Lisa Henry & Heidi Belleau – Bliss (Review & Excerpt)

Bliss by Lisa Henry & Heidi Belleau

Source: Review by Request
Publisher Provided Copy
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

They’re always happy.

Rory James has worked hard all his life to become a citizen of the idyllic city-state of Beulah. Like every other kid born in the neighboring country of Tophet, he’s heard the stories: No crime or pollution. A house and food for everyone. It’s perfect, and Rory is finally getting a piece of it.

So is Tate Patterson. He’s from Tophet, too, but he’s not a legal immigrant; he snuck in as a thief. A city without crime seems like an easy score, until he crashes into Rory during a getaway and is arrested for assaulting a citizen. Instead of jail, Tate is enrolled in Beulah’s Rehabilitation through Restitution program. By living with and serving his victim for seven years, Tate will learn the human face of his crimes.

If it seems too good to be true, that’s because it is. Tate is fitted with a behavior-modifying chip that leaves him unable to disobey orders—any orders, no matter how dehumanizing. Worse, the chip prevents him from telling Rory, the one man in all of Beulah who might care about him, the truth: in a country without prisons, Tate is locked inside his own mind.

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Heidi Belleau & Violetta Vane – Mark of the Gladiator

Mark of the Gladiator (Warriors of Rome, #4)Mark of the Gladiator by Heidi Belleau & Violetta Vane

Series: Warriors of Rome #4
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After an inconvenient display of mercy in the arena, the gladiator Anazâr is pulled from the sands and contracted to nobleman Lucius Marianus to train his new stable of female gladiators. His new charges are demoralized and untested, and they bear the marks of slavery and abuse. Anazâr has a scant four months to prepare them for the arena, and his new master demands perfection.

Anazâr’s surprised by how eager he is to achieve it—far more eager than a man motivated by only self-preservation. Perhaps it’s because Marianus is truly remarkable: handsome, dignified, honorable, and seemingly as attracted to Anazâr as Anazâr is to him.

But the rivalry between Marianus and his brother, Felix, sparks a murder conspiracy, with Anazâr and his gladiatrices caught in the middle. One brother might offer salvation . . . but which? And in a world where life is worth less than the pleasures of the crowd or the whims of a master, can there be any room for love? As a gladiator, Anazâr’s defenses are near impenetrable. But as a man, he learns to his cost that no armor or shield can truly protect his heart.

This title is part of the Warriors of Rome collection

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A brilliant MM Romance with a Gladiator Twist – Complete with all the debauchery and backstabbing you expect from ancient Rome.

Death made love all the more urgent.

This book absolutely blew me away.

Why did I pick it up?
* It’s MM March, so I’m reading MM Romances all month. This Historical themed book was the perfect addition to the line up.
* The Authors are also working on The Flesh Cartel Series which is wonderfully written.
* This book is part of a larger series but can be read as a stand-alone. Which is a good thing, because I’ve not read any of the other books in the series…
* It was a free e-book found on Amazon.

ANAZAR

He was tired of worrying about later. He’d live like he did in the arena, one passionate horrible glorious moment at a time.

Taken form the battlefield and given the slave name Cyrenaicus, Anazâr has become a formidable Gladiator in Rome. After refusing to slaughter helpless opponents, he is traded to a wealthy Roman household with a new mission – training a ragtag troupe of female slaves to fight as Gladiatrices.

In the arena, his enemies are obvious, but in the corrupt and wealthy circles of Rome, Anazâr discovers that danger lurks around every corner…

The cast of characters in this story would give any Epic a run for its money. The fact that the author was able to pack so much emotion, intrigue, and action into 238 pages is nothing short of astounding.

MARIANUS & AELIA

Marianus’s Power: the ability to command without threat, to have his expectations fulfilled without voicing them.
That same touch guided Anazâr to his knees.

The wealthy Lucius Marianus and his wife Aelia have acquired Anazâr to train their female fighters. The former trainer for the gladiatrices was far more concerned with availing himself of their feminine charms (sometimes against their will) than he was with training the women to fight. Anazâr, however, has no such desire. It’s why he was specifically chosen for this task.

