Monday, October 28, 2013

A Beautiful Ending to a Very Dark Duet

Epilogue by C.J. Roberts

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Will you miss me?

Yes, I will miss Caleb and Kitten, and James and Sophia. They have taken me on a very emotional journey in this series. I'll even miss the funny little "Sprite" and the boy in the skinny jeans!

Will you cry?

Not anymore. This book brought closure to the story. Much needed closure.

This book, written from Caleb's POV, was exactly what fans (I) needed. After being so emotional over the first two books in this series. All I could think about was Caleb and Kitten. What they'd gone through, where were they now?

It's not very often books can make me wonder about the characters days, even a week or so later. This book takes away (most) of that wonder.

Seeing it through Caleb's eyes, how he feels about Livvie, his Kitten, and sadly, how he feels about himself. The emotional and very tumultuous journey he had to make from the man he was to the man he became.

This book was also light and funny. Who knew that Caleb had such a sense of humor? His story took a lot of the sting and pain out of the first two books. The perfect ending to a not so perfect beginning for Caleb and Kitten.

Will you miss me? Yes. Will you cry? Not anymore.

The Dark Duet series is the first very dark, very non-con series I've read, and I'm hooked!

Solid 5 stars for the story, the emotional ride, and the writing. This whole series was a solid 5 stars. I look forward to reading more from CJ Roberts.

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Monday, October 21, 2013

A wild and emotional ride!

Seduced in the Dark
Seduced in the Dark by C.J. Roberts

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What can I say about this book that hasn't already been expressed by others that loved it as much as I did?

These books, (the first one and this one), took me on such an emotional ride. But this book, was the most intense book I've ever read. I have *never* felt more wrung out from reading a book before. I actually had to put this book down at one point, not only because real world called, but because it was just that touching and disturbing. By the time I was 5% into this book I was emotional, my heart was in my stomach, and all I thought and felt was "NO!" I was definitely held Captive and Seduced by this story. I'll be feeling it for days.

"I've been doing this a long time-manipulating people to get my way. That's why you think you love me. Because I've broken you down and built you back up to believe it. It wasn't an accident. Once you leave this behind..... you'll see that."

The saddest words I could have read in this story, and I felt every bit of that.

After reading the first book, I knew better than to think I knew where this one might go, but still I found myself playing it out in my mind what would happen, trying to guess and predict. I was so far off. There is no way I could have predicted the dark and twisted turns this book takes. There was so much angst, destruction, darkness... sweetness, caring, light, and love in this 500 page novel. That I feel completely.... satisfied. Bet you thought I was going to say something else there, didn't you!

Everything in these books were so well written, they were seductive and captivating and they're going on my "must read again" shelf. And there aren't many books that I've read that I can say that about!

This series is my first dark taboo read, and I want more! I'm hooked!

Caleb and Kitten are ones I'll be thinking about for a long time to come. And I'd love to see how James and Olivia fair down the road. Oh and Agents Reed and Sloan.

The first person, 3rd person, present day, past, was a bit hard in the very beginning, but once I caught on to what was happening, I kept looking forward to the next change, just to read Caleb's words, or Kitten's.

I can't wait to read the next part of this story, and have already purchased it, it's sitting on my Kindle, taunting me! Its a wonder I didn't end up with broken bones reading this book. When I had it in my hands, I could *not* put it down, I'd walk and read, but it was so worth the few walls I bumped into!

All through the book, I kept hoping that in the end things would change from that heart stopping bit in the beginning. But I saw my hopes dashed time and time again. I wanted to turn things around, manipulate the story, but the author had other plans and full control and I was along for the ride. And what a ride it was.

I definitely wish I could give it more than 5 stars!

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Review: In the Zone

In the Zone
In the Zone by Sierra Cartwright

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Anything by Sierra Cartwright is outstanding in my book. And this book was no exception.

Alani is a professional sub, but in my opinion seems to be bored with it, she can't seem to find a Dom she can't top from the bottom, or she feels like she has to "fake it till she makes it". It's during one such scene that Nathaniel, owner of Zones, a BDSM club, catches Alain yawning and rolling her eyes, and he takes over, in more ways than one.

This was a Dom she couldn't top, and knew better than to "fake it" with... not that she had to do that anyway! He "unsettled her" and excited her. Made her feel the things she had been craving but was ready to give up hope of finding.

