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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-05-22 14:29
Book Review: Exploration: Kinky in the City #1 by Quinn Ward
Exploration (Kinky in the City, #1)Exploration by Quinn Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First time reading a Quinn Ward book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is NOT a hardcore BDSM book, this is more about domination and submission, a Dom being the caretaker and his boy being the one receiving all the care. And it was thoroughly enjoyable.

Frankie was sort of forced into taking over his family restaurant - it was the gift he didn't want. It leaves him feeling out of control and out of sorts, being responsible for his family legacy, and so he finds release in less than legal means in order to be able to give up the control his real life forces him to have. That and he's from an Italian Catholic family and he's gay so... coming out just hasn't been an option for him, and yet one more stressor to add to his life.

Calvin is Frankie's older, divorced roommate with a teenage son. Cal wasn't in the closet but when he was still trying to figure out his sexuality he got his girlfriend pregnant. They married and Calvin was a faithful husband and a good father. He and his ex are still close friends and they still love each other, they just both realized that their marriage wasn't giving either of them what they truly wanted out of life.

Now that he's single again, Calvin is ready to embrace being gay and ready to dip his toes into the BDSM lifestyle that has always fascinated him. So when he finds Frankie on his knees, sucking off a John, in the back of his friend's bar, a few things snap into place for Cal. One - he wants Frankie. Two - he likes seeing Frankie on his knees. Three - he wants to take care of Frankie, to be the one to give him orders to eat and to sleep and to take care of himself because he can see how frayed around the edges Frankie really is.

But Frankie's knowledge of the Dom/sub lifestyle comes completely from badly written books and titillating conversations his wait staff have, oh and maybe some late night porn perusal. So to say Frankie is nervous is an understatement. Frankie and Cal learn to navigate the lifestyle together, as well as balancing the needs of family, both their families, until a situation develops that makes them both realize that they don't want to hide who they are and who they love anymore.

I really liked this slower, gentler style of bdsm book, one that shows another aspect of the lifestyle that doesn't require tools and toys but emotional involvement, intimacy and trust.

Definitely an enjoyable read.
 
**A copy of this book was provided for an honest and unbiased review by Lescourt Author Services**

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review 2019-05-14 19:02
Book Review: Counterblow by Isobel Starling (Shatterproof Bond #4)
Counterblow (Shatterproof Bond #4)Counterblow by Isobel Starling
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Book 4 of the Shatterproof Bond series picks up soon after the events of book 3 have left Sam and Declan in reversed roles with Sam the broken one and Declan the stronger partner.

After being set up by his father as bait, Sam is broken in body and spirit. He suffers from nightmares, his body is slow to heal, and his father - Sir James - is keeping him out of the loop, probably on purpose. As for Declan, he loves his fiance but the man is hovering - and getting stronger and sexier by the day, and also keeping things from him.

But the man who tried to end Sam's life is still in captivity in ALL Headquarters under Sam's childhood home, still a poisonous viper in the heart of London, and Sam is slowly losing himself to the fears that continue to eat at him. Not even marrying Declan, the love of his life, settles Sam's fears for long.

As for Declan, he's not as happy and content to play 'house husband' as he lets on. He'd warned James Aiken there would be consequences for using and betraying his son, Sam, and the time for payback was rapidly approaching. Throwing himself into learning Krav Maga so that he can teach the bastart a thing or two and help both Sam and himself take back control of their lives, Declan soon finds himself played despite having the upper hand physically.

I admit I found Sam a little whiny and, well, histrionic in this book. Oh I get he was tortured, left to die in front of the love of his life so on and so forth, but the last three books set him up as this wunderkind James Bond-Eggsy from Kingsmen hybrid and now, all of a sudden, he is the damsel in distress. It was jarring, and a little off-putting.

But, like Declan in the last book, he rebounds and is once more the wunderkind we've come to know in the last three books, taking charge of his life, and taking his fate in his hands. He faces down the bogeyman of his nightmares, the man who had tortured him and left him for dead, and he comes out stronger.

But Sir James is still up to his old tricks, and he's still spreading poison and discord like some cancerous rot. And Sam and Declan have an upcoming deep cover mission that could make or break them.

I definitely enjoyed this book and will be reading the 5th one when it comes out, but after reading all 4 back to back, I'm in need of a little light-hearted fluff, because these books are ANGST-Y. Good, but sooo angsty.

**A copy of this book was provided for an honest and unbiased review by Lescourt Author Services**

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review 2019-05-10 20:20
Book Review: Return to Zero, Shatterproof Bond Book 3, by Isobel Starling
Return to Zero (Shatterproof Bond, #3)Return to Zero by Isobel Starling
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Book 3 of the Shatterproof Bond Series takes place almost immediately after Book 2, Illuminate the Shadows. 

