J.R. Ward – Lover Unleashed

Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #9
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, warrior cloth as her brother: A fighter by nature, and a maverick when it comes to the traditional role of Chosen females, there is no place for her on the Far Side… and no role for her on the front lines of the war, either.

When she suffers a paralyzing injury, human surgeon Dr. Manuel Manello is called in to treat her as only he can- and he soon gets sucked into her dangerous, secret world. Although he never before believed in things that go bump in the night- like vampires- he finds himself more than willing to be seduced by the powerful female who marks both his body and his soul.

As the two find so much more than an erotic connection, the human and vampire worlds collide … just as a centuries old score catches up with Payne and puts both her love and her life in deadly jeopardy.

Buy this Book:
Amazon

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Houston Havens – Sinful Surrender (Review, Excerpt, & Interview)

Sinful Surrender by Houston Havens

Series: Psychic Menage #1
Source: Review by Request
Copy Provided by the Author
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

On the run, branded a traitor by her government, Fay Avalon has to depend on three brothers for shelter. Sinful Surrender is Book 1 of Houston Havens’ new romance series, Psychic Ménage. Why be tempted by one man’s seduction when you can be loved by three? Top psychic spy Fay Avalon saw too much on her latest mind traveling mission and is now on the run from her post-catastrophic dystopian government, searching for the truth and proof. She escapes but is shot down, landing in the arms of the enemy.

In Drakker and Arlo’s world, women are so rare the men have accepted a polyandrous lifestyle. When the brothers stumble upon Fay unconscious in the wreckage of an aircraft, they are immediately attracted to her. Arlo wants to keep her, but Drakker knows they can’t. They must take her to their brother Logan Abán, leader of their people.

Logan struggles with trusting anyone, even himself. When a beautiful, intelligent, and intriguing woman falls into their laps, his denied desires for intimacy challenge his need to trust the spy. He’s frustrated by romantic Arlo’s claims of her innocence. Even when pragmatic and dominating Drakker defends her as well, Logan refuses to trust his gut.

Can one woman satisfy the diverse desires of three men? Will Logan’s fears be realized by betrayal? Is Fay to be sentenced to death as a spy, suffer a fate worse than death by being returned to her government as a traitor, or will she find a new life and love as the wife of three sexy brothers?

Buy this eBook: Amazon | AReB&NKoboLSB
Buy this Book in Print: Amazon | Createspace

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Lyn Gala – Shepherd, Slave, and Vow

Shepherd, Slave, and Vow by Lyn Gala

Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Bored with the privileges and duties of a member of the first family, Ferro finds himself in the slave tents as a consequence of his antics, knowing he’ll be rescued before long. At least, that’s the way it’s always worked before. This time, though, Ferro finds himself sold as a sheep-tender along with an intriguingly mysterious slave called Lisias. For the first time, Ferro’s met someone who seems immune to his wiles, and he’ll soon learn that Lisias has more to teach him than just shepherding.

Buy this book here:
Dreamspinner Press

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A fabulous little MM Historical Romance!

“I don’t want easy sex here.”
“That’s amusing because I have a reputation for being fairly easy.”

I had a great time with this, and it flew by. There was not a single wasted scene in this novella!

There’s a great buildup between the characters. Their banter was delightful and really drew me in. There’s a fair amount of heat as well, even if it takes a while for them to come together physically.

There’s a fair amount of bondage and power-play, but this book sits on the sweeter side of the erotic…

It leaves you feeling lighthearted and absolutely satisfied.

If this is an accurate representation of the quality of writing I can expect from Lyn Gala, you can be sure I’ll be reading more of her work in the future!

FYI: You can read the first chapter of this book on Lyn Gala’s website!

Katy Regnery – The Vixen & the Vet

The Vixen & the Vet by Katy Regnery

Source: Review by Request
Copy Received from the Author
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Burned by an unreliable source, Savannah Carmichael, returns to her hometown of Danvers, Virginia with her once-promising journalism career in ruins. Given the opportunity to get her skin back in the game by writing a patriotic human interest piece, Savannah turns her attention to the town hermit, Asher Lee, a wounded veteran who returned to Danvers eight years ago, and hasn’t been seen since.