Marianus appears to be an honorable man and a fair master. He is both powerful and attractive and uses his these traits to his advantage to gain the respect and loyalty of Anazâr…

FELIX

“We are all the same. Bags of bones and blood and brilliance.”

Felix is the black-sheep little brother of Lucius Marianus. Openly disdainful of both his brother and the elite of Rome with which he surrounds himself. Felix prefers to enjoy the pleasures of life: poetry, wine, and sex. This lust for life – and lust in general – does not go unnoticed by Anazâr.

As the attraction builds between Felix and Anazâr, their forbidden romance could quite possibly turn deadly. When Anazâr saves Felix from an assassin, he finds himself enveloped in a murderous plot on the house of Marianus – and everyone is a suspect.

THE GLADIATRICES

Even though these women weren’t necessarily the main characters in this story, the female warriors were incredibly badass. I tip my hat to them.

This story keeps you on the edge of your seat as you attempt to unravel the murderous plots surrounding the Marianus household. It seems that everyone has the means and motive to kill each other, and Anazâr is trapped in the middle of it all. Seems aristocratic Romans are just as bloodthirsty as any Gladiator Anazâr has ever challenged in the arena.

Anazâr’s loyalty is split.
As a Gladiator, he has only himself…
As a Slave, he must protect the house of Marianus…
As a trainer, he must protect the fate of his fighters…
As a man, his heart is bound to Felix…

The emotional forbidden romance between Felix and Anazâr was both beautiful and erotic. I feel that this book would be enjoyed by all lovers of Romance – even if you don’t usually go for Historical Romances, even if you don’t necessarily read MM Romance, this book transcends those genres to create a moving and lasting love story – I highly recommend it! I absolutely loved it.


Rachel Haimowitz & Heidi Belleau – Damnation

The Flesh Cartel #1: CaptureDamnation by Rachel Haimowitz & Heidi Belleau

Series: The Flesh Cartel, Season 1: Damnation
Source: Review by Request
Copy Provided by Publisher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Sublime service, made to order.” The Flesh Cartel: an international, multi-billion-dollar black market that trades in lost souls. Or more specifically, their bodies.

Highly organized and frighteningly efficient, the Flesh Cartel could teach even the KGB a thing or two about breaking a human mind. Fortunately for their ultra-rich clients, they’re just as skilled at putting people back together again-as perfect pets, well-trained and eager to please.

No matter what your secret tastes or dark desires, the Flesh Cartel-for the right price, of course-will hand-design the plaything of your dreams.

This collection contains:

The Flesh Cartel #1: Capture
The Flesh Cartel #2: Auction

Warnings: explicit violence, forced incest, non-consent

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The First Season of the Flesh Cartel is one of the darkest, most twisted and terrifying openings for any series I’ve read. That’s not hyperbole. That’s fact.

This is a collection of the first two episodes of this series:
The Flesh Cartel #1: Capture & The Flesh Cartel #2: Auction


The Flesh Cartel #1  Capture by Rachel Haimowitz

Sublime service, made to order.
The Flesh Cartel: an international, multi-billion-dollar black market that trades in lost souls. Or more specifically, their bodies.

Some books require a stern warning for the unsuspecting reader:
This book goes beyond graphic…
kidnapping and abuse…
gang rape…
forced incest…
emotional torture…
Proceed with extreme caution.

Highly Organized and frighteningly efficient, the Flesh Cartel could teach even the KGB a thing or two about breaking a human mind. Fortunately for their ultra-rich clients, they’re just as skilled at putting people back together again – as perfect pets, well-trained and eager to please.

As JaHy told me, this series isn’t just dark, it’s pitch black…

If you find the stomach to take on this series, then you’ll be rewarded with a tale full of intrigue which hooks you immediately. You can feel the darkness settle around you even after you’ve put the book down…

No matter what your secret tastes or dark desires, the Flesh Cartel – for the right price, of course – will hand-design the plaything of your dreams.

Brothers.
Mat is a MMA fighter.
Dougie is a PHD student.
They were struggling to keep their heads above water, and now they’re fighting for their lives. Ripped from their home by a group of strangers and forced to endure a series of unspeakable acts… Forced to watch each other suffer…

But Why?

