Blakely Bennett – Bittersweet Deceit

Bittersweet Deceit by Blakely Bennett

Series: Bound by Your Love #2
Source: Review by Request
ARC Provided by Author
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lainie is a thirty year old, full-figured woman entrenched in a love affair with a married man. Although Lainie loves Mason desperately, she vows never to say those three little words while he remains with his wife.

Stay, an enigma in Lainie’s close-knit group of friends, has been circling her with interest, trying to garner her attention. When circumstances make it clear who’s blocking his way—Mason—Stay goes full-court press in pursuit of Lainie. 

Lainie doesn’t see Stay as relationship potential because she is blinded by her love for Mason. However, the more she learns about Stay, the more she comes to realize she never really knew him in the first place. 

An unexplainable mystical connection evolves between Lainie and Stay and she has to choose between a man she so hopelessly loves and a man who offers her everything she needs.

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Available to purchase at the following locations:
Amazon | B&N | Smashwords | iTunes

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Excerpt:

I slipped into the jacket and latched the repeating circles onto my wrist. The bottom of the coat stopped just where the broad lines of the dress changed from horizontal to vertical. “What do you think?” I asked Samantha.

“You look stunning,” a deep male voice responded. I turned around and found Stay smiling at me. 

“Wow Stay,” Sam said before I could respond. “Looking mighty handsome. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think this is a date.”

Stayman looked sharp in his black dress pants, matching coat, and dark-gray dress shirt. I gazed at him but was at a loss for words. We stared at each other for a second.

Sam saved me by saying, “Stay, there’s a wire mannequin in the attic that I’d like brought down, and Lane and I can’t lift it. I wondered if you could do that for us. Not now. I wouldn’t want you to mess up your clothes, but—”

As he removed his coat, he said, “It shouldn’t take long and I’ll just take off my shirt.”

He started unbuttoning as both Samantha and I watched as he slowly revealed his chest. Stay slipped out of his shirt and laid it neatly on top of his jacket. 

His smooth, lean torso was highly defined and I got caught staring at his chest. He winked at me and then said to Sam, “Come on and show me the way.” 

Once they walked away, I glared into the mirror and said, “Don’t even think about it.”

Minutes later, he had managed to carry the mannequin down.

“Let’s put it in the back,” I said, leading the way. “It needs to be cleaned up before it can be out on the floor.” I showed him where to put it. Scanning his physique from his head to his shoes, I noticed that he continued to let his golden-brown hair grow in and chose to where black boots instead of dress shoes. To make matters worse, his five o’clock shadow was incredibly sexy. Damn, he looks hot. Look away girl, just look away!

“Here,” I said, holding out a lint roller, but not making eye contact.

Some dust had settled on the front of his pants just over the zipper area. “You don’t want to help?”

I turned away and said, “Go get dressed.”

“Are you sure that’s your final decision?”

“Very sure.” My rapidly beating heart settled down once his clothing was back on. 

“Are you ready to go?” he asked.

“Let me go grab my clothes bag and my clutch and I will be.” Sam followed me into my office.

“He looks hot!” she exclaimed. “He must really like you. I’ve never seen him dressed up before.”

“Stop it,” I said, making sure my dress lay straight.

“Forget about MM for the night,” she said to me with a serious expression. She pulled the tag off my jacket.

“That’s not possible. Thanks for closing up and helping with the outfit.”

“No problem.”

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Giveaway:

The Release Day Blitz for Bittersweet Deceit is giving away a TON of prizes from various authors including: Over 55 eBooks, a $10 Amazon Gift Card, Signed Paperbacks, and a bunch of cool Book Swag!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author:

Blakely Bennett grew up in Southeast Florida and has been residing in the great Northwest for over eight years. She graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a degree in psychology, which accounts for her particular interest in crafting the personalities, struggles, and motivations of her characters. She is an avid reader of many genres of fiction, but especially erotica and romance. Writing has always been her bliss. She is attracted to stories of self-struggle and ultimate recovery.
Blakely is married to a wonderful, loving and supportive husband, also a writer, who helps to keep her grounded. She is a mother, a communitarian, a lover of music (always on while she is writing—thank you, Pandora), and a good friend. An advocate of love and female empowerment, she is a facilitator for a women’s group. She loves to walk and hike for exercise and finds that, since moving to Seattle, WA, she is now one of those “crazy” people who walk in the rain.
Bittersweet Deceit (erotic romance) is her 6th novel. She is also the author of the dark erotic suspense, My Body Trilogy (My Body-His, My Body-His (Marcello) & My Body-Mine) and co-authored the contemporary romance, The Demarcation of Jack with her husband, Dana Bennett.