This book was a little more challenging for me in a number of ways. The plot was fantastic and the continuity was really good but my issues had to do with one of the main characters, Declan, at least in the first half of the book.

In the first two books he'd been sort of large and in charge, not only that he'd stated numerous times that he didn't like how Sam's dad, his boss, treated Sam. He, in fact, called Sir James Aiken a manipulative bastart a number of times in the first two books and had, in fact, been tortured and interrogated by Sir James as his 'entrance exam' into the secret spy world that Sam lived in.

But in this book, Declan is quick to fall for James' manipulations of pitting him against Sam. It played well into the continuing plot of the book but I found it a little harder to swallow given Declan's own statements in past books. But Declan does eventually dig his head out of his arse midpoint through and that vastly improved the book. I just had to get past him acting like a wee stroppy child throwing a tempter tantrum first.

The tension and the action that the writer brings to the book is quite good. The threat from book 2 comes to fruition in this book and soon Sam and Declan are fighting for their lives in the Scottish Highlands against a ghost from Sam's past - someone with a serious grudge against Sir James and who is willing to make Sam suffer for his father's sins. The two men have to learn to work as a team in order to survive, and they have to be able to trust each other completely.

As I said, the first half was a bit of a challenge but I thoroughly enjoyed the 2nd half!

**A copy of this book was provided for an honest and unbiased review by Lescourt Author Services**



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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-05-06 20:42
Book Review: Illuminate the Shadows by Isobel Starling (Shatterproof Bond #2)

Illuminate the Shadows (Shatterproof Bond, #2)Illuminate the Shadows by Isobel Starling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The continuation of the story of Sam and Declan from As You Wish, Shatterproof Bond, #1)

Declan Ramsay's life was turned upside down at his brother's wedding in Scotland by none other than his new sister-in-law's younger brother, Sam Aiken. Sam took a grumpy sad bachelor who'd all but given up on love and showed Declan that love was not only possible but that he was, in fact, bi-sexual. Declan fell hard and fast for Sam and the feeling was mutual.

The thorn in their romance, though? Sam's father - Sir James Aiken (the BASTART!), head of a shadowy private covert ops organization that worked closely with MI6, who is also a raging homophobe and treats his son like a weapon, not a child. Before the Sam and Declan had a chance to fully explore their relationship Sam was ordered out of country for 3 months, not that Declan knew the reason why at the time.

When the three months were over Sam delivered an ultimatum to his father - he gets Declan or he walks. His father, surprisingly, caved, and allowed Declan to be 'read in' on the family business. Sam surprises Declan and they manage to have a weekend together, reuniting, before Declan is abducted and interrogated, tortured and pumped full of drugs by none other than Sir James (the Bastart!) his boss and Sam's father - all in the name of making sure Declan can take being an agent, and is worthy of being part of the organization.

Declan manages to surprise James and is reunited with Sam for the second time, but all is not smooth sailing for the couple. Declan's brother reacts poorly to his involvement with Sam despite Sam being his wife's brother, someone breaks into Declan and Sam's home and strange things start to happen. Declan feels inept and unready for his life with Sam but Sam is afraid of Declan losing his innocence to the shady world of espionage Sam has lived in his entire life. The two men have just found each other but the world seems primed to tear them apart.

This book is a good set up for the rest of the series as it brings Declan into the fold and establishes the dynamic between James and Sam, and James and Declan. I look forward to reading book 3!

**A copy of this book was provided for an honest and unbiased review by Lescourt Author Services**

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review 2019-05-02 19:15
Book Review: As You Wish (Shatterproof Bonds #1) by Isobel Starling
As You Wish (Shatterproof Bond #1)As You Wish by Isobel Starling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is like the spy story I never knew I needed!

Declan Ramsay's brother is getting married to Sam Aiken's sister in a fairy-tale do up in a real Scottish Castle and both brothers are co-best men. Declan is a straight grumpy Scot who also happens to work for Sam and Annabelle's dad - Sir James Aiken (more about that Bastart in the next book review). Declan is anal-retentive and Sam seems to be a free spirit - an incredible intelligent student of languages. They should be the polar opposite of each other but...

After a year of communicating by email, a less than salubrious in person meeting, and a mutual love of a movie about a certain Dread Pirate and his Princess, well the sparks fly between them hot and fast. Before their siblings have a chance to say 'I Do' Sam is showing Declan that he is neither straight nor narrow.

But Sam isn't what he seems to be, and neither is his father (the Bastart!). Can Declan live with the secrets that Sam keeps, can their romance be more than just a wedding romance?

The book was fast paced, slick, thoughtful and romantic. I loved the world building and the attention to detail. If I had one thing to say about the book... just like in the Princess Bride, sometimes there are a few too many 'inconceivables' spoken. :D

Read and find out!

**A copy of this book was provided for an honest and unbiased review by Lescourt Author Services**


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