I do not know what this series holds for Dougie & Mat, but let me be clear:
This is not BDSM Romance,
This is not MM Romance,
This is not Stockholm Syndrome disguised as Romance.

He almost whimpered Don’t hurt me again, but managed to bite it back. Like it’d mattered worth a damn anyway. Hadn’t yet. They actually seemed to like it when he begged.


The Flesh Cartel #2  Auction by Rachel Haimowitz

Brothers Mat & Dougie survived a week in the brutal hands of their captors. Can they possibly survive what comes next? What lengths will they go to in order to survive?

The purpose behind the kidnapping and incarceration of the brothers finally becomes clear – they are to auctioned off as pets to the highest bidder.

Worn down by days of unrelenting fear and abuse, Mat and Dougie are packaged with the same ruthless efficiency as any consumer product: Dougie the pretty boy twink, Mat the rabid pit bull. They are led to the auction block as the showpiece of the house’s collection.

Trapped in adjacent cells awaiting their fate, the brothers are achingly close – close enough to hear the other’s tortured moans – yet unable to see or comfort one another.

While Mat clings to the strength and endurance earned in this MMA training, Dougie is despairing only a few feet away.
Helpless…
Broken…

Will the brothers ever be able to escape this hell?
And will the ever be the same if they do?

Mat would rather be beaten to death than play the role of obedient slave for sale, but Dougie, desperate not to be separated from his brother, strikes a deal with the pitiless Madame who runs the auction house and controls both their fates. It might just be enough to keep them together – slaves, but together – assuming Mat even wants to be after Dougie fulfills his end of his with the devil.

Each time I finish one of the Flesh Cartel episodes I find myself at a precipice…

Do I continue down this dark and twisted path to satisfy my curiosity? Can I possibly handle the increasing brutality which Mat and Dougie have been forced to endure? Because one thing is for sure – there is no light at the end of the tunnel for these brothers.

This is a thrilling, terrifying tale packed into an unassumingly small package…
And I can’t wait to go back for more…

***This book was provided to me by Riptide Publishing in exchange for an honest review***

Rachel Haimowitz & Heidi Belleau – Auction

The Flesh Cartel #1: CaptureAuction by Rachel Haimowitz & Heidi Belleau

Series: The Flesh Cartel #2
Source: Review by Request
Copy Provided by Publisher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In episode two of The Flesh Cartel, the dark purpose behind Mat and Dougie Carmichael’s abduction is revealed. Though Dougie is protected from the worst of the guards’ brutality, he’s disgusted to find himself halfway to broken—despairing of escape and terrified of pain. Mat holds onto hope despite repeated rapes and beatings, but threats toward his brother teach him well to lay aside his pride and pick his battles carefully.

Worn down by days of unrelenting fear and abuse, Mat and Dougie are packaged and marketed with the same ruthless efficiency as any consumer product: Dougie the prettyboy twink, Mat the rabid pit bull. They are led to the auction block as the showpiece of the house’s collection.

Mat would rather be beaten to death than play the role of obedient slave for sale, but Dougie, desperate not to be separated from his brother, strikes a deal with the pitiless Madame who runs the auction house and controls both their fates. It might just be enough to keep them together—slaves, but together—assuming Mat even wants to be after Dougie fulfills his end of his deal with the devil.

(Publisher’s note: This title contains material some may find objectionable or trigger-inducing, including explicit violence, non-consent, and forced incest.)

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Brothers Mat & Dougie survived a week in the brutal hands of their captors. Can they possibly endure what comes next? What lengths will they go to in order to survive?

The purpose behind the kidnapping and incarceration of the brothers finally becomes clear – they are to be auctioned off as pets to the highest bidder.

Worn down by days of unrelenting fear and abuse, Mat and Dougie are packaged with the same ruthless efficiency as any consumer product: Dougie the pretty boy twink, Mat the rabid pit bull. They are led to the auction block as the showpiece of the house’s collection.

Trapped in adjacent cells awaiting their fate, the brothers are achingly close – close enough to hear the other’s tortured moans – yet unable to see or comfort one another.

While Mat clings to the strength and endurance earned in this MMA training, Dougie is despairing only a few feet away.
Helpless…
Broken…

Will the brothers ever be able to escape this hell?
And will the ever be the same if they do?