***I was gifted with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review***

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Blakely Bennett – Stuck in Between

Stuck in Between by Blakely Bennett

Series: Bound by Your Love #1
Source: Review by Request
Copy Provided by Author
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jacqs is a twenty-eight year old woman caught up in an on again, off again relationship with Bond, who is her best friend and the one who causes her the most heartache. She succumbs, yet again, to his powerful charisma, but vows not make it into more than it is, a great night of sex.

Bond, too sexy for his own good, wants Jacqs for himself as he “dates” his way through the female population of South Florida. He selfishly doesn’t see the conflict of interest.

Red, Bond’s best friend, has watched Bond take Jacqs for granted for way too long and soon stakes his own claim on her.

Will Red and Jacqs budding relationship pull apart their tight-knit group of friends and will Jacqs survive being Stuck In Between.

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Sometimes a book just rubs me the wrong way…
THIS is one of those books…

“I’m not sure why you need so much drama in your life, Jacqueline. My advice is to forget them both and move on.”

Let me be clear: I have never ‘DNF’d a book before, but I came dangerously close to closing this one for good.

The writing had multiple rough edges which could have been smoothed out with the use of an editor or even careful proofreading.

The dialogue was awkward and stilted, there was questionable sexual innuendo, and completely unbelievable (to the point of mood-killing) pillow talk…

There were a ton of superfluous details regarding makeup, clothing, etc which managed to turn a story about a group of people in their late-twenties / mid-thirties, to a story about obnoxious teenagers.

This sophomoric vibe was enhanced by the endless angst which dripped from every page…

I might have been able to handle all of those detractors if not for one VERY IMPORTANT fact: The three main characters were completely unlikable.

I couldn’t get invested in this twisted love triangle because I didn’t have a desire to see any of these people happy. Why should they be rewarded for making ridiculous decisions over and over again?

I guess the only redeeming thing about this entire book is that these three deserved each other.

I don’t remember ever wanting to strangle a fictional character as much as I did with Jacqueline.

JACQUELINE

“This can’t possibly end well and I know you are smart enough to know it.”

Jacqs has herself stuck in a love triangle between her cheating asshole ex-boyfriend Bond and her ex-boyfriend’s domineering best friend Red…

Some might be inclined to believe that these two men are taking advantage of the dim-witted Jacqueline… But Jacqs got herself into this ridiculous position… She seems particularly adept at lamenting all of the self-inflicted problems in her life, yet seems incapable of making any positive decisions for herself.

BOND

“When will you understand that my dating other women doesn’t take away from my love for you?”

Yeah… No… Bond & Jacqs have been on-again-off-again for almost a decade. He cheats, she’s helpless to refuse his charms, she keeps going back to him, he keeps fucking everyone else.

And I’m supposed to understand Jacqueline’s love for him?

RED

“Thank you.”
“What for?”
“Loving me back.”
“You didn’t give me much chance to refuse.”

Apparently Red has been in love with Jacqueline for a long time and it’s been killing him to watch his best friend treat her like shit… So in oder to hide his feelings for her, he’s been treating her with a combination of hostility and complete disinterest for years… Sounds like a knight in shining armor to me…

I can’t recommend this book to anyone.
I can’t think of a single reason to enjoy so much absurdity…

***I was gifted with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review***
If you ever wondered how honest my reviews are for books I’m provided, you now have your answer.

Patricia A. Knight – Hers to Cherish

Hers to Cherish by Patricia A. Knight

Series: Verdantia #3
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Who would’ve thought a rogue nobleman and a secret agent tied in shibari knots would be so instrumental in saving a world from sexual slavery.

For disgraced nobleman and accused murderer, Ramsey DeKieran, a pardon is an unobtainable fantasy. When the High Lord of Verdantia offers the prize, Ram knows there’ll be a catch. He accepts the impossible mission – the off-world rescue of a Verdantian noblewoman, one of the last of her kind. The one bright spot: Elite mercenary, Steffania Rickard, is ordered undercover to help DeKieran – posing as his sexual submissive.

For Steffania, assisting the dominating Ramsey on this insane mission will be challenge enough. The damn rogue trips all her triggers – good and bad. But infinitely worse, on the planet, Vxloncia, she must submit as Ram’s sex slave, and there’s no faking it. Bent at his knee, serving his every command, Steffania doubts her carefully hidden desires will remain concealed.

Their mission takes on new urgency when they unmask a heinous program of enslavement, long cloaked in secrecy. Together they must find a way to overcome their initial animosity and recover a woman vital to the future of their race.

In the maelstrom of sex, savagery, domination and submission, they will need all their wits and strength to survive – but the battle for their hearts is lost – to one another.

