players. This book would appeal to those who enjoy an edgy, romantic suspense. 

*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.*

*This was a (F)BR with Twinsie Hawkey, Liz and Loyda!*

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Title: Dirty
Author: Callie Hart
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Type: Book 1 of 3 in the Dirty Nasty Freaks series
POV: First person – dual
Expected Publication Date: March 30, 2018

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4.5 Stars!

 

 

Sera Lafferty is an entrepreneur living in Seattle. While driving cross-country to attend her sister’s wedding, inclement weather causes Sera to spend the night in small country town. When she tries to adjust to the unexpected delay, she doesn’t expect the additional distraction of a handsome man in black.

“There was something about him that made me feel very small. He was raw, untapped power, a storm trapped inside a bottle, and I got the feeling he raged day and night, no matter way.”


Felix “Fix” Marcosa is a hitman currently on assignment in the middle of nowhere. With every detail planned, Fix isn’t usually surprised by many things, but a fiery woman desperate enough to share the last available motel room with him captures his interest in spades. 

“I’d benefit immensely from watching you slide your fingers over your wet pussy. It would drive me insane. Especially if you hitched your shirt up and pulled down your bra so your tits were exposed.”


As Sera and Fix realize they are stuck with each other for a while, details about their pasts are slowly revealed bringing certain truths to the forefront. Trying to deal with Fix’s actions and balance her need to support her sister, Sera has to choose between what she believes is right for her. But when she must face her biggest demon, Sera tries to trust someone to help her through it. Acting on his instinct as a natural protector, he tries to do what he can in their limited time. 

“I’m not that simple to figure out, Fix. You’ll never see inside me. You’ll never piece the fractured pieces of me back together long enough to make a whole picture, so don’t even try.”

 

 

Told in dual POV, the chemistry between Sera and Fix is scorching. Fix is intense, mysterious, forthright and devastatingly handsome. Plus, he’s very comfortable using his assets to get what he wants; however, it’s just rare for him to want someone like Sera. While she isn’t blind, Sera is quite an independent thinker and isn’t ready to fall into bed with Fix just because other women fawn all over him. Instead, they have an addictive connection causing them to verbally spar while a flirtatious subtext is omnipresent. 

Dirty is a fast-paced story with suspense, sexual tension and one dirty talking hero. From the first page, the dynamic storyline hooked me immediately with captivating prose are signature Callie Hart. I am so excited for this new trilogy and cannot wait to see how it all unfolds.

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Title: The Maiden 
Author: Celia Aaron
Genre: Dark Romance
Type: Book 1 of 3 in the Cloister series
POV: First person – dual
Expected Publication Date: April 3, 2018

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4 Stars! 

 

 

At 21 years old, Delilah joins the Cloister to fill a void and get answers. While believing she was prepared for the truth, she soon discovers a web of deceit and a hierarchy of complex lies, corruption and abuse. Despite what she learns, Delilah forges ahead under the guise of being a proper Maiden all the while being tempted by a ravening wolf in sheep’s clothing.

“His kiss isn’t soft. It isn’t a request. Or even a demand. It’s a total and complete annihilation of me, and the creation of us.”


Being the Prophet’s oldest son, Adam Monroe is in a coveted position at Heavenly Ministries. While his roles are varied, he is a Protector tasked with the safety of a new Maiden. At first blush, she appears like all the others, yet Adam senses something about her that calls to his needs.

“You belong to me. I don’t care what happens. You are mine.”


As Delilah navigates her way through Maiden training and learning the ways of the Prophet, she realizes how desperate her situation is starting to be yet leaving isn’t a viable option. Not knowing whether to trust Adam is a continual question but she wants more. While Adam seems to have his own agenda, he knows the consequences of his actions will be severe.

“Does that bother you, Maiden? That I want to own your cunt and wear your taste on my lips for as long as it lasts?”


From the first page, an atmosphere of uncertainty and immorality surrounds this cast of characters. For those who are believers of the Prophet, they follow with blind allegiance and further subjugate those who show any doubt or rebellion. Though Adam has his beliefs and shows some vulnerability, an air of mystery remains about his intentions and his choice in participating in this illusion. 

As this face paced plot progresses, the secondary characters underscore the level of wickedness and manipulation while adding doubt to who can be trusted. The mounting tension and swirling layers of mystery is insidious. Ending in a cliffhanger, I have many questions about Adam and his motivations. With Delilah, I’m looking forward to more insight into her past and how it caused her to take such a dangerous risk. Of course, there are certain characters who need to pay for their actions.

The Maiden is a gripping story that shows how evil can be disguised by the light. With intricate levels of lies, those who join the Cloister are forever scarred. With a total of three books in this series, I’m anxious to know how dark and depraved the games will be. 

The Cloister series:
The Maiden (The Cloister, #1) by Celia Aaron The Prophet (The Cloister, #2) by Celia Aaron The Church (The Cloister, #3) by Celia Aaron

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Title: Guns n’ Boys: Bloodbath (Guns n’ Boys, #6) 
Author: K.A. Merikan
Genre: MM Romance
Type: Book 6 in the Guns n’ Boys series
POV: Third person
Publication Date: March 4, 2017

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4.5 Stars! 

In Bloodbath, book six of the Guns n’ Boys series, Domenico Acerbi and Seth Villani begin their journey into the Columbian jungle intent on infiltrating the world of an arms dealer. Making such a connection is another step closer to their end game yet danger surrounds them at all times. Operating under aliases, Dom, Seth and Mark are challenged in new ways forcing Seth into a violent path and leaving Dom to wonder if Seth will be forever changed.

“This was his life, and it was time to face the bloody truth about it. Seth nodded and stroked Domenico’s hand. “Anything for you,” he said in Italian.”


When it appears that Domenico and Seth are finally accepted into the fold, another round of tests prove to be their downfall causing a bloody path of destruction in its wake. In regrouping and relying upon a vital ally, Domenico uses his acute senses to reign terror and to stake his claim in hopes of securing their future.

“His confidence was like fuel to the fire in Seth’s chest. “No one’s stopping me from this. I am going to have you.”

From the first page, the pace is swift with adrenaline spiked twists and compromising situations continually testing Domenico and Seth. While Dom thrives in violence, Seth is the opposite and Dom doesn’t want to see the innocence in Seth permanently shattered. In addition to Seth’s trials, Mark experiences a coming of age moment that further strengthens the connection he shares with Dom and Seth. 

In this book, secondary characters continue to offer more dimension to the ongoing plot line. Miguel is an effective yet mysterious addition and the friendship he shares with Mark is comical at times due to Mark’s teenage ways. Dana certainly surprised me in this one, even though I still don’t fully trust her, she proved her worth. A most entertaining surprise is the introduction of Nero (his assets included) and I wonder how his role will continue to unfold. With Domenico and Seth, their bond proves to be strong enough to endure the bloodshed and scars. 

As expected, the writing duo of K.A. Merikan pens an erotic read with compelling characters and a stimulating plot. This series would appeal to those seeking a romance embedded in an action-packed mafia setting. I highly recommend!