Nathaniel didn't play games, he wanted her, but she was going to have to come to him freely, and give everything freely. He saw her potential, knew what she could be for him and what they could be for each other. But he wasn't going to chase her or convince her, she had to figure it out on her own, and come to him. This wasn't easy for Nathaniel.

But would she give to him freely? Would she really come to him as a true submissive, no games, no faking it? Could she? Can she really open up about herself, be honest with Nathaniel about her past and what she feels? Or will her "hiding" be the downfall of this relationship before it can even get started?

I really enjoyed this book, these characters, the struggles on both of their parts to find the right aspects of D/s and S&M that work for them as individuals and together.

I like how this author digs in and grabs hold of what it really is to struggle in a relationship, be it vanilla or as lifers. There is always valuable information that lifestylers should follow, or those that may be interested in a BDSM relationship should know, in all of her books, and In The Zone is no exception to that.

This book gets a solid 4 stars from me.

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Captivating and heartbreaking...

Captive in the Dark
Captive in the Dark by C.J. Roberts

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Major cliffhanger in this book, be prepared to buy the second book in this "thrill-ogy".

Dark, twisted, haunting, and taboo. I'm not ever sure how to describe this book other than that!

I'd just finished reading Kitty Thomas' "Comfort Food" and went looking for something similar, and after reading Captive in the Dark, I'm not sure which author is more twisted. The best thing is this book as *more* to come!

Livvy, or "kitten" as Caleb has named her is an 18 year old girl, from the wrong side of the tracks, poor, but working hard on an education to get her out of that life. She literally bumps into a handsome stranger, who unbeknownst to her, isn't really as stranger at all, he's been stalking her for weeks, and realizes she will do quite nicely in his quest for revenge.

Caleb is a "pretty" man, but a very dangerous one. Revenge is his number one priority and it doesn't matter who he has to hurt, or kill, to achieve it. He has a single focus in mind, and this cute little girl is his ticket out of the brutal lifestyle he's in.

Taking her captive was the easy part, but breaking her to become a pleasure slave for another man, a man that is the focus of his revenge, is another story entirely. She's a feisty one, this girl he names kitten, she bites, scratches, kicks, and claws her way through her training, trying his patience and wearing out his hand and belt in the process.

There are enough hairpin turns in this book to keep the reader interested, dizzy, and at times feeling a little sick for how twisted it is. It moves at a fast pace, short enough to be read in half a day. I didn't want to put it down. *Couldn't* put it down. Then to get to the cliffhanger at the end? Thank goodness I found this book *after* the series was completed (just this past summer), or I'm afraid my poor little Kindle would be shattered in my hands!

This was a good book, a solid 5 star read, mainly because it kept me on the edge of my seat and it made me feel strong emotions from both main characters.

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

I think I have Stockholm Syndrome myself after this read!

Comfort Food
Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First word I can think of when it comes to this book is... wow. Just. Wow. Solid 5 star read for me.

Comfort Food was a very intense read, and one that has stuck with me since I finished it and I have a feeling it will stick with me for a few more days.

This book been recommended to me time and time again, so I bought it but never read it, until this morning. It captivated me from the first page and kept me reading for 4 solid hours.

This is not a love story, it's not erotica, and it's not the typical HEA that I normally stick to either. It's a dark, twisted, non-consensual, BDSM story and I loved it! The book totally got in my head and helped me to actually make a connection with these characters. A true psychological thriller, Stockholm Syndrome at it's finest. I thought this was going to be one of those books where a woman gets kidnapped and then rescued or escapes, but I couldn't have been more wrong. Nothing went the way I thought it would. Just about the time I thought I had it figured out, the book made a 180. And it worked. Everything just.. worked.

There is one major twist in the book that I didn't see coming until it was right there in front of me. Reading the book was like being on a runaway train and I was constantly fighting to get to the front to grab the brakes. But did I really want to grab the brakes? It was non-stop and it left me breathless, it made my heart hurt and my head spin... and it left me wanting more. I'll never look at chicken soup in quite the same way again...

To repeat what I said earlier, this book is not a love story... but, part of me really felt like it was.

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This was a DNF for me... twice. I actually tried to read this months ago, just couldn't get past the poorly written content and the unrealistic way the lifestyle is portrayed. Not to mention the usual issues that people in the lifestyle or those seriously curious about it, mention. Which I won't re-hash here.