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Absolutely Stunning: Sexy Sci-Fi with suspense and submission…

(Mild Spoilers if you haven’t read Hers to Command & Hers to Choose)

The man fed every carnal fantasy she possessed. He sat her lustful appetites before an array of the finest delicacies, ordered them to feast, then commanded, “Don’t swallow.”

This book was a major departure from the previous books in the series, and the payoff was outstanding!

We traveled far from the sentient planet Verdantia in this installment, and were treated with all of the high tech Science-Fiction possibilities Patricia A. Knight can imagine…

Two characters we’ve met before in this series must pair up to rescue Lady Alessa DeAlbero from the clutches of the infamous slaver Vecon Narr…

RAMSEY DeKIERAN

“If I am successful, you have Lady DeAlbero, if unsuccessful, my dead body, and all it costs you is a piece of paper.”

Ramsey is a disgraced Verdantian, stripped of his title and honor, forced to work as a mercenary in the grittiest parts of his home world. In Hers to Choose he made the honorable decision to free Sophi and fight beside Eric against the Haarb.

His actions redeemed him in the eyes of Sophi, and brought his unparalleled skills to the attention of the Tetriarch. He is apprehended by the Blue Daggers and taken to Sylvan Mintoth for an audience with Ari & Doral.

Ram is presented with an offer he cannot refuse: in exchange for a Royal Pardon, he will go undercover on Vxloncia, where all women are subservient. The entire planet engages in D/s as a social mechanism for the repression of females.

Ramsey has never been off world before, he’s accustomed to the simple existence of Verdantia, and will need a Blue Dagger to accompany him as back up and to offer mastery of the technological advances of the foreign planet. Out of spite, he chooses the no-nonsense Captain of the Blue Daggers Steffania Rickard to accompany him on his mission…

STEFFANIA RICKARD

She was no helpless female – never had been. She was death clothed in a body of female allure and fiercely proud of it.
But in sex, she needed surrender. She craved a man strong enough to take the control out of her hands.

The idea of submitting to the sexual thrall of Ramsey DeKieran is no hardship to Steffiana… Pretending to be a docile non-entity who cowers at her Masters feet is deplorable… The thought that she could quite possibly loose her heart to DeKieran is terrifying… The knowledge that her failure to be the perfect submissive could compromise their entire mission, keeps everything in perspective…

They must work together in perfect balance to accomplish their mission.

Vxloncia is notorious for it’s brutality and decadence – Ramsey will be competing in a Gladiator competition. If he wins, he will be invited to the compound of the man thought to hold Lady DeAlbero as a slave. Loss of the game also means loss of his life, but Ram and Steffania quickly discover that danger is just as grate outside the arena.

There are several darker elements at work in this book: Sexual Slavery & Mind Control are at top of the list of egregious acts committed by Vecon Narr, and we’re not spared any of the violent graphic details… So consider that carefully before you decide to read this book. If you can handle a little violence with your graphic sex, you’ll be richly rewarded.

This book was fucking awesome!
We had a brand new planet with a new social structure and physical environment, several new characters (which I hope to meet again), and I loved all of the imaginative technological advancements, especially a particularly kinky bit of nanotechnology…

***I won this book as part of the following Giveaway***

Patricia A. Knight – Hers to Choose

Hers to Choose by Patricia A. Knight

Series: Verdantia #2
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To preserve their civilization, a disillusioned warrior and a violated innocent need to put aside the trauma of their past to confront a present evil.

Mentally scarred from her years as prisoner to the off-world invaders, Lady Sophillia Glorianna DeLorion, doubts she can be a fit sexual partner for any man…

…even one whose passionate green eyes make her remember what it is to desire.

Commander of the Queen’s Royal Guard, Eric DeStroia had grown up watching the corrosive, soul-killing effects of arranged, aristocratic marriage and vowed to remain alone. But under his hardened military exterior, Eric has a kind heart. When the second Tetriarch suggests he marry a noble woman rescued from the enemy, Eric reconsiders, consoling himself with visions of sheltering a wounded dove under his mighty arm. Instead, he discovers a fierce falcon that refuses to stoop to his lure.

In the aftermath of their resounding defeat, a survivor from the enemy camp plotted a return to Verdantia to exact retribution. His first objective is the recapture of Lady Sophillia DeLorion. She had been unreachable until she went to the Oshtesh. Now, only Eric DeStroia stands in his way.

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A gorgeous and steamy Sci-Fi Sequel!

(Mild Spoilers if you haven’t read Hers to Command)

This was an amazing followup to the first book in the series. It carried all of the strengths of its predecessor while focusing on a new couple with all new obstacles…

I did a full breakdown of the intricacies of this high-fantasy Sci-Fi world in My review for the previous book in the series. Rather than rehashing all of that, I’ll simply encourage you to catch up with that post.