 

Guns n’ Boys series:
Guns n' Boys He Is Poison (Guns n' Boys, #1) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys He Is Mine (Guns n' Boys, #2) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Paris (Guns n' Boys, #2.1) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Homicidal Instinct (Guns n' Boys, #3) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Swamp Blood (Guns n' Boys, #4) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Chokehold (Guns n' Boys, #5) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Bloodbath (Guns n' Boys, #6) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Gilded Agony (Guns n' Boys, #7) by K.A. MerikanGuns n' Boys A Breath of Innocence (Guns n' Boys, #8) by K.A. Merikan 

 

The story continues in Gilded Agony published on March 24, 2017

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Title:  The Chateau (Original Sinners #9)
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Genre: Erotic Romance/Thriller
Type: Book 9 in the Original Sinners series
POV: Third person
Expected Publication Date: June 5, 2018

 

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4.5 Stars! 

At 24 years old, Kingsley Boissonneault is a Lieutenant in a French military agency. Upon being given a new assignment to infiltrate what appears to be a kinky cult, Kingsley sets course to complete his mission. However, he doesn’t expect his personal life to intersect with work, and as a result, he learns more than he could have hoped.

 

“I can tell from how patiently you wait. Only those who’ve served know how to be humble.”


With Kingsley, there is never a dull moment and though he approaches this assignment with his usual vigor and lustful nature, he learns that his adversary is quite talented in her sadistic practices. While performing the tasks required of him, Kingsley returns to a past where he once surrendered to Søren. Quickly realizing Madame doesn’t have any limits, King plays her game because to play is to win. 

 

“You see, it’s not what I can do to you. It’s what you’ll allow me to do to you. If your willingness to suffer is infinite, then my capacity to hurt you is bottomless.”


As this plot takes the reader down a certain path, it becomes clear that not all is what it seems. Passing each test, Kingsley advances until the final level becomes a truth that he’s always known. Showing his vulnerability, Madame is relentless in her pursuit causing my heart to break for King.

 

“Not all problems are meant to be solved,” she said. “Some are meant to be endured.”

 

Madame is an interesting character who might seem like another well-known Original Sinner sadist, but she is quite different in her methods. With her motivations, Madame is a force to be revered and yet feared. While Kingsley is looking for answers, Madame is able to turn his world on its axis. 

Throughout, Kingsley has his usual charming, sexy moments but grasping the level of his loneliness during this time underscores his connection to Søren and his need to submit. With his time at The Chateau, Madame proves to be a crucial element in King’s future. 

The Chateau is an erotic and thrilling story that offers introspection and shows the depth these characters will take to obtain answers. Plus, getting more of Kingsley is always a good thing, as he never disappoints.

Original Sinners series:
The Siren (The Original Sinners, #1) by Tiffany Reisz The Angel (The Original Sinners, #2) by Tiffany Reisz The Prince (The Original Sinners, #3) by Tiffany Reisz The Mistress (The Original Sinners, #4) by Tiffany Reisz The Saint (The Original Sinners, #5) by Tiffany Reisz The King (The Original Sinners, #6) by Tiffany Reisz The Virgin (The Original Sinners, #7) by Tiffany Reisz The Queen (The Original Sinners, #8) by Tiffany ReiszThe Chateau (The Original Sinners, #9) by Tiffany Reisz

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Title:  Dearest Ivie
Author: J.R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal/Contemporary Romance
Type: Standalone novella
POV: Third person
Publication Date: March 13, 2018

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4.5 Star Review! 

Silas is a vampire from the old country who is quite proper but doesn’t adhere to any aristocratic snobbery. Upon laying eyes on a fiery woman, he decides it is time to pursue her before it’s too late. 

 

“I don’t have time to waste. And instead of finding out what things look like, I want to know what they feel like.”


Ivie works as a nurse at a healer’s clinic and speaks her mind no matter the consequences. When she meets Silas at a bar, she knows he is above her class yet she is curious and drawn to his charming ways.

 

“It doesn’t matter what you look like.” He lifted his head and stared at her. “The details of size and shape don’t matter to me. The fact that it is you…that is what makes it beautiful to me.”


Incredibly attracted to each other, they find a natural connection with Ivie bringing light into his life and Silas offering a steadiness that settles Ivie. Not one to move too quickly in her relationships, Ivie wants to act on her feelings and trust what they have. 

 

“Shut up and get into me.” He didn’t require any more urging than that. With a tremendous hiss, he bared his canines and bit her neck hard, the pain lancing through her body and translating into pure pleasure by the time it reached her core.”


What ensues is a story that hinges upon integrity and digs deep into emotions when the truth is revealed. For a novella, it certainly packed an unexpected punch in the feels department. With a certain plot development, it brings more questions as to Silas’ family and what is to come in future books for a new character in the series. 

Dearest Ivie is a book about family and being true to yourself. It also shows how much we can sacrifice for loved ones but also not lose hope. 

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Title:  The Smallest Part
Author: Amy Harmon
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: Third person
Publication Date: February 13, 2018

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4 Stars!

Mercedes Lopez is a hairstylist with a passion for creativity and making people look good. Growing up, her Hispanic family was close and provided a strong family structure. At eight years old, Mercedes met her closest friends and their lives would continue to remain entwined in good and trying times but knowing she could keep his heart was worth all her sacrifice.

“Does anything scare you?” There was laughter in his voice, and she didn’t respond. He scared her. Noah scared her. Losing him scared her.”

Noah Andelin is a psychologist who believes in the goodness of people. Learning from a young age that life can be challenging, he finds a family of friends that nurture his soul. Relying on strong bonds, Noah sets course to adulthood knowing he will always have his friends but he also knows she will be the one.

“I want to be your lover. Your partner. I want it all. Not the small part or the private corner. I want the whole damn thing, all of you. And I want to give you all of me.”

As Mercedes and Noah pick up the pieces from a tragedy, they survive together based on a rhythm they’ve always felt. Amongst the feelings of pain, guilt and anger, they are able to support each other emotionally to offer stability in a sorrowful time. Trying to protect Noah and his daughter, Mercedes acts selflessly to the point of fighting the truth until she succumbs to what she has always wanted.

“Sometimes it’s the smallest part that steals the show.”

Shifting between past and present sequences, this narrative offers layers of dimension to its characters and the circumstances surrounding their lives. There are precious and poignant moments throughout their lives and all these memories stem from being there for each other. From the beginning, I loved Noah’s slow but steady approach that showed his strength and insight. With Mercedes, she is a force and someone who is a worthy partner and friend. 

In this story, the subject matter is handled in a sensitive manner showing the vulnerability of these characters but also how the consequences affect others. Additionally, the secondary characters serve to connect certain plot points and underscore the value of friendship and family. 

The Smallest Part is a story of sacrifice, loss, acceptance, friendship and love. This book would appeal to those who want an epic story of friend to lovers. 

 

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Title: Dorchadas House
Author: Emmanuelle de Maupassant
Genre: Gothic erotic romance
Type: Standalone
POV: Third person
Publication Date: March 9, 2018

 

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4 Stars! 

After her father passes, Iris Muir decides to leave the bustle of the city and accept a job on the Scottish island of Eirig, a place where traditions are abundant and the town remains outside of modernity’s grasp. Wanting an adventure and a place where she can belong, Iris acclimates to her new surroundings yet many questions begin to emerge as she witnesses certain circumstances. Perplexed by her intuition and lustful feelings, the traditions call to her and Iris is ready to submit to higher purpose.

 

“I shivered again with the knowledge that something had called me here. I’d wanted to escape, and had been brought all the way back, to where I rightfully belonged.”


