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review 2017-09-22 21:49
Book Review of Man (Seven Forbidden Arts Book 9) by Charmaine Pauls
Man - Charmaine Pauls

Olivia Reid’s death has always been in the cards. When a man starts stalking her, he brings her pleasure instead of murder. He wants more than her orgasms. He seems to want her very mind. By giving him one thought every night, she manages to push forward the deadline of her extinction. But for how long can she buy her life before her mind is empty, and her stalker has what he wants?

 

Cain Jones is the leader of a paranormal crime taskforce dedicated to protecting mankind from the revival of evil and the dawning of a second Dark Age. The team under his command uses their seven forbidden arts secretively to fight their archenemy, Godfrey Reid, a man who is set on turning immortal and wiping out the human race. Fighting battle after battle, Cain makes a breakthrough when he locates his opponent’s weakness–Mrs. Olivia Reid. She’s his only link to Godfrey, and his only chance at accomplishing his mission. He’ll break her if he has to. He’ll even steal her thoughts. As the investigation progresses Cain has to face a truth he doesn’t want to admit. He has an ulterior motive for personally keeping an eye on his enemy’s dwellings. Watching Olivia sleep, Cain soon becomes as obsessed with his archenemy’s woman as with killing Godfrey. She’s everything he’s ever wanted. But will she forgive him for killing her husband?

 

Man is the ninth and final book in the Seven Forbidden Arts paranormal erotic romance series, but also reads as a standalone. This book contains graphic language and sexual scenes. Reader discretion is advised.

 

Review 5*

 

This is the ninth and concluding book in the Seven Forbidden Arts Series. I loved it!

 

Cain Jones is a fascinating character. Although he appears in nearly every book of the series, he remains largely mysterious. I am glad the author decided to use the final book in the series to focus on him. He is the boss of the paranormal task force and oversees the team on behalf of his sponsors. He is also instrumental in playing matchmaker to his team (although they don't know it). Cain and his team have been searching for Godfrey, their nemesis, in an attempt to stop him achieving his ultimate goal - total world domination and immortality. When he finally tracks down Godfrey's wife, he finds himself completely obsessed with her because he can't read her mind. But as danger lurks in the shadows, will he be able to protect Olivia and stop Godfrey in time?

 

Olivia Reid is also a wonderful character. I liked her a lot. She is a determined and strong willed woman. She thought she loved Godfrey when she married him, but now she lives in terror of him. When a mysterious stranger appears in her bedroom, she only feels relief that she's about to die. But as her attraction to the mysterious stranger grows, she finds herself facing a psychotic husband who will stop at nothing to reach his goal.

 

This story is told through the eyes of Cain and Olivia. I enjoyed getting to see the other characters from the team once more too. This book continues on from the end of Chiromancist, though a month or so after the events in book eight, and it had me sitting on the edge of my seat. I said in my review of Scapulimancist that I thought it was the best of the series so far. I have now had to revise it to the last two books too. The story kept me hooked from the first page.

 

I have been awaiting the arrival of this book with mixed emotions: eager to read it, but dreading it too. This is because it is the last book of the series and it means the end of watching the team facing obstacles and overcoming them, as well as finding their significant other. The characters have become like friends and I will miss them. It also means the story arc reaches it's zenith, and what a rush it is! All the loose ends are tidied up for the most part. I still had a few unanswered questions buzzing around my head relating to a character that was introduced. I don't want to say too much as it could be a spoiler. However, I found this character most disturbing and I hope that he gets the help he needs. Otherwise he will be another dangerous sociopath/psychopath for the team to deal with when he gets older. There is still the mystery surrounding the quantamancist's identity who helped Ivan in Necromancist, and it remains unsolved by the conclusion. Having said that, the story ends satisfactorily. Whether it is a HEA or HFN remains to be seen. I would like it if the author were to re-visit the team in the future to see how they are getting on, but even if she decides not to, it has been an emotional roller coaster ride from the first to the last book, and I can always re-read the series when I get the chance.

 

Charmaine Pauls has written an entertaining standalone erotic romance series. Her characters are lifelike and come alive on the page. I love her fast paced writing style and the flow is wonderful. I have added her to my favourite authors list and am looking forward to reading more of her books in the future.

 

Although this book can be read as a stand-alone, I recommend that you read this series in order. Due to the explicit nature of some of the scenes, as well as use of profane language, I do not recommend this book to readers under the age of 18. I do, however, recommend this book if you love science fiction, erotica, erotic romance or paranormal romance genres. – Lynn Worton

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review 2017-09-21 11:12
I think this was the best Shadowlands book so far.
This Is Who I Am - Cherise Sinclair

I think this was the best Shadowlands book so far. With a great mix of erotic scenes, real life and a side order of crime syndicate and FBI, the story just flowed.

Sam as our male lead showed another side to the Gods of Shadowlands; older, sadist and emotionally closed, all something a little new! He didn't always get it right, he wasn't always perfect!

Linda, our female lead and submissive in this book, was again, something a little different. Older, mother, and masochist, Linda is also a survivor and tough as nails. Not that the other subs weren't, but this was just different, more real!

Despite the S/M relationship being a strong part of the story, and not to my tastes, I thoroughly enjoyed the story with all of it's ups and downs.

Things in the bedroom got a little repetitive and dare-I-say-it 'boring' at either of their homes, but Shadowlands play sessions were amusing and exciting despite being pain related. Towards the end of the book things got more interesting which helped the pacing around the climax.

I liked that serious relationship issues, including failed marriages and communication concerns were explored and felt very natural to the relationship. This was by far the best representation of relationships I've seen from Cherise.