However, I want to remind you of one important fact: The Planet Verdantia is sentient; She has feelings, and interacts with her population. That interaction occurs when certain Verdantians have sex… Crazy, sweaty, kinky, burn-up-the sheets sex…


All this awesome sex helps the planet flourish – it keeps the lights on, makes the crops grow, and it powers the shields which protect the Verdantia from outside forces…

Only Verdantians with a specific set of genetic markers are capable of performing the sexual rites, and they were systematically slaughtered during the war with the Haarb. Only a handful of these Magistras survived the decimation of Verdantia…

SOPHI

“You make me bold, Eric.”

We met Sophi at the end of Hers to Command. She is Doral’s beloved sister, and was held captive by the Haarb during the war. Ari rescued Sophi and her mother from the clutches of the Haarb and returned them to Doral, who thought they were dead.

Sophi was a cowering mess in the wake of her captivity. She was incapable of enduring the social atmosphere of the palace, and was taken to a village in the wastelands where she could mentally recover from her ordeal.

The female warriors who inhabit the wastelands handed her a bow and taught her to defend herself. Three years later, she’s Flight Leader of a squadron of highly trained soldiers, and is capable of battling any enemy. But fate has different plans for Sophi, as one of the few remaining females of the noble class, she’s being recalled to Sylvan Mintoth to claim her birthright.

ERIC

He had underestimated the endless capacity of his heart to feel joy.

Eric is the childhood friend of Queen Fleur and commander of her Royal Guard. He was hand selected by Doral to bring Sohi out of the wastelands and as candidate to become her partner in the rites.

Eric seems to be every bit as enthusiastic about the situation as Sophi, but he is honor bound to protect and escort her home… Sophi is nothing like the shell of a girl who fled Sylvan Mintoth three years earlier, she’s a headstrong warrior and she has no patience for Eric.

The road from the wastelands to the palace is a long and treacherous one, they’ll have to work together, trust, and fight side by side in order to survive…

Several differences between this book and the first:
– There was a focus on building trust and respect between the main characters.
– We had a MF romance rather than an MMF, and their relationship was encouraged but not forced like in Hers to Command
– Eric & Sophi took their time before falling into bed, and when they did hit the sheets the chemistry was perfection.

In addition:
There was more action,
Sophi proves she’s a badass,
There were several female warriors of worth,
and this book packed more emotion than the first in my opinion…

The Tetriarch played a large part in this book as well, so don’t worry about missing our favorite Royal Threesome… Note to self: ‘Royal Threesome’ is an awesome band name

Overall it was a wonderful experience, and I’m looking forward to reading more of the Verdantia series… I hear the next book has D/s elements, so I’m definitely on board!

Patricia A. Knight – Hers to Command

Hers to Command by Patricia A. Knight

Series: Verdantia #1
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

For some, existence without their mate might seem like the end of their world…
…for the members of Verdantia’s Tetriarch, it would be.

Conte Camliel Aristos deTano, Ari, has long spurned the marriage forced upon him. His contractual bride, Princess Fleur Constante, the beautiful future queen though young and inexperienced, is willing to risk everything, including her own sanity, to save her planet.

The inhabitants of the sentient planet, Verdantia, are poised on the precipice of extinction following a brutal invasion by an off-world, nomadic horde. Verdantia’s capital, Sylvan Mintoth, must have its failing energy shield restored, or the planet is doomed. The Elders know the shield can draw energy from only one thing ~ a very arduous and grueling coupling of two specific people who were pre-chosen by the planet Herself and promised by prearranged marriage contract.

Verdantia draws strength from the duo, but the sentient planet whispers to Ari that a third is necessary ~ Ari’s aide de camp, Visconte Doral deLorion, an angelically handsome, skilled assassin who silently surrendered his heart to Ari long ago.

The trio struggles to make this surprising partnership harmonious, pushing through pride, scars of past abuse, fears of inexperience and distrust. To save Verdantia, they must overcome their individual weaknesses and realize their full potential. Only the Tetriarch and their combined synergy, can harness Verdantia’s immense power to shield its citizens from invasion.

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All hail the Tetriarch!
I’m crazy excited that I’ve found a new series to sink my teeth into…
Please excuse me while I gush all over this book…

“Oh yes, our planet hangs in the balance.” With a tortured inhalation, he shuddered, “No pressure.”

The world of Verdantia is beautifully detailed. This is a lovely blend of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Erotica, Romance, & Intrigue… And it is incredibly entertaining!

I’d like to create some kind of award for ‘Best Prologue’ just for this book… I was given a thorough recounting of an entire planet’s History, Technology, Climatology, Sociology, and Social Hierarchy without becoming over-inundated with information… That’s damn impressive!