After an IED explosion in Afghanistan took Asher’s hand and disfigured half of his face, he’s lived a quiet life on the outskirts of Danvers where the locals respect his privacy…that is, until Savannah Carmichael comes calling in a borrowed sundress and a plate of homemade brownies. When Asher agrees to be interviewed by Savannah, he starts feeling things for the beautiful reporter that he hasn’t felt in years.

Misfits in small-town Danvers, Savannah and Asher create a bond right away, touching each other’s hearts in ways neither thought possible. When a terrible mistake threatens to drive them apart, they’ll have to decide if the love they found in one another’s arms is strong enough to fight for their hard-won happily ever after.

Buy this book:
Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | B&N | Apple | Smashwords | Paperback (Amazon US) 

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Shay Savage – Surviving Raine

Surviving Raine by Shay Savage

Series: Surviving Raine #1
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As the captain of a schooner catering to the elite on the Caribbean Seas, Sebastian Stark does his best to avoid any human encounters. Interacting with people isn’t his thing, and he prefers the company of a bottle of vodka, a shot glass, and maybe a whore. There’s no doubt he’s hiding from a checkered past, but he does well keeping everything to himself…

…until the night his schooner capsizes, and he’s stuck on a life raft with one of the passengers.

Raine’s young, she’s cute, and Bastian would probably be into her if he wasn’t suffering from alcohol withdrawal. As the days pass, DTs, starvation, and dehydration become the norm. Even the most closed person starts to open up when he thinks he’s going to die, but when she realizes their traumatic pasts are connected, it’s no longer the elements that have Bastian concerned.

He has no idea how he’s going to Survive Raine.

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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.


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…

J.R. Ward – Lover Awakened

Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #3
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other – six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…

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MIND. BLOWN.

“I was dead until you found me, though I breathed. I was sightless, though I could see. And then you came…and I was awakened.”

There’s really no eloquent way to describe my emotional state after reading this book, which could ever live up to the journey I just went on.

J.R. Ward has a crazy habit of getting under my skin with these books. For all the humor and playfulness of the Brothers, there is never a shortage of hard-hitting plot line. Even though this is the third book I’ve read in the series, I’m still amazed by how amazing and well written the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series is.

You know what else?

  • Strong female characters (that’s right, multiple strong women)
  • Edge of your seat action and suspense
  • So much love (brotherly love, loyalty, compassion, & sacrifice)
  • The character development is outstanding
  • Z’s story was moving and emotional without being unbearable angsty
  • The story lines weave through each book, so
    – No Cliffhangers
    – Our favorite characters continue with the series

“Your hands on a gun butt right now, isn’t it? Afraid of me?”
“Just want to make sure I can take care of you.”
“Oh, really?”
“Yeah, in case you need Glock-to-mouth-resuscitation.”

All of the flashbacks which filled in the history of Zsadist and his brother Phury were beautifully incorporated. Their respective histories had been hinted at in the first two books, but it was so awesome to see how the twins came together through tragedy.

The last quarter of the book was so packed with emotion, I could hardly contain myself… I won’t give anything away, but these books never shy away from intensity. They really hit you where it hurts sometimes. I never see these twists coming, and I’m right these with the rest of the Brotherhood, soaking up the outcomes…

“I’m not broken, I’m ruined. Do you understand the difference? With broken maybe you can fix things. Ruined? All you can do is wait to bury me.”

Here’s the amazing thing about the Black Dagger Brotherhood – there are so many characters, so many motives, backstories, curses to bear…

Everyone gets their chance to share their point of view, and you can’t help but get wrapped up in their stories. Even the bad guys get their shot at giving their POV – and I was enraptured. I hated David/O, but man oh man, I loved seeing the world through his psychotic eyes.

The fact that J.R. Ward can get me emotionally attached (for better or worse) to all of these characters really speaks to the quality of her writing.


I’m going to snuggle up with a bottle glass of wine and try to come down from this serious book hangover before moving on to Lover Revealed… I’m just not mentally ready yet…