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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 2016-12-24 05:46
An Impossible Gift
An Impossible Gift: A Short Story (Tales from the Vampire Underground Story #2) - Cristina Rayne

Ellie was attacked one night as a child. She remembers her attacker having fangs. Everyone else thought it was the trauma of the event. As an adult, she gets stranded, and has checks into a hotel. Val, the owner, feels she looks familiar.
This was just okay. I would have liked to see the relationship remain platonic and friendly between Val and Ellie. I didn't believe or really like the romance. And he fixes something as a favor to her; how is Ellie going to explain away a feature she has had since she was attacked? That wasn't explained.

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review 2016-04-16 04:32
His Ruthless Bite | Historical Paranormal Romance: Vampires (Scandals With Bite Book 4) - Brooklyn Ann

This is part of a series. I enjoyed this story a lot. Gavin is a Lord Vampire who is tired of having potential brides thrust his way. He takes a young vampire as his bride to stop the pursuit. Lenore has been through hell and Gavin helps her to see that she is not a victim but a survivor. Their feelings grow for each other through the dangers that plague them and the village. I could not stop reading because I needed to know if they would survive the danger. I highly recommend this one.

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review 2016-04-08 03:51
non-con and tentacles all wrapped up together...
Sacrifice - Kate Pearce

So it was quite fortuitous that I picked up this short story/novella on Halloween, because if you'd told me it included aliens and tentacles and all sorts of sordid, creepy stuff before I'd started, I would have put it in the horror basket. In my brain, tentacles and creatures that have them looked a little something like this:

tentacles of doom

I've never in all my born days looked into the anime tentacle sub-culture, but I imagine that this book would fit within its realm quite well.

The premise of the book was interesting and quite different to anything else I've read before. The idea of a human being on an alien planet and being incarcerated and then indentured to the tribute program working for Rehz Akran piqued my interest. Especially when the alien planet's humanoid inhabitants didn't recognise that Earth existed.

Rehz was an interesting character, he did the most deplorable things to our protagonist, Anna Lee (whose names are used interchangeably throughout the story - which irritated me to no end), and while Anna doesn't know why, the reader is lead to believe that there's a higher purpose for all this 'training'.

While I'm on the topic of training... I need to say, this book is not about training. It's about taking a sex slave and abusing her (and other trainers did the same to men as well). And not just a little abuse, no, this is full on non-con. It is hour upon hour of being filled... not just with male body parts, but also various fake versions too. It's about physical and mental torture at its most cruel. Anna is made to submit to Rehz, to hand over her extremely strong will, along with her body and do these things because Rehz says so... without knowing why.

Now, this probably sounds like I have an issue with the non-con... in fact, I don't, but I do have a problem with the book, just not with this part.

The part that I thought let down the rest of the book was the time period of the 'tribute'... once I'd come to terms with what the tribute scheme actually was and why they were training these 'tributes' the way they were... well... I was intrigued. How was this going to play out? Was I going to have my first tentacle sex scene reading experience? I had no idea.

And I still don't!

This is my problem with it. The seeming climax (pun totally intended) was brushed over so quickly, with so few details that it was an epic let down.

If you trawl for dub/non-con and other dark kink readers, you had best deliver. Don't dangle this thing in front of your readers and then skim over it so lightly that it was almost as if that event didn't even exist... get down and dirty. Step so far over that line that there's no uncertainty about how far you're willing to go.

Baby likes it

Ultimately, I bought into the somewhat shallow story line and wanted to know what happened in that scene that was skimmed over. I, as a a reader of LGBTQ romance and erotica, found the varied sexual partners and combinations of partners quite refreshing. But, some of the sex scenes were rather dull and seemed repetitive.

I did like the ending, despite it's someone vanilla tinge compared to the rest of the book. I am intrigued to know what happens next. I will be trying out book 2.

Oh, and if you've read all the way through this and you're still not aware that this book is not for children or people who have weak dispositions, then here's the trigger warning... just in case you missed all that above!!

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

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