I thrive on originality, and what I found in the pages of Hers to Command was a wonderful adventure of love, lust, and fantasy!

Let’s break it down:

1. The planet Verdantia has an electromagnetic force which renders all technology useless, so even though we have all the Science Fiction hallmarks of spaceships, battle-cruisers, phasers, etc. None of these items work on the surface of the planet. Verdantians live in a pseudo-gilded-iron-age type setting… Add in the royal hierarchy and arranged marriages, and you’re left with an atmosphere equal parts Science-Fiction & Historical Romance…

2. The Planet Verdantia is sentient: She has feelings, and interacts with her population. That interaction occurs when certain Verdantians have sex… Crazy, sweaty, kinky, burn-up-the sheets sex…

All this awesome sex helps the planet to flourish – it keeps the lights on, makes the crops grow, and it powers the shields which protect the planet from outside forces…

3. It stands to reason that a planet which requires Her citizens to have ritualistic fuck-fests would also have vast resources of harvestable aphrodisiac, right? Right! This sacred aphrodisiac (known as cinnagin) is used in sexual Rites and is a highly valuable resource coveted by the greedy enemies of Verdantia.

One such enemy is the Haarb. They invaded Verdantia and began systematically slaughtering Her inhabitants, leaving only a handful of Magisters capable to performing the magick necessary to generate protective shields around the planet.

Can you tell how excited I am?!?!

ARI

“You will obey me without fail. Our lives rest on your obedience.”

Ari is on the front lines of the war against the invading Haarb. He is pulled from his position as Commander of Verdantia’s army by an important message – the last remaining energy shield is failing, and as a trained Magister, he must return to the palace to perform the Great Rite

But his partner for the Rite is someone he has avoided for years…
His arranged marriage to the Princess is a burden he has fought vehemently…
To his surprise, she is ignorant of the marriage contract…

FLEUR

“Gentle, fearfully delicate. So intensely desirable.”

Fleur is the high-spirited princess of a world which is being driven to the point of extinction. She is the only female on the surface of the planet who is capable of performing the Great Rite necessary to power the remaining shields…

But she has not had nearly enough training…
Failure to complete the Rite is dangerous in the best of times, but now the fate of the entire planet hangs in the balance…

DORAL

“By all the gods, you are a visual feast. You devastated my senses from the first moment I saw you.”

Doral is a highly skilled assassin and right hand man of Ari. He is known as The Beast – tortured by a sadistic mistress and trained to be a cold-hearted killer…

Though, Doral’s heart has warmed to Ari in the time he has served as his Visconte. Not that Doral would ever voice those desires…

As Ari departs for the palace, Doral’s chance at love leaves with him… But Verdantia is whispering for a third in the Rites

It is the rise of second great Tetriarch, powerful enough to finally bring an end to the war.

All three must come together in order to save the world.

In Addition, they face:
Political Corruption,
Assassination Plots,
A Fragile Romance,
Arranged Marriages,
Broken Contracts,
& Shielded Hearts…

I’ll leave it to you to figure out if this book is up your cup of tea… But I fucking loved it every now and then I would wonder: Was this book written specifically for me?!?

It ticked every single box on my naughty-book check-list:
Beautiful writing,
an MMF Romance (You know I’m an MMF whore),
the perfect amount of fantasy,
panty-soaking sex of the highest caliber,
& Impossible-to-put-down fun…

I loved this book so much I’ve already started the next book in the series! I can’t think of a better recommendation than that!

J.R. Ward – Lover Avenged

Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #7
Source: Personal Library
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

J. R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood novels have introduced readers to a “different, creative, dark, violent, and flat-out amazing” (All About Romance)world. Now, as the vampire warriors defend their race against their slayers, one male’s loyalty to the Brotherhood will be tested-and his dangerous mixed blood revealed…

Caldwell, New York, has long been the battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the Lessening Society. It’s also where Rehvenge has staked out his turf as a drug lord and owner of a notorious night club that caters to the rich and heavily armed. His shadowy reputation is exactly why he’s approached to kill Wrath, the Blind King and leader of the Brotherhood.

Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the Brotherhood-even though his sister is married to a member, for he harbors a deadly secret that could make him a huge liability in their war against the lessers. As plots within and outside of the Brotherhood threaten to reveal the truth about Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of light in his darkening world, Ehlena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has its hold on him-and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction.

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Rehvenge’s Story brings back the hard-hitting action and suspense we’ve come to expect from this series!

((BEWARE OF SPOILERS))

…every once in a while, from out of the blue, someone reaches the quiet place where you spend your private time and changes the way you see yourself…

I’m cautiously optimistic… I feel like we’ve reached a turning point with this installment, and I sincerely hope the momentum continues with the subsequent books.