Some of the supporting cast had large life events in this book which was a nice touch to remind the reader that the lifestyle isn't all sex and chains, but that real life continues too, with all its craziness.

If you're put off by the S/M relationship, don't be, it was handled well and the pain rather delicately described. Quite a few explosions and pleasure waves were ridden between these covers.

To me, this was one of the sadder tales in the Shadowlands series. And that's not because the others lacked sadness, but more that these characters felt very real, with Linda's self-loathing and doubt and Sam's emotional withdrawal. They both did and said things that real people do. 

The added sweetness of Conn, Sam's trusted canine companion, and the lovely ladies of Linda's seaside hometown wrapped things up nicely.

I am quite interested to see what happens in book 8, the next one in the series! I will be getting to it in short order!

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review 2017-09-14 12:30
I only wish we were given more...
The Nameless One - Kathryn Meyer Griffith

The Nameless One is a short horror story set in Egypt. It follows husband and wife, Laura and Julian Bennet, who are Egyptologists looking for an elusive tomb. 

The book blurb leaves little left to explore when you actually read the book, but given its length, that's not entirely unexpected. 

The pace felt a little fast, some of the richness of Egypt missing because of this and the writing style. There wasn't a lot of time given to building up the world around Laura and Julian, which I felt was quite a shame.

If given a bit more sensory information, this story could have been very creepy and horrific.

This is marketed as an erotic horror, but the erotic content is very light on and no great detail was given. The opportunity for exploring the erotic nature of the idea in this book was missed almost entirely, which was a shame.

Overall, this read well, if a little clipped, had a reasonable plot and had the beginnings of a good story with likeable characters. I only wish we were given more.

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

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review 2017-09-13 12:08
This will certainly not be the last of J.D. Carabella's works I'll read!
Nocturnal Voyeur - The Complete Series: A Tale of Passion, Pulp and the Paranormal - JD Carabella

I am not sure why this would ever be broken into five shorter stories and sold seperately. This works so well as one larger work, I really can't imagine only being drip fed the story. If nothing else, it would have stopped the nice flow the story has, and made it more difficult for the reader to rejoin the characters on their journey.

Speaking of the characters, they were quite enjoyable, even though Mack does fall into a few of the trope pitfalls. I really enjoyed Fiona's character with all her stubborness and foibles. I would have liked a little more development for Fiona, and Mack needed more room to grow as well (no pun intended). Fiona really makes the story, but she's given so little time to develop in between all the action (both in the bedroom and out of it) that it did feel like we were racing after her in the story so didn't have time to learn what we needed about her.

The mix of Native American Indian mythology, magic and the paranormal regulars (were-animals/shifters), provided a delightful paranormal flavour to this romp through the 1930's timeline and gave the story a uniqueness that has been missing from some of the paranormal romance/erotica stories I've been reading. I'd have loved some more time to explore the history, mythology and explanations of the magic system, but we're only really given but a tiny glimpse of it.

The story left me with some unanswered questions; ones I hope can be answered with another story following Fiona and Mack. Or, perhaps some of the answers are explored in J.D's other series in the same world - Arrested by Passion. I'll have to check them out to see :)

While the writing wasn't perfect, the overall feel of this piece was quite polished and the story provided a quick, entertaining read for those who like a bit of bite with their erotic reading. Unfortunately, the insta-love aspect niggled a bit. It wasn't a total mess, but it wasn't flawless either. I think a little more character building and development would help with the feeling of it all being a bit rushed and make the insta-love seem less clunky and more 'destined lovers'.

The sexy scenes were provided in large quantities and quite varied in sexual preference, tastes and kinks. This was nicely done, though at times I did wonder if they were all really needed, or if it was a particular penchant of J.D. to enjoy writing smut, so she came up with a plot that allowed for a lot of the short snippets to be present and still fit nicely in with the story. That's not a complaint, merely an observation. 

In terms of hotness, not all of them floated my boat, but given the quantity and varied content, I'm sure almost all erotic readers will find a scene or fantasy to please their tastes within the covers of this book. 

One word of warning: this book does contain what some would call dub-con or non-con elements, along with some pretty brutal tentacle rape scenes, is littered with foul language and some intriguing, yet extremely depraved scenes. 

This will certainly not be the last of J.D. Carabella's works I'll read! 

A few things I noticed:

7% - a few erotica faux pas (everyone being sex Gods and Goddesses and rolling continuous orgasms) - admitedly pretty common in paranormal romance/erotic stories, but weirdly I still expected more from J.D.
9% - ...I know Theo was fond of you, (delete space)"
10% - ...and lie(lay/laid) awake for a few hours...
12% - Mack still stood still (awkward wording consider revising) 
32% - ...shortness of her shirt(skirt), which ended above the knees...
49% - they had been Cheekbones and Silence previously, not Smiler 
94% - Mack was large in ever(y) sense of the...

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**

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review 2017-09-09 14:36
Right here
The Quarterback - Mackenzie Blair

Matt is in a very difficult place.  Literally.  He is in a very conservative school.  Where he plays football.  With people who would kick him out if they knew the truth.  Then he meets him.  The man who will change everything about what he needs.

 

Trevor feels used by Matt at first.  Does not really get what he wants.  Then he finally admits to himself he has wanted Matt since the first time he saw him years ago.  The sparks flying around the room when they are in it together.... could burn a person to ashes.

 

Some stories stick with you.  This one will for me for a long time.  I thought the author's presentation of the personal feelings and obstacles that had to be overcome came across very real.  I will definitely look to read more by said author.  These characters were fun and entertaining to read.  I give this book a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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