Told in stylistic prose that capture the atmospheric and gothic tone of this narrative, the chill of uncertainty is pervasive. Along with the mystery and allure of erotic pagan practices, Iris tries to understand the metamorphosis that is occurring and begins to trust her body over irrational fear. Coming full circle, Iris finally feels like she is home.

 

“She’ll protect and guide, as the Laird’s heirs worship you. It’s their sacred duty, and yours now, Iris.”


Dorchadas House offers an eerie tale about one woman’s quest to find her destiny. Fantasy and mystery mixes with reality making this story intriguing and provocative. For those who haven’t read this author, she always succeeds in creating a unique world where boundaries are without limit. This book will appeal to those who want to be immersed in a different time where gothic eroticism pervades. 

*A copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Title: One Too Many
Author: Jade West
Genre: Erotica/Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Multiple
Publication Date: March 1, 2018

 

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4.5 Stars! 

 

A year ago, Grace and Brett Foster decided to leave the bustle of the London and purchased a seaside inn. Despite hard work and effort, the business isn’t a financial success and they need to find a way to save their dream. With finances becoming burden on their marriage, all seems to be diminishing. Not having many options, Grace and Brett are determined to make it all work and when a mysterious handsome man offers a proposition, they ponder the consequences.

“So much fucking cash. Everyone has a price. Everyone.”


Thomas Heath is a successful businessman with his own agenda. Upon staying at the Foster’s B&B and overhearing a private conversation, Thomas decides to intervene with a financial incentive. Knowing Grace is attracted to him and that Brett is considering the offer as well, Thomas wants to seize this opportunity.

“The sonofabitch needed to fuck my wife while I watched, just as much as we needed the money he was offering for doing it. It put us strangely on par.”


With this indecent proposal on the line, Grace and Brett process what the money would mean to them. When the night arrives, certain rules apply but even so, Thomas is in full control and Grace responds to his authority and ministrations. Between them, there is passion and which leads to incredibly hot and dirty scenes. Watching their interaction, Brett must hold back his insecurities and get a hold on his lust until he can reclaim his wife. 

“She kissed him like she wanted him, because she fucking did. I watched my wife kiss another man with a pain like I’d never felt, right in my gut as my fucking cock kept on throbbing.”


What ensues is a storyline that offers not just erotica but also an unexpected departure into the difficulties of marriage and complacency within oneself. Additionally, the element that brings Thomas to the Foster’s lives was a surprise and continued to develop by adding dimension Thomas’ character. As Grace, Brett and Thomas seem to move forward, more complications arise. 

As always, Jade West’s characters have a realness offering relatable vulnerability as Grace and Brett must discover whether their foundation is solid. With Thomas, his evolution is more complex and isn’t necessarily related to something he can control. His dominant side is so sexy but his softer side is also very appealing. I really liked Brett and how he showed his true compassion and love for family. Of course, could Grace be any luckier in her situation? Lol. But seriously, she holds her own and I admired her strength as well. As these three learn more than they could ever had hoped, achieving unity becomes their goal. 

Needless to say, this one ticked many boxes for me. It had many hot and filthy times but I was also invested in each character and how it would all turn out. One Too Many would appeal to those seeking erotica at its finest and also a story with a heart. I highly recommend.

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

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Title: Crazy Madly Deeply
Author: Lily White
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Dual
Expected Publication: March 14, 2018

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5 Stars! 

Holden Bishop grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, but he always remained true to those he loved despite being labeled a freak by those who were lesser. When an incident occurs, it begins a cruel and maddening cycle irrevocably affecting Holden’s life.

“You broke me down until I was small like you. Does that make you happy?”


Michaela Paige is one of the popular rich girls who outwardly appears to enjoy a gifted life of opportunity and privilege. Always doing what is expected of her, Michaela lives in silence until she finally finds her voice.

“I promise I’ll speak up when I should. I promise I won’t bow down to what other people want when I know it goes against everything I know is right.”


While living distinctly different lives, Holden and Michaela cross paths one fateful night and it changes their entire perspective and future. For Holden, he acts to protect his loved ones and his strength lies in his innate ability to remain good in the face of injustice. With Michaela, she always admired Holden but also knew he was off limits due to his own limits. Now that Michaela finds herself in a situation, she and Holden learn much more about each other than they could have imagined.

“I’d barely had time to catch my breath before his mouth was on me, his legs shoving mine apart, his fingers dipping down to places that had me moaning while he swallowed those sounds and worked me in a frenzy, never stopping, never slowing down…”


In starting this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect but it certainly delivered in the feels and angst department. From the onset, Holden’s integrity is evident and his pain is felt on so many levels. In not knowing Holden’s fate, the angst is high as the plot continues to unfold. Viewing Holden through Michaela’s eyes is a tasty treat as he definitely the strong, silent type but he is more complex than she initially realizes.

What ensues is heartbreaking and maddening to see how misconceptions can ruin the lives of these characters. However, while there is suffering there is also light and goodness that shines even brighter. This story was an incredible journey with thought provoking prose and characters that stir so much emotion. 

Crazy Madly Deeply would appeal to those who want to get lost in the plight of these characters and come out stronger in the end. I highly recommend.

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

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Title: Under His Stiletto
Author: K.A. Merikan
Genre: MM Erotica/Kink
Type: Standalone
POV: Third Person
Published February 24th 2018

 

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4 Stars!

 

While working on a construction site, Mike and his co-workers spot a pretty woman walking along the sidewalk. After a catcall or two, Mike agrees to apologize for their behavior. Upon laying eyes on the lady, Mike is entranced and when she tells him he needs to be punished, he is ready to be disciplined.

 

“I love penetration. I’ve mostly been pegged, but it’d be hot to take Momma’s dick.”


Appearing perfectly coifed in her custom vintage fashion, Momma is comfortable with her choices and has the tools to dominate. Accustomed to kinkery, Mike is attracted to Momma and wants to please her in every way by being a good boy. 

 

“That’s okay, honey. It’s all right now. Momma will take care of you. “


What ensues is incredibly salacious as Momma teaches Mike the lessons he needs and fulfills desires she hasn’t fully explored until these moments with him. Of course, Mike goes to lengths to make his Momma happy.

 

“Thank you for the lesson, Momma,” he whimpered, losing it completely when he thought about this gorgeous creature in vintage lingerie fucking his arse while he bent over for her. “


In starting this novella, I wasn’t completely sure about how the dynamics would mesh, but it certainly exceeded my expectations in the kink department. There were some cringe-worthy moments and I loved how boundaries were pushed. Momma was sweet and nurturing but she also enjoyed administering punishments. As for Mike, he had a big heart from the beginning and soon proved he was ready to abandon his lad pad for Momma. 

Under His Stiletto would appeal to those who are willing to try Mommy kink with a twist. 

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Title: Vlad (The V Games #1)
Author: Ker Dukey & K Webster
Genre: Dark Romance
Type: Book 1 in a series
POV: First Person – Dual
Expected Publication: February 26, 2018

 

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4 Stars!  

 

At 22 years old, Vlad Vasiliev is the first heir to a powerful family dynasty built upon illegal enterprise and the infamous V Games. Abiding his father’s wishes, Vlad is to marry the oldest daughter of another ruling family in order to solidify the Vasiliev name. Understanding the importance of such a union isn’t lost on Vlad but he also has his own agenda and he is ready to take his family to a new level. 

“Even if I never use you. You are mine.”