As usual, the stories surrounding all of the secondary and tertiary characters stole the show:

  • Beth and Wrath feature prominently in this book.
  • John Matthew has a giant role.
  • Doc Jane has several cameos.
  • There’s a shift in the Brotherhood.
  • Lassiter the Angel has some awesome dialogue.
  • The Scribe Virgin is moping around like an empty-nester.
  • Lash plays a great big part in this book, which I think will appease the readers who have been less than thrilled with the amount of pages taken up by the Lessers

But the Stars of this book were Rehvenge and Ehlena:

REHVENGE

His glowing amethyst eyes saw everyone and cared about no one.
Rehv – or the Reverend, as the human clientele called him – was a drug lord and a pimp who didn’t give a shit about the vast majority of people. Which meant he was capable of, and frequently did, anything the fuck he wanted to.

Rehv is the infamous Zero-Sum club owner who has a larger than life personality which is only enhanced by his Sympath heritage… Talk about a hard-ass with a heart of gold…

EHLENA

“Must the world always be so harsh, I wonder,”

Ehlena is a nurse in Haver’s clinic – and what do you want to bet she was the nurse who helped Phury evacuate the patients in Lover Enshrined? I bet she was… Anyway, Ehlena is your quintessential care-giver who believes that every soul is worth saving… Plus, she winds up being a smart female with a spine of steel. I mean, the woman goes toe to toe with Xhex! :O

Unfortunately, the Romance portion of the plot between these two was firmly in the whole “I love her but I don’t deserve her” vs. “He’s dreamy but he’ll never love little ‘ol me” trope, which I loathe… Complete with some “I’ll push her away so I don’t break her heart” behavior. Not cool, J.R. Ward… Not cool..

Now for the more spoiler-y thoughts:

(Read at your own risk)

Wrath is now completely blind. I have to admit, it hurt my heart to know he wouldn’t be able to fight with this Brothers any more… I don’t think anybody wanted to see him lay down his daggers for good.

Also, you know I’m a dog lover… So I was stoked to meet Wrath’s Seeing Eye Dog, George… but that’s not nearly a bad-ass enough name. I think he should be Ghorge… You know how much the Brotherhood likes to throw an extra H into a name 😉

The scenes from inside the Sympath Colony were amazing… J.R. Ward really tapped into a cinematic quality with the visuals on that one. The cell which held Rehv, as well as the apparatus he was attached to… Not to mention the darkness and creepy-crawlies…


John Matthew has long been my favorite character of this series, but he needs to get his shit together. His little emotional roller-coaster throughout this book was exhausting… He’s had to go through so much shit in his life before his transition, and he seemed to be in such a good place… Then he found Tohr, had sex with the Symath of his dreams… And he just checked out, got drunk, and started driving me nuts.


I know J.R. Ward is a fan of making characters hit rock-bottom before she gives them their own book, but seriously… Get it together John!

K. Bromberg – UnRaveled

UnRaveledUnRaveled by K. Bromberg

Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

UnRaveled is a darker erotic novella that is not suitable for people sensitive to non-consensual sex. This is a story about a stale marriage and the couple’s unconvential attempt to find that spark again.

This novella was originally released as part of the Erotica Consortium’s anthology – BEND.

One night.
One mistake.
Filled with fear.
Sated by pleasure.
Robbed of control.
Blindfolded and bound.
Shamed she liked it.
Doomed to want it.
Limits tested.
Boundaries pushed.
Desire awakened.
Inhibition unleashed.
An identity unraveled.
Lives changed forever.

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An Erotic Abduction Fantasy for your steamy pleasure:

(BEWARE OF SPOILERS)

“I’m going to fuck you. By the time I’m done, you’ll beg me to keep going. Then you’ll beg me to stop. Regardless, you’ll take what I give you – all of it – and you’ll enjoy every single fucking moment of it. And Marco is going to watch. Understood?”

This short story has themes which many find objectionable – I’m not one of them, but I feel obligated to warn you of the contents:
– Abduction
– Non/Dubious Consent
– Forced Infidelity
– BDSM Sexual Situations

Left alone on what should have been the romantic Tenth Wedding Anniversary vacation of her dreams, Lil is mourning the loss of sexual satisfaction in her marriage.

While drinking in a bar, her eyes meet those of a mysterious stranger, and the consequences of that one glance have a ripple effect which will change her life forever.

Lil is drugged by this stranger and wakes blindfolded, chained to a bed, & naked…

The kinky details:

– Blindfolds
– Ball-Gags
– Shackles
– Chains
– Hot Wax
– Floggers
– Butt Plugs
– Forced Exhibitionism
– Double-Penetration

…The real story is that Lil must to grips with the fact that on some level she ENJOYS what is happening to her.

