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review 2018-06-30 22:35
Flesh Cartel, Season 5: Reclaimation, Episode #19: Promise
The Flesh Cartel #19: Promise (The Flesh Cartel Season 5: Reclamation) - Heidi Belleau,Rachel Haimowitz

*Full Series (Episode 1-19) Non-Spoiler Review*

 

I am still quite speechless over this series.  Absolutely one of the most emotional, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking and equally rewarding mind fucks I have ever read. And easily one of the best books/series I will read all year and one I would start all over again right now if I was not so emotionally drained.  I will give this one time to fully digest and will most definitely be re-entering this Cartel again in the future.

 

Is this series for everyone?  Likely not.  But it is worth it...I guarantee.  The physical abuse these boys are subjected to is like nothing I have ever read.  And while there are series like those written by our dear Nicholas Bella, those are characters in which self healing is a part of their character makeup. That is simply not the case here.  These are humans and they are slaves and part of a world which unfortunately I believe exists.   

 

 

Not once was I bored or let down by a single episode.  Each one beautifully crafted and quite thought provoking. You are constantly left wondering the mental state of these characters, if they are truly broken, playing along or just so fucked they don't know which way is up.  While the physical torture is taxing, it is the mental torture that will leave you breathless.  

 

 

 

Grab a friend and take the challenge.  These boys will grab a hold of you and will not let you go.  You will be yearning for more with each  and every episode. 

 

 

Thank you Marco for a BR I won't soon forget.

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review 2018-05-20 17:19
Something from Nothing
Something from Nothing - Nicky James

Absolutely loved this couple. Looking forward to this continued story. 

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review 2018-04-23 14:18
Rocky Mountain Refuge
Rocky Mountain Refuge - Nicky James

Once again Nicky James tackles a very serious mental condition and does so with such thoughtfulness, such care and with love.

 

Not everything in life is easy, you know. It’s the people who risk facing the hard stuff and the scary stuff every day who come out stronger in the end.

 

And while this is a quote from the book, this could certainly apply to the author as well.  She does not shy away from difficult stories.  From stories of loss, mental health and death.  She tackles these head on and with such love. And it is these stories which grab hold of your heart and soul and that ultimately become some of the most memorable reads for me.  

 

This is one of those stories.  The ability to get into the head of our sweet Huxley could not have been easy to write but my heavens...I felt it all.  Every fear, every doubt.  And to not only write about this character's condition but to develop an equally complex character in Aspen whose patience, love and understanding leads this character home could not have been easy.  And where they ultimately found home was just perfection.

 

This is quite a long book and one that builds quite beautifully.  Trust is not something that comes easily and therefore it takes time.  

 

Not all people are out to get you, Huxley. Some people just want to be nice. 

 

How do you build trust with someone who doubts your every move? Who reads things into statements differently and has fears you cannot begin to understand?  

 

That definitely takes patience and time.

 

This book is that exploration. It is that journey of trust which is told here.  And while your heart breaks, you understand the journey is not an easy one. Mental health is not easy.  You cannot simply take a pill and make things better.  Mental health affects the person and those around them in such a special way.  And living with this falls on both parties. 

 

Trust. Love. Understanding. Patience.

 

I cannot recommend this book and others by Nicky James enough.  Open your heart to some feels you will not soon forget.

 

 

 

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review 2018-04-23 12:59
Hard to Get
Hard to Get - Jaclyn Quinn

I have to say, there is something about Jacyln Quinn's writing, stories and characters that just pull me in completely.  I loved Gabe from the first book.  His wit and style made me very curious about this man and his "relationship" tactics. 

 

Well, let's just say, he is nothing like he seems.  Honest, sweet and such a devoted friend he is indeed.  But there was much more to this man than met the eye and I loved him all the more.

 

Enter Nate.  My heavens, this was also a character who is not at all what he seemed in the first book.  His pushback and protective nature was wonderfully developed.  And his story is one that I honestly did not see coming.  But work it did...and it certainly worked on our sweet Gabe.  

 

As with book one, the dialogue for me feels so natural and the situations never feel contrived.  Once again I was drawn into this setting, this cast of characters, their friendships and love for another.  The friendship that has been formed between Gabe and Jonah is the perfect example.  These two are wonderful together.

 

I eagerly await Jonah's story...he needs him something amazing and the shy ginger may be absolutely perfect.  Can't wait!

 

An ARC was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-03-18 15:00
Saving Sebastian
Saving Sebastian - Luna David

“You don’t have to prove yourself worthy of me. You are worthy of me, just as I’m worthy of you."

 

 

For me this was not simply about the acts of a BDSM relationship but was the complete development of a true D/s relationship and one that was done so with such depth, attention and patience.  The character development, including their doubts, hesitancy and questions revolving around their worth to their partner was beautifully captured.