Irina Volkov, the youngest sibling in her family, maintains the books of Volkov Spirits and is an artist. Always in the shadow of her older sister, she accepted this subservient position out of love and respect but Irina is strong, beautiful and a powerful force in her own right. Believing in the idea of true love, Irina is holding out for the man she’s admired since childhood but doesn’t think he ever noticed her. 

“The Volkov women are known for having spines of steel – they do what needs to be done when the moment arrives.”


When Vlad’s fiancé and her sister, Irina, move into the Vasiliev estate, the wedding nears but all isn’t what is seems. With varying factions vying for power, Vlad is on the top of his game yet he is tempted by Irina’s innocence. As they enter a game of secrets, Irina must decide if her family loyalty is stronger than what she desires. 

“Nothing will snuff out what has begun to rage between us. An inferno.”


In Vlad, what ensues is a multi-layered plot with rich main and secondary characters that test the limits whether it leads to deceitful or violent means. Vlad’s domineering ways seer the pages and Irina’s charm is effervescent. With some surprises and drama, the plot pace consistently builds until certain secrets are revealed. 

With this new series, Ker Dukey and K. Webster show their collaborative efforts continue to produce effective suspenseful, dark and sexy scenes. I look forward to book two and the commencement of the V Games. 

 

The V Games Series:
Vlad (The V Games, #1) by Ker Dukey Ven Book 2

*An ARC was generously provided for an honest review.

 

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Title: Hostage (Criminals & Captives #2)
Author: Annika Martin and Skye Warren
Genre: Romance Suspense
Type: Book 2 in a series

POV: First Person – Dual

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4 Stars! 

Brooke Carson is the perfect student and obedient daughter; however, her life irrevocably changes during her sweet sixteen birthday party when she witnesses a crime and is taken hostage. From that moment, Brooke is ready to break from a gilded cage to the light she’s been seeking. 

 

“That’s what you’re like, you know? A pretty little bird and you keep singing, thinking someone’s going to understand.”


Stone Keaton is a man with a tortured past and set on course for vengeance. After laying eyes on a demure teenager who’s seen too much, he knows she must be silenced. Not one to shy away from violence, Stone prepares to do what is needed but then he realizes there may be another solution to his problem.

 

“Fighting for that last bit of dignity, even when she was losing everything. That’s what spoke to me.”


Knowing how the past has shaped him, Stone wants to protect Brooke from his inner turmoil and the danger surrounding him and his friends but she offers something he’s never had. By staying in the shadows, Stone is able to watch her but as time passes, he needs to feel the peace only she can offer. With sexual tension at high levels, it is combustible with Stone’s dominant and wild energy and Brooke’s unguarded innocence.

“You’re so fucking pretty.” Her voice trembles. “Why do you say that like it’s a bad thing?” Because I can’t stand her delicate eyelids and her bow-shaped mouth. She’s so fragile, so breakable, and I’m a goddamn sledgehammer.”


Told in dual POV, these characters immediately show their true selves and it creates more intrigue into how Brooke and Stone will develop individually and as a couple. At first, I wasn’t sure how the dynamic of their age difference would work but it becomes clear that Brooke provides Stone with a cushion he’s never experienced and he accepts her unconditionally. While the influence and consequences of Brooke’s life are clear from the beginning, I wanted to know more about Stone’s past that just a few recollected memories, especially since it’s been his driving force for so long. That said, I enjoyed this story, the unique plot elements and Stone’s dirty mouth. 

In reading Hostage, it was my first introduction to writing duo of Skye Warren and Annika Martin and their collaborative effort felt seamless. While I was expecting a darker read, the action and connection between all characters kept me intrigued. Also, I really love the cover design and it captures the overall theme of the book.

Hostage would appeal to those who are looking for a fast-paced romantic suspense with darkish elements. 

Criminals & Captives series:
Prisoner (Criminals & Captives, #1) by Annika Martin Hostage (Criminals & Captives, #2) by Annika Martin

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Title: Blood Red Rose
Author: Fawn Bailey
Genre: Dark Romance
Type: Book 1 of 3 
POV: First Person – Multiple
Expected Publication: February 24, 2018

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4 Stars! 

 

At 18 years old, Harlow Granger is an aspiring ballerina on the cusp of getting her big break until one fateful day when she is taken against her will. Upon realizing her predicament, Harlow begins training as a submissive all in the expectation that she will serve her master. 

 

“I bled for him, beautiful dark blood washing over the makeshift stage as I danced.”


Thorn is a mysterious man with financial means to get exactly what he wants. Admiring her from afar, he knew she would be perfect for his needs and Harlow seems to bloom under his watchful eye despite the harsh circumstances.

 

“For that man, I would have done anything. It made me want to sob.”


As Harlow tries to adjust to her training, she is shocked by her reactions and tries to please her trainer in every way. While she clings to the hope of escaping, certain developments arise until the inevitable happens. 

 

“Brokenly, I succumbed to his demands. I ate his cum like a whore and felt every bit the broken plaything he wanted to turn me into.”


The contrast between Harlow and Thorn is immediately evident, as she is young and impressionable yet Thorn is experienced and hardened. The tone is also conflicting in that what Harlow experiences and feels seems to tilt on its axis throughout her plight. Unsure of what she understands, Harlow begins to direct her feelings in ways that will only cause more harm. 

What transpires is a dark themed captive story that pushes Harlow’s boundaries and tests the morality of other characters. With being the first book in a series, much was introduced but there are many questions that remain about Harlow and Thorn. 

In Blood Red Rose Fawn Bailey pens a narrative that is rich in erotica and creates vulnerable characters that cause different reactions. This author’s first formal foray into the dark shows promise and I’m curious to see how it all unfolds.

Rose and Thorn series:
Blush Pink Rose (Rose and Thorn, #0.5) by Fawn Bailey Blood Red Rose (Rose and Thorn, #1) by Fawn Bailey Pure White Rose (Rose and Thorn, #2) by Fawn Bailey Last Broken Rose (Rose and Thorn, #3) by Fawn Bailey

*I won an ARC in the author’s buddy read giveaway.
*This was a (F)BR with Twinsie Hawkey!*

 

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Title: The Velvet Caress
Author: C.P. Mandara
Genre: Erotica/BSDM
Type: Book two of Velvet Lies series
POV: First Person – Multiple

Publication Date: February 6, 2018

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4 Stars! 

 

 

Without interruption in the timeline, the storyline continues with the newlywed Jennifer Radcliff Matthews battling for her life due to a dose of poison. Shaken by the situation, Mark Matthews is concerned for his wife and will take all measures to find the culprit who seeks their demise. With guilt over his past behavior, Mark believes he deserves this turn of events and seeks penance in a place where he can atone and briefly forget about the consequences. 

 

“The thing was, you couldn’t take life for granted, it was precious and you had to savour each and every day you were given as if it were your last.”


With Mark standing firm with his decision with the need to be punished, he submits for one night to a Dominatrix despite his dominant nature. What occurs tests Mark’s threshold for physical and mental stimulation but it also gives him the reprieve he so desperately needs. Throughout his session, the methods used were deliciously erotic, quite edgy and tested Mark’s boundaries.

 

“I needed raw emotion, skin on skin contact, and a taste of something brutal. The dominant male had left the building, and all that remained was a shell of the man I once was. Would I always feel like this? I hoped not.”