How can I find pleasure from this man who is holding me against my will?

I must admit that I do love a good abduction fantasy…

On a side note:
The saving grace for this story in the eyes and minds of the squeamish Erotica reader might be the twist at the end…
But is was an easy conclusion that Anderson had orchestrated the elaborate abduction/seduction, and that he was the mysterious voyeur present…

This story might not be for general audiences, but I certainly enjoyed it, and it set the tone for things to come…

I read this book as part of the Bend Anthology which features some of the most talented authors currently working in Modern Romance.

As of the date of this review, the book has been banned by Amazon…

Allyson James – Calder

Calder by Allyson James

Series: Tales of the Shareem #4
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Medic Katarina d’Arnal moves to the slums to work in a free clinic and ends up drawing the job of inoculating Shareem. The first Shareem who shows up is the Calder, a level three, muffled from head to foot, refusing to bare even an inch of skin. He’s used to an elderly medic who jabs him and lets him go, not the pretty, young highborn woman who wants to do everything by the book.

Calder hides himself because, unlike the rest of the Shareem—the handsome, arrogant, a-holes—Calder is scarred all over, the result of a plasma fire years ago. He’s learned that women crave to be with him, as hideous as he is, and he’s created a world where they can indulge in their darkest fantasies with the Beast. He give them an exotic experience with a capital E.

But this woman, Katarina, looks at Calder the man, and wants to know all about him. Calder decides to show her what he is when she’s tricked into visiting his lair—but Katarina keeps insisting on touching his burned face with her gentle fingers, trying to find the man behind the tormented Beast.

Calder knows if he lets her in to what he truly is, it will be the end of him……

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Nothing satisfies quite like a mysterious tortured hero…

“This is Calder, sweetheart,” Braden said. “One of the best level threes ever made. Means he’s gentle as a kitten one minute, dangerous as a desert tiger the next. You never know what he’s going to do.”
But that made him more exciting.

Calder was a wonderfully crafted character. The author had set up his mysterious and foreboding persona in the the previous books. He was more intriguing than any other Shareem by the time we got to his book.

CALDER
a.k.a The Beast: Level Three Shareem

Braden on Calder:

“…Forget about Calder, sweetheart. He’s . . . Put it this way—when he got burned he went to a bad place, and I don’t mean the DNAmo lab. He never really recovered. There’s a darkness to him that a pretty lady like you doesn’t need to touch. He’s taken level three to a height even I don’t understand. And I’m pretty bad-ass.”

We knew that Calder was disfigured by a fire when he was being experimented on at DNAmo. We also know that Dr. Laas saved him, but that he had not mentally recovered from the incident. He covered himself head to toe in black robes and goggles, allowing no one to see his mangled skin.

This aversion to nudity does not serve him well when he checks into the clinic for his required inoculations. The pretty little doctor working at the slum clinic insists that he disrobe for a full exam. Naturally, Calder refuses. He rips the hypo from her hand, inoculates himself, then storms out of the clinic leaving a baffled Dr. Katarina d’Arnal behind.

KATARINA
a.k.a. Dr. Katarina d’Arnal

She suddenly understood the complete appeal of Shareem, why women would pay fortunes for an appointment with Calder.
Shareem would do anything in the name of pleasure. And there was a hint of uncertainty about how far they would go.

Calder has a gimmick to cope with his disfigurement, he has created a pleasure palace where he hunts his prey in the dark. He capitalizes on wealthy women’s captive fantasies, and makes a ton of money doing it. There’s a waiting list a mile long to get in. And once you’re in Calder’s lair there’s no safe word, no mercy… He will hunt you, he will find you, and you’ll learn what it is like to be with the BEAST.


As I said, the wait-list to be hunted by the BEAST is a mile long, but meddling Dr. Angelica Laas (who we’ve known from previous books) decides to play match-maker. She hack’s Calder’s database and inserts a listing for little miss Katarina. She then sends a transmission to the clinic Dr. d’Arnal works at and informs them that someone is in need of medical attention at Calder’s address. You see where this is going?

Once Katarina realizes that she’s been set up in this erotic situation with the Shareem she has been dreaming about, she willingly submits herself to the dark and to the desires of the BEAST…


**sigh**
I’ve got mixed feelings with this one folks. A few things bothered me about this installment in the Tales of the Shareem Series:

Insta-Love has been a near constant in this series, and I’ve been more-or-less cool with it. The heroines always seem to fall in love very quickly with their Shareem, but for some reason, Katarina seemed to fall extra hard, extra fast…


Maybe I feel this way because because I loved the connection between Ky & Aiden in the last book? Their connection grew over twenty years, so the love seemed more real/deep to me?