I did want to give it another try though, but I just couldn't get past the above issues with this book.

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Review: Master of OZ

Master of OZ
Master of OZ by Savannah Jalayne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a great and fun read!

The way this author was able to spin this tale *and* use references to The Wizard of Oz was so much fun! This was one of those books that I hated to put down and couldn't wait to pick up again when I did. I felt a real connection to the characters.

This book had it all, hot scenes (of course) but it also had love and heartbreak. And the heartbreak was enough that I actually *felt* it for the Master of Oz and Dorothy Gale.

I found myself angry with Kingsely and feeling compassion for Dorothy, and even found the reverse to be true at times. Wanting and hoping they could work through their differences.

There is strong Dominance and submission aspects in this book, excellent training references, and the whole concept of BDSM is well represented.

Don't wait another day, get this book and curl up and get comfortable, it will sweep you up, much like a Kansas tornado, and drop you into the land of great reads!

This is also the Book of the month for The Erogenous Zone, a group I co-own.

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Monday, October 7, 2013

The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series

I just realized that some of my earlier reviews, specifically JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood, were never posted here. I think i started the blog after I'd read the series. But in talking with a new friend, about it, i decided to update my blog with some of my reviews from "pre-blog days".

I've read 9 of the 11 currently in this series and really need to get caught up before "The King" comes out on 25 March, 2014!

The Black Dagger Brotherhood is one of my favorites in the PNRe (Paranormal Erotica) genre, right along with Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed Series.

So, come along with me as I share my reviews of some of my past favorites that didn't make it to my blog.... YET! :)
Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1)Dark Lover by J.R. Ward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

More please!

After reading the Midnight Breed Series, I saw reviews that compared it to The Black Dagger Brotherhood series, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I'm SO glad I did! I absolutely LOVED this first book (and have finished the 2nd one, but that's another review!).

I enjoyed how this book set up so much of the storyline, I felt like I really got to know something about each of the characters and have something to look forward to.

This book is about Wrath and Beth, a blind vampire and a half breed. Two people that should never have met are thrown together after the death of Wrath's "brother" and Beth's father. Wrath meets her the first time and it's like fate for the 2 of them from there on out. I won't go any deeper so as not to spoil anything for you.

All I can say is, get this book and start reading.. you won't want to put it down and you'll look forward to the next installment for sure!

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Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #2)Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rhage and Mary...

Ahhh, Rhage and Mary. What a beautiful love story. Rhage is the perfect combination of tender and tough, sexual and sexy, trusting and controlling. A man that is not afraid of protecting his mate, or letting her hold him when tears overcome him.

Mary doesn't believe she has anything to offer a male, she's not the classic beauty that she (believes) Rhage wants, but she's wrong, she is exactly what Rhage never knew he was looking for. She's got some internal and external scaring from losing her mom to dealing with her own terrible bout with cancer.

Rhage believes he can handle her, Mary is quite sure he can't. There is so much tenderness and love in this book, lots of great sex between the main characters, and a lot of action too!! All of the brotherhood, and Butch, will come together to help this couple. But it's Rhage who will alone have to make the ultimate sacrifice, will it be the love of his life or the beast that controls him? It's sad and it'll have you in tears I promise. It's the ultimate love story!

Oh and throw a few "lessers" into the mix, and the beast that rages within Rhage, and you've got one helluva great action story too!

I can't wait to move on to Zsadist's story in book 3!

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Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #3)Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

LOVER AWAKENED tells the painful story of Zsadist, who is a member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, twin of Phury and a former blood slave. His past has left him scarred on the inside and out.

When Bella is abducted something stirs within Zsadist, he realizes that he MUST find her at all costs. Bella, he realizes is the only female who seems to be willing to look beyond his fearsome appearance and find that, perhaps, there may be more to him than even he is willing to believe, but most importantly, she is the only female he has been willing to care about and not wanted to kill.

Their lovestory is wrought with twists and turns, love and hate, torture and healing. Each helping the other to become whole again.

There are many twists and turns in this story. Parts of it are so sad it made my heart hurt for Zsadist and Phury and for Zsadist and Bella.

But when all is said and done, I really enjoyed this story.

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Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4)Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hmmmm... seems I didn't review this one! I need to remedy that in the near future!