As Jennifer recovers, it becomes clear there is a larger force at play regarding her family background. This knowledge adds to the ongoing plot points about Albrecht Stables and Michael’s Radcliff’s vengeful motivation but also creates questions about how it all happened. Though Mark has unlimited resources, it is difficult to find those he can trust and relies on a character who is eager to employ certain methods to make a traitor talk.

“Well, I don’t actually know his name.” “You’re fucking kidding me. Do I have complete twat tattooed across my forehead or something?”

 

 

 

With varying points of view, this narrative offers multiple and suspenseful intersecting plot points. Learning more about Jennifer’s background and her actions to protect Mark, she has evolved from a spoiled rich girl to a woman of substance. As for Mark, he is in a new position with loving feelings toward his wife but also acknowledges that he isn’t a vanilla saint. It isn’t a secret that Mark completely melts my panties and what occurs is kinky and combustible!

From the first page, I was completely enraptured by the storyline and how the circumstances continue to change in this ever evolving and ongoing plot. With suspenseful elements and stylistic writing, C.P. Mandara pushes carnal boundaries and keeps the reader wondering what is next. Needless to say, I cannot wait to see how it all unfolds in the next book. 

The Velvet Caress would appeal to those who appreciate the exotic elements of kinkery and enjoy the tension of romantic suspense. I highly recommend!

 

Velvet Lies series:
The Velvet Chair (Velvet Lies #1, The Pony Tales #7) by C.P. Mandara The Velvet Caress (Velvet Lies, #2, Pony Tales, #8) by C.P. Mandara

 

*A copy was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Title: Gentleman Nine
Author: Penelope Ward
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Dual
Expected Publication: February 19, 2018

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4 Stars! 

 

Amber Walton is a kindhearted person who works with special needs adults. After breaking up with her boyfriend of nine years, she is heartbroken and trying to pick up the pieces. When Channing, one of her oldest friends, becomes her temporary roommate, Amber starts to process her feelings and see her life in a new perspective.

“You have to focus on the solution, or rather, focus on what you truly want.”


Channing Lord is on a contract job assignment in Boston and reunites with a childhood friend, who has a special place in his heart. Always able to garner attention due to his model looks and easy personality, Channing begins to question his decisions and must tackle life’s challenges.

“You either have to make something happen for yourself, or it just falls into your lap when you stop searching.”


As Channing and Amber become reacquainted, it’s as though time hasn’t passed and their connection remains strong. Wanting to protect Amber, Channing offers advice and tries to heal her aching emotions. While Amber is thankful for Channing’s friendship, her long buried romantic feelings toward him resurface but she doesn’t want to compromise what they already have. After realizing the situation, Channing makes it hard for Amber to resist his charm.

“I don’t ever want you to forget what this feels like, Amber. I know I won’t ever forget this.”


Told in dual POV, the sexual tension is combustible with Channing being a constant temptation and Amber trying resist at every turn. It certainly isn’t one-sided as Channing discovers more than he could have imagined and ultimately must make the right decision. Once all is out in the open, Channing and Amber think their rules can insulate them while having some naughty fun.

In addition to the fun and sexy times shared by Amber and Channing, unexpected situations arise causing them to make difficult decisions. During this time, the tone shifts to one with some angst but also shows the dimension in these characters individually and as a couple. From the beginning, Channing charmed me and I enjoyed how he was always grounded in many ways despite his playboy past. Amber is a noble character and her emotions were completely relatable.

With Gentleman Nine being my first Penelope Ward read, I expected a fun, sexy read and it certainly delivered on those points, as well as, offering a bit of angst and realistic life circumstances. This book would appeal to those who enjoy a friends to lovers romance.

 

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.

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Title: Shiver
Author: Ella Frank and Brooke Blaine
Genre: Erotica / MM
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Dual

Published October 15th 2017

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4 Stars!

 

 

 

Jesse Clark is a recent archeology graduate trying to make ends meet. One night he accompanies his good friend to an exclusive sex club and discovers a completely new world. For Jesse, this one time is enough but unbeknownst to him, he’s been noticed by a man who excels in the hunt.

“He looked like the devil himself lording over hell, but I hadn’t known at the time how tempting that sinful prince would be.”

Salvatore Wolfe is a man of exotic tastes and has the wealth and drive to get what he wants. Upon seeing Jesse in his club, his predatory instincts take over despite his efforts to avoid past mistakes. As a wolf on the prowl, he’s prepared to ensnare his little lamb.

“You have the face of an angel but respond to orders from the devil. That’s a potent combination, Jesse.”

With Salvatore setting his traps, he couldn’t be more pleased by Jesse’s continued willingness to submit to his desires. For Jesse, Salvatore offers a place of safety and his trusting nature becomes a continued temptation. What ensues between these two is quite hot, as Salvatore is dominating in every way.

“I spread my thighs as he moved further down my body, and I used the restraints around my wrists to pull myself up and buck against him as he went. When his lips brushed over the crease of my thigh, I closed my eyes.

Told in dual POV, it becomes immediately apparent that Wolfe is predator with a dark past. As he calculates and manipulates, he can’t hide his true feelings for the little bit of light in his life. While Jesse is much younger than Salvatore and a bit naïve, his character offers a needed balance and a sense of goodness. Knowing Salvatore’s true tastes, the sexual tension of what’s to come is intriguing.

Overall, I enjoyed the predator and prey elements, along with Salvatore’s darker side. I was hoping for more of Salvatore’s past, but what was revealed remained aligned with his character right until the very satisfying end.

Shiver is a story of lust and obsession where boundaries are crossed. This book will appeal to those who enjoy their MM action with some kinkery.

 

 

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Title: The Silver Cage
Author: Anonymous
Genre: Romance/MM
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Dual

 

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4.5 Stars! 

 

 

Michael Beck is an aspiring freelance journalist and blogger who primarily earns a living by streaming as a gamer. At 25 years old, he’s slowly adapted to adulting but now he has an opportunity of a lifetime to transition his writing into a more serious pursuit. As Michael tries to ingratiate himself with his easy personality and commitment to an accurate portrayal, he begins to discover more than he could have imagined about his subject and himself.

“I was giving myself permission to reopen the door to Michael Beck, because I didn’t have anything else in left in my life.”


Caleb “Cal” Bright is a reclusive best selling author sequestered by his own volition. Upon begrudgingly accepting to be interviewed for a profile, Cal is prepared to regurgitate answers to unimaginative questions so he can be left alone again. However, what starts on a rocky and standoffish foundation evolves into the unexpected causing old feelings to come full circle.

“I do believe I deserve it,” I admitted. “That doesn’t make it any easier.”


As Michael and Cal set a professional course, a mutual respect is present and as their time together passes, Cal slowly begins to reveal many layers of his personality and beliefs. Learning more about each other leads to decisions that cause complications but both embrace their choices despite the consequences.

“I got down on my knees very deliberately. I wanted him to know that I wanted this, and that I wasn’t acting on a whim.”

 

 

Told in dual POV, these characters become alive from the first page. While Cal’s personality is steeped in refinement, education and wealth, he is also deeply conflicted with the conventions of his family’s religion and his own actions. Often coming across as aloof or abrasive, Cal is confronted with Michael’s uninhibited lightheartedness and it balances him in ways he hasn’t felt in years. I loved Cal and certainly empathized with his conflict. With Michael, he always felt like breeze of fresh air infusing energy and newness.