Mat would rather be beaten to death than play the role of obedient slave for sale, but Dougie, desperate not to be separated from his brother, strikes a deal with the pitiless Madame who runs the auction house and controls both their fates.

I’d like to strongly warn readers of the following:
This book goes beyond graphic…
relentless abuse…
gang rape…
forced incest…
emotional torture…
sexual slavery…

I do not know what this series holds for Dougie & Mat, but let me be clear:
This is not BDSM Romance,
This is not MM Romance,
This is not Stockholm Syndrome disguised as Romance.
This. Is. Not. Romance.

It might just be enough to keep them together – slaves, but together – assuming Mat even wants to be after Dougie fulfills his end of his with the devil.

Each time I finish one of the Flesh Cartel episodes I find myself at a precipice…
Do I continue down this dark and twisted path to satisfy my curiosity? Can I possibly handle the increasing brutality which Mat and Dougie have been forced to endure?

Because one thing is for sure – there is no light at the end of the tunnel for these brothers.

***I read this book as part of The Flesh Cartel, Season 1: Damnation which was provided to me by Riptide Publishing in exchange for an honest review***

Rachel Haimowitz & Heidi Belleau – Capture

The Flesh Cartel #1: CaptureCapture by Rachel Haimowitz & Heidi Belleau

Series: The Flesh Cartel #1
Source: Review by Request
Copy Provided by Publisher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this first installment of the exciting new psychosexual thriller, The Flesh Cartel, orphaned brothers Mat and Dougie Carmichael are stolen in the night from their own home. Taken to a horrifying processing facility, they are assessed, microchipped, and subjected to unspeakable brutality—all in preparation for sale to the highest bidder.

In a world where every person has a price, the beautiful and subduable PhD student Dougie is highly prized. His brother, a rough-edged MMA fighter, is less desirable—and potentially too dangerous—but he still has his own appeal.

Abused and locked up under round the clock surveillance, with no idea where they are or even why they’ve been taken, escape seems impossible, which leaves staying together their only hope. And after being separated once by the foster system, they’ll do anything to keep it from happening again. Anything at all.

(Publisher’s note: This title contains material some may find objectionable or trigger-inducing, including explicit violence, non-consent, and forced incest.)

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Just like the main characters, I’m left terrified and looking for answers…

Sublime service, made to order.
The Flesh Cartel: an international, multi-billion-dollar black market that trades in lost souls. Or more specifically, their bodies.

Some books require a stern warning for the unsuspecting reader:
This book goes beyond graphic…
kidnapping and abuse…
gang rape…
forced incest…
emotional torture…
Proceed with extreme caution.

Highly Organized and frighteningly efficient, the Flesh Cartel could teach even the KGB a thing or two about breaking a human mind. Fortunately for their ultra-rich clients, they’re just as skilled at putting people back together again – as perfect pets, well-trained and eager to please.

As JaHy told me, this series isn’t just dark, it’s pitch black…

If you find the stomach to take on the seventy-five haunting pages of this story, then you’ll be rewarded with a tale full of dark intrigue which hooks you immediately. You can feel the darkness settle around you even after you’ve put the book down…

No matter what your secret tastes or dark desires, the Flesh Cartel – for the right price, of course – will hand-design the plaything of your dreams.

Brothers.
Mat is a MMA fighter.
Dougie is a PHD student.
They were struggling to keep their heads above water, and now they’re fighting for their lives. Ripped from their home by a group of strangers and forced to endure a series of unspeakable acts… Forced to watch each other suffer…

But Why?

I do not know what this series holds for Dougie & Mat, but let me be clear:
This is not BDSM Romance,
This is not MM Romance,
This is not Stockholm Syndrome disguised as Romance.
Not. A. Romance.

He almost whimpered Don’t hurt me again, but managed to bite it back. Like it’d mattered worth a damn anyway. Hadn’t yet. They actually seemed to like it when he begged.

This is a thrilling, terrifying tale packed into an unassumingly small package…
And I can’t wait to go back for more…

***I read this book as part of The Flesh Cartel, Season 1: Damnation which was provided to me by Riptide Publishing in exchange for an honest review***