 

While I have read several BDSM books, I have not always been comfortable reading about these types of relationships.  Perhaps it has been more about the acts before, or what I feel can be overly aggressive Dominates and quite weak submissives.  And that is awful to say and certainly is not meant in any way as demeaning but it was just not always something I understood.  There have been a few books however that explain better the power that the submissive holds…that they ultimately hold all the power with one simple word.  And out of all the books I have read involving BDSM, it is this one that I feel has captured the true nature of these relationships best.

 

This is not a quick read.  This is not a read in which involves only the acts, as the majority of the book is not about scenes but about the interactions, the trust building, and the dynamics and ultimate ability to know your partner, their needs and their desires. 

 

I also honestly never before got the level of worshipping that a Dom can have toward their sub.  But this aspect made all the difference for me.  Gideon, while Dominate, is so enthralled by His Boy, so utterly devoted to him, that it was seeing his sheer love expressed in a look, in a gesture or in his thoughts and actions that made me all the more captivated by him.  And it was these moments which made their dynamic stronger for me as partners.

 

“You keep getting on your knees for me.” He sighed and glanced back down at the box. “It feels wrong.”

“Why? Because you’re convinced that as my sub you should always be below me?”

Sebastian shrugged. “Yeah. I mean, I’m serving you, not the other way around.”

“You don’t think I do the same for you?”

 Sebastian tilted his head in confusion and shook his head. “You should never serve me.”

Gideon chuckled at that and said, “Of course I should. We’re serving each other. We just do it in different ways. You’re offering your service to me as my submissive. But I’m also offering my service to you as your Dominant. We’re equals in this, Sebastian.”

“You really believe that?”

“Fuck yes! I absolutely do. I can do nothing with you, to you, unless you have given your express permission. That power is in your hands. You know this.”

Sebastian nodded. “Yeah. I mean, I guess. I just never thought of it that way. That doesn’t seem right.”

“I’m giving you what you need, just as you are doing for me. If that isn’t service, I don’t know what is.”

 

While this book is long, it is not without reason.  Every scene in some way has a point, shows the true character of our main MCs and therefore nothing ever seemed pointless.  Even the scene with Boone and Connell had value and was so damn perfect at capturing the nurturing aspect of Gideon.    

 

 

 

The rope scenes for me were so intricate in their descriptions that I longed to have the imagery from Khaleo’s camera…not only in scene but in aftercare as well.  The images of the marks and indentions left in the skin, just beautiful crafted.

 

“Look at the lines on your body caused by the ropes. They’re beautiful. You’re beautiful."

 

Luna David, I have to say, not only impressed me with her in depth exploration into BDSM but into the health conditions that our sweet Sebastian lives with.  I felt this part of the story to be well researched and thoughtful.  While I am not a physician, it all felt quite accurate and ultimately personal. 

 

 

The story telling aspect of this also worked well for me.  While much of the story is a back and forth POV, there are several key scenes which are told from both POV and it was those that became the most touching of the story.  The New Year’s Eve scene being the most heartbreaking of them all.  I also enjoyed that while at times, it seemed certain scenes were skipped, we later got these told in memories, which I loved.  I am not sure this book would have worked had only one POV been described.  This was a couple and therefore their thoughts, actions and love for the other were of utmost importance in making this successful.

 

Now, I did not read the first 2 books in this series…honestly after hearing the praises surrounding this book and in seeing the cover, there was just no way I could wait.  And while a standalone, part of me does wish I had read the others first.  I was a little confused during the first hospital scene, feeling as though I walked into a family dinner not knowing who was there or what their relationships entailed.  I also feel like I may have gotten some inkling into what Sebastian looked like, having perhaps gotten other's perspectives on this man in previous books.  So again, while it really didn’t matter as this couple goes, it kinda mattered to me.  I will go back and read the others if for no other reason than to see sweet Braden’s story.  He was such a loving spirit and friend and I need more of him.

 

I do hope we eventually get Killian’s story.  He popped on page only briefly but there is no doubt a story behind this intriguing man.  And while I am no longer a big reader of M/F, I would read Finn and Zoe’s story.  How this doctor came to embrace this lifestyle to be what he needed for the woman he loves. I am on board.

 

There are so many aspects of this story that I have failed to even acknowledge, from their backgrounds, to their families, to the tattoos and Sebastian's love of art, and pets, every aspect was so beautifully and amazingly crafted.  I guess I will just have to reread this at some point and expand on those elements as well.  Until then, I cannot recommend this journey enough.

 

 

Spoilerish Bonus Quote…read at own risk…but it is absolutely beautiful.

 

Gideon leaned down and kissed his head, over and over, everywhere he could reach, paying particular attention to the raised, bumpy edges of his scar. His boy’s sobs were wracking his whole body at that point and Gideon’s heart was breaking.

“You’re so good, baby. So strong. Let it out. I’m so fucking proud of you. So proud. You’re the bravest man I know.”

Gideon touched and stroked Sebastian’s face, his head, his shoulders, and his neck, telling him how beautiful he was, how he’d never been more attracted to anyone in his life, how proud he was to be with him, and finally how lucky he knew he was that Sebastian had chosen him.

 

***

Even better the second time around. ❤️❤️❤️

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