What ensues is a story that evokes strong emotion in relation to choices and expectations regarding family, love and one’s own beliefs in religious constructs. The impact is deeply felt whether it be the sensation of attraction, admiration, despair and loss. Knowing the plight of Cal and Michael, the author remains true these characters. 

The Silver Cage offers a poignant narrative that will leave lasting impression. This book will appeal to those who want to delve into complex feelings no matter the painful consequences. I highly recommend! 

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Title: The Lucky Ones
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Genre: Fiction/Mystery/Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: Third Person
Expected Publication: February 13, 2018

 

4.5 Stars!  

Allison Lamarque is at a turning point in her adult life. At this pivotal time, she receives a letter from her foster brother after thirteen years have elapsed without any contact. While she has fond memories living with the Capello family, she also has unanswered questions about the circumstances surrounding the night that caused her life to change. Upon deciding to travel back to the Oregon coast to pay her respects to Dr. Vincent Capello, Allison must confront her emotions and many family secrets. 

 

“When distant relatives contact you out of nowhere, it’s never good. Never.”


Being the eldest, Roland Capello took a chance on contacting Allison after all these years for the sake of his father and siblings. Harboring feelings he has tried to reconcile over time, Allison’s visit brings many memories to the surface.

 

“Never too late to come home,” Roland said, and squeezed her hand again.”


As Allison is determined to discover what happened the night of her accident, she uncovers information that creates more questions about the family she loved so dearly. Step by step, complications arise causing conflicting feelings about her perceptions and how to handle such destructive secrets. 

 

“He’s good at pretending things are okay when they aren’t.”


From the first page, Allison’s story unfolds in such a compelling manner with her situation bringing forth a range of emotion. With strong secondary characters in Dr. Capello, Roland, Deacon and Thora, the dichotomy between truth and lies is further explored leaving each to weigh heavy consequences. The moral dilemma presented is quite interesting and attaching emotion to the motivation really intrigued me, as I understood the plight of each character despite positive or negative results. While the Allison and Roland share a deep romantic connection, the suspense element really drives the story and causes Allison to evaluate how she can move forward with Roland. 

In starting this book, I was expecting a solid mystery, and the author certainly delivered on that point, but the plot offers much more with complexity and an intricately weaved plot bringing the characters full circle. As such, Tiffany Reisz pens a masterful and provocative narrative that allows the reader to experience the highs and lows of humanity.

The Lucky Ones is a suspenseful story about the intricacies of family, secrets, grief and sacrifice. I highly recommend!

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

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Title: The Elder
Author: Celia Aaron
Genre: Mystery/Romantic Suspense
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Dual
Expected Publication: February 6, 2018

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3.5 Stars

Arabella Matthews is an Azalea city police detective and a single parent. Assigned as lead on the homicide case, she effortlessly takes charge. Knowing the city has limited resources, Arabella must accept reinforcements from the Sheriff’s department. Accepting the help wouldn’t be too bad except for the King name and how they view citizens from her neighborhood.

“You can’t just walk into my life and fit, just like I couldn’t do that to yours. We are pieces to entirely different puzzles.”


Benton King is an attorney and known to be the uptight elder King brother. Working in his father’s law firm, Benton is dedicated to his profession and his family’s legacy. When Benton’s father is murdered, he’s in shock but can’t sit idly by while the investigation is under foot.

“In neat blue cursive, the note said, “You’re next.”


While Arabella and Benton seem to be opposites, they find an unexpected balance and attraction to each other. As they are determined to obtain answers and find the killer, they partner together in their search. Slowly, Benton begins to realize there is more to life than the firm and Arabella sees that there may be more to Benton than she thought. 

“Why did kindness bring them to the surface faster than anything else, even pain?”


In this plot driven story, the mystery builds as the investigation unfolds with possible motives and suspects. Step by step, the consequences become more dire causing Arabella and Benton to rely upon each other. Adding to the cast of characters is Porter, Benton’s younger brother and town Sheriff, whose carefree personality infuses the plot with humor. 

What I liked about this story is the quirkiness of a small town where gossip is abundant and older residents like May Bell seem to be wise. With an underlying theme of socio-economic disparity and racism, it adds an unfortunate realism but these main characters rise above. Overall, I liked the author’s writing but the storyline felt predictable and I wanted more development between Benton and Arabella. 

The Elder will appeal to those looking for a murder mystery with a side of romance. 

 

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.

 

*This was a (F)BR with Twinsie Hawkey and Lonestar Liz!*

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Title: Devastate (Deliver #4)
Author: Pam Godwin
Genre: Dark Romance
Type: Book 4 in a series
POV: Third Person
Expected Publication: February 6, 2018

4.5 Stars!

For Tate Vades, life hasn’t always been easy but he’s adapted to his situation. Pining after his good friend for some time, he believes he can capture her heart if only he can find her missing sister. When Tate decides to act on his plan, he is tested physically and emotionally in ways he never could have foreseen. 

 

“What is the price you’re willing to pay?”


Lucia Dias has been separated from her family for eleven years and learned quickly that she couldn’t trust anyone in her current surroundings. Employed by the local underworld boss, she knows her place but is beginning to lose hope of having a different life.

 

“What is it going to be Lucia? The easy way? Or…” He tightened his fingers against her throat, cutting her airflow. “The hard way?”


As Tate’s path takes him to Caracas in search of Lucia, he begins to realize that his journey is more than just finding her, but also about reconciling his past and fighting for a future. For Lucia, the hope she lost is resurrected when she connects with Tate on a deeper level than she ever expected. As they start to trust each other, the risks are high but they are willing to fight for a chance.

 

“With his hands on her hips, he drove inside her, feeding her every ruthless inch and unleashing the last of his restraint.”


With Tate’s history, the loneliness of his character pervades, but even during his darkest times, his humanity didn’t wane. Finally finding what he’s been searching for, Tate doesn’t back down and stakes his claim toLucia. Most importantly, Tate evolves as he learns from his past and embraces who he is now. Throughout this plot, Lucia’s plight is heavy and the hopelessness of her situation is strongly felt – ranging from her stubborn resignation to infusing passion into desperate times. 

Told in third person, the plot tension builds at a steady crescendo leading to gritty moments filled with psychological implications and adrenaline pumping action. Adding to the appeal of Tate andLucia are secondary characters that continue to be weaved into the ongoing plot of the Deliver series. Van Quiso’s role in this book is monumental for his own character arc and also for Tate’s personal growth. With his added presence, the plot felt more cohesive. Lastly, the inclusion of Cole Hartman made my heart flutter again and can’t wait to read more about him being part of the Freedom Fighters. 

In true Pam Godwin fashion, Devastate follows a complex plot rich in earnest characters and effective scenes that evoke a sense of strong emotional strength. What I always love about this author’s work is her ability to stay true to her characters and to take a darker path when it furthers the storyline. 

Devastate is dark story paralleling the trials and tribulations of characters placed in harsh circumstances but showing how resilient one can be. I highly recommend!

Deliver series:
Deliver (Deliver, #1) by Pam Godwin Vanquish (Deliver, #2) by Pam Godwin Disclaim (Deliver, #3) by Pam Godwin Devastate (Deliver, #4) by Pam Godwin Take (Deliver, #5) by Pam Godwin 

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

*This was a (F)BR with Twinsie Hawkey, Loyda and Lonestar Liz!*

 

Title: Peep Show
Author: Isabella Starling
Genre: Erotic Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Dual

 

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4 Stars!!