In addition, Calder’s mood swings kind of drove me nuts. One second he was so sure that he wanted Katarina, the next he was running away and hiding in his lair for weeks. There’s a difference between “broken” and “childish”.

That being said, once the emotion started pouring honestly from both main characters, the book became immensely enjoyable! Calder and Katarina were a little awkward in the beginning, but once all the petty behavior was set aside, and the real conflicts began to occur… Wow.


This story Features:
oral sex,
vaginal sex,
anal sex,
captive fantasies,
light bondage,
spanking,
whipping,
MFM menage,
& Double penetration…

Allyson James – Aiden and Ky

Aiden and Ky by Allyson James

Series: Tales of the Shareem #3
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Brianne, a woman of the ruling family, has never seen a Shareem, until she spies Aiden, a level one, in a coffee bar in the working-class part of town. Unknown to Brianne, her bodyguards arrest Aiden for even looking at her, and Aiden is locked away, scheduled to be terminated.

Ky, a level-three Shareem and Aiden’s closest friend, is furious. He tries to extract Aiden, which only ends up in him being arrested alongside him.

Brianne, horrified, has both of them freed, but Ky wants to teach Lady Brianne a lesson to make up for almost getting Aiden killed. Aiden accompanies him, worried about Ky’s volatile nature, and Brianne finds herself alone in a train car with two Shareem men who have many things on their minds.

The incident has Ky bothered for more than one reason—it forced the feelings he’s kept hidden for Aiden to surface. But such things are forbidden to Shareem, as he learned the hard way years ago.

With Brianne with them, everything seems to be fine. But when Ky starts to give in to the longing he’s had for years, old danger resurfaces, which he knows could mean the end of his life.

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This series pulls out all the stops for an MMF Erotic Romance with a Sci-Fi Twist!

Ky had never been this aching before, even after teasing a woman without releasing himself. But the scent of Brianne covered in Aiden’s oil and the taste of her skin, the heat of her pussy had been good. So good.
Even better had been Aiden’s fingers caressing his as they both stroked her, and Aiden’s tongue hard in his mouth. The combination of woman and man . . . Ky had never felt anything so potentially explosive in his existence.

We knew from the previous book in the series, Rio, that Aiden had developed feelings for his best friend and fellow Shareem Ky. He was content to hide his feelings for his friend, but fate has different plans. After all, the threat of death is a pretty huge motivator to bare your soul.

AIDEN
Level One Shareem

“It’s forbidden,” Ky said automatically.
“If we never did what was forbidden, we’d all be dead by now.”

Aiden was quietly enjoying a coffee and making eyes at a lovely woman sitting at a table across the room. She’s obviously interested (how could she not be interested? He is a face-sculpted example of male perfection) but she quickly flees the coffee shop before he has the opportunity to seduce. Unbeknownst to him, Brianne d’Aroth was the mysterious beautiful woman, and her bodyguards took it upon themselves to have him thrown in jail for stirring up her emotions. He is scheduled for termination…

BRIANNE d’AROTH
Member of the ruling family of Bor Narga

It had nothing to do with her IQ and everything to do with her being female. And alive.

Brianne is a member of the ruling family. A public figure engaged to a dull but equally powerful man. She has no intention of running off with the Shareem in the coffee shop, and left before her sexual feelings could override her common sense. She had no idea that the beautiful man had been hauled off and scheduled for termination. She uses her considerable power on the planet of Bor Narga to have him released, but not before making an enemy of Ky.

KY
Level Three Shareem

“You like to apologize.”
Brianne flushed. “You make me feel guilty. You’re good at it.”
“Only because I’m level three. The punisher. I want you to want your punishment.”

Ky and Aiden have stuck together for the past twenty years, and he’s not going to easily accept the apology of the High-Borne rich bitch that nearly had his best friend killed. He has a plan. Ky and Aiden will teach this woman what a Shareem can really do…

The three together are an explosive force. It’s not long before reality comes crashing down on them all…
Aiden must reveal his true feelings for his best friend.
Ky struggles to process his growing attraction to Aiden.
Brianne must navigate a way to enjoy her Shareem in a world where they are the lowest caste of society, and she is firmly at the top…

I’ll be honest, once Ky and Aiden begin to explore their growing relationship, I found Brianne to be fairly superfluous… I’m a fan of M/M Romances and would have been perfectly happy to drop the trio to a duo. That being said, when this book was first published in 2007, there weren’t a lot of M/M Romances written for a female audience, especially ones which take place in the middle of a series featuring M/F relationships…

But I’m certainly fine with it 🙂

This story Features:
man on man action,
voyeurism,
exhibitionism,
oral sex,
vaginal sex,
anal sex,
light bondage,
spanking,
whipping,
MFM menage,
& MMF menage…