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Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #5)Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What can I say about this book other than... Oh. My. God.! This was such an emotional ride. Touching, Romantic & Thrilling all get 5 stars from me!

So touching and so sad in so many ways. I actually cried reading this book. The life that V started out with, having the Bloodletter for a father. The guy lived up to his name that's for sure. And finding out who his mother is (I'll not say here, so you'll be surprised) and finding that after all his years with his father, dreaming of a loving and caring mother, then to be sooo let down. He goes through so many emotions with his best friend, Butch, then finding the love of his life.

This book has so many twists and turns. Some of them will make you want to cry for him, cheer for him, and hope for him... and at some points you'll hold your breath for him. This is my favorite book so far in the BDB series, but then again, V has been my favorite character from the beginning. Don't worry about some of the other reviews that are upset with the ending to this book. It's about love and sacrifice and that life isn't always fair and it's all how you interpret "Happily Ever After".

I can't wait to read the next chapter which is Phury's story!

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Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6)Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was good, but it was also EXHAUSTING! There was a LOT of information to absorb, a lot of side stories, and a LOT of characters.

The only major thing that wrapped up was, of course, Phury & Cormia and how they interact as the Primale and one of the Chosen. I thought I would like Phury, and really looked forward to his story, but he wasn't really what I expected him to be. The "exhausting" part comes a lot from these two potential mates ducking and dodging, for way too long and Phury & "The Wizard", all the drugs, and for most of the book I felt that Phury was depicted as "weak". I really think that *maybe* a lot of this story could have been told without Phury being an "addict".

Cormia, isn't my favorite Shellan either, but she does work with Phury, which, in the long run helped me to come around to her character. It was interesting watching her grow in this book from one of "The Chosen", which is a whole other looong story in and of itself, to being on, "The Far Side". I won't go into too much detail about them, as it would give too much of the story away.

There were a lot of new side stories that will carry over into the next book(s). I'm really looking forward to some of these stories concluding so we can concentrate on the really *important* things.. the Brothers and their Shellans! :) Okay, okay, I know, there must be other things going on in order for these books to be interesting, but after finishing "Lover Enshrined", I need something a little less "busy".

I love John Matthew, but it was really hard to imagine him as "all grown up" after his transition. He is still a child in a lot of ways. Even as a pretrans it was hard to wrap your head around the fact that he was 25 years old! I hope he is portrayed as much more mature in the next chapter of this series, along with Qhuinn and Blay. I also can't wait for the fact that he is a "wahlker" (Darius) to come out... or at least I *hope* that what all of this has been leading up to. I will really be disappointed if that part of the plot never comes to fruition.

The one new character I'm most looking forward to more of is Lassiter, The Fallen Angel. I loved this new addition and his humor, and I'll bet he's sexy as hell too! This is one new plot line that I can't wait to see where it leads.

We see much more of Rehvenge in this book, which, I'm sure, is leading up to Lover Avenged which is about him. He is a unique character for sure, so much dark and mysterious about him. I'm curious to nail down all the blackmail/Princess stuff.

Lash... now there was something I didn't see coming. I despised this character from the first mention of him, and my opinion just got progressively worse from then on.

Although I love The Black Dagger Brotherhood series and all in all, I did enjoy this book and I look forward to seeing where all the new plots will lead. It's a *MUST* read in order to know what's going on in the next books. I can't stress enough how important it is to read these books in order or you will be totally lost, I'm sure!

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Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7)Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was the story of Rehvenge, half symphath half vampire and truly a whole "Male of Worth". Which is very surprising considering all we knew about him from previous chapters in this series. To find that he is such a kind and loving soul was really a testament to "don't judge a book by it's cover".

We also meet Ehlena in this chapter, the woman with whom he falls in love, but is afraid to show her the "real" him. But what he *does* show her is pretty amazing! Ehlena is a nurse at Havers' clinic where she meets Rehvenge for the first time and only because none of the other nurses want to take care of him! She also takes care of her father who has a mental illness. She is the good girl to Rehv's bad boy.

A lot of our old friends from previous chapters are in this chapter too, thanks to several sub plots. Wrath and Beth, Mary, Bella, Qhuinn, Blay, Xhex, and JOHN MATTHEWS!