 

Bebe Hall is a twenty-something party girl lost in her own fears and emotions. Trying to escape the pain but also feel like she belongs, Bebe focuses on her own pleasure and fun. It isn’t until one night when she witnesses the pleasure and pain another woman feels at the hands of her neighbor. Not one to walk away from danger, Bebe tests the limits.

“I DARE YOU TO GO NEXT.”


Miles Reilly is man who enjoys controlling his environment. Upon noticing he has an audience, Miles doesn’t shy away but rather clearly communicates his willingness to connect with another. While he guarantees to provide quite the show, there is much more to Miles than what he presents.

“I wanted to know what she tasted like with me inside her. I wanted to know how sweet that cunt was after I’d forced orgasm after orgasm out of it.”


Told in dual POV, the characters of Miles and Bebe evoke an immediate emotional response. At first, Bebe is easy to dislike due to her socialite lifestyle without much regard for what really counts. However, as more is revealed, it becomes apparent why Bebe is makes such irresponsible decisions and she earns more respect as she confronts her vulnerability. With Miles, he has much to hide and doesn’t want to burden Bebe with his own problems, but he soon finds reason to break from his shell.

“Why do you fucking insist on avoiding the problem when it’s staring you straight in the face?”


Between Miles and Bebe the sexual chemistry is off the charts with both not having many limits when it comes to pleasure. While there are steamy scenes, the story also evolves into multiple layers depicting how circumstances can be the impetus for self-protective behavior. For me, reading what Miles endured was heartbreaking but it’s also a realistic view at how fragile humanity can be at times. I also liked how he seemed to powerful on the outside while inside he was filled with pain. 

When starting Peep Show, I was expected an erotic novel and it certainly delivered on that aspect, but it also conveyed a range of emotion with two characters that are shattered but not beyond mending.

For those looking for incredibly sexy times but also a plot that makes you empathize on many levels with the characters, I highly recommend Peep Show.

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Seek by Mia Sheridan

Title: Seek
Author: Mia Sheridan
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Dual
Published: January 22, 2018

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Olivia “Livvy” Barton is a woman of means but her financial security doesn’t insulate the pain when her fiancé mysteriously vanishes. Using available resources, Livvy hires a man to escort her to Colombia to obtain answers. With parts of the country ravaged by natural disasters, Livvy must rely on her escort to provide a safe passage but she cannot be shielded from what is to come.

“I guess love can make people take risks that aren’t necessarily wise.” She furrowed her brow. “Yes, I guess so.”


As a former soldier, Thomas is thoroughly trained to accompany Livvy to South America despite sharing the risks involved in such a journey. On the surface, he sees Livvy in a certain light, but it quickly becomes clear that she is more than just a pretty face. Committed to protecting her, their experiences intensify in their short time together. 

“She was strong. I realized that now, but a person couldn’t be strong all the time.”


Upon arriving in Colombia and being isolated in the jungle and small villages, Livvy and Thomas begin to reveal bits of their past and true selves. Relying on Thomas feels natural for Livvy but this time also begins to prompt more introspection into Livvy’s choices and motivations. While she is determined to find answers for Alec’s disappearance, she is prepared for heartbreak. Though Thomas isn’t initially invested in the outcome, he starts view Livvy in a different light based on her resolve. 

“A thrill seeker and a homebody. We’re a funny pair, aren’t we?” she asked softly.”


Told in dual POV, Livvy and Thomas come from different backgrounds, but their commonalities create a bond. Understanding what they endured, adds dimension to each character in that there is empathy and the mixed emotion of how they will move forward. Feeling their chemistry, Thomas exudes so much raw male strength and sexual energy that it is palpable and completely relatable when Livvy sneaks a peek at him and ultimately acts on her urges. With pending tension of the unknown, surrendering to the moment is all they agree to have. 


“She’d wear the evidence of this night on her body in the morning, and at the half-formed thought, a fierce surge of satisfaction, of possession, surged through me.”


From the beginning, I liked Thomas and how his past and present actions defined his character. With Livvy, initially I was worried that she would be a snob but very quickly it becomes clear that she isn’t defined by money but rather her heart and a deep need to protect. I admired her tenacity and willingness to take the journey despite knowing the consequences of such closure.

With a twisty reveal at the end, the plot and characters come full circle. This author’s writing style is always engaging, as she has a precise ability to combine emotion and vulnerabilities with added self-reflection and inner strength. 

For those looking to read a romantic suspense with worthy characters and an introspective journey, I recommend Seek.

*An ARC was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Deep Control by Annabel Joseph

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Title: Deep Control (Dark Dominance #2)
Author:  Annabel Joseph
Genre:  Romance/Erotica/BDSM
Type:  Standalone within a series
POV:  First person – dual

Expected Publication: January 22, 2018

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4 Stars!

 

Dr. Ella Novatny is well-respected theoretical astrophysicist heavily focused on her career but when she isn’t immersed in the lab, she needs the escape of pain delivered by a Dom’s hand. Offered a job in New York, she must travel by plane and face one of her fears. However, when she is thrust into a completely uncontrollable situation, she is tested in more ways than she expected.

 

“I have a tendency to worry about things. To overthink. My field of science is based on questions more than answers.”


Captain Devin Kincaid is a pilot and known to be playboy sadist. Comfortable with his traveling and uncomplicated lifestyle, his time at The Gallery keeps him busy and sated by submissives. After meeting a certain masochist, Devin’s need to play with others becomes diminished but his past still affects certain decisions. 

 

“It was fun-ishment. But I can do punishment, too.”


As Ella and Devin find a common bond with pain, she begins to trust Dev but certain vulnerabilities flair causing Ella to do what she knows so well. Even with Ella’s pushback, Devin assures her of his intentions, but when Devin’s latent emotions surface, he must accept what he feels to move forward.

 

“Just lie there and imagine my cock moving in and out of you, pounding your hungry, juicy pussy.”


Told in dual POV, getting into the minds of these characters feels effortless. I admired Ella’s intellectual abilities and understood her deep need to protect her heart. While Ella works hard, she also needs an equally impactful release achieved by being a submissive. With Devin providing the security and touch Ella craves, she’s able lose control and quiet her mind leading to hot scenes.

 

“Things are always better after you fuck me,” I said. “You have a magic cock.”


From the beginning, Devin oozes sexiness as a Dom and while in his pilot’s uniform. While these two may have been an unlikely match without kink, their attraction builds as plot points are met. What I always appreciate about this author’s writing is her consistency in staying true to her characters. 

Deep Control will appeal to those who enjoy BDSM play and also a romance about characters trying to find their way together. 

Dark Dominance series:
Dark Control (Dark Dominance, #1) by Annabel Joseph Deep Control (Dark Dominance, #2) by Annabel Joseph Dangerous Control (Dark Dominance, #3) by Annabel Joseph

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

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Rules of Engagement by Lily White

 

Title: Rules of Engagement
Author:  Lily White
Genre:  Romantic Suspense
Type:  Standalone
POV:  First person – dual

Expected Publication: January 17, 2018

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4.5 Stars!

Mia Jennings is trying to support herself in the big city but losing her last job has created a financial crisis. Feeling desperate, she enrolls in an interactive cyber game with viewers on the dark web. Adding to her dilemma, Mia accepts a position at a company with a seriously enigmatic boss.

“But desperation has a heavy price. It’s a toxic poison that makes you do things you would never normally do.”


Donovan Stone is the owner of Stone Industries a large, multinational software company. With his prickly personality and certain needs, Donovan is resistant to hire a new assistant but there is something about Mia that keeps him intrigued and isn’t about to make it easy on her.

“I’m not rude. I’m clear about my thoughts.”


As Mia learns to adapt to Donovan’s quirks, their employer-employee relationship takes shape with Mia learning much more than she anticipated and wishing she could terminate her participation in the game. With Donovan taking pleasure in Mia’s discomfort, he continues to push her until the tension becomes unbearable between them. 

“This was the type of kiss that vanquished all doubts I had left inside me that, to Donovan Stone, I was a woman worth taking a chance on.”

Tension mounts as Mia realizes the impact of her vulnerability as her predator makes his constant presence known. Despite not being able to hide, Mia raises the stakes compounding the risk. As she tries to end the game, more surprises are waiting for Mia.

“Rule No. 1: Do not enter the game unless you intend to finish. Once accepted, there is no escape.”


Donovan was a standout character for me based on how he dealt with his past. While he can be abrasively honest, I was instantly intrigued and charmed by him. As for Mia, her desperation and need to please was successfully conveyed and led to her poor decision. However, I liked her overall determination and the fact she didn’t concede to Donovan’s challenges making them a good match.

From the beginning, a certain pace is set that allows for the suspense to mount. Combined with a tense dilemma and distinctive characters, the plot unfolds and lures the reader into a world where rules are meant to be broken. For those who enjoy romantic suspense with a unique plot, Rules of Engagement will keep you entertained to the very end. 

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

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Title: Tales from Cushman Row
Author:  Suanne Laqueur
Genre:  Contemporary Romance/MM
Type:  Book 3 of 3 in the Venery series
POV:  Third person

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4 Stars! 

 

Tales from Cushman Row is a compendium of deleted scenes and the author’s notes focusing on the character development of Javier Landes and the relationship he shares with Steffan Finch. Organized by chapter themes, each scene offers further dimension into these characters by exposing vulnerabilities, revealing humor and ultimately a sense of harmony. With the inclusion of chapters dedicated to the progression of Jav and Stef’s sexual encounters, it certainly satisfied the need to have something extra after finishing A Charm of Finches.

 

“Feel good?” Jav whispered. “God, I never had it so good.” Propped over Stef, Jav’s eyes seemed to harden. “You ever gonna let anyone else fuck you like this?” “No way. Never.”


Overall, getting insight into the author’s writing process was like watching cogs click into place, and these extras enriched my overall reading experience. For those who enjoyed the Venery duet, this book will answer some questions you may have and sate any residual cravings toward Jav. I highly recommend as supplemental reading. 

 

“Listen to learn. Learn to tell. Tell to teach.”

 

Venery series:
An Exaltation of Larks (Venery, #1) by Suanne Laqueur A Charm of Finches (Venery, #2) by Suanne Laqueur Tales from Cushman Row (Venery) by Suanne Laqueur

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CC’s Review ~ Under Mr. Nolan’s Bed by Selena Kitt

 

Title: Under Mr. Nolan’s Bed (Original Version)
Author:  Selena Kitt
Genre:  Erotica
Type:  Book 1 of 3 in a series
POV:  First person

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5 Taboo Stars!! 

At 18 years old, Leah is a high school student who spends the majority of her time with her best friend, Erica. Due to natural teenage sexual curiosities, they discover what Erica’s father, Mr. Nolan, is keeping hidden under his bed. From that moment, a world of pleasure opens to Leah and she wants to experience it all. 

“Doesn’t it feel good to be bad?” I touched my lips, still wet with her juices, and nodded. I had to admit – it really did.”


Mr. Nolan is a widower of five years raising his daughter on his own. Knowing his daughter and Leah are such good friends comforts him to a degree, but Leah is catching his attention in a new and dangerous ways. As the temptation becomes too great, Mr. Nolan and Leah succumb to their desire leading to scorching hot scenes.

“Oh yes, fuck me, Mr. Nolan. Put that big, hard cock in my wet little cunt.” Just whispering the words, hearing them out loud, was beyond exciting.”


In starting this Under Mr. Nolan’s Bed, I had certain expectations and this book delivered by exceeding on the forbidden and smut scale! To be clear, this particular version is the original and uncut story that delves into the taboo on so many wrong levels, but it’s also cringe-worthy in that what transpires is sexually erotic. 

With all that occurs in the relationships of these characters, the recurring theme is the exploration of being uninhibited despite societal conventions. This version may not be for everyone, but the author unabashedly embraces the forbidden and successfully pushes the boundaries, as nothing is off-limits. 

For those who are looking for a truly taboo story, Under Mr. Nolan’s Bed will keep you glued to the pages, fanning yourself and wondering what did I just read?! I highly recommend.

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CC’s ARC Review ~ Prince Charming by CD Reiss

 

Title: Prince Charming 
Author:  CD Reiss
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Type:  Standalone
POV:  Dual – first person

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4 Stars!

 

Cassie Grinstead is a FBI agent assigned to uncovering a white supremacist cell. While investigating her case, she believes a popular hacker named Alpha Wolf can be an asset as an informant; however, identifying him proves challenging. If Cassie succeeds, she will earn the longstanding promotion she’s been seeking and also the much needed validation of success.

“Even though I do want him, very much so, and it’s that very real threat that he is lawless that piques my interest as much as never seen him try to hard.”


Keaton Bridge is a man known to have strong hacking associations, but even with a reputation that precedes him, much mystery remains. Knowing his long-term goal, Keaton has been planning for the day, but when he meets Agent Grinstead, he begins to question his timeline.

“Whenever I’m in a room with you, I feel like you press against the world. My world. My attention.”


With a family history of single mothers, Cassie knows the struggle and also has an inherent distrust of men. Coupled with her job, trusting people isn’t easy for her. While she knows Keaton is hiding many truths, she is deeply attracted to his veneer and the possibility of cracking it. For Keaton, he believes there’s more to Cassie than just a shiny badge and he’s waiting for the opportunity to tarnish her.

“Do you kiss a girl after she’s had your dick in her mouth?” He takes me by the back of the neck and kisses me deeply.”


Told in dual POV, the chemistry between Keaton and Cassie is palpable as their witty banter propels these two as a couple. Not known to back down, Cassie remains a strong force and challenges Keaton on an equal plane. With her background, they compliment each other perfectly and once they surrender to their feelings, sparks fly. 

From being introduced to Keaton in King of Code, I was immediately intrigued by his character and discovering more about him was satisfying. With Cassie’s tough exterior, it was good to know what makes her tick and also understand her loving relationship with Nana. For the first half of the book, the tension surrounded Cassie and Keaton but then it started to escalate as Keaton’s past was unavoidable and leading to a faster pace. However, I did want a bit more into Keaton’s past and the second part of Cassie’s investigation wasn’t fully reconciled. Perhaps, that will lead into a third book?

Ultimately, Prince Charming offers a romance between two unlikely characters that discover their differences are just as unifying as their similarities. As their priorities align, they get closer to the truth. With this author’s writing style of punchy straightforward prose, it enhances these characters and the overall storyline. 

For those seeking a contemporary romance with a fiery heroine and British gentleman, Prince Charming will appeal to you. 

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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