This is a very "busy" book... lots of things going on, and whenever anything starts to really pick up or something is about to be revealed, you are derailed to another sub plot. Keeps you on the edge of your seat for sure! Although the book was good, I think it was a little longer than it needed to be. There was a lot of things going on that were 'over described' and other things that were important that were either 'under described' or, what seemed to me, wrapped up a bit quick. Like the ending for instance, I felt like Rehvenge and Ehlena were just kinda glossed over in the very end. This was suppose to be their story, not Wrath and Beth's story. But that's just my take on it and may, in no way, be your experience.

As I've stressed in my other reviews of this series, it's very important to read these books in order, you will be pretty lost in this book if you haven't read the previous books.

Happy Reading! :)

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Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8)Lover Mine by J.R. Ward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was so looking forward to John Matthew's story, and even though I struggled a bit with this book, I can't say I was disappointed.

This book was passionate and complicated. My only wish was that the plots had all come together better. There seemed to be a lot of back and forth. I know it was suppose to make it more intense, but it got a bit frustrating every time you thought you were going to find out something and were tossed into another subplot.

Other than that, I enjoy this book, it was the page turner all of the previous books have been. This is one of the best series of books I've read in pnr.

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Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #9)Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love the BDB! I love each and every character that the WARDen has created. However... I really felt like this book was just a continuation of Lover Unleashed, a lot of V & Jane, who I love together, don't get me wrong, but there should have been more of Manny & Payne.

And I felt like there were a lot of unanswered questions. What happened to Murhder? Where did his character go? There was such a build up of him in the last book, then in this one, nothing, nada, zip... What about the Scribe Virgin and the Omega? There are a lot of questions about what's going on with the SV, but it was just glossed over.

Quinn & Blay... this story line just kinda fell flat for me. No resolution really. But some things that were leading up to maybe a resolution in the future.. hopefully.

But, I would recommend it as a necessary part of the series. But there was just way too much left hanging to have to wait a year for the next book to come out. All in all, I still love this series!

I saw a short video recently of J.R. Ward announcing the next book will be Tohrment's story... I hope we also have answers to a lot of questions.

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Review: Knots

Knots by Chanse Lowell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was given the ARC copy of Knots by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for the opportunity to do so, Chanse. :)

What a sweet story! It was a bit romanticized, but, it's a work of fiction, so artistic license is part of the deal.

For the most part, I would say that in most situations that the author stayed true to the BDSM lifestyle. Showing the honesty and openness that a Dom demands from His sub.

The story itself I fell in love with. Growing up in Hawaii as I did, it was fun to read some of the references and know exactly what they meant, and actually slipping into Pidgin English in my head while reading some of the chatter between Mark and Jay. The food references and customs were pretty dead on too.

I liked the fact that Mark could be the commanding Dom and a tender and sweet man at the same time, and as circumstances dictated. It showed that just because he was a (sadistic at times) Dom, that he was also strong enough to show emotion. Let his guard down, so to speak.

The main characters of Mark and Jeanie were written as loving, caring people. Jeanie had a lot of demons to overcome mainly her life with Pono, her husband of just a few years that passed away. And how she fell in love with his best friend, Mark. But also, to me, it seemed that she had a lot of scars from emotional abuse at the hands of her parents. All Jeanie wants is to love and be loved and to be accepted for who she really is.

Mark, Pono's best friend has always loved Jeanie, but would never do anything to upset their marriage, which when it comes down to it was a farce, Pono was a man child, and Jeanie did nothing but try to please him at all costs. Mark was able to take Jeanie and show her that she isn't the person she's been made to feel she is. That she's not useless or worthless. And he does it in a very loving and gentle way.

Secondary characters, Pono's family, were very accepting of Mark and Jeanie being together, even so soon after their son/brother’s death. They knew Mark, and knew that he would take care of Jeanie. And they made sure that Jeanie knew she was still their "daughter" and she was their O'hana... family.

Other secondary characters, Mark's mother and Jeanie's parents were all character well written, even though I didn't like Jeanie's parents.

One character in the book that I think should have been expounded on was Tia. She could have been a very useful tool in explaining more of how the lifestyle is. For a new sub, such as Jeanie, having the support of a sister sub is very important. Writing more of Tia into the book instead of leaving Jeanie much like a fish out of water, would have been a bit more believable in that aspect.

This book was a fun quick read, and gets a solid 4 